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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Tesla Model 3

Overall verdict
Everything Tesla has done up to this point has been building towards the Model 3... and it's been worth it.


Bleeding edge tech, interior space, acceleration and handling


Enormous waiting list, constant attention, superchargers no longer free


What is it?

Oh, just some sensibly priced electric BMW 3 Series rival from a little-known American start-up. Except this is the sensibly priced electric 3 Series rival that has the world’s knickers in a twist. You’ve probably heard the headlines: the Model 3 is a smaller, half-price (or thereabouts) compliment to the Model S and Model X; there are well over 500,000 paid reservations; it’s the lynchpin of Elon Musk’s mission to rid our roads of fossil fuels (before we all move to Mars), and it’s also the thing giving Musk a significant pain in the arse as his company tries to ramp up production to 5,000 cars a week in the short-term, building towards churning out 500,000 Model 3s a year. Currently the production number hovers at just over 2,000 a week.

Musk recently announced he has decided “to take direct control of the division producing the vehicles,” in a bid to get production on track. Via his Twitter account he added: “I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell…”

Order a Model 3 now in the US and you’ll realistically be waiting around 18 months for delivery. Order a right-hand drive 3 in the UK now and it could be as long as two years. Demand is clearly feverish, but would you be prepared to wait? And there’s more - reports of sub-standard build quality as Tesla tries to push the cars out, are rife. It must be said, though, that the car we spent a day with in and around New York was perfectly well put together, but you’d expect no less from a press demonstrator.

Continue: Driving