Tesla Model 3 Propulsion test: still the best electric sedan?

Everything is up on the entry-level Tesla: prices, overweight, but also autonomy.

Is the Tesla Model 3 a popular car? Yes, if the sales figures are to be believed. It is today the number 1 sedan in France, far ahead of the Peugeot 508. No, if we look at the prices. In recent months, Elon Musk’s brand has also forced on the prices of the entry-level version, returning to the launch prices. For this propulsion – which has also lost its “Standard range +” label – the bonus entry price deducted has gone from 37,800 to 47,990 euros, notably losing 4,000 euros in premium. No reduction in sight when you sign the order form. But the very rich endowment in series puts the competitors at a distance.

Along with prices, Tesla regularly updates its product. The Californian brand has introduced in the last twelve months many new features on its Model 3. In particular, it traded in its Panasonic lithium-ion battery for original CATL lithium-iron-phosphate cells. Evaluated at 60 kWh gross against 55 previously – the brand never communicates a detailed technical sheet – this pack increases the theoretical autonomy up to 510 kilometers WLTP. During our test involving 50% motorway, 30% road and 20% urban areas, the electricity consumption of the American did not exceed 16.5 kWh per 100 kilometers and consumed less than 20 kWh on the main ribbon. So count on a range of 350 real kilometers in mixed and 300 kilometers without scaring you on the highway.

This evolution is accompanied by the adoption of the rear engine of the Grande Autonomie. More efficient but a bit less powerful (around 280 hp against 320 previously, losing 5 tenths at 0 to 100 km/h), the machine always generates sufficient acceleration for all situations… and even something to have fun on the wide Burgundian curves. The behavior of a Model 3 propulsion remains good more worthy of a sports car than a gentrified sedan. Generous in grip, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (fitted as standard) highlight a healthy chassis and the superimposed wishbone combo at the front and multi-arm at the back. Logical consequence of a rising weight, the damping seems to us firmer than before, in particular on the blackcurrants crossed at low speed. Moreover, on the soft side, the 19-inch tire assembly – less efficient and harmful to comfort – seems to us a superfluous option. Be careful though: the more options you choose, the quicker your Model 3 will arrive. You will have to wait until spring 2023 if you uncheck all the boxes on the configurator.

=> Test Tesla Model Y Great autonomy: our opinion at the wheel of the electric SUV

=> Test Tesla Model 3 Performance: 600 kilometers at the wheel

On board, Tesla has also adopted an AMD Ryzen processor for the central 15-inch screen. If it is not always intuitive – so many menus! – its display speed is amazing, especially on the navigation functions. We will gladly go through the voice command, much less rantanplanesque than those of the Volkswagen group (for example). The finish has reached premium standards. The XXL volume of the trunk deserves no discussion. The frunk, hold located under the hood, houses cables and backpacks. The cabin is still just as spacious and bright. At the back, the knees benefit from enormous space, but the buttocks remain at altitude and the skull close to the pavilion. Other minor pains: the absence of a tailgate and very perfectible 3/4 and rear visibility for the human pilot. Tesla has tried to respond to this latest criticism by adding the images from the side cameras to the central screen when you activate the turn signal. But your gaze is not really in this area when you change lanes (or else you forget your blind spot… not good!).

The absolute of the Model 3 remains the simplicity and density of its fast charging network, which still does not require a card or subscription. The map of France now has more than 100 Musk stations, more points than Shell or Dyneff. Connected vehicle with a maximum power of 170 kW – count 20 minutes and 20 euros to go from 15 to 80% of the battery – we chat pleasantly with other Tesla drivers. Despite the inflation of the prices of this “entry level”, the circle of followers should still grow in the months to come.


WE love

  • Road behavior
  • Consumption and autonomy
  • Charging network

We love less

  • Price up
  • Questionable ergonomics
  • Firm comfort


Despite a (sharp) increase in price, the “standard” Model 3 remains the best electric offer in its category.


To buy
Tesla Model 3
Version tested: 49,990 euros (excluding bonus)
From 49,990 euro

Cons. average manufacturer / during the test (kWh / 100 km): 14.2 / 16.5
Autonomy during the test (km): 350
CO2 (g/km)/bonus: 0 / €2000
Fiscal horsepower (CV): 6
Country of Manufacture: China

Recommended options

Multi-layer paint: €1,190
Black and white interior: €1,190
Improved autopilot: €3,800

Technical sheet

Motor: permanent magnet synchronous (AR)
Transmission: to the rear wheels, 1 gear + reverse gear
Power (hp): 280
Battery: lithium iron phosphate (LFP)
Net capacity (kWh): 57.5
Quick charge 10 to 80%: 30 minutes
Curb weight (kg): 1,835
Length.xwidth.xhigh. (m): 4.69 x 1.85 x 1.44
Wheelbase (m): 2.87
Max speed (km/h): 225
0 to 100 km/h (s): 6.1
Standard tyres: 235/45 R18
Test tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4


Boot at 5 (l): 561 (rear) + 88 (front)


Hyundai Ioniq 5, 218 hp, from €46,800
Kia EV6, 325 hp, from €52,690
BMW i4 eDrive 40 M Sport, 340 hp, from 63,600 euros

To read on auto-moto.com:

AppleCarPlay and Android auto now available in Teslas

Tesla’s Incredible Rise in a Chart

Used Tesla Model S: our opinion, from 36,000 Euros

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