Classic science and technology magazine Popular Mechanics has hailed the Tesla Model 3 as its 2018 Car of the Year. The publication credited the compact electric sedan’s performance and novel set of features as key reasons behind the car’s place on its 2018 list.
As noted by the magazine, the only thing really getting in the way of the Model 3 right now is Tesla’s capability to meet the demand for the vehicle. Popular Mechanics noted that Tesla’s problems with the Model 3 today are very similar to Ford’s situation back in 1964, when too many people wanted to buy the new Mustang.
According to Popular Mechanics‘ automotive editor Ezra Dyer, one of the car’s strengths is that the vehicle, despite all its tech, drives like a conventional sports sedan. Dyer added that he actually had more fun manually driving the Model 3 instead of using the electric car’s Autopilot system.
“The autonomy is reliable and pleasantly novel, but I learn that it’s more fun to do the driving myself, sandbagging in the middle lane and then mashing the throttle to revel in that gush of acceleration,” Dyer wrote.
While the magazine stated that the Model 3 is not in any way a perfect car — considering its lack of availability and areas such as the interior where “cost-cutting” seemed evident — the vehicle does provide a thrilling experience to drivers behind its wheel. This, coupled with the car’s undeniable appeal, earns the Model 3 its place at the top of Popular Mechanics‘ list of the best vehicles for 2018.
The magazine’s list of best vehicles has featured Tesla vehicles in the past. Back in 2016, the publication awarded the Model S as the Best Electric Car available on the market, citing the car’s design and performance. Other electric cars have also taken spots on top of the Popular Mechanics’ list, such as the Chevy Bolt EV in 2017.
The performance of the Model 3 is definitely something that garners positive reviews from Tesla owners and critics alike. Sandy Munro of Munro & Associates, a staunch critic of the Model 3 who dubbed the build quality of the electric car as a “disgrace,” remarked that he liked the car’s acceleration and handling on a follow-up review. Munro further noted while he gave the Model 3 failing marks for fit and finish, the car scored well on ride and drive.
The Model 3’s high-speed capabilities were also showcased recently when Tesla owner Matt Crowley took the compact electric car to the Laguna Seca Raceway, according to a Teslarati report. The Model 3 performed admirably, with Crowley noting that the vehicle’s software not limiting the car’s performance during his entire nine-lap session.
Despite Tesla’s issues with the production of the Model 3, the car remains to be one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the market. Earlier this month, unofficial tallies of EV sales in the United States place the Model 3 at the top of the list with 4,360 deliveries as of early March. Signs of Tesla hitting its stride with regards to the Model 3’s production have also emerged, such as sightings of a vehicle with a VIN indicating a dual-motor configuration.