Tesla Model 3 Saloon Review

Compare brand new Tesla Model 3 Saloon lease deals! All Model 3 Saloon deals include delivery, road tax and a full manufacturer’s warranty. We collect the best Tesla leasing pricing from across the industry, saving you time and money. Select a trim below to get started.

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Tesla Model 3 Saloon Quick Review

6.5
This is the score given by Car & Driving
  • 10 Economy
  • 8 Space
  • 8 Performance
  • 7 Equipment
  • 7 Comfort
  • 6 Build
  • 6 Styling
  • 5 Insurance
  • 5 Depreciation
  • 5 Handling
  • 5 Value

Short Review

The Model 3 is the car that could make Tesla - or it might merely save the brand. It'll be interesting to find out which. It's all-electric of course - and much more accessible than the company's previous models, though you'll probably still need a £50K budget. Your next executive saloon? Middle managers who are early adopters of new technology should form an orderly queue.

Tesla Model 3 Saloon LeaseFetcher Review

Tesla Model 3 Review

The Model 3 is Tesla’s attempt to bring electric vehicles to the masses. 

It’s their smallest model to date, and is significantly cheaper than both the Model X SUV and the Model S Luxury Saloon.

It carries on the Tesla tradition of futuristic styling both inside and out, ditching the front grille that you’d find on most petrol engines (a move which manufacturers of more ‘conservative’ electric cars such as the Audi e-tron have yet to make), and replacing every button inside with a touch screen equivalent. 

There’s a lot resting on the success of the Model 3, which is key to Elon Musk’s mission to rid our roads of dirty fossil fuels once and for all. Demand may have outstripped supply for the new Tesla Model 3, which outsold Alfa Romeo’s entire offering in Europe in the first half of 2019 - but is it still one of the best electric cars you can lease for the money? 

Performance, Drive, 0-60mph

The Tesla Model 3 has 3 different trims: Standard Range Plus, Long Range AWD and Performance.

It’s an electric vehicle, which means you won’t hear much noise at all. Just the gentle whirr of the electric motor(s). Road noise remains, particularly when travelling at speed - though even the premium Jaguar i-pace hasn’t managed to eliminate this.

But what about the important stuff? You’ve heard about the industry-leading acceleration on the Tesla Model S, how does the Model 3 compare?

If you opt for the rear-wheel drive Standard Range Plus, you’ll get from 0-60mph in a pretty respectable 5.3 seconds. The dual-motor Long Range model knocks nearly a second off that time, with a solid 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds. If you really want to experience the benefits of all-electric all-wheel drive however, you’ll want to go for the Performance model, which manages it in a blisteringly fast 3.2 seconds. Not as quick as the top of the range Model S or Model X, but you will still struggle to find a production car for a similar price which will give you the same level of performance. 

If you’re more interested in top speed, the entry-level model maxes out at 140mph. If you don’t mind paying the extra, the performance model can reach up to 165mph.

Because it is a Tesla (and Tesla cars are full of smart things) you can take your foot away from the acceleration and let the regenerative braking bring you to a halt all by itself. This is great for the kind of continuous stop-start driving you’ll be doing in the city as it reduces the amount of energy you would waste through heat by applying traditional brakes. The excess energy is in this case fed back into the batteries. Just don’t be surprised if it takes a little while to get used to at first. 

The Standard Range Plus has a slightly softer suspension than the Performance model, which makes for a pretty pleasant experience when driving around the city. But if you want something slightly firmer, the Performance model comes with a lowered suspension, carbon fibre spoiler and larger 20-inch wheels so you can really tackle those corners with confidence.

The best thing? Tesla is constantly pushing out software updates for their cars which bring improved performance and handling to the cars!

Interior

To open the door, you either use your credit-card-style key or an app on your smartphone.

Once inside, you’ll be greeted with a massive 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This replaces all the usual buttons that you’d find on a more traditional dashboard. That includes the speedometer that you’d usually find behind the steering wheel. It may feel slightly awkward looking to the touchscreen for this kind of information at first, but we’re sure you’ll get used to it. 

If you’re into Scandi-style minimalism, you’ll absolutely love this car. 

While it doesn’t come with Android Auto or Apple Carplay, Tesla’s infotainment system certainly packs a lot in. The large, crystal-clear display makes Google-mapping your journey an absolute doddle. Then there’s all the extra entertainment stuff, like Youtube, Netflix and a basket of easter eggs for keeping the kids (and the big kids) entertained. Who knew how much fun a digital whoopie cushion under the passenger seats could be?

The front-seats are electrically-adjustable 12 ways and there’s also a power adjustable steering column with a good range of adjustment. 

The interior may not stand up to the likes of an Audi A4BMW 3-series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but it’s certainly one of the nicest on a Tesla so far. The full length panoramic glass roof also gives the cabin a much airier feel than some of its rivals. 

Passenger and Boot Space

The Model 3 has 5 seats, and you should have no trouble fitting three people in the rear seats. There’s generous head and leg room and no annoying hump in the middle of the floor like you would find in a more traditional car, so the middle passenger shouldn’t have any trouble getting comfy. The seats are slightly lower in relation to the floor however, which means that the passengers legs will be at a slightly raised position, which might get uncomfortable on longer journeys.

Despite its conventional hatchback body, the Model 3 does a great job at making the most of the available space. If you combine the space offered in the traditional rear boot with the space you’ll find in the front (or front boot, for those who are new to electric cars), you’ll have an impressive 542 litres altogether. 

Cost to run, CO2 emissions, MPG, Range

Because the Model 3 is electric-only, there are no CO2 emissions. Gone are the days of worrying about emission charges or London congestion charges....

The Standard Range Plus squeezes 254 miles of range from its 55kwh battery. Upgrade to the Long Range AWD and you’ll get 348 miles of range, while the range-topping performance trim manages an equally impressive 329 miles on a single charge by the most recent WLTP standards thanks to a larger 75kwh battery. Actual range may dip slightly below this, depending on the temperature of the battery.

If you’re still worried about running out of juice and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere, Tesla’s ever-expanding supercharger network should help to put your mind at ease. Supercharging can get your vehicle back on the motorway much faster rate than most standard electric vehicle chargers - you can go from 0-80% in just half an hour! The built in sat-nav will allow you to plan your journey via these charging stations, so you’ll never find yourself in a difficult situation. 

Included as standard, there is a 4-year / 50,000 miles warranty. The battery is covered for 8 years, or 100,000 miles on the Standard Range Plus, or 8 years / 125,000 miles on the Long Range and Performance models. If you plan to drive more than 50,000 miles over the term of your lease, you might want to consider one of Tesla’s extended warranties, which will give you an additional 2 years / 25,000 miles or an extra 4 years / 50,000 miles.

Safety features

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the safest cars to drive. It has a 5* Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) rating and is #1 for the lowest probability of injury in the US NHTSA ratings. 

The Model 3’s large, reinforced battery pack sits beneath the car floor, which not only provides the car with exceptional strength, but also leaves lots of room for some large crumple zones. The low-lying battery pack also works to lower the car’s centre of gravity, so it’s much better at handling corners and less likely to flip in a side-on collision. 

As with all Tesla cars, the Model 3 is fitted with more cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radars than you can shake a stick at. This gives the vehicles 360 degrees of visibility and provides the car with real-time information which can be used to prevent any potential accidents. This data is continuously fed to Tesla to help them improve their accident prediction algorithms and will ultimately benefit you in the long term as new software updates are pushed out. 

The Model 3 also has a semi-autonomous driving mode called autopilot. This is essentially cruise control with automated steering that will adapt to the cars around it. It won’t work if you take your hands off the steering wheel, but Tesla promises that there is enough hardware capabilities in the car for fully-automated driving to become a feature in a future software update, should legislation allow it. 

Verdict

It may be more expensive than a Nissan Leaf but you’ll also get a much slicker car (we think it could easily be mistaken for a Porsche from the front) with a far greater range, even on the Standard Range Plus model.

Tesla’s most obvious rival, it seems, would be the Volvo subsidiary, Polestar, which is set to release its new all-electric ‘Polestar 2’ next year. But the Tesla Model 3 already undercuts it by some margin. The Kia e-niro has a similar range and is marginally cheaper than the  Model 3, which when you factor in the 7 year, 100,000 mile standard warranty that you get with all Kia cars, could be a dealbreaker. 

But Tesla has been in this game for much longer. They live and breathe electric vehicles. They also have the most future-proofed active safety technology. Given their expertise in battery technology and in-car gadgetry, it could be some time before a true rival to the Model 3 materialises.

If you liked the look of the Model 3, why not check out our car reviews for the Model S and Model X?

Tesla Model 3 Saloon Gallery

Euro NCAP Safety Rating

  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection % 96%
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection % 86%
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection % 74%
  • NCAP Safety Assist % 94%

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