Car and Driver has posted “The perils of outsize expectations,” a review of the Tesla 3:
Although the Model 3 is a bit less involving than the best sports sedans on these roads, it lacks the refined isolation of its similarly priced rivals. The stout structure stifles harsh impacts, but you do hear what’s going on below as the tires persistently thwack and thrum over pavement imperfections. Our sound meter measured 69 decibels at 70 mph, louder than an A4. There were also some subtle yet annoying rattles and creaks in our test car, which had less than 2500 miles on the odometer.
This is a louder number than what I and Car and Driver measured in a 2018 Honda Odyssey.
The knob- and button-free dashboard sounds like a user interface disaster:
This aggressively minimalistic approach results in some strange and unsuccessful attempts to reinvent the automotive interior. The process required to move the mirrors and to manipulate the power-adjustable tilting and telescoping steering wheel incorporates both a menu within the touchscreen and the finicky steering-wheel scroll buttons. Changing the direction of airflow from the HVAC vent that stretches across the full width of the dash is, similarly, a multistep affair in which you must pinch and swipe a display within the climate-control menu that resembles a not very addictive smartphone game.
My old dream was adding navigation information to the speedometer right in front of the driver, instead of having it off to the side. Tesla has done the opposite. The nav information stays in the middle of the car and the speedometer and other critical data have been moved to join the navi screen. (See also Honda Clarity versus Accord test drive for how annoying it was to lose a volume control knob.)
Car and Driver didn’t like the seats, especially in the back, or the exterior build quality:
Inconsistent panel gaps around the doors and myriad ill-fitting trim pieces were among the worst we’ve seen in recent memory.
They got 200 miles of range (against a spec of 310 for the $56,000 car) in weather just below freezing.
Will Tesla 3 passengers who aren’t starstruck by Elon Musk say “I feel like I’m riding in a tin can mounted on top of a marine battery”?