Silverstone Fleet Management

TESLA MODEL 3 SALOON

Standard Plus 4dr Auto

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Google rating: 4.9 | 156 reviews

Review

Tesla's all-electric Model 3 executive saloon takes the American brand into volume territory for the first time. Jonathan Crouch takes a look...

Background

The Model 3 is Tesla's more significant car to date, mainly because it's the company's most affordable product and therefore the highest volume thing it makes. This is the company's first saloon and it's positioned somewhere between BMW's 3 Series and 5 Series models if you're looking for recognisable rivals. It follows the brand's pricier Model S and Model X cars and precedes a Model Y crossover. So, within a few years, the company's product range will, in its own words, be completely about 'S3XY' models. I know, I know....

Driving Experience

Previously, we've reviewed Tesla's products as Evs; it's a measure of the importance of this one that we have to judge it by more conventional standards - as you would if considering it as an alternative to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 mid-sized executive saloons it wants to target. So what'll you feel here? Superbly accurate steering, lacking only the final really feelsome element that's integral to a good European rack. A very well modulated set of brakes. Quite a lot of tyre and wind roar. And firm-ish damping that contributes to excellent body control through the turns, but doesn't crash too much through pot holes or over speed humps. You could actually enjoy yourself driving this car, a new experience for us in an EV and for anyone else familiar with this evolving market. The smooth linearity of the throttle helps -though it's still prone to lurch the car forward like a startled rabbit if used without due care. If you were to mash it into the bulkhead of the top 'Performance'-spec variant, you'd reach sixty mph in just 3.2s; Forget M3s and C63s - that's Ferrari-fast. The 'Performance' derivative is one of two top Dual-Motor AWD Model 3 variants, the other being the 'Long Range' version, the name designating that car's industry-leading WLTP-rated 348 mile driving range. For the 'Performance' model, the figure is 329 miles. You'll manage a little less than that though, if you opt for the much more affordable 'Standard Range Plus' Model 3 that the majority of customers are expected to choose. Here, a single-motor rear-driven set-up gives you a 254-mile WLTP-rated driving capability between charges. If that mileage needs to be covered over long highway distances, you'll appreciate the extent of this car's autonomous driving capability, courtesy of its integrated 'Autopilot' system, which uses eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and the forward-facing radar. The resulting set-up will position the car centrally within its lane, keep to a chosen speed, regulate the distance to the vehicle in front and even perform lane changes automatically.

Design and Build

The format here is similar to that Tesla has used before, so the batteries run along the floor and there's a body made of a mixture of steel and aluminium. The suspension design uses double wishbones up-front and a multi-link set-up at the rear, with coil springs all-round. Breaking from the hatchback, 7-seat body configuration of other current Tesla cars, the Model 3 is a five-seat saloon that measures in a 4.7m long - fractionally more than a BMW 3 Series. It's much more spacious inside than one of those; it would be of course. There aren't as many mechanical bits to fit in, freeing up space for the passenger compartment and the boot. It's certainly very airy inside thanks to an uncovered sunroof at the front and a rear window that stretches up into the roof. That gives excellent rearward visibility too. There's the usual huge Tesla centre-dash screen and a smart wooden panel sweeps across the fascia. Fit and finish seem to be better than with previous models from the brand. To get in and start the car, you don't need anything as old fashioned as a key - or even a key fob. When you take delivery, simply download the appropriate app, then put a special credit card in your wallet and have it with you; that's all you'll need. A little disappointingly, the door handles are conventional, rather than automatically popping out to greet you as they do with larger Teslas.

Market and Model

There are three Model 3 options. Things kick off with the 'Standard Range Plus' version, which has a 258 mile range and costs around £41,000. Next there's the 'Long Range AWD' version, which offers a 348 mile range and costs around £47,000. And finally, there's the 'Model 3 Performance' variant, which offers a 329 mile range and costs around £57,000. We won't bother going through the full kit list because it includes all the main things you'd expect a decently specified executive saloon to be able to offer, including leather upholstery, powered steering adjustment, rear view camera, etc, etc. As usual, the interior is based around a huge central touchscreen, in this case a 15-inch monitor that controls virtually everything in and out of the car; there are virtually no physical buttons. The screen takes software downloads from Tesla every few weeks (once you've approved the same via your ownership app) which means that, as with other Teslas, you'll get into your car one morning and find it can do something it couldn't do yesterday - which is rather cool. The navigation mapping is by Google maps, so traffic mapping is very interactive. All of this does mean though, that as soon as you want to change something, you have to delve around in menus and sub-menus to do it, which requires intimate familiarity with the way the monitor works. This isn't one of those cars you can just get in, drive and use to the full without a second thought.

Cost of Ownership

Owning a Model 3 is of course very different from owning a conventionally powered executive saloon. There's no fuel bill and service is minimal. The annual service fee covers an annual inspection, replacement parts like brake pads and windscreen wipers, 24 hour roadside assistance, system monitoring, remote diagnostics, software updates and new features sent through the touchscreen. It's possible to charge the battery half way in about 30 minutes using Tesla's 'supercharger' but as with most elements of this car, it requires a change in your way of thinking. The car responds best to nightly recharges, but will happily sit for a couple of weeks at an airport while you holiday without losing significant charge, though over longer stationary periods, the cells will slowly lose their charge. Tesla reckons that a 90kWh model can go well over 300 miles on the WLTP test, but a real-world range is more in the region of 250 miles. Throw in a bit of motorway use and that figure would probably fall to under 200 miles.

Summary

A lot of people have a lot to say about Tesla and its co-creator Elon Musk. Here though, my job is to talk about the cars it makes, specifically this one, which has caused the brand more headaches than any other in its history. But then perhaps you'd expect that. It's one thing to build relatively low volume cars that sell in the £75,000 to £125,000 bracket. But quite another to make one for the volume market where per-unit profits are lower and product scrutiny much greater. The Model 3 is that car - and on initial inspection, I think the signs here are good. Jaguar's I-PACE is an obvious key rival for the top Dual Motor versions, but that car's an SUV - and costs slightly more. If this Tesla's cool, pared-back image appeals, then by all means try one. It brings all-electric motoring another step closer to the point of full credibility.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeElectric
Fuel Efficiency
Fuel Efficiency0.00mpg
Emissions
Emissions0.00g/km
Top Speed
Top Speed140mph

Full Details

Standard Equipment

Driver Convenience

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive steering
  • BLIS (Blind spot information system)
  • Custom driver profiles
  • Electric hinged side doors - front
  • Electric hinged side doors - rear
  • Front cross traffic camera
  • Front parking sensor
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Mobile phone App interface
  • Mobile telephone preparation
  • Park assist camera
  • PAS
  • Rear cross traffic camera
  • Rear parking sensor
  • Reverse parking aid
  • Service indicator
  • Standard maps and navigation
  • Steer-by-wire technology
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Trip computer
  • Voice activated controls

Entertainment

  • 15" Touchscreen
  • Audio remote control
  • Audio system with 8 speakers and limited Immersive Sound
  • DAB Digital radio
  • DVD System
  • Media storage
  • Music, FM radio and media over bluetooth connection
  • Steering wheel mounted controls

Exterior Features

  • Auto dimming, power folding and heated side mirrors
  • Automated High beam assist
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Electric front windows
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED front fog lamps
  • LED Headlights
  • Rear electric windows

Interior Features

  • 12-way power adjustable heated front seats
  • 2 zone climate control
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats
  • Centre console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones
  • Front armrest
  • Front head restraints
  • Interior carpeting
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Map reading lights
  • Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout including open pore wood decor and two rear USBs
  • Premium seat material upholstery
  • Rear headrests
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

Safety

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • 8 Airbags
  • ABS
  • Automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance
  • ESC - Electronic Stability Control + traction control
  • ESP
  • Tyre pressure monitor

Security

  • Alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Keyless entry and remote climate control with app
  • Remote central locking

Technical Data

Electric Vehicle Data

  • Battery Capacity in kWh
    53
  • Battery Charge Slow kW
    11
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage
    0-100
  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes)
    454
  • Battery Charge Fast kW
    50
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage
    0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes)
    107
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW
    120
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage
    0-80
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes)
    36
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW
    250
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage
    0-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes)
    27
  • Battery Leased
    No
  • Battery Type
    Lithium-ion
  • Coupler/Connector Type
    Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage
    120000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years
    8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb
    14.2
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb
    4.4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb
    430
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb
    267

Emissions - ICE

  • CO
    Not Available
  • CO2 (g/km)
    0
  • HC
    Not Available
  • HC+NOx
    Not Available
  • Noise Level dB(A)
    Not Available
  • NOx
    Not Available
  • Particles
    Not Available
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    Not Available

Engine and Drive Train

  • Camshaft
    Not Available
  • Catalytic Convertor
    Not Available
  • CC
    1
  • Compression Ratio
    Not Available
  • Cylinder Layout
    Not Available
  • Cylinders
    Not Available
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm)
    Not Available
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
    Not Available
  • Engine Code
    Not Available
  • Fuel Delivery
    Not Available
  • Gears
    1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves
    Not Available
  • Transmission
    AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Combined (mpg)
    Not Available
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    Not Available
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg)
    Not Available
  • EC Urban (mpg)
    Not Available

General

  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying
    Yes
  • Badge Engine CC
    0.0
  • Badge Power
    245
  • Based On ID
    Not Available
  • Coin Description
    Not Available
  • Coin Series
    Standard Plus
  • Generation Mark
    1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
    48D
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
    96
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
    86
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
    5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
    74
  • NCAP Safety Assist %
    94
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?
    No
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months
    24
  • Service Interval Mileage
    25000
  • Special Edition
    No
  • Special Order
    No
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
    50000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
    4
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months
    Not Available
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage
    Not Available
  • Vehicle Homologation Class
    M1

Performance

  • 0 to 60 mph (secs)
    5.3
  • Engine Power - BHP
    245
  • Engine Power - KW
    180
  • Top Speed
    140

Test Cycles

  • Emissions Test Cycle
    WLTP

Tyres

  • Alloys?
    Yes
  • Space Saver?
    No
  • Tyre Size Front
    235/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear
    235/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare
    Not Available
  • Wheel Style
    AERO
  • Wheel Type
    18" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Height
    1443
  • Height (including roof rails)
    Not Available
  • Length
    4694
  • Wheelbase
    2875
  • Width
    1849
  • Width (including mirrors)
    2088

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
    Not Available
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
    2265
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
    542
  • Max. Loading Weight
    418
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    Not Available
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    Not Available
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    1847
  • No. of Seats
    5
  • FREE Delivery
  • Hassle-free Process
  • Expert Advice
  • Competitive Prices
  • Full Warranties
  • Price Match Promise

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Specification

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Please contact us for full specification details.

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Customer Reviews

   
Madeline Biggs

Madeline Biggs

"Received my car this week and I cannot recommend this company enough!! They helped me find my perfect car and then helped every step of the way till it's delivery. Even after that they checked to see if I was happy. They went above and beyond and I have already been recommending them to my family and friends. Thanks to all the the team at Silverstone Fleet Management - car leasing in Northampton"

"a month ago"

Dan Jones

Dan Jones

"Superb service. After having been really let down by another leasing company, Silverstone saved the day. Really professional, quick and pleasant staff. Clear communication and quality service from start to finish. I was so pleased with the service I leased another car from them! Thanks especially to Aby, who was a superstar. I leased a Tesla Model 3 (and now a Fiat 500 too!)"

"2 weeks ago"

Emily Evans

Emily Evans

"I'm so impressed with the level of service that I have been provided with by both Ryan and Holly. All of my questions were answered quickly and clearly, my new car is absolutely beautiful and I can't believe how quick delivery was! Thank you so much guys! :)"

"a month ago"

Matthew Bearman

Matthew Bearman

"Can’t rate Silverstone Fleet Management Highly enough. Everyone I have spoken to has been very efficient and exceptionally helpful in finding me a great car at an fantastic price! I’ve had 2 cars from them and will be coming back in the future for more."

"2 months ago"

Paul Broomham

Paul Broomham

"The team at Silverstone have been brilliant, my journey started with Ryan who looked after me initially and provided all the quotes on different vehicles, lease lengths & mileage options he never lost interest and was always there to tweak as I needed, nothing was too much trouble. The order process was simple and I was kept up to date all the way through. Holly then picked up my account and was nothing short of amazing! She has the patience of a saint, keeping me updated on the phone, email and through the vehicle tracker all the while dealing with me and my constant questions! A few teething issues on delivery but all down to Tesla and as soon as I asked for help Holly stepped up to help get them all sorted! I would highly recommend to anyone!"

"6 months ago"

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Google rating: 4.9 | 156 reviews