Tesla’s phenomenal rise has already delivered big success for the Model 3. The positioning of the car alone has seen to that. In the UK, it’s the Tesla you can buy for £400 a month. But there is much more to the Model 3 than a Tesla badge at an affordable price. Even in the current cheapest, lowliest form, the car combines truly realistic and practical usability with competitive saloon-car practicality, really striking performance and handling dynamism that doesn’t lack anything for the want of ambition.

That the car doesn’t quite seem ready for global domination may be because it’s notably short on refinement, a touch of easy drivability and thoroughly ironed-out completeness next to the world’s best compact executive saloons; and it’ll only be when electric powertrain technology makes for a better car in every sense that the whole world will embrace it.

Wrinkles aside, great electric performance and usability at this price

Still, we suspect plenty will embrace this car just as it is – more than enough, at any rate, to fuel the continued growth of its maker, to spread the reach of electric cars by quite some way, and to give Tesla many fresh challenges to meet as its story continues.

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