Extreme test: how far does Tesla’s smallest Model 3 get on the highway with full power?

Actually, the Tesla Model 3, especially in its basic version Standard Range Plus, is a sensible car and we deal with it prudently. But we’re also curious, so we let it rip for a change. Despite the cooler temperatures and the almost free motorway, this fun didn’t last very long. Because the battery management limited the performance, and the battery ran out early.

Full on the Tesla pedal from the driveway

Mainly, we bought the Tesla Model 3 SR + for two reasons: On the one hand, we are on the road with the vehicle and our cheap electricity tariff for an incredibly low 2.97 euros per 100 kilometers. On the other hand, the American is really fun in the interior and thanks to its variety of infotainment systems. What we were less interested in when making a purchase were other properties that drive many a combustion engine driver to white heat: acceleration, elasticity and top speed. 5.4 seconds from zero to 100 km / h for the smallest Tesla is an announcement – many medium-sized and sporty vehicles from premium brands cannot keep up here.

With the Model 3 SR +, we regularly drive 91 kilometers there and 91 kilometers back, charge to 90 percent every day and come back with around 16 to 25 percent remaining battery. We use between 17 and 20 kWh for 100 km at a maximum of 130 km / h in cruise control. But the little Tesla can also do very different things, at least for a while.

Our autobahn is open, there is no traffic, and at 8 degrees it was quite cold. Immediately after the driveway, with the power pedal depressed, we went towards our destination. We were able to drive almost 30 kilometers without interruption with full power. Then we braked twice to 90 km / h, accelerated again and again reached the top speed of 227 km / h. After another 20 kilometers, the unbridled fun was over, because the battery management reduced the maximum output, as indicated by small dots on the right in the acceleration display. Nevertheless, we still reached top speed.

Model 3 SR + only 55 km at top speed

After five kilometers, however, the performance was no longer sufficient. With a maximum of 190 km / h with a downward trend, things were still moving forward. Consumption skyrocketed and at the end of the journey was well over 40 kWh. For this reason we had to load differently than usual for the return journey at the destination. For this we used public pillars, so that in addition to the high consumption it was also more expensive per kilowatt hour.

Our conclusion after the short frenzy: It is definitely fun to drive so fast with the Model 3. But, and you have to keep this in mind: the Model 3 SR + is not really fully current-proof. On the one hand, the vehicle quickly reduces its output and needs new electricity after around 120 kilometers. On the other hand, the load on the battery is certainly high. In addition, the Model 3 SR + drives quite nervously at high speeds. We know that better from other cars, even if the Tesla remains drivable. After braking a few times, we also noticed a drop in performance.

All of which brings us to the conclusion that the Model 3 can go fast when the driver desperately wants it. But actually it’s an American cruiser that can accelerate explosively from time to time – in short completely unreasonable, then again for 2.97 euros per 100 kilometers.


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