上周，第一批特斯拉Model 3终于交到了期待已久的客户手中，记者和评论家们也终于有机会亲身体验这款汽车。在Model 3面世之前，至少有三个大问题：
驾驶员能否真正适应奇怪的仪表显示装置 — 安装在中间的一块平面屏幕，而不是方向盘上面的仪表板？
《Motor Trend》杂志毫不吝啬地称赞Model 3是“本世纪最重要的交通工具。”评论家吉姆·雷诺兹描述了这款汽车“迸发的扭力”和“手术刀般的”操控，认为这款低价汽车充分体现了电动发动机对汽油发动机的优势。关于显示装置，雷诺兹表示：“要确定这块偏离中心的显示器能否完全取代传统位置的仪表盘，还需要驾驶更远的距离，不过我已经习惯了这种设计。”
《连线》杂志的评测中包含了多数溢美之词，但同时也强调了特斯拉未能有效避免的一个营销陷阱。评论家杰克·斯图尔特写道：“如果你一直渴望得到一辆更昂贵的Model S。Model 3也可能让你满意。”虽然埃隆·穆斯克曾经发出过警告，但一些高端买家很有可能会做出这样的决定，从而将蚕食Model S的销量。
值得注意的是，上述多数测评都是基于Model S的升级版，实际售价在44,000美元至约59,500美元之间。而不出意外，售价35,000美元的低配版Model 3行驶里程更短，加速度更慢，功能更少。另外，特斯拉需要开足马力，完成约50万辆Model 3预订订单，因此其生产质量与可靠性仍存在较大的不确定性。
Last week saw the delivery of the first 30 Tesla Model 3s to eager customers, as well as the first chance for many journalists and reviewers to get hands-on with the cars. There were at least three big questions ahead of the Model 3’s debut:
Does it feel like a Tesla? In other words, has the company figured out how to make something that, when you’re sitting in it, feels as special as a Model S, for a much lower price tag?
Is the weird instrument display—a single, center-mounted flat screen instead of gauges above the steering wheel—actually going to work for drivers?
And most importantly . . . is it fast?
While full reviews will have to wait, early test-drives show that the answer to those questions is yes—mostly.
Motor Trend, in a full-throated tribute, called the Model 3 “the most important vehicle of the century.” Reviewer Kim Reynolds describes the car’s “gush of torque” and “scalpel-like” handling, suggesting that the advantages of electric engines over gas have translated to the lower-priced vehicle. Of the display, Reynolds said “It’ll take a lot more miles than this to decide if the single off-center screen completely substitutes for a conventionally located gauge cluster, but I’m already adapting to it.”
Our own Kirsten Korosec praised the subtle refinement of interior, including hidden air conditioning vents and the car’s vast sense of space, thanks in part to its glass roof.
Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff gushed at the “wonderful” upholstery material of Tesla’s own design, while calling the nontraditional instrument array “disconcerting.” He also noted the responsiveness that comes, in part, from the car’s battery-anchored low center of gravity.
The Verge’s Tamara Warren felt a “glee factor” when driving the car—and noted that yes, it has a cup holder.
Based on a much shorter ride, the Washington Post’s Peter Holley described the sense of entering “uncharted territory,” saying the minimalist interior feels the way a car based on contemporary technology should. Holley found the off-center instrument display to be “safer and more intuitive” than a traditional layout.
Wired, while echoing most of the broader praise, also highlighted a marketing pitfall that Tesla hasn’t yet convincingly avoided. “If you’ve lusted after that expensive Model S," reviewer Jack Stewart writes, "you’ll likely be satisfied with the Model 3 too.” Despite warnings from Elon Musk himself, some high-end buyers could make exactly that decision, cannibalizing Model S sales.
Most of these impressions, it should be noted, were based on upgraded versions of the Model 3, with real-world prices from $44,000 up to about $59,500. The bare-bones $35,000 Model 3 will, not surprisingly, have a little less range, a little less acceleration, and fewer features. There’s also plenty of uncertainty about build quality and reliability as Tesla spins up to produce a half million preordered Model 3s as quickly as it can.
Such issues may have been foreshadowed in the experience of a Wall Street Journal reporter, whose test drive included hiccups that may have been software glitches or, as Tesla later claimed, driver error.
Nonetheless, the consensus seems to be in—this is the car of the future, and everyone else just has to catch up.