Tesla design 3 UK – The very first 3,500 Mile Mega evaluation

Jun 29, 2022 Uncategorized

After more than three years of waiting I chosen up my design 3 from Tesla’s Edinburgh service centre at the end of June as well as drove it house to northern Ireland via a 5-day path around the Scottish Highlands.

So, after 3 months as well as over 3,500 miles, right here are some thoughts on the car.

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When I put my order (May 2019) there were 3 different versions available in the UK. The variety topping ‘Performance’, the ‘Long variety AWD’, as well as the starter priced ‘Standard variety Plus’, which is the one I went for.

Tech & Equipment

Even in this base design 3 the common devices listing is excellent…

Dual zone Aircon
12-way power adjustable heated front seats
15″ Touchscreen
Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
Music as well as media over Bluetooth
Custom driver profiles
Centre console with storage as well as 4 USB ports
Premium seat material as well as trim
Upgraded audio – immersive sound
LED Front Fog Lamps (no longer included)
App Control
Keyless Entry
Docking for 2 smartphones

There are likewise many other features that don’t in shape into the usual cars and truck classifications such as TeslaCam, a dashcam system that includes ‘Sentry Mode’ to screen your cars and truck when it is parked.

There are 8 cameras, 12 sonar sensors as well as a radar all feeding the new v3 AI computer. The system is discovering constantly as the neural web gets much better as well as much better – watch this video if you want to discover more (much more).

Passive keyless entry comes courtesy of Bluetooth as well as the smartphone app as well as this works truly well. just walk as much as the cars and truck with your phone in your pocket as well as pull the door handle for it to unlock. step in as well as put your foot on the brake pedal. The cars and truck is now on. Lysande.

Photo credit history – reinisbphotography

When you leave, it locks itself when your phone is a few metres away. You can set an choice to provide a quick beep of the horn to verify this or you can look back as well as watch for the door mirrors folding in if you prefer a silent confirmation.

In addition, the cars and truck includes 2 RFID ‘credit cards’ that can be utilized to lock / unlock as well as begin it too. An optional £140 key fob is likewise offered however neither it nor the cards support the passive walk-up lock / unlock the method the phone app does. [UPDATE] The new updated keyfob that’s just been released now does have passive lock / unlock.

If you are worried about the security of any type of of these gadgets then you can just turn on ‘PIN to Drive’ to add the extra demand to go into a personal identification number to begin your car.

The 15.4-inch (39 cm) LCD landscape touchscreen is the single point of manage for the car, even opening the glovebox is done from here.

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The interface takes a bit of learning, however it rewards. Its chock-full of bit touches that you requirement to find too. For example, a micro-flick of any type of of the seat controls is a shortcut to bring up the mirror as well as steering wheel modification options. press as well as hold the volume or temperature icons on the screen as well as you can slide your finger left as well as right to set the level.

The screen can be distracting though as well as the wiper controls in specific are ripe for improvement. An update to add a double-click on the end of the stalk to bring the wipers on at speed 1 would help. The software-controlled auto setting is not as much as the task currently, not detecting rain early sufficient or wiping commonly enough, as well as sometimes wiping for no reason. This is since Tesla are utilizing their cameras as well as AI to find rain, rather than a devoted sensor like most (all?) other cars and truck manufacturers. It should get much better over time hopefully.

The screen switches to a dark night mode based on time.

As for the lack of a binnacle behind the wheel, this is something you fail to remember within about 20 minutes of your very first drive. My much better half stated she was already utilized to the speedo being in the centre of the cars and truck just from being in the traveler seat. It’s a similar modification to your iphone losing its house button, something you soon never even believe about. a few of the advantages are much better exposure out the front of the cars and truck as well as fresh air for the driver directly with the steering wheel via the clever slotted fan system.

The HomeLink garage door opener is no longer included in any type of design 3 however can be added for $300. That cost includes the (bumper off) fitting at a Tesla service centre.

Even though it’s a saloon, the design 3 has a hatch back shape as well as sometimes you do miss having a rear wiper to remove the screen. most times the rear camera is able to compensate though. even with the rear window clear, its high line doesn’t offer excellent exposure behind you. dog owners as well as other hatchback fans may prefer the design Y coming in 2021?


Basic Autopilot features are now common on all design 3’s as well as that’s as it should be as Tesla are most likely understood for this tech above all else. So now every cars and truck has adaptive cruise manage (right down to a standstill), auto-steering as well as a lane departure warning system.

At the time of ordering the choice was there to pay one more £4,900 for the FSD (Full Self Driving) bundle which adds Summon, auto Lane Change, Autopark as well as navigate on Autopilot. a few of these features are not offered yet in the UK because of legislative issues. The hardware for them is fitted to every cars and truck so they can be enabled for a charge at any type of time in the future, although you’ll pay more than if you paid for it together with the car. I believe this is poor value, especially with the present limitations here.

The radar cruise manage is a step backwards in some instances. I like to hit cruise when I come into a 30mph or 40mph zone as well as with dumb systems this works well. however with the Tesla ‘intelligent’ radar the cars and truck on a regular basis shits itself as well as jumps on the brakes. sometimes this is because of a parked cars and truck (that’s not in your path), sometimes a pedestrian or vehicle safely crossing a long method down the road from you, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. This makes you A) extremely annoyed, B) look like a tool to anyone complying with you as well as C) desire you might have great old vanilla cruise back round town. In fairness this was mainly the exact same in the last cars and truck I had that had web traffic conscious cruise manage too. Let’s hope it’s one more one of those things that “gets much better over time”.

On the motorway however, the system is mainly excellent. This is what it was produced as well as where it performs at its best. I drove the M6 from Manchester to Gretna totally on Autopilot as well as it was brilliant, bar the strange blip, mainly at off ramps where there’s a break in the white lines on the left-hand side. The cars and truck nags you as well commonly (every 15 seconds on the motorway) to keep your hands on the wheel, even when they are already there, as well as you have to put some torque into the wheel for it to sense you.

The design 3 currently does not checked out road indications like its older Mobileye equipped siblings, so it’s relying on GPS data for speed limits. I’ve discovered that on many roads these details are wrong as well as this is especially frustrating when the cruise manage matches itself to the speed limit.

Apps, software application data & Fun

The Mobile app is excellent, enabling you to manage specific elements of the vehicle, like its temperature, locks, headlights as well as horn, plus the capability to screen its place as well as specify of charge. It’s especially pleasant to utilize after coming from the abomination that was the Nissan leaf app. push notifications are useful as well as well as come with on the Apple watch as well.

Obviously the app needs connectivity to the cars and truck as well as a number of times now my 3 has lost its LTE connection for around a day meaning the app is only able to manage things when in Bluetooth range.

Tesla app – Click to enlarge

I likewise signed up for the 3rd celebration TeslaFi service as well as I like the incredible array of stats it logs for the car. After each drive I get an email showing the info below as well as this is all offered on the internet too.

TeslaFi trip summary – Click to enlarge

I’ve had 5 software application updates since I got the cars and truck as well as version 10 is due any type of day now. These OTA (over the air) updates are especially impressive, improving the cars and trucks features in addition to adding new ones. It’s just one more area where Tesla are showing the method to the rest of the industry.

Tesla’s sense of humour is well documented (fart mode anyone?). somewhat more useful are the on-board games as well as version 10 will bring the capability to watch Netflix as well as YouTube while parked as well as on Wi-Fi.

Performance, handling & Ride

The design 3 feels fast as well as its 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds is just half a second timid of the E46 M3 I had a few years back. Not poor for the slowest cars and truck Tesla currently sells.

However, the car’s most impressive acceleration seems to be from around 40 mph on (Auto reveal magazine reports 30-50mph in 1.9 seconds as well as 50-70mph in 2.6 seconds). While all electric cars and trucks are governed to some extent, the preliminary acceleration from zero feels like it’s being held back extremely artificially on the SR+. I assumption this is most likely so the 0-60 performance of this lightest design 3 (the smallest battery as well as no front motor) aren’t as well close to the times of the more costly 3’s, S as well as X. It definitely feels like it might quickly be ‘uncorked’ at a later date.

It’s worth discussing that performance tails off as the battery level goes down. I’d like to see a few of the cars and truck mags do 0-60’s for each 10% decrease in SoC (state of charge) to quantify this.

In addition to that powerful immediate torque, the Tesla’s ultra-low centre of gravity means it handles incredibly well too. I had checked out about the GoKart like flat cornering as well as it’s all true. An added benefit of putting the cars and trucks heaviest component, the battery, between the wheels means that the cars and truck has a low polar moment of inertia. even the rear motor sits somewhat ahead of the rear axle as well as this all combines to make it easier to modification direction quickly, providing it more in typical with a mid-engined sports cars and truck than a 5 seater household saloon.

While the steering feel is quite numb, it is super quick (just 2 turns lock to lock) as well as that adds to the agility as well as provides the final aspect in this smile factory. There are three settings under the driving menu, Comfort, common as well as sport which need progressively stronger effort from the driver to turn the wheel.

Chill mode dulls the accelerator response, nevertheless you have no gain access to to full power in an emergency in this setting. The leaf had a button on the floor under the pedal which enabled you to override Eco mode, however alas not on the 3. So I just leave the cars and truck in common mode as well as implement my own chill mode with a light touch on the loud peaceful pedal.

Before I got the car, I utilized to believe Tesla would benefit from a regen paddle. other manufacturers have done this as well as the capability to boost regen as you come into a corner by pulling on a paddle a couple of times might improve the driving experience. However, on the design 3 you can do this, however all with your right foot. In the opposite to the method the leaf worked, regen right here is at first light, however as you lift off more as well as get towards the final part of the accelerator’s travel it boosts substantially. You won’t requirement to touch the brake pedal unless you are driving rather difficult – as well as then the truth that regen won’t sluggish you sufficient suddenly seems strange. around 30 minutes of driving sees your muscle mass memory change to the regen. From that day ahead the weirdest thing is getting into a piston cars and truck as well as trying to cope with its strange coasting behaviour as well as lack of a KERS.

Wheels, Tyres & Mods

I had ordered the Tesla Aero Wheel Cap set so I might get the less-than-pretty aero wheel covers off as well as expose the handsome alloys beneath.

The common in shape Michelin Pilot sport 4 tyres (235/45 ZR18) are a truly nice high quality touch. I noticed that some design 3’s with the upgraded Tesla 19″ sport alloys include the more budget plan Hankook rubber instead.

Although I like the style I’ve always felt that the common 18″ wheels look as well little for the design 3.

I ordered these satin black 20″ Turbine alloys from the us as well as they shown up a number of weeks before the car, however that provided me time to get them ceramic coated before the tyres went on.

They are a staggered set – Fronts 8.5″ wide (tyres 235/35-20) as well as Rears 10″ wide (tyres 275/30-20) as well as I got these black Tesla T Wheel centres on Amazon.

These are mainly a cosmetic change, although the Michelin Pilot sport 4S tyres are a grip upgrade. They do reduce the effectiveness of the cars and truck though, with a decrease of around 15% by my calculations.

But I like the look of the 20’s as well as still have the stock 18’s. If I ever go on a trans-European road trip then they will go back on for maximum range. finest of both worlds.

It will be fascinating to see what a rear wheel drive Tesla is like in the snow as well so the 18’s might turn into winter wheels.

The cars and truck has had a Gtechniq ceramic coating, been de-chromed as well as had the brake callipers painted red, all by PMG Autocare in Belfast. I have one more couple of mods to do over the coming weeks to total the look.


The design 3’s steel as well as aluminium building has been accident tested in the USA by the national highway web traffic security administration as well as they discovered it to have the lowest probability of injury of any type of vehicle they’ve ever tested (although referring to it as such seems to have triggered a bit of a spat between the NHTSA as well as Tesla).

Closer to these parts the cars and truck just recently gained 5 stars in the Euro NCAP test as well as they commented…

The Tesla design 3 made a strong debut with a perfect score in the frontal balance out deformable barrier accident test, a mainstay of Euro NCAP’s evaluation since its inception in 1997. Its performance in the securiTY -hjälpprov särskilt imponerade, tack vare dess exceptionella förarassistanssystem som Lane -stöd, hastighetshjälp samt autonom nödbromsning. Teslas 94 procent poäng i

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