2021 was a record year for new car sales in New Zealand, smashing the previous record set in 2018 and two cars in the GO Rentals fleet also recorded their highest ever years in terms of sales: the Ford Ranger and the Tesla Model 3.
Whilst the Ford Ranger remains New Zealand’s most popular vehicle, topping the annuals sales chart once again, Tesla’s record-breaking year saw 3,271 Model 3s purchased in 2021, placing them ninth on the list of best-selling cars in New Zealand in 2021 and fifth for passenger sales – the first EV to break the top ten.
With wider availability and incentive from the Clean Car Discount scheme, 2021 was a great year for EV sales and we were proud to contribute to that record-breaking year, adding ten Tesla Model 3s to our fleet. The Model 3 is the first full-electric vehicle in the GO fleet, and it has already proven to be an extremely popular option amongst our customers.
Whether it’s people trying a Tesla Model 3 before they buy, or simply wanting to enjoy the superb driving experience, reservations for the Model 3 have been pretty manic since the rollout in May. With Model 3s available at all six branches throughout the country, we have made the Model 3 a very accessible option for people looking for both a greener rental car experience as well as a fantastic car to drive during their time exploring New Zealand.
One of the reasons Model 3s are so popular is the fact that they are jam-packed with features that not only make them a pleasure to drive, but that also makes them one of the safest cars, not only in our fleet but on the roads of New Zealand.
These are some of the features that make the Tesla Model 3 such an awesome car to drive:
Let’s kick things off with safety as this is one of the areas where the Model 3 really excels. In the ANCAP safety tests, the Model 3 scored 96% for adult occupant safety, 87% for child occupant safety, 75$ for vulnerable road user protection and 94% for safety assist. These scores contributed to the Model 3 being awarded an overall five-star rating – the highest rating awarded by ANCAP.
The Model 3 is built from the ground up as an electric vehicle and is constructed from a material mix of aluminium and steel to help to achieve the best structural rigidity and increase overall occupant safety.
Whilst the construction of the car is designed to protect from collisions and prevent the risk of a rollover, the in-car safety features also help to keep passengers safe. The Model 3 has rear, side and forward-facing cameras that provide maximum visibility, and 12 ultrasonic sensors detect nearby cars, prevents potential collisions, and assist with parking.
The Model 3 has been designed and built with the driver at the heart of everything. The Tesla Model 3 features some pretty amazing technology and it all starts before you even enter the car. Through their app, you can use your smartphone as a key, making it more difficult to lose your keys as, let’s face it, most of us have our phones will us at all times.
Once inside, the 15” touchscreen display acts like a tablet and is your access to everything relating to your vehicle. The large screen makes all the information extremely accessible, from personalising the cabin settings to picking the best route to listening to your favourite tracks – everything is done at the touch of a button.
You can also make adjustments to the driving position from the touchscreen, including the steering wheel as well as moving the mirrors.
As you might expect, everything can be accessed via voice control as well which adds to the safety features of the car, allowing you to focus on driving.
When it comes to entertainment, you can connect your favourite streaming services up to the display including YouTube and Netflix, however, these can only be used when the car is not in drive mode. Pretty good when you are stuck waiting to pick up the kids or even when you are waiting for the car to charge.
Connected to the entertainment system is a premium audio system that features 14 speakers including a subwoofer and dual amplifiers that Tesla claim, “for interior sound dynamics comparable to a recording studio.”
As you might imagine, the Tesla Model 3 comes with a number of features to improve the overall driving experience. We’ve already touched on some of these as safety features – lane detection and collision detection ensure you are aware of what is going on around you at all times – but the driving features go beyond just safety.
Cruise control is a feature of most modern cars and the Model 3 is no exception. The Model 3 is equipped with adaptive cruise control that allows you to set the ideal distance from the car in front and the cruise control will accelerate and decelerate in order to maintain that safe distance.
Taking things one step further, autopilot is a function of the Model 3 that takes cruise control to the next level. As well as using cameras to control the distance from vehicles in front, using autopilot mode can also change lanes without the need to touch the steering wheel by simply activating the indicator. Side cameras will ensure it is safe to switch lanes and the car will move automatically from one lane to another.
Elon Musk is well known for hiding Easter eggs in his car models and the Model 3 is no exception. Earlier Tesla models have featured Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road and Atari video games and the Model 3 has some eggs of its own including a flashing rainbow charge port, Santa Mode easter egg which will turn your on-screen Tesla into Santa and his sleigh, Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy mode which will update the name of your vehicle and emissions testing toilet mode which allows you to choose various fart noises that will sound from selected seats in the car. Learn more about Tesla Easter Eggs.
Whilst most of the Easter Eggs are fun, some of the Easter Egg features are very cool including Sentry Mode and Smart Summon.
Sentry Mode is a security feature installed in Tesla Model 3s that records any threats to the car, particularly guarding against theft or break-ins. Sentry Mode, depicted by the eye of a sentient sentry turret from Valve’s video game, Portal, can be toggled on or off using voice commands.
Smart Summon is designed to allow you to move Model 3 to your location (using your phone’s GPS as a target destination) or to a location of your choice, manoeuvring around and stopping for objects as necessary. Smart Summon works with the Tesla mobile app when your phone is located within approximately 65 metres of Model 3.
The Tesla Model 3 is a car packed full of features and we love hearing from our customers that have driven one for the first time or simply keep coming back for the superb driving experience.
If you have always wanted to drive a Tesla but never had the chance, there has never been a better time. With Model 3s available from our Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin branches, no matter where you are travelling this year, you will never be too far from one of our branches and the opportunity to rent a Tesla Model 3.
If you are wondering about the Tesla Model 3 driving experience, make sure you check out our recent blog and find out why it has quickly become one of our most popular rental cars.
Of course, renting a Tesla Model 3 goes beyond just the driving experience. There are many environmental benefits of switching to an EV and even if you decide not to go with the Tesla, we have made it possible to offset your rental car experience with GO. Make sure you check out our recent post about the benefits to the environment of driving (and renting) and EV.