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Tesla Model 3 Review

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finder score: 83.50%

Avg. critics score: 83.50%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Car Advice, WhichCar, CarGuide and Motoring to bring you the score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below. is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
CarAdvice87%"It's an exciting time for the EV industry in Australia, with the Tesla product paving the way to more affordable and sporty EV ownership."Read more
WhichCar80%"The almost eerie acceleration, massive traction, exploitable dynamics and whole "new generation of motoring" vibe delivered by the Model 3 make it something quite unique in this segment."Read more
CarsGuide80%"I believe the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is the best Model 3 you can buy. Apart from its brittle, unpolished ride, it offers a lot of capability and capacity for occupants and luggage, and enough usable battery range to allow you to escape the city if you want to."Read more
Motoring87%"Tesla's long-awaited Model 3 takes aim at the mid-size prestige segment, and hits the mark."Read more

How does the Tesla Model 3 compare with its peers?

Name Product Finder Score Number of seats Single Charge Range (km) ANCAP rating Price (from) Review
Tesla Model S
5 seats
5 stars
Porsche Taycan
5 seats
5 stars
Tesla Model 3
5 seats
5 stars
Polestar 2
5 seats
5 stars
Hyundai IONIQ
Green Company
Hyundai IONIQ
5 seats
5 stars
Hyundai Kona Electric
5 seats
5 stars
5 seats
5 stars
Nissan Leaf
5 seats
5 stars

A comprehensive review of the Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 pricing

There are three Tesla 3 models in Australia: Standard Range Plus, Long Range and Performance.

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

The Standard Range Plus is the lowest-priced Tesla Model 3 in Australia. Some of the key features include:

  • Adjustable power heated front seats
  • Upgraded audio
  • All black premium seat material and trim
  • Ultraviolet/infrared attenuating glass roof
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Auto-dimming side mirrors with heating elements and folding function
  • 460km range (NEDC)
  • 18-inch aero wheels
  • Custom driver profiles
  • Autopilot safety assists
  • RWD

The driveaway price for NSW is $72,896. Tesla says you can expect to rack up $5,600 over 5 years in fuel savings, making the effective price $67,296.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

The $95,495 Long Range Model 3 has 2 motors, making it an AWD, though you can drive in FWD and RWD as desired. The range is bumped up to 620km, according to NEDC testing. You also get:

  • Heated rear seats (as well as the front ones)
  • Premium sound system with 14 speakers, 2 amps and a subwoofer
  • Sat-nav with live traffic visualisation (one-year subscription)
  • Internet streaming entertainment (one-year subscription)
  • Cellular over-the-air updates (one-year subscription)
  • LED fog lamps
  • Floor mats

Tesla Model 3 Performance

For this model, you'll have to pay $106,415. It doesn't have the legs of the Long Range, but it does have various performance extras. Highlights include:

  • 20-inch, grey performance wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres
  • Uprated, enlarged brakes
  • Carbon fibre rear spoiler
  • Lowered suspension
  • Alloy pedals
  • Higher top speed, from 233km/h to 261km/h
  • 0–100km/h time: 3.4 seconds
  • Track mode

Click on a price to compare car loans for the Tesla Model 3.

Standard Range PlusLong RangePerformance
460km NEDC range, partial premium interior, RWD: $72,896 driveaway620km NEDC range, complete premium interior, AWD: $95,495 driveaway560km NEDC range, complete premium interior, AWD: $106,415driveaway

The only free paint option is Pearl White Multi-Coat.

Other paint colours cost $1,500–$2,900.

  • Solid Black ($1,500)
  • Midnight Silver Metallic ($1,500)
  • Deep Blue Metallic ($1,500)
  • Red Multi-Coat ($2,900)
The driveaway prices are taken from Tesla Australia's website. They include stamp duty, local rego costs, CTP and plate fees, plus delivery costs. Figures are based on a clean record-holding 40-year-old driver.


A more affordable Tesla that delivers practicality, range and performance all in one neat bundle. Despite being a relative (the company was founded in 2003) newbie in the car market, Tesla is a leading innovator when it comes to making mainstream electric cars. There's a Model 3 suited to almost everyone, with longer range capable variants for those who travel long distances or a performance model for drivers who want a genuinely potent car, that happens to be battery powered.
WebsiteProsConsNotable quote
  • Blistering acceleration
  • High-level interior
  • Stellar build quality
  • 250kW DC charging capabilities
  • Stability of Tesla's bank sheet
  • Firm ride with 20-inch alloys
"Tesla has just scored a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, with the Australian testing body claiming, 'Of equal note was the 94% score for Safety Assist – the highest Safety Assist score achieved against current protocols'."
  • Powerful drivetrain
  • Range
  • Servicing costs
  • Rear-seat design
  • Subdued interior
  • Build quality
  • Mass
"The likelihood of this is a debate for another time; as of this moment, the Model 3 provides what a 3 Series or C-Class can't (for now), which must give old mate Elon a very warm inner glow."
  • Practical cabin and storage
  • Range
  • Safety
  • Firm ride
  • Rear tow and knee room
  • Concerns over quality control
"Nothing at this price point has anywhere near the claimed battery range as the Model 3 Standard Range Plus."
  • Handling composure
  • Touch-screen implementation
  • No evident quality qualms
  • Can't match claimed economy in real-world driving
  • No spare
  • Firm ride
"In entry form, the electric sedan will ask genuine questions of established brands and could ultimately become the foundation for Tesla's long-promised success."

Motor and performance

The Model 3 comes with either a single rear motor or a dual motor configuration, with one at the front and the rear.

RWD and Performance AWD rear motor

The AC, liquid-cooled rear motor on the Standard Range Plus and Performance AWD models are rated for 800 amps and produce up to 202kW at 5,000rpm with a claimed 420Nm. On the Long Range AWD, the rear motor current measures 600 amps, producing 180kW (at 6,000rpm) and 404Nm.

Front motor

The front motor draws a maximum current of 600 amps. It'll make 137kW @ 6,380rpm and 240Nm of torque.

Tesla Model 3 transmission

The Tesla Model 3 has a single-speed, fixed-gear transmission.

Tesla Model 3 battery

The battery for the Model 3 was developed in partnership with Panasonic. It is a liquid-cooled Lithium-Ion battery, with a typical voltage of 355.2V. Figures online suggest the battery capacity is 50kWh for the Standard Range Plus model and 75kWh on the AWD Model 3.

Car reviewers' impressions of the Tesla Model 3 engine and transmission line-up

Though it isn't the fastest Tesla on sale (the Model S boasts that accolade, with a bonkers 0–100 of 2.6 seconds), the Model 3 isn't exactly slow either, even in standard form. In fact, reviewers said the acceleration was immediate and kicked you back into your seat. Fortunately, Tesla provides a "Chill" mode, for those who don't need or want blistering pace from the off. Motoring experts found the Tesla worked on all roads, from crawling, traffic-peppered urban streets to fast country roads and highways.

Tesla Model 3 engine and transmission figures

Standard Range PlusLong Range and Performance
Motor typeRear motor: AC permanent magnet synchronous motor, liquid-cooled with variable frequency controlRear motor: AC permanent magnet synchronous motor, liquid-cooled with variable frequency control Front motor: AC induction motor, liquid-cooled, with variable frequency drive
Motor amps800 amps600 amps on Long Range rear, 800 amps on performance rear, 600 amps front motor
Maximum revs
Rear motor power202kW @ 5,000rpm202kW @ 5,000rpm (Performance)
180kW @ 6,000rpm (Long Range)
Rear motor torque420Nm420Nm (Performance)
404Nm (Long Range)
Front motor power-137kW @ 6,380rpm
Front motor torque-240Nm
Nominal battery voltage
355.2V DC
Acceleration (0–100km/h)5.6 seconds4.6 seconds (Long Range)
3.4 seconds (Performance)
Top speed225km/h233km/h (Long Range)
261km/h (Performance)
Range (NEDC)460km620km (Long Range)
560km (Performance)
Sentry mode
Single-speed fixed-gear, 9:1 ratio

Tesla Model 3 energy economy and emissions

Here's how efficient the Tesla Model 3 is.

Model 3 Standard Range Plus

According to the Green Vehicle Guide, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus consumes 188Wh per km. Fuel lifecycle emissions, measured in g/km of C02 are calculated at 169.

The website predicts you'd spend $868 on electricity to travel 14,000km per year, with two-thirds urban driving.

Model 3 Long Range

The Long Range uses more energy per km, at 209Wh. That correlates to slightly higher lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions of 188gm per kilometre.
For 14,000km of annual driving, with two-thirds on city roads, you'd spend approximately $965 on electricity.

Model 3 Performance

The go-faster Model 3 depletes its battery by around 207Wh per km. Factoring in the emissions from the power plant, you get a lifecycle CO2 emission of 186g for every km.

Annual electricity costs would tally to $956 based on the above usage parameters.

Tesla uses the NEDC testing procedure to determine its official range figures. This test takes place in a lab and follows a 1980s specification to try and emulate European driving conditions. It can be used to determine the energy usage for all types of vehicles. It's a mostly theoretical exercise. WLTP also takes place in a lab but feeds in real-world driving criteria to generate more representative results.

It seems most of the reviewers reported lower than claimed range numbers, but the exact same happens when testing internal combustion engine vehicles. This can be attributed to several things including the weather conditions, traffic volume, road topography, vehicle maintenance state and driving styles. With that said, no other EV currently can match the consistently long-lasting Tesla line-up.


Tesla's mid-size passenger vehicle attracted mostly positive comments when reviewers turned their attention to the handling. On public roads, motoring writers said you won't notice any major handling foibles. The fast steering rack also apparently helps give the Model 3 the impression of being nimble, with just two spins required from lock to lock. Reportedly, it is grippy, responsive and holds the apex of corners like a magnet.

A few motoring experts did criticize Tesla's handling in some areas. It has to be said, these journos were really pushing the Model 3 to its limits, with at least one doing so on a racing circuit. They were expecting European sedan-like reactions and dynamics but decided it was a little soft around the edges. Tesla engineers positioned the battery pack low down in the bodyshell, so the centre of gravity is good, but some motoring experts sensed there was a little too much flex in the unibody. A couple of testers lamented the lack of adaptive dampers, like many rivals opt to use.

Most buyers probably won't push the Tesla to such extremes or be bothered by the same handling traits as motoring journalists.

Interior and equipment

The Model 3 specification is more or less on par with its rivals. However, you do get a few neat things that an electric car's unique layout allows for. First, there's the "frunk" or front trunk. It'd probably be called a "froot" here, as it's a front boot. You access the void under the front bonnet. Second, with no conventional transmission or prop shafts to house, there's no hump in the rear.

International journos found the build quality to be good, with decent materials used. It's supposedly very near to the standards of established rivals.

The air vents work uniquely, all controlled via the central touchscreen. Here you can choose the direction of air travel. One super neat addition, especially considering how all controls are on the tablet-like display, is a screen cleaning mode that allows you to wipe the monitor without accidentally pressing all the buttons. One of the most commonly cited concerns was the omission of a spare wheel or flat tyre repair kit. Instead, there's an underfloor well that serves as a storage place for the charging cables.

Essentially, it's a minimal design, maybe the most pared-down passenger cabin on the market.

Underlining Tesla's radical departure from established car manufacturing norms, the Model 3 has a series of easter eggs. These include things like a video game arcade (a controller may be required), sketchpad (lets you doodle when you're parked and bored), Romance Mode blows hot air out of the vents while displaying a video of a roaring fireplace and Emissions Testing Mode turns each seat into a whoopee cushion. Yes, you read that correctly.

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

The lowest-spec Model 3 is still highly equipped and holds up against the sector average. From the factory, you get:

  • RWD
  • 18-inch Aero wheels
  • 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats
  • Premium seat material and trim
  • Upgraded audio
  • Audio streaming over Bluetooth
  • Standard maps and navigation
  • Tinted glass with UV and infrared attenuation
  • Auto-dimming, power-folding, heated side mirrors
  • Custom driver profiles
  • Centre console with storage, four USB ports and two smartphone docks
  • 15-inch touchscreen/command screen
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • Glass roof
  • Smartphone key functionality
  • Warranty: Basic vehicle: 4 years or 80,000km, Battery and drive unit: 8 years or 160,000km

According to ANCAP, the Model 3 has the following safety features:

  • Airbags for:
    • Driver frontal
    • Passenger frontal
    • Side, front seat chest
    • Side, head protection front seats
    • Side, head protection for second row
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – City, Interurban and Vulnerable Road Users
  • Automatic headlights and high beam
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Hill Launch Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Reversing collision avoidance (camera)
  • Speed assistance – auto/intelligent speed limiter
  • Speed sign recognition and warning
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Autopilot (steering, acceleration and braking automatically (own lane)

Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD

With the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, you're buying a vehicle capable of a claimed 620km range. It's a slightly heavier vehicle, no doubt due to the larger battery pack.
In addition to the Standard Range Plus's features, you'll also receive:

  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic simulation and navigation
  • LED fog lamps
  • Interior floor mats
  • Premium audio: 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps and immersive sound (some journos have stated it's the best they've heard in a car, ever)
  • In-car Internet streaming music and media
  • More frequent over-the-air cellular updates
  • Internet browser

Tesla Model 3 Performance

The hotter Model 3 variant is the Performance, which few other electric car makers currently offer an equivalent of. For the extra money, you'll receive some performance-orientated extras, such as:

  • 20-inch grey "Performance" wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres
  • Performance brakes (Larger, stiffer calipers with lightened two-piece discs)
  • Carbon fibre rear spoiler
  • Aluminium alloy pedals
  • 335kW and 640Nm
  • 0–100km/h in 3.4 seconds
  • Lowered suspension
  • Track mode

Tesla Autopilot, full self-driving option

All of the Tesla Model 3s come with Autopilot. The system is reportedly made up of rear, side and forward-facing cameras for 360-degree coverage. Forward-facing radar has a reach of 160 metres. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors dotted around the car. In standard form, Autopilot allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its own lane.

Tesla offers an $8,500 full self-driving pack for the Model 3. This enables:

  • Autopilot navigation – From the entry slip lane to the exit slip lane, as well as interchanges and overtaking
  • Auto Lane Change – Automatic lane changing while motorway driving
  • Auto Parking – Parallel and perpendicular parking
  • Car summoning – Call your car in a car park and it comes to you

Later this year, Tesla plans on going live with:

  • Traffic light and stop sign detection and response
  • Automated city streets driving

Tesla Model 3 safety, security and driver assists

Standard Range PlusLong RangePerformance
5-star ANCAP rating
  • Driver frontal
  • Passenger frontal
  • Side, chestal front seats
  • Side, head protection front seats
  • Side, head protection for second row
Three key types, using phone, two supplied key cards or an optional key fob
Remote climate control/dog mode
Automatic flashing emergency brake lights
Cabin overheat protection
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Brake disc wiping
Adjustable regenerative braking
Electronic brake-pressure distribution (EBD)
Hill-start assist (HSA)
Performance brakes✖️✖️
Two rear ISOFIX child seat mounts
Daytime Running Lights
LED fog lamps✖️
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Intelligent seat belt reminder
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
Autonomous Emergency Braking:
  • City
  • Interurban
  • Vulnerable Road User
Automatic headlights
Automatic high beam
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
Emergency Braking Assist (EBA)
Emergency Stop Signal
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
Reverse collision avoidance (camera)
Speed assistance (auto/intelligent speed limiter, speed sign recognition and warning)
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Sentry security cameras recording

Tesla Model 3 interior and comfort features

Standard Range PlusLong RangePerformance
15-inch central command touchscreen, with infotainment, climate and other controls
12-way power-adjustable heated front seats
Premium seat material and trim
Upgraded audio
Centre console with storage, four USB ports and docking for two smartphones
Heated front and rear seats✖️
Premium audio with 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer and 2 amps✖️
Premium connectivity (one year included)
  • Satellite maps with live traffic visualisation
  • In-car Internet streaming music and media
  • More frequent over-the-air updates via cellular
  • Internet browser
Interior floor mats✖️
Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared attenuation
Music and media over Bluetooth
Custom driver profiles

Tesla Model 3 key info

Standard Range PlusLong RangePerformance
Wheels18-inch Aero wheels18-inch Aero wheels20-inch Performance wheels
Battery (Estimated)50kWh75kWh75kWh
LED fog lamps✖️
MirrorsPower folding, auto-dimming and heatedPower folding, auto-dimming and heatedPower folding, auto-dimming and heated
Acceleration (0–100km/h)5.6 seconds4.6 seconds3.4 seconds
MotorsOne, rearDual, front and rearDual, front and rear
SeatsFive seatsFive seatsFive seats
Cargo542 litres542 litres542 litres
TyresNot listedNot listedMichelin Pilot Sport 4S
Lowered suspension✖️✖️
Performance brakes✖️✖️
Carbon fibre spoiler✖️✖️
Aluminium alloy pedals✖️✖️
Higher top speed (261km/h)✖️✖️
Track mode✖️✖️


It's fair to say Tesla is the best-known EV carmaker and even those who aren't really interested in cars have heard of it. It's refreshing to see a relatively new company trying to shake things up and include some genuinely pioneering ideas in the automotive industry. The Model 3 received heaps of praise from motoring experts, who could find very little wrong with the press cars they drove. Verified owners seem to confirm the findings that it is one of the most practical electric cars on the market. Everything about the car appears to be either in line with high-end European car rivals or perhaps even better. It may not be the cheapest EV, but it is one of the most polished offerings on the market. If you're looking to buy a medium-size electric sedan, then you owe it to yourself to at least request a test drive of the Model 3.

Interested in comparing loans for the Tesla Model 3? Our car loan calculator helps you quickly see example costs, as well as saving you hundreds of dollars over the loan term.

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Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours. - Variable Rate Used Car < 5 years
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