Real-life review: Driving to Aberystwyth in a Tesla Model 3
Accountant Michelle Williams has just leased a new Tesla Model 3 and taken it from Manchester to Aberyswyth and back, dropping her son off at university. A trip she'll be making countless times. Here's her real-life EV story, in her own words.
It’s probably the perfect journey and one that I have made a few times over the last year since my son started at Aberystwyth University. I live in Manchester, so it is 103 miles, well within the range of standard Tesla 3 but with the added comfort that there is a charger at the university so I can begin my return journey with a full charge.
The journey comprises motorway to Chester, dual carriageways to Oswestry then beautiful country roads skirting the edge of Snowdonia to finish with the beautiful sea views as you approach Cardigan Bay. I have only ever encountered clear roads for most of this journey. This is the perfect chance to put my newly delivered Tesla 3 (a great deal found by comparing prices on Leasing.com, of course) to the test.
I got to sit back, relax and stare out of the glass roof.
The car was delivered with the Covid- friendly contactless delivery, so we were left to figure out the features and controls from watching the videos provided by Tesla. We thought that the journey to take my son back to university was the perfect chance to figure it all out. My husband drove on the outbound journey (I did the return journey) and I sat in the back along with my son’s kitchen equipment. I got to sit back, relax and stare out of the glass roof. On the motorway my husband got banned from using autosteer for a misdemeanour, the Tesla is very strict! My son sat in the front and experimented with the additional Musk fun features such as farting seats and the unfathomable seasonal trick which makes the car play a horrible Christmas song.
This isn’t our first electric car, we have previously made this journey in our Renault Zoe. This required a stop in Oswestry to make use of the charging point in Morrison’s. We made the journey several times and at different times of the day and never saw another car using this super-efficient, reliable charger. A quick coffee and pootle around Morrison’s provided sufficient charge for a comfortable journey to Aberystwyth with no ‘range anxiety’. In the Tesla, this little diversion is not required.
The Tesla is perfect for negotiating the frequent roundabout, there is great pleasure in pulling out of the roundabout with all that acceleration.
The Tesla is phenomenal on the motorway, it is really only held back by the speed limit. It glides along and has an enormous amount of power. The traffic aware cruise control allows you to let the car think the speed. My only issue with this is that, on occasion I am so relaxed letting the car adjust the speed to the car in front, that I end up travelling at 50 mph and not over taking as I usually would. I usually drive quite aggressively and want to arrive as quickly as possible, I’m not sure that this new relaxed driving is such a bad thing. On the dual carriageways of north Wales, the Tesla is perfect for negotiating the frequent roundabout, there is great pleasure in pulling out of the roundabout with all that acceleration.
It doesn’t feel like a big saloon on these roads it feels nippy and the steering is hard and precise.
So onto the windy, hilly country roads across Wales. I wasn’t sure as this is bigger than the cars I would usually opt for. I learnt to drive on country roads in a VW Golf and love throwing a hatchback around the corners. But the Tesla did not disappoint, it doesn’t feel like a big saloon on these roads. It feels nippy and the steering is hard and precise.
The approach to Aberystwyth is stunning. On my first visit just over a year ago I was blown away by the view as you approach the university, which sits on the hillside above Aberystwyth, the town is laid out below you with sea glistening in the background. This view never ceases to fill me with joy. Apparently on the right day you can see dolphins playing in the bay.
This is the perfect car for this drive, we are now fighting over who gets the post lockdown trip to bring him home for Christmas.