I've driven every Tesla model you can buy. These are my absolute favourite features.

Matthew DeBord/BIMe and a Tesla Model 3.
  • Over the years, I’ve driven every car Tesla has ever produced.
  • They have all been good, but features of individual models have stood out.
  • Here’s a rundown of what I love about the Tesla original Roadster, the Model S and the Model X, and the Model 3. Plus a little something extra …

I wrote my first words about Tesla in January 2008. In the ten years since, the company has gone from selling one car to selling three, and from delivering a few thousand vehicles the early 2010s to 250,000 in 2018.

As it turns out, I’ve driven every model the company has ever sold, starting with the now-discontinued original Roadster to the highest-spec version of the new Model 3 sedan.

Read more: Tesla’s $US2,000 price cut doesn’t mean it has a demand problem.

Each of the vehicles has its particular charms, quirks, and appealing features. I found myself reflecting on them at the beginning of 2019 as we look forward to some new machines from Elon Musk’s plucky automaker: the Model Y SUV, a new Roadster, and perhaps even a pickup truck. Tesla is also juking pricing on its Model S and Model X vehicles, dropping vehicles with smaller, cheaper battery packs and going all-in with a 100-kilowatt-hour design that can be range-curtailed by software if you choose lower-cost options.

Here are all my favourite features on all the Teslas I’ve driven:


1. Original Roadster. The first Tesla to hit the road, this straightforward electric sports car captured hearts and changed minds — an EV didn’t have to be a glorified golf cart! Now discontinued, the original Roadster can still be picked up used.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Read the review »


It’s still my favourite Tesla, although the Model 3 has me rethinking that position. I love its open-air style.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

But what I truly adore is the simple joy of driving it. The speed is electric lightning: 0-to-60 mph in under four seconds. And the feedback-heavy steering is point-and-shoot. Driving this car of the future is surprisingly old-school.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

2. Model S. Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year! I’ve driven various trim levels, including a P90D that I took on an ill-fated but instructive road trip.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Read about the adventure »


The Model S is luxurious and speedy, as well as a pleasure on long highway cruises. But where it really shines is its versatility: it can carry as much cargo as a good-sized SUV, thanks to a rear hatch and a front trunk, or “frunk.”

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The Model S also serves up superb range — and it did so well before the competition.

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3. Model X. Tesla threw every idea, good and bad, it could into its expensive SUV.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The dramatic falcon-wing doors sounded goofy when I first heard about them, but in the flesh, they’re sci-fi cool.

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But the best feature about the Model X? Honestly, it was how much my dog loved the vehicle!

Matthew DeBord/BI

Read about another adventure, this time with a dog »


4. Model 3. Tesla’s newest and most important set of wheels debuted in 2017. I didn’t truly get my hands on it until 2018, however.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Read the review »


The interior is the grabber. It’s a study in elegant minimalism. Almost all vehicle functions are accessed via the central touchscreen.

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The Model 3 was sheer joy for me. The perfect Tesla, crammed with great ideas. My eight-year-old certainly enjoyed it.

Matthew DeBord/BI

5. Model 3 Performance. At almost $US80,000, the P3D — high-performance, dual-motor, all-wheel-drive — is the Model 3 turned up to 11.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Read the first-drive take »


But what really got me was the white interior. I first experienced it on the Model X, but in the more compact confines of the Model 3, it was stunning.

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I know I said the Roadster is my favourite Tesla of all time. But the Model 3 Performance is probably my new darling. Electric bliss on four wheels!

Matthew DeBord/BI

EXTRA! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tesla’s Supercharger network as something I’m fond of. It’s widespread in the US, making road trips much easier.

Matthew DeBord/BI

My dog doesn’t understand electrical engineering, but I do. Tesla Superchargers can re-juice your ride at 135 kilowatts, much faster than 220-volt level 2 home chargers. Superchargers use direct current to get the job done.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The company has installed Superchargers along major highway routes, but also in dense urban areas.

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