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Tesla Model 3 2024 Review

Minor exterior styling changes

Interior updates mainly aimed at providing a more premium feel

Ride quality and refinement improved

Stalks for indicators and gear selector have disappeared

Design & Powertrain

Tesla Model 3 Revamped

 

The 2024 Tesla Model 3 has received some minor exterior updates, most obviously thinner front headlights and new rear lights, and its aerodynamics have also been improved.

More changes are evident in the interior, with higher quality materials, and the cabin becomes even more minimal, thanks to the new Model 3 having no stalk for the indicators and no stalk for the gear selector.

The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range has a 57.5 kWh battery with a 245 bhp electric motor at the rear (the Long Range version has a larger 75 kWh battery and all-wheel drive).

Driving experience

The initial stages of the Model 3 driving experience are unchanged; you don’t need to unlock the car, and you don’t need to start it – to drive off, you just need to get in the car and select a gear. But if you push your hand up at the right-hand side of the steering column to select Drive, you’ll find that the gear selector stalk has disappeared. So how on earth do you change gear? Well, virtually all other car controls are located on the touchscreen, so Tesla has decided to put the gear selector there also. There’s now a vertical strip on the right-hand side of the touchscreen with a car icon. If you push the car graphic up, the car moves forward. If you push the car down, you select reverse.

If you need to indicate, then don’t go looking for a stalk on the left of the steering column, because that’s disappeared too; there are now two arrows on the left-hand steering wheel spoke – press the right arrow to indicate right, and press the left arrow to indicate left.

What about windscreen wipers? There’s also a button for the wipers on the steering wheel spoke – press this and you’ll activate the wipers, and a small window will open at the bottom right-hand corner of the touchscreen to give you more wiper controls. And it’s the same idea with the lights; press the button on the steering wheel spoke for the lights, and options will appear for the lights on the touchscreen.

Tesla Model 3 Revamped
Tesla Model 3 Revamped

So what’s it like to drive a car with no physical gear selector and no stalk for the indicators? Surprisingly, you actually get used to it quicker than you might imagine.

When you’ve figured out the gears and indicators, how does the updated Model 3 drive? Tesla has made improvements to the suspension and the soundproofing, and the result is better ride quality and a quieter, more refined driving experience with less road noise. It’s also fun. The steering wheel is quite small, providing responsive changes of direction, and the entire car feels relatively compact, so the Model 3 feels agile. The rear-wheel drive handling is rewarding, and with a 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds, performance is good, although the all-wheel drive version is faster.

The Model 3 doesn’t have any drive modes, but you can go into the touchscreen and change the accelerator response (Chill or Standard), the steering (Comfort, Standard or Sport) and the level of brake regeneration.

As well as virtually all car controls being on the central touchscreen (including for items such as the adjustment of the steering wheel position and mirrors), all driving information such as speed and satnav direction are also on here – there’s absolutely no information directly in front of the driver. This means that you’re always looking to the central touchscreen for information and for basic car controls, ie. you’re taking your eyes away from the road in front of you.

Rear passengers now have a new 8-inch rear display with integrated climate control and entertainment.

The Model 3 features Tesla’s Autopilot system, which allows the car to drive itself on motorways, as long as you are ultimately in control in the event of any incidents.

Range & Charging

The Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range 2024 Model Year has an official WLTP combined electric range of 344 miles if fitted with standard 18-inch wheels, or 318 miles with the optional 19-inch wheels. You should be able to expect an average of at least 260 miles of real-world range.

The All-Wheel Drive Long Range Model 3 has an official WLTP combined electric range of 421 miles if fitted with standard 18-inch wheels, or 390 miles for the optional 19-inch wheels.

The Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3 can charge at 170 kW DC, and the All-Wheel Drive Model 3 Long Range can ultra-rapid charge at 250 kW. Up to 175 miles of range can be added in just 15 minutes.

Aside from the car itself, driving a Tesla has one huge benefit – you’ve got access to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network. While many non-Tesla EV drivers have been struggling to find available rapid and ultra-rapid chargers over recent years, Tesla drivers have been able to turn up at Superchargers, find lots of availability in the vast majority of cases, plug in, and start charging automatically at a reliable, ultra-rapid rate without any hassle with payments. Tesla’s Supercharger network makes a huge difference to the EV ownership experience if you regularly drive long distances around the UK.

New to EVs? Elevate your charging know-how by taking a look at our charging guides: How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle? and How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Price & Model range

Prices for the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range start at £39,990. The Model 3 Long Range, with a faster 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds, costs from £49,990.

  • Rear-wheel drive

  • Autopilot

  • 18-inch wheels

  • 15.4-inch central touchscreen

  • 8-inch rear display with integrated climate control and entertainment

  • Tesla-designed premium audio system

  • Ambient lighting

Conclusion

The sales figures speak for themselves: over two million Model 3s have been sold in the last six years. So people seem to like the Model 3. Its key selling points include good performance, impressive driving range and access to the Tesla Supercharger network, all for a price that offers reasonable value. Although the Model 3 is a traditional saloon rather than a hatchback, it offers lots of boot space for its size. The updates for 2024 have resulted in the Model 3 feeling more premium, thanks to improved ride quality, a quieter and more refined driving experience, and a higher quality interior. The removal of stalks for the gear selector and the indicators may not be to everyone’s liking, but you actually learn to live with these changes relatively quickly. But all the car controls and driving information being located on the central touchscreen means that you’re constantly having to take your eyes away from the road to change basic settings and even see your speed and satnav directions; cars from other manufacturers with key information on the driver’s instrument display and a head-up display offer a better solution.

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