The Tesla Model 3 has been pegged yet again as a leader in the electric car market, topping both Consumer Reports choice picks and European electric vehicle sales for 2019.
British-based Consumer Reports released its “10 Top Picks of 2020” for new cars on Thursday (UK time), handing the top accolade to the Model 3 out of all electric vehicles on the market for its “invigorating performance” and “high-tech vibe”.
The Tesla Model 3 also rose eight spots in the consumer choice firm’s best car rankings (the biggest jump for any car this year) from 19th to 11th in the 33 car list, making it the top-ranking US car brand.
The Model 3, which first went on sale in the UK in May 2019, has bagged a number of top gongs since its arrival including in the UK Car of the Year 2019 awards, and four titles in Parkers Awards 2020.
The latest achievement was secured by the car’s impressive acceleration, handling and visibility and innovative, minimalist interior, says Consumer Reports.
“The Model 3 proves that EVs can challenge conventional upscale sedans by offering invigorating performance with a high-tech vibe,” says Consumer Reports top picks.
“It boasts rapid acceleration that’s delivered in near silence, with instant passing power available at any speed and enough thrust to push the driver back into the seat. The car’s superb handling and quick, precise steering help it feel like a sports car.
“The Model 3 has excellent visibility and a stark interior dominated by a floating 15-inch touch screen that governs many controls.”
The Reports’ only criticism of the Tesla Model 3 was the “stiff ride” and “notable wind noise.” But this was said to have been more than made up for by the car’s eco-status and generous driving range.
The Model 3 has also become the best-selling electric car in Europe in the very year it first went on sale there.
The European market, as we noted on Wednesday has experienced a surge in interest in electric car sales bringing EV registrations to 8.1%, bringing the number of electrified vehicles in Europe (including battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid) to 1.28 million – a 35% increase from 2018.
For pure electric vehicles, which now make up 28% of all electrified vehicle registrations in Europe, it would appear that this largely due to the ground-breaking Tesla Model 3.
European auto market analysis form JATO reports that 94,495 Model 3s were sold in Europe in 2019.
That is a quarter of all battery electric vehicles sold in 2019, and more than twice as many as its next nearest competitor, the Renault Zoe, of which 45,682 were sold.
South Korean carmaker Kia sold 57,469 Niros in its various electric drivetrain forms, while BMW sold 32,451 i3s and Nissan sold 32,443 Leafs.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said in the report that the results are especially surprising since the Model 3 is a sedan, which is not the most sough-after segment in Europe.
“There is no doubt that the Model 3 disrupted the European market by becoming the top-selling electric car and outselling other key premium models,” said Munoz.
But Munoz believes the Tesla Model 3’s success could be challenged once all-electric SUVs hit the market.
“We have to consider that it is a sedan, which is not necessarily the body-type that consumers are looking for,” he said.
“Its success will only be fairly measured when the electric SUVs hit the market, and consumers have more choice.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.