AutoTrader recently announced that Tesla’s Model 3 is its pick for the New Car of the Year for 2020. Its “New Car Awards” is an awards ceremony that heaps praise on car manufacturers for excellence in products released throughout the year. This award is a bit different from others because AutoTrader asks customers for their feedback, rather than a group of experts on particular brands or leaders of the industry.
— AutoTrader (@AutoTrader_UK) July 2, 2020
Some of the things AutoTrader asked about included performance, reliability, space, durability, quality, looks, features, and more. For 2020, Tesla’s Model 3, a 100% electric vehicle of course, was the overall winner. It took 1st place in these categories:
- Ease of parking.
- Demonstrating impressive capabilities.
Yes, it took 1st place in all of those categories. Incidentally, the Model 3 is now the 9th best selling passenger vehicle in the UK, with every other vehicle on that list having a considerably lower entry price.
AutoTrader UK noted the significance of an EV taking the top prize. It shows just how valuable Tesla has made the EV in the mainstream.
“It’s a measure of how fast electric vehicles are going mainstream that this overall prize goes to a brand that builds nothing but EVs, and has been at the forefront of driving acceptance for them while also building the infrastructure to make them viable. A tech company as much as it is a car manufacturer, Tesla has shown huge ambition, this prize confirming it’s got the broader talent to show more established manufacturers how it should be done.”
One owner told AutoTrader UK that it felt like “driving the future,” while others spoke of it instant acceleration, how easy it was to drive, and the value of over-the-air software updates.
Autotrader UK’s Rory Reid shared in the video that Tesla is well known for being bold when it comes to the design of its vehicles. Tesla was the first to install a 17-inch screen in the car, it took away the grills because they weren’t needed, and it installed a frunk, which is an intelligent use of space under the front hood of the car that provides for both storage space and a nice crumple zone to improve safety significantly.
Reid explained that the interior of the car is very simplistic and not fussy. He compared it to the first iPhone. “More importantly, the way you interact with the car is wildly different than anything else. Everything is done on a big screen — there are no physical buttons. What this reminds me of is when the iPhone first came out.”
Reid compared it to the iPhone because all other phones had physical buttons. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, it was just one big touchscreen display and everyone thought he was crazy. “Fast forward 15 years, every phone looks like an iPhone. Look at the screen in the Mustang Mach-E. Look at the screens in the new Mercs. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Another thing that Reid explained about the award is that if it’s going to win Car of the Year, it has to make you want to spend time with it. He asked, “If you’ve got four cars in your driveway, which is the one that you’re gonna pick most often?” For Reid, having been in that situation, it was the Model 3 due to how entertaining the vehicle is. In fact, this is one of the many things Elon Musk focused on with Tesla.
In 2019, Elon Musk made an appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and told Todd Howard and Geoff Keighley that he was expanding entertainment options in Tesla vehicles. “What can we do to make the car the most fun possible?” he mused.
The Tesla Model 3 has taken over the world and it’s easy to see why. It has high safety ratings, high customer satisfaction, and is affordable. The best thing about it, though, is that it doesn’t emit greenhouse gas emissions when you use it. It’s clear to see why the Model 3 won AutoTrader’s New Car Award for 2020. For 2021, I predict we will be talking about the Model Y winning the award.