Owner review: 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance
2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

4.5 / 5

4.5 / 5

4.5 / 5

4.5 / 5
Overall

Value for money

Tech and styling

Driving and charging


Bryden, a 30-year-old male in Sydney's west, reviews his 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance. Purchasing the EV in 2019 as an ex-demonstrator, Bryden has travelled roughly 30,000km in the car since.

First attracted to EVs because of their cutting-edge technology, it was soon his 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance's driving ability that won Bryden over fully.


Buying a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

Why did you buy the car? What drew you to it?

Tesla have pioneered an EV revolution. They’ve managed to engineer a perfect electric vehicle from the ground up.

I always knew I was going to end up in a Tesla, and when I saw the specs of the performance version I knew this was the car for me.

What other EVs in the segment did you consider?

At the time, there were none that could hold a candle [to the Model 3 Performance]. More are more appearing now, but none can simultaneously compete with price, range, performance and tech. Tesla still holds the lead in most areas.

How has charging been? Is it done mostly at charging stations or at home?

Thankfully this electric vehicle has more than 400kms of range, which means I can usually survive a whole week without needing a charge. I actually try to plan ahead and take advantage of free charging infrastructure available at most shopping centres.

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance value for money

How much did you pay for the car?

$88,000.

Do you think it has represented good value with standard features?

In my view, the 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance is a great vehicle with standard features.

They’ve engineered this car from the ground up, evaluating every design feature based on how it impacts range and performance. I personally appreciate the bare bones approach and I have a bias for appreciating minimalism.

Many coming from European luxury cars would argue some missing features are essential. However, personally, I don’t need most of them, and I support most of the design decisions.

Has the car been reliable? Have you had any issues maintaining it?

Just tyres, and cabin filter, wheel rotation and balancing [have needed servicing]. Nothing else conceivably needs attention. Every five years you might decide to check the battery coolant, brake pads, brake fluid and suspension, but I wouldn’t expect any major expenses like you might get with a luxury Euro.

What have running and repair costs been like? More or less than you expected?

In comparison with my previous high performance daily vehicle, I’ve been able to save around $5000 per year on average, which works out at just under $100 per week. A lot of people spending $80 per week on petrol can expect to see their electricity bill rise by around $10 a week, but the petrol bill plummet to zero.

My personal rule of thumb with this car in particular is to save more than what I’m losing on depreciation. To date, I have saved close to $10,000 on fuel and maintenance, lost nothing on depreciation, and enjoyed the driving experience more than any other car I have ever owned or driven.

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance tech and styling

Do you like the styling overall both inside and out?

The styling of the car is a result of deep analysis of drag co-efficient. With electric vehicles, this is one of the many methods an automaker can use to increase highway efficiency. I like the styling and appreciate it more every day, but I do occasionally miss the styling of my Nissan 180SX, which is close to perfect

Does the car have all the tech/safety you would expect and want?

The tech and safety features are remarkable. I have seen the accidents that people have walked away from and there's no doubt in my mind the Model 3 Performance's are best-in-class

Are there any standout features (good or bad) you’d like to call out?

The door handles are flush to reduce drag, but only one out of 50 passengers have been able to intuitively understand it. Multiple family members forget how to operate the door handles every time.

Tesla also sells a 'full self-driving' theoretical software package which has been “six months away” for years. Don’t expect it to serve as much more than a gimmick, and don’t purchase this with the vehicle. 

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance driving and charging

How does the car drive overall? Is its performance and handling adequate?

The centre of mass is extremely low, and this affects performance. Instead of the center of mass being dictated by the size and position of a combustion engine, those few hundred kilograms are instead batteries in the floor of the vehicle, which means it corners like an absolutely champion.

Has range been an issue with the car? What kind of real-world range do you find you’re getting?

I typically get around 450-500kms of driving range, and, counterintuitively, the functional range drops the more your speed increases above 50km/h. This means on road trips you have to be careful not to drive any faster than necessary.

Road trips have to managed differently, but it's not too hard if you plan ahead to locate chargers.

Is the car's charging rate fast enough for how you use the car?

On road trips, a 50kWh charge rate isn’t enough. The Tesla supercharges output over 100kWh, which will get you back on the road in no time. If I'm charging overnight, I can easily survive on a wall socket; just spend 10 seconds plugging it in and then walk away. Beats the servo!

Has the battery range decreased noticeably over the life of the vehicle?

Hardly at all. The first 10% degradation comes pretty quickly, but it’s a long journey to 20% degradation and you might never see 30% degradation.

The final scores

Value for money

4.5/5

Tech and styling

4.5/5

Driving and charging

4.5/5

Overall

4.5/5

This review has been edited for clarity, however opinions expressed herein are those of the EV owner/reviewer and not the NRMA.

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