Engine, Transmission, and Performance
As with most EVs, the Model 3 gains speed smoothly and almost silently, with the electric motor providing strong power from a stop. And it’s fast—extremely so in some trims. The rear-wheel-drive Long Range model we tested sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. The Model 3 Performance rockets to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds—0.5-second faster than our long-term Model Long Range. Like all Teslas, the Model 3 carries its battery under the floor, resulting in a low center of gravity. This helps it change direction crisply and feel planted and stable in corners. The steering is accurate and well weighted, with three different settings that adjust the level of steering effort. The ride is firm without being harsh; without the noise of a gas-powered engine, however, you do hear plenty of noise inside the cabin as the tires thwack and thrum over pavement imperfections.