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A musk have The new Model 3 will be a gamechanger for Tesla as it drops the price, maintains the fun and is a brilliant car to drive

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The Model 3 is far more affordable

The Model 3 is far more affordable

The Tesla Model 3 is devoid of knobs and buttons and bedecked in pure vegan white 'leather'

The Tesla Model 3 is devoid of knobs and buttons and bedecked in pure vegan white 'leather'

The new Tesla Model 3 is a stunning look car and is now on my wishlist

The new Tesla Model 3 is a stunning look car and is now on my wishlist

There’s just a wheel and a screen in the front

There’s just a wheel and a screen in the front

There’s just a wheel and a screen in the front

There’s just a wheel and a screen in the front

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The Model 3 is far more affordable

I have seen the light. I was never fully convinced by the Tesla business model but having spent a week in the new Model 3 I am fully on board the train that Elon Musk is driving.

When I drove the Model S two years ago I adored it but the asking price was just shy of €100k and I couldn’t get that astronomical figure out of my head for the entire week.

Every single time someone asked me about Tesla since that test week in December 2019 I would happily wax lyrical, but it always came with the six-figure caveat.

As anyone who reads my reviews will know — value for money is my top priority. Give me a Kodiaq over an X7 any day of the week. I’m serious.

So, with that in mind I approached last week’s test review with caution. Tesla has finally made a car that is (relatively) affordable and still looks good.

But will they have had to strip it bare to reduce the asking price down to €50k? That was my dilemma before I got behind the wheel of this pearl white Model 3.

First impressions don’t matter hugely in this line of work. I find some cars grow on me while others gradually disappoint me over the course of the week. But rarely do I sit into a car and get a genuine sense of excitement and bewilderment.

Cars regularly claim to have a white leather seat option but no other manufacturer on the planet can boast this level of white. Think ‘Ross Geller teeth’ levels of white. They are vegan too, which is just another way of proving that Musk is a genius.

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The Tesla Model 3 is devoid of knobs and buttons and bedecked in pure vegan white 'leather'

The Tesla Model 3 is devoid of knobs and buttons and bedecked in pure vegan white 'leather'

The Tesla Model 3 is devoid of knobs and buttons and bedecked in pure vegan white 'leather'

And there are no buttons, knobs, dials or toggles to hold on to. Just a gorgeous big girthy steering wheel and an even bigger touch screen. That’s it. The rest is storage.

The screen itself is a whopping 15 inches (for context the biggest iPad you can buy is 12.9”) and houses every feature and service and safety precaution and gimmick you could ever want. When I was handed the key (a credit card sized device that sits in your wallet) I was told by the Tesla team to “give it a few days” to get used to the controls, and I fully understand why they said that.

The windscreen wipers require two touches of the screen instead of the usual flick of a lever behind the steering wheel. Access to the radio requires two touches too; as do most controls.

But as the days and driving miles increased during my week the more normal it became. By day seven, as I was emotionally driving this beauty back to the showroom, I found myself not even looking at the screen to engage things. Muscle memory was kicking in already.

Speaking of memory, it is going to take a long time and a lot of amazing cars for this test week to be forgotten. So much about it was interesting, fun and exciting. I was asked by several friends and neighbours for a quick spin and I was only too happy to oblige. When I was working I was thinking about my next drive.

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And the reason is that behind all of Tesla’s gimmicks and fun features there is now actually a brilliant car. An actual vehicle that will take you from A to B in a safe and comfortable manner. Even with a full load (three kids easily fit in the back) it was safe and comfortable.

One of the big selling points of any electric car is the torque and top speed. So much so that early Teslas had a ‘Ludicrous’ drive mode to give you that rocket launch feeling (just what you need in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the school run).

Nowadays it is just the regular drive modes but don’t think this is a slouch by any stretch. You can do 0-100km/h in 4.4secs and the top speed is 233km/h. And it is rooted to the road at any speed thanks to the weight of the battery so you never feel like you are losing control.

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The new Tesla Model 3 is a stunning look car and is now on my wishlist

The new Tesla Model 3 is a stunning look car and is now on my wishlist

The new Tesla Model 3 is a stunning look car and is now on my wishlist

The Long Range version of the Model 3 comes with an estimated 580km range and like every single EV on the market it is calculated during a closed test so you can be assured that it was done by the gentlest of test drivers they have. So, realistically you should only aim for 500-520 km but even at that you are talking about one of the longest ranges in the industry right now.

And this is why I think this latest model will be a massive game changer for Tesla. Now that you can buy one for just over €50k you are putting it in the same bracket as the new popular electric vehicles like the ID.4, the EV6, the Enyaq and the Ioniq 5.

All great big family cars that have good ranges and are in the €50-€60k bracket. Even the Model 3 short range (rear wheel drive) can offer around 400km in range, which is incredible when you consider the asking price is less than €50,000.

It’s a cliché but…the future is now. I am a fully-fledged member of the converted.

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