First Model 3 Instrumented Test Reveals Go-Kart-like Handling, Beats BMW 330i

Tesla Model 3 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Inc.
Testing a car usually relies on using the sensors built into the person driving, as well as their experience with other cars for comparison. It's a very subjective process, and even though journalists tend to be neutral (they're basically bound to), they can't help have a soft spot for one brand or another.
But there are ways of doing things in a bit more scientifically manner. A Vbox has no feelings and no preferences, so if it says the new Tesla Model 3 accelerates to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds, then it's right. Even if that's slightly better than the advertised 5.3 seconds.

Tesla's electric sedan has been drafted into Motor Trend's Car of the Year competition, and that means subjecting it to a series of tests conducted on a closed track with all kinds of very mechanical sensors strapped onto the vehicle. The human element is taken out of the equation as much as possible, and that's the only way you can come up with an impartial decision.

On the other hand, judging cars based strictly on numbers isn't the best way to go about, which is where the tiny circuit challenge comes in. It's also where the Model 3 offers the biggest revelation: its handling is superb. The Motor Trend journalist says its "fast steering and firm springing give it a go-kart quality" and it only has "a fraction of the expected body roll."

That's what having most of the mass focused very down low will do for you, and it's why EVs are so notoriously well planted on the road. The tester says the Model 3 has a slight proclivity for understeering, but its weight of nearly 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) can be used to flick the rear end out into brief drifts.

He even goes one step further by stating that out of the rest of the vehicles taking part in the competition, it's only the Porsche Cayman and Boxster and the Honda Civic Typer R that come close to the Model 3's very clean and precise cornering ability, and that's a very select company.

The article also sort of settles an old dispute - well, as old as the Model 3, at least: is it better than a BMW 330i? The facts suggest it is, and it also handles better, which used to be one of BMW's stronger points. It costs pretty much the same as well, so if having to plug your car in instead of filling the tank up isn't bothering you, then a Model 3 seems to be the better choice. Of course, you're going to have to wait quite a bit to get it, but that's how good things usually work.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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