The new Tesla Model 3 was unveiled on Friday September 1st. And the journalists’ first essays have just been published this Saturday, September 2. Here’s what to remember from these first impressions of the new electric car from Elon Musk’s company.
The new Tesla Model 3 was revealed by surprise this Friday, September 1, 2023. But only in China and Europe. In the United States, you still have to make do with the previous version until the Fremont factory has been upgraded. The first examples of the new restyled Tesla Model 3 (Highland project) left the production lines in Shanghai a few weeks ago. These are the examples that were shown to part of the auto press (around twenty journalists).
And these are also the examples that were able to be tested, on the open road, in Norway, by a few hand-picked media. For France, these are our colleagues fromClean Automotive who had the chance to drive the car, as well as the influencer Jojol. And since they don’t do things by halves, they of course each shot their own video of their experience.
But they are not the only ones to have the chance to get behind the wheel of the new Tesla Model 3. We can also cite, internationally, Auto Car, What Car or Auto Top and Because Wow
If you don’t have the time (or the desire) to go through all these first tests, rest assured, we’ve done it for you. Here are the positives and negatives that stand out. Keep in mind that this is an initial introduction lasting a few tens of minutes, and not a complete test.
The positive points of the new Tesla Model 3
All testers agree on one point: the new Tesla Model 3 is much quieter than the old one. And you can hear it in the videos, since some journalists tried the old Model 3 in the same conditions, and the difference is obvious. Clean Automotive measured a difference of around 3 dB, which translates to noise halved in practice! Be careful though, it seems that we are still not at the level of certain premium cars like the Germans, nor at the level of a BYD Seal.
The other good news is that, as announced by Elon Musk’s company, the restyled version of this electric car is more comfortable ! All this thanks to the new suspensions and new tires which better filter out road irregularities. But this does not, a priori, distort too much the sporty character of the Model 3 with precise and lively steering.
The 15.4-inch central screen, announced as brighter and more responsive, is very popular with various journalists, who describe it as more responsive. Is this the new AMD chip present in the Model S and Model X which allows you to play video games on Steam? Tesla has not yet clarified this information.
Autonomy increases, but only thanks to the more aerodynamic design and new tires. Enough to offer up to 678 km in the Long Autonomy version. This implies a weight that almost does not move (very slightly increasing on Propulsion and decreasing on Long Autonomy), which makes it possible to maintain a dynamic behavior of the car and ultra-efficient braking.
The testers also appreciated the 8-inch screen for the rear passengers. It is thus possible to launch a video (YouTube, Netflix or Twitch) on it while driving. But some would have preferred a screen acting as an instrument cluster for the driver instead. Or at least, a head-up display which would have made it possible to maintain the minimalist design of the driving position.
In the rear seats, the new seats are more comfortablebut do not benefit from the “ventilated seats” option present at the front and pleasant in summer.
The speakers of the Long Autonomy version (17 as well as 2 subwoofers) seem to have won over all the testers, with powerful bass and good audio quality.
The new Tesla Model 3 recovers the controls (turn signals, headlights, forward/reverse and windshield wipers) from the Model S and Model X which hardly convinced us during our tests. These are still tactile buttons with haptic feedback, but testers announce a considerable improvementwith the sensation of dealing with a real physical button that sinks deep.
But this new feature did not allow testers to like this functionality as you will see.
the negative points of there Tesla Model 3
The disappearance of the controls and the integration of the knobs on the steering wheel displeases all testers. These latter prefer classic orders, especially for the indicators. The example that comes up most often is that of the roundabout: difficult to press the right button, the location (and direction) of which varies depending on the inclination of the steering wheel!
The other negative point is the absence (as on the old version) of a screen intended for the driverin the form of an instrument cluster, to more easily see the speed of the vehicle.
This is also what we also criticize in our recently published article “What’s wrong with the new Tesla Model 3”.
These tests did not allow testing of Autopilot and semi-autonomous driving features, which were disabled on these pre-production cars. This is surely why the new front camera integrated into the bumper is not visible in these videos and photos. It should arrive on production versions.
It will then be necessary to check whether the absence of radar and ultrasonic sensor continues to be restrictive for low-speed maneuvers with Tesla Vision. And if Tesla will finally decide to offer a real 360-degree view like the majority of its competitors.
Should you buy the Tesla Model 3?
We will have to wait for the “official” tests in the coming weeks to find out more. But with a price increasing by “only” 1,000 euros in France and a range increasing by more than 10%, the new Tesla Model 3 remains the benchmark in terms of quality/price ratio.
If you were looking for an electric car and the old Tesla Model 3 was in your target market, the new one seems even more recommendable. If you want to know more about the new Tesla Model 3, you can read our article on the 40 new features between the old and new versions.