The Centralian Advocate Fri 10 Jun 2022
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
22 MOTORING NTNE01Z01MO - V1 New name, (mostly) the same car The Model 3 is the only Tesla currently on sale in Australia and comes in three guises. Its the most affordable model weve tested here, a car previously known as the Standard Range Plus but now simply called Rear-Wheel Drive. As the name suggests, it drives only the rear wheels using a single electric motor. The other two models Long Range and Performance each get a second electric motor to drive the front wheels, in the process bringing a big dose of added pace. Changes are for the Tesla faithful (theres no shortage) and include mildly revised tail lights. In true Tesla form most of the changes affect software and tech. Prices are up The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive sells from about $69,000 drive-away, which is $3000 more than it was earlier in the year. Compared with the Standard Range Plus, the RWD gets a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats (including the middle seat). Other standard equipment includes a power-operated steering wheel and front seats and a panoramic glass roof (theres no cover, so things can get steamy on a sunny day). Theres also a crystal-clear camera with forward, rear and side views as well as Tesla extras such as in-built arcade games and Sentry Mode, a security measure that uses the cameras to record activity around the car. Its slower, but still quick Tesla doesnt quote power figures but in certifying the car for sale the company listed its peak output as 208kW. Theres clean pulling power at any speed. The updated Model 3 is claimed to take 6.1 seconds to hit 100km/h and our testing showed it took 6.3 seconds. While thats slower than before, youd be hard pressed to pick it. The RWD has great pick-up and we found its slightly faster than the old model from 60100km/h. Its also quicker than its prime rivals, the single motor (two-wheel drive) Kia EV6, Polestar 2 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. Claimed range has increased from 448km to 491km and its fast to charge, too. Itll add about 50km of range per hour using a home wallbox with single phase wiring or up to 1000km per hour with a Tesla Supercharger. Get ready to relearn the car controls Driving a Tesla requires some reprogramming. The giant 15-inch touchscreen that breaks up the minimalist dash houses most functions, from infotainment and mapping to opening the glovebox, boot and bonnet (or frunk as Tesla calls it). But its all intuitive and quickly becomes second nature. Some of the functionality makes traditional cars look old school. You can pair your phone as the key, for example, and thats all you need to drive the car. Theres no start button, the car instead Youll feel bumps, especially when they come in rapid succession, but the body is well controlled, so theres a sense of security. Our biggest gripe is the aggressive regenerative braking, which cant be adjusted. But given Tesla is red hot on over-the-air software updates adding infotainment or changing drive functions as easily as you update your smartphone theres every chance that could change in future. recognises weight on the drivers seat and the proximity of your phone to become active. Its good to drive Despite all its whizz-bangery and driving only on electricity, the Model 3 does lots of regular car things surprisingly well. The compact steering wheel suits its direct responses. Suspension is firm but not jarring and the 18-inch Michelin tyres deliver on grip. F I V E T H I N G S model citizen Teslas popular four-door EV is kind to the planet and relatively easy on the wallet TOBY HAGON