The Tesla Model 3 was awarded the Automobile Magazine’s 2018 Design of the Year. And while many car magazines and sites have under-appreciated the wonder of the Model 3, Automobile Magazine’s Robert Cumberford actually does a great job in describing how amazing the car is.
Cumberford calls the Model 3 the best sedan he’s ever driven:
For several years now I’ve said the Tesla Model S is the best sedan I’ve ever driven. That’s no longer true. It’s not that I found recent Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Rolls-Royce sedans superior. Rather, I’ve done a few miles in the Model 3, which now holds the title of best four-door I’ve ever driven. Whatever the price point, heritage, styling, reputation, or prestige of its rivals, the Model 3 is quieter and quicker, and it rides better than anything else we might have considered for our Design of the Year award. And as a plus, it’s a much handier size than the Model S, far more practical for daily use in cities and suburbs.
While I disagree that the Model 3 is quieter than the Model S (in my freeway tests, my sound meter showed my Model S to be 2dB quieter than my Model 3), I do agree that the Model 3 is far more impressive than the Model S due to the more affordable price tag of the Model 3.
Cumberford also makes some astute comments about the timelessness of the Model 3 design:
The Model 3 is not luxurious in an ostentatious, opulent sense. It’s much like the classic Eames chair or the deceptive simplicity of Apple products: Function is embodied in a minimalist manner, providing elegant simplicity rather than some “plain pipe rack” aesthetic like the original Citroën 2CV or something rococo like a Victorian silver tea set or some overdone Japanese sedans with “Tokyo by night” decor. We have the impression that the studied simplicity of both interior and exterior will let this car age extremely well, that in 10 years it will still look contemporary and beautifully understated, not old and irrelevant.
The timelessness of Tesla’s designs are definitely outstanding. I’m reminded of the first iPhone in 2007. It still looks great. In a similar way, the Model S is already defying its age. The 2013 Model S that I recently sold looks amazing and the interior of the car is far more beautiful and techy than any 2018 car by any other car manufacturer (of course in my opinion).
However, I think the most important feature of the Model 3 is it brings the entire Tesla experience (amazing drive, long-range battery, acceleration, quietness, technology, autopilot, service, brand, etc) to the masses without compromising the experience.
image source: automobilemag.com