Facelifted Tesla Model 3 has more range and tech… but is also cheaper than before
Starting from under £40,000, the updated version of Elon Musk’s Hyundai Ioniq 6 rival gets a 421-mile range and two new screens
The facelifted Tesla Model 3 has just gone on sale in the UK, with prices starting from under £40,000 – roughly £3,000 less than the old car. Updated versions of Elon Musk’s Hyundai Ioniq 6 rival boast big upgrades including two new screens, a refreshed exterior design and – perhaps more importantly – even more range.
There are now two versions of the Model 3 to choose from: the RWD and the Long Range. Interestingly, the range-topping Model 3 Performance remains questionably absent from the line-up, putting that variant’s future into doubt in the UK.
The Tesla Model 3 Rear-wheel drive starts from £39,990 and, thanks to a new aerodynamic exterior design and a host of efficiency improvements, is capable of up to 319 miles on a single charge. However, if you choose to specify smaller 18-inch alloy wheels, Tesla says the base Model 3 will do up to 344 miles on a charge – almost 40 miles more than the outgoing car.
Perhaps more impressive is the new Tesla Model 3 Long Range model as, starting from £49,990, this is now capable of up to 391 miles on a charge or, if you choose the smaller set of wheels, a Tesla Model S-beating 421 miles. As before, all versions of the Tesla Model 3 get full access to the superb Supercharger network; the latest V4 chargers will add 175 miles of range in as little as 15 minutes.
Rear-wheel drive Model 3s get a single electric motor which Tesla says will propel the car from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds; an additional electric motor on the front axle adds four-wheel-drive for the Long Range model, boosting power and slashing the 62mph sprint to 4.2 seconds.
More big changes have occurred on the inside as the new Model 3 gets a larger front touchscreen. While the overall footprint has changed over the old 15-inch display, the new 15.4-inch touchscreen has a slimmer bezel and is now paired up with a new sound system featuring up to 17 speakers.
Those in the back seats no longer have to be envious of those in the front as they, like in the larger Model S and X, now get their own touchscreen. The new eight-inch display is mounted on the rear of the centre console and allows rear passengers to change the climate control settings, stream video content and even play games.
Other interior tweaks include a new steering wheel with a stalkless gear selector – the car will automatically select the correct gear, which can be overridden via the touchscreen. The redesigned centre console now allows for two mobile phones to make use of the wireless charging pad, plus you can now configure the ambient lighting to a colour of your choice, perhaps even to match one of the two new exterior paint options: Ultra Red and Stealth Grey.
The new Tesla Model 3 should now be more comfortable than ever to travel in, thanks to ventilated front seats and new acoustic glass designed to keep out unwanted road noise. Facelifted cars also now benefit from increased side-impact protection – impressive given how the Model 3 is already one of the safest cars you can buy, according to Euro NCAP crash tests.
Tesla has yet to mention whether any of these changes will be coming to the larger Model Y, but we don’t expect to hear before first deliveries of the facelifted Model 3 arrive in January 2024.
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