Tesla Model 3 facelift brings huge new upgrades
Facelifted version of Elon Musk’s Hyundai Ioniq 6 rival gets a 421-mile range and two new screens
The Tesla Model 3 has long lived in the shadow of its larger and newer sibling, the Model Y SUV. However, things may be about to change as Elon Musk’s EV brand has announced an updated version of its mainstream saloon model which brings big upgrades including two new screens, a refreshed exterior design and – perhaps more importantly – even more range.
Let’s kick off with that last upgrade as the Tesla Model 3 was already one of the most competitive cars in its class in this regard and now, thanks to a more aerodynamic exterior, its range has been increased even further.
A sleek new front-end look now means entry-level Rear-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3 are 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 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. Interestingly, Tesla remains tight-lipped regarding the range-topping Model 3 Performance, putting that model’s future into doubt in the UK.
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.
Pricing for the new Tesla Model 3 is yet to be announced, but given the mountain of extra features on offer, you can expect a small uplift over the old car’s £42,990 starting price. Tesla is yet to mention whether any of these changes will be coming to the larger Model Y, but we don’t expect to hear anything before the facelifted Model 3 goes on sale in the UK in 2024.
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