Tesla Model 3 Performance Should Be More Like Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, Reviewer Says

By automotive-mag.com 4 Min Read

Mat Watson, the host of the CarWow YouTube channel, recently reviewed the redesigned Tesla Model 3 Performance. He liked the car a lot, calling out its “great value.” But he just wishes it was a bit more like a Hyundai. 

If that request sounds a little off, allow me to explain. 

The Tesla Model 3 sedan received a long-awaited refresh last year that brought revised styling in front and rear, plus a revamped interior. The sportier model, the Model 3 Performance, got updates of its own. Those include new chassis components, adaptive dampers, juiced-up drive units and new software to tie it all together. 

Watson sang the car’s praises in his recent video. “Crazy acceleration,” he said, brought the Model 3 Performance from a standstill to 60 mph in three seconds flat in his tests. Before the advent of electrification, that kind of face-melting quickness was reserved for the Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world. The Tesla is fun to drive and carves corners with confidence, he said. 

“It feels very, very composed. The steering is sharp and responsive,” Watson said. 

All told, Watson said the Model 3 Performance is both a thrilling sports sedan and a comfortable daily driver. (Thank the adaptive dampers for that last bit.)

But one thing could make the Model 3 Performance even more exciting, he reckons: the simulated gear shifting out of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. 

The high-performance variant of Hyundai’s small electric SUV offers up steering wheel-mounted paddles and the ability to “shift gears.” Of course, like nearly all EVs, the Ioniq 5 (including the N variant) has a single-speed transmission. So the sensation of ticking up through an eight-speed gearbox and the complementary whine of a revving engine are both just for fun. 

“I wish this had that feature as well, because that really does add to the engagement,” Watson said. 

Tesla Model 3 Performance 2024, the interiors

Tesla Model 3 Performance’s new interior

A few months ago, I would’ve said Watson’s take is a controversial one. When Hyundai announced that its upcoming hot hatch would blast synthetic engine rumbles and mimic the feeling of gear shifts, it sounded weird and, frankly, stupid to many people.

But, as it turns out, car enthusiasts really like it. InsideEVs Editor-In-Chief Patrick George dubbed the Ioniq 5 N a “professional ass-kicker” in his recent review, in part due to the replicated gearbox. These are words he does not use lightly.

Ultimately, Watson recommended shoppers shortlist the Model 3 Performance. His highest praise is a “buy” rating, followed by “shortlist,” “consider” and “avoid.”

He said if he was to buy a Model 3, he’d probably just get the Long Range version, which is still very quick, offers longer range (duh) and is considerably cheaper than its Performance sibling. Meanwhile, he said a BMW M2 is a better driver’s car. 

Let us know what you think in the comments. Are fake gear shifters the wave of the future? Or just a gimmick that’s destined for the scrapyard. 

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