A standard Top Gear group test goes like this: take cars of the same size, same price, aiming at the same buyers by doing the same job. Tease out which of them is best at that job. Write it down. But today’s group test, you’ll already have discerned, is different. A regular buyer’s-guide kinda test this is not. Truth is, anyone contemplating buying any one of these three probably wouldn’t even begin to entertain any of the others. At first blush, they make a pretty much random convoy.
Allow me to explain by drawing a Venn diagram in your mind. Two overlapping ovals. In one: ‘long-range EVs that don’t cost silly money’. In the other: ‘brilliant sporty saloons’. Wherever you look, these ovals are both pretty sparsely populated. If you’re looking for a sub-£40k, over-250-mile EV, the world offers only three choices, and two of them are crossovers from Hyundai-Kia, the Kona Electric and the e-Niro. The other is the Tesla Model 3. And the great sporty saloons? We recently proved that among the petrol choices the new BMW 3 Series rules the roost. But of course there’s now another one driven by another force, and experience in the US tells us it’s pretty great too. The Tesla Model 3.
Photography: Jonny Fleetwood