Marques Brownlee, YouTube tech reviewer extraordinaire, had the chance to do a short test drive of the Tesla Model 3. He already owns a Tesla Model S, so he provides a pretty reserved review of Tesla’s new affordable option.
Marques praises Tesla for retaining the spirit of their brand in the minimalist Model 3, but expresses concerns about how everything is controlled on the 15 inch touchscreen, even the glove box. Judging by the top voted YouTube comments, this is a shared worry among the general population:
Even though Tesla has likely made plenty of safety measures to prevent any sort of problem with touchscreen malfunctions, popular perceptions can influence whether or not the Tesla Model 3 will be adopted by the masses. So I hope Tesla shows more ride alongs and tutorials on navigating the touchscreen, as well as reassuring electric car novices that a car can be safely operated without physical buttons and a traditional dashboard.
Marques also talks about options like colors, wheels, and automation packages. $5000 will get you semi automation with self parking, lane holding, and speed changing autopilot. For $5000 more you can basically just tell your car where to go from point A to point B, which is full-automation. The safety sensors will be on the base model with no extra charge. This brings up an interesting issue as to why the software is so expensive when the hardware is standard, as it isn’t physical, but digital script that could be copied and distributed, or even pirated. However, I’m not sure if anyone is daring or stupid enough to trust their lives to bootleg PirateBay Uber.
As a successful YouTuber who already owns a Model S, Marques Brownlee represents the middle class Tesla owner, whereas most of his viewers seem to be younger people, highschoolers and young adults. To him, it seems the Model 3 is kind of meh, to his audience, the Model 3 is hardly “affordable”. In fact it’s about the same price as a C class Mercedes, so many could consider Elon Musk’s idea of an affordable people’s car rather condescending. So Tesla has to find a way to manage these views as the hype train slows down in the next couple years, though they have time to think about before their supply can match the unprecedented initial demand.