How Well Does a Tesla Model 3 Work For a Long Road Trip?

The Tesla Model 3 is put to test in the long distance range. See how well it fares!

Electric cars from Tesla have been all the rage since their launch. Not to mention, the company offers only the best of automotive technology. There are various innovations that made Tesla completely of a different caliber.

As a manufacturer of electric cars, Tesla completely made trips a lot more eco-conscious as well as convenient. The brand created a groundbreaking autopilot mode that has been helpful for many drivers.

The Tesla Model 3 first launched in 2017 and more recent models are said to be great for different ranges of journeys. So, let’s take a deeper look into the Tesla 3 and see if they work perfectly on road trips.

How Well Did the Tesla Model 3 Work on Long Trips?

There are various reasons why the Tesla Model 3 is a great option for long-distance rides. Given the features of a Model 3, you would have guessed it by now.

Autopilot Feature

The car’s Autopilot feature that popularized Tesla cars is the ultimate friend you have on long-range drives. Thousands of miles can take a toll on the driver. It’s easy to get tires especially if you’re traversing long stretches of highways and freeways.

That said, the feature made it easier to go along open roads. However, keep in mind that you should always be conscious and present even with Autopilot on.

Autopilot is an aide. It will take a lot from the taxing drive but it’s mainly just support. The car is also smart enough to check for any hazards that come your way, so it’s safer to drive with the Model 3.

Battery and Cost-Efficiency

Another great feature that the Model 3 has is its cost-efficiency. We all know that Tesla is under the luxury car category so it is expensive upfront. However, there are more things to consider than just the price of the car.

It’s far more cost-efficient to drive a Tesla Model 3 a long-distance ride. To fill up cars powered by gasoline, you would need around 20 to 30 USD for a sedan. That said, you would need 200 to 300 USD for trips that are thousands of miles long.

Charging a Model 3 on a Supercharger station will only take anywhere between 140 to 150 USD. This, of course, can be less if you’re going through more efficient routes.

To understand how the Tesla Model 3 better, and why it’s the best car for long distance driving, check out our guide to the Model 3 below.

Guide to the Tesla Model 3

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 currently sits at #2 in the Luxury Hybrid and Electric Cars ranking category. In this category, the Tesla Model 3 scores a whopping 8.8 out of 10. This is based on 22 different research and data elements that make up the whole ranking system. Just from there, you get an idea of how great the Model 3 is. However, there’s more to the Model 3 than just that.

Is it a good car?

If you ask me whether or not the Tesla Model 3 is a good car, the easy answer is yes. Of course, it is a great car. Something worth this much should have great features. Not to mention, it is an electric car and that’s a fairly new technology.

However, some of the most prominent reasons for this are its features. It’s has a long driving range for a luxury hybrid and electric car. It’s also pretty impressive with its deft handling and extremely quick acceleration.

The Tesla Model 3 is also pretty contemporary in design and aesthetic. You get a sweet sedan with a sporty and minimalistic approach in design. That said, you don’t have to worry about the interiors of the car.

You can experience a great snug seat at the back and a wonderful technologically advanced touch screen that will provide you just about anything you need for navigation and travel.

Why the 2021 Tesla Model 3 is Best for Long-Distance Driving

Different car manufacturers distinguish vehicles differently. You can find that a lot of manufacturers name models according to year. Tesla doesn’t do this. Instead, they send out software updates that go directly to the vehicle. Among the improvements that Tesla provides include drive range and even infotainment features.

In 2021, the Model 3 got an update that improves its drive range up to 13 miles in the Standard Range Plus mode and 31 long miles in the Long Range mode.

There are also great updates on its aesthetic such as with a new wheel design. The trims of the car turned to satin and the new center console comes restyles as well.

Interiors of the Tesla Model 3

Overall, the Model 3 is a simple sedan with innovative features. It’s a distinct car that will definitely suit the need of anybody who loves modern technology. Plus, it’s not controlled by knobs that are typical of other cars. Instead, to control everything in the car, you can utilize its massive touch screen system right up the front.

Cargo and Storage Spaces

As a sedan, you get a pretty decent size of space for your cargo and storage with the Model 3. You can expect 15 cubic feet plus split-folding rear sears that can easily accommodate bulky cargo. If you plan on traveling with a bike, this is an easy way to store your bike securely.

Moreover, the location of Model 3’s lithium-ion battery pack is under the flooring. So, it doesn’t take extra space in the car.

Seating Capacity

The Model 3 has pretty decent seating capacity as a sedan. Up to five people can sit in the car. There’s a great headroom and legroom in front. However, there are reports that the backseat of this car can be pretty snug, especially for adults to sit at. Overall, however, it’s a pretty airy cabin that won’t get in the way of anybody’s visibility.

Model 3 also works perfectly with child car seats. There are two sets of LATCH connectors at the back. In the middle seat, you get a tether anchor. It’s pretty easy to use especially when you plan on traveling with a toddler. However, be warned that the lower anchors are pretty deeply set so it might take a while to reach them.

Infotainment System

This car has a massive touch screen in front and anything you need to control in the car relies on it. Among those, the mirror adjustments and windshield wipers are the most commonly used.

It’s a massive screen that can be pretty distracting, especially if you’re only starting to get to know your Model 3. However, its graphics are wonderfully smooth. The functions are also convenient enough for people to use them with ease. You should know, however, that there are functions hidden underneath submenus and that alone would take a while to get used to figuring out in itself.

Typically, cars don’t have native apps sitting on its system. However, the Model 3 has great apps that work great with the car such as Spotify. The only way to connect with this car is via Bluetooth which can be a downside if you rely on other apps like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Among other features, you get navigation, wireless charging for your devices, as well as an HD radio. You can also easily share connectivity with a Wi-Fi hot spot. The USB ports are also very useful in times when you need to charge or plug and play some of your stored media.

The 14-speaker stereo is very clear and of high quality. Plus, you get a dual-zone automatic climate control on its panoramic glass roof, a very unique and refreshing feature to have in a car.

Performance of the Tesla Model 3

Powertrain

Another unique trait about Tesla is the way it distinguishes its model according to horsepower. They don’t use kilowatt-hours as well. Tesla vehicles don’t have gas engines as well and these are typically measured by displacement. Instead, each trim gets its own motor that’s electric. Each of these motors is incredibly powerful and the instant torque feature allows a launch even from a full stop. The acceleration on this model is unparalleled.

Miles per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe)

The miles per gallon equivalent (or MPGe) of its trims is also something to look forward to. The Long Range trim gets a 141-MPGe in the city that’s EPA-rated. On the highway, it has a 127 MPGe. Meanwhile, the Performance trim gets around 118 MPGe in the city and 107 MPGe on the highway. These are outstanding ratings that other hybrid cars can’t compare with.

Driving Range

The United States Environmental Protection Agency or EPA rates the Model 3 for its all-electric car range. With the performance trim, you can get up to 315 miles and 353 whopping miles for the Long Range trim. Meanwhile, there’s not data for EPA estimates regarding the base models. However, Tesla claims that a base Model 3 can get up 263 miles.

Ride and Handling

Just like any sports sedan, the steering and suspension of this car are very similar. There’s not a lot of difference so if you’re used to driving sports sedans, it wouldn’t be hard to take control of the Model 3.

Overall, it’s a fun ride to drive around. It’s easy to get comfortable when you’re behind the wheels of this car. However, it has very firm controls compared to other luxury cars which aren’t something that most people look forward to in luxury cars. However, you can expect that the regenerative brakes operate incredibly smoothly. This is something that sets Tesla apart from other electric vehicles.

Speed

As we mentioned, the Tesla Model 3 has a lightning-fast acceleration for an electric car. The base model can accelerate from zero to a whopping 60 miles per hour within 5.3 seconds. At top speed, the Model runs around 140 miles per hour.

Long Range trims easily get to top speed in 4.2 seconds that’s 145 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the Performance trim only has 3.1 seconds of acceleration and it reaches a top speed of up to 162 miles per hour.

How to Charge the Model 3

There are different ways to charge the Tesla Model 3. Firstly, it’s standard to have a 32 amp onboard charger. Then, the Performance and Long Range comes with a 48 amp charger. However, no matter the trim the car comes with a cord that measures around 20 feet. It can easily connect to any 120-volt household power outlet. It’s a very convenient feature to have.

There are different adapters available if you have a 240-volt outlet. Tesla offers a home charging station. Other third-party companies offer the same service as well.

On the road, you can easily charge your Model 3 in one of the Supercharge stations put up by Tesla. Included when you purchase a Model 3 is a J1772 charging station adapter as well as an adapter so you can charge your vehicle on CHAdeMO stations.

Where to Charge Model 3

As of late, there are a bunch of Tesla Supercharger stations in the US. Road trips come easy at this point. You can find them in strategic locations that are near shops or restaurants so you can wait in peace while your car charges.

If dining out is not your thing, you can stay in the car and stream movies or series on Netflix even when you’re parked. Not to mention, with the multifunction touch screen in the car, you can also play games in your Model 3.

You can also charge your Model 3 at home at a 120 or 240-volt power outlet. You can buy a Tesla home charging station that performs better.

How Long It Takes to Charge Model 3

Charging the Model 3 doesn’t take a lot of time. Every hour, you can get up to 3 miles added to your range. So, if you’re charging on a 120-volt outlet, you can expect to wait between five hours to four days tops. Meanwhile, a 240-volt outlet or by using the wall connector made by Tesla, you can take away 10 or 11 hours from your wait. Overnight, you can charge your Tesla to get 30 to 44 more miles per hour depending on the voltage of the outlet.

There are, of course, easier ways to charge your Model 3. One of those is through Supercharger stations. In 15 minutes, you can easily add 175 miles to your range!

Battery Life

Just like any electronic device, the battery life of your Model 3 depends on the way you use your car. There’s no easy answer for this but it’s to be said that the Model 3 is one of the best, if not the best, performing hybrid vehicles in the market today.

The Tesla Model 3 can work up to an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 miles. This is just an estimation. However, there are various ways to maximize your battery life. That includes lessening the functions used in the car, etc.

To make sure that your car is performing at its best, Tesla recommends its users to plug the Model 3 whenever it’s not in use. If you’re not driving, plugging it on will easily add the miles while on idle.

Safety Features of the Tesla Model 3

Model 3 Safety Features

There are different safety features that make the Model 3 the ultimate car for people looking for a safe and luxurious vehicle. Here are the standard safety features you can get on a Tesla Model 3.

  • Sensors on all the sides of the Model 3
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • A surround-view camera system for parking
  • Detection of pedestrians
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Warning for a forward collision
  • An adaptive cruise control

It’s known that Tesla cars offer a Full Self-Driving Capability. This is true and it works for various functions. That ranges from automatic parking and automatic change of lanes to recognition of stop signs and traffic lights as well as for summoning your car. That’s pretty impressive.

However, despite this, keep in mind that this requires the diver to be behind the wheels at all times. You must always be present and ready to take control at all times.

Model 3 Crash Test Results

The 2021 models of the Model 3 got an outstanding rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It scored an excellent five out of five stars rating for the overall safety of Model 3.

It also fared well in the rollover, side, and frontal crash test with five stars as well. Model 3 has also been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Meanwhile, in 2020, the Model 3 scored a “Good” in IIHS’s crash test that has six different categories. This is the highest score anyone can get.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Tesla Model 3 is a great car that works wonders for short and long-distance drives. It provides great safety features that will keep you comfortable throughout your ride. The Model 3 has everything you need from navigation to efficiency. Plus, the Autopilot feature is something you can’t get out of other standard sedans. This is a great feature that would minimize the stress you can get from driving incredibly long distances.

While the Model 3 costs a whole lot when bought brand new (and even reduced in price due to test drives), in the long run, you will save a lot of money and time with this car. Not to mention, it has an engaging infotainment system that is unparalleled by other manufacturers.

If safety and efficiency are at the top of your mind, lease or buy a Tesla Model 3 today.