The Tesla Model 3 has long been one of the best electric cars out there, especially for drivers who want a high-quality car without paying a ton of cash. The Model 3 boasts a great range, along with awesome tech features and minimalistic design, all of which have helped make it a top-selling electric car.
But to date, it hasn’t evolved much. The car has been around for six years now, with thefirst deliveries of the original Model 3 coming in late 2017. But now it’s getting a face-lift. The updated car, code-named Highland, has been announced, and it offers a range of upgrades over the current-generation Tesla Model 3.
Here’s everything you need to know about Tesla’s big Model 3 refresh.
The changes to the Tesla Model 3 start with the exterior design. Tesla isn’t completely reinventing the car, but it has made some changes to the outside that make it sleeker and more stylish.
At the front of the car, Tesla has removed the bulbous lumps where the headlights previously lived. Not only does this help make the car look sleeker, but it also happens to help improve aerodynamics. The new headlights are also narrower and slimmer, and they look a little more aggressive, which is nice.
On the back of the car, the design changes are a little less impactful. The only real change is the swap from the old Tesla “T” logo to the full “TESLA” logo, which spans the width of of the back of the car. It’s a better look.
Tesla hasn’t yet announced pricing for the North American model of the Model 3, however, it’s expected that the price of the Model 3 will remain more or less the same, at least for the base model. That’s because Tesla has already put the refreshed Model 3 up for preorder in parts of Europe, where the Standard Range model is the same price, while the Long Range model is a little more expensive. We’ll have to wait and see if Tesla does something similar for North American sales.
The Model 3 Highland is already available for preorder in some parts of Europe, and deliveries are set to begin in October 2023. Tesla has not yet announced when the updated car will be available in North America — however it’s largely expected that it’ll be some time in early 2024. We’ll have to wait and see, though.
The Tesla Model 3 Highland will come in a few different models, just like previous iterations of the Model 3. The car will be available in a Standard Range and a Long Range model. The Standard Range model will likely only be available in a rear-wheel drive configuration, with the Long Range model upgrading the car to all-wheel drive.
When it comes to colors, they will likely be similar too. Tesla has been showing off a new red color, however, called Ultra Red. It will replace the current red option.
One of the best things about the design changes to the Model 3 is the fact that it’s more aerodynamic, and that means longer range. Using Europe’s Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, the Standard Range model is rated to offer 344 miles, with the Long Range model getting an impressive 421 miles. These ratings were about 12% higher than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings in the previous model, so if they vary by the same amount this time around, the Standard Range will still hit EPA numbers around 300 miles, and the Long Range will come in around 370 miles or so. The last-gen Model 3 hit 272 miles and 333 miles, respectively. That’s a pretty impressive upgrade.
The Model 3’s charging speed will remain the same as the previous-generation, at 250 kilowatts. The lack of an upgrade here isn’t a huge deal — 250kW is already pretty quick.
There are even some extra tech features on offer from the Tesla Model 3 Highland. Perhaps most notable is the fact that the Tesla Model 3 Highland offers a new screen in the back for passengers. This allows passengers to access their own controls and infotainment, without the need for aftermarket accessories.
There’s also new accent lighting throughout the interior. And Tesla has converted the turn signal stalk to buttons on the steering wheel. This is a change that’s sure to be controversial, but that’s Tesla for you.
Unconventional turn-signal placement aside, all the changes to the Tesla Model 3 will be helpful. The Model 3 was already a relatively long-range car, so improvements there truly cement its place as the go-to option for buyers who prioritize the highest mileage at the lowest price. While we don’t yet know exactly when the car will be available in North America, hopefully it’ll be relatively soon.
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