Noted auto reviewer Matthew DeBord has a lot of experience driving Tesla’s electric cars, lauding the Model 3 Performance as his personal favorite among the company’s vehicles in a review last month. His conclusions were appreciated by Elon Musk, who shared the veteran reviewer’s article on Twitter. Recently, DeBord raised the stakes for the Model 3, comparing it against two other premium electric cars he has driven in the past — the Jaguar I-PACE and Tesla’s own Model X — to see which EV is the best in the market today.
For purposes of his recent review, DeBord opted to use the Model 3’s Long Range RWD version, which cost $57,500 when it was acquired last year. The electric sedan was compared against the Jaguar I-PACE EV400 HSE, which costs a total of $86,720 with options and fees. The final vehicle in the triple threat evaluation — a fully-loaded Tesla Model X P100D — came at a premium price of $150,000.
In his analysis, DeBord noted that the Jaguar I-PACE is poised, powerful, and sleek, and it has a killer interior accented with premium materials such as brushed metal, carbon fiber, and wood. That said, the Jaguar does fall short in some areas such as its frunk, which is too small for any practical use. Its charging system, which relies on ChargePoint’s stations, also left much to be desired. Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pr infotainment system is “too complex” and “not attractively designed” as well.
On the other hand, DeBord admits that the Tesla Model X P100D is a showstopper with its tech and features like its Falcon Wing Doors. Being the largest of the three vehicles, the Model X is a champion of storage with almost 90 cubic feet of available cargo space. Coupled with the Supercharger Network and its Ludicrous Mode, the Model X is an excellent vehicle. That said, the premium SUV also carries a very premium price.
Ultimately, DeBord opted to give the crown to the Tesla Model 3 as the best electric car among the three vehicles he evaluated. The Model 3 strikes a great balance for price and features, with its 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds and its access to the Supercharger Network. The auto reviewer also lauds the vehicle for its intuitive touchscreen and steering wheel trackball-based controls, which “provides a serene driving experience” after a small learning curve. Reiterating his observations in his initial review of the electric sedan, DeBord noted that there is simply nothing better among electric cars available in the market today, especially considering its price.
“There is no better vehicle of this type at this price that I believe I could currently buy. What’s really so hypnotically and addictively compelling about the Model 3 is how many great ideas have been crammed into one automobile. This is a car that’s absolutely bursting with thought, about the present and the future — and the distant future. Those ideas are overwhelmingly optimistic.”
What’s impressive is that the Tesla Model 3 which DeBord based his recent conclusion from is a rather early version of the electric sedan. Since the initial production of the electric car, Tesla has achieved a notable reduction on Model 3 costs, as evidenced by the $49,900 starting price of the Dual Motor AWD Model 3 today. Other improvements have also been rolled out by Tesla since DeBord’s initial review of the vehicle, such as Navigate on Autopilot.
Matthew DeBord is not alone in his conclusions with regards to the Model 3. Auto veteran and longtime gearhead Henry Payne of The Detroit News, for one, even dubbed the Tesla Model 3 as the publication’s 2018 Car of the Year. The vehicle has also been a commercial success for Tesla, selling more than 145,000 units over 2018, allowing it to become the year’s best-selling luxury car.