The Tesla 3 is finally here, with the first batch hitting the streets yesterday. While most of the initial stock went to Tesla staff members, there are impartial reviews that have surprised many.
Firstly, it’s not as small as it was supposed to be. The Tesla 3 had been touted as the car for the people because of its affordability – just US$36,000, or around AU$45,000 – and the trade-off was supposed to be a smaller, slower, watered-down version of the more highly priced models. And while it certainly doesn’t have the extraordinary pace of the Model S, it’s not tiny, with one reviewer saying you could fit two golf bags easily into the trunk, with room for another two. It also has enough space for five people to sit comfortably, and enough legroom for even the tallest driver.
Next, the interior is not low spec. Although it is awful compared to the Model S, it certainly holds its own against comparable models from other manufacturers. The glass roof has been applauded as increasing the feeling of space in the car, and the driver’s position has been called, “ideal.”
But perhaps the most exciting feature is the one that doesn’t exist yet. Every Tesla 3 has inbuilt hardware for autonomous driving, and is designed to give owners a smooth transition to the technology when it arrives. Elon Musk has described how users will be able to watch TV, have a sleep or chat with friends while their car takes them where they need to go. The Model 3 even has a button on the console that will be used to turn on autonomous driving.
There has been considerable interest in the Model 3, and a huge amount of people have made deposits to secure their car. The rates that Tesla are claiming they will produce the vehicle at are enormous, and will make them one of the largest car manufacturers in the United States within two years. If that’s the case, the car for the people, and through that autonomous driving, may be closer than we think.