The new Tesla Model 3 (Highland project) is full of advantages over the old one. However, it also comes with its share of drawbacks, as we will see in this article.
The new Tesla Model 3 that sneaked out this very morning of September 1, 2023 has a lot of positives over the old one. The defects of youth (of a car released 6 years ago) can be corrected, but as usual with the firm of Elon Musk, new negative points have just appeared.
Negatives that you don’t always notice immediately
Goodbye switches, hello problems?
The first negative point that jumps out at the new Tesla Model 3 is certainly behind the wheel. As you may have noticed, the conveniences have disappeared. This means two things: for the passage in forward or reverse gear, it will be necessary to make an action on the screen, and on the other hand to engage the indicators, it will be necessary to touch a capacitive button located on the steering wheel.
The first action, that of shifting into forward or reverse gear, is not to be done frequently in the car. Apart from during parking maneuvers, where you will have to get into the habit of sliding your finger up and down the main screen of the vehicle, this should not be a problem. For turn signals, it’s another story.
Indeed, in a country like ours where roundabouts are relatively frequent, you will have to adopt new reflexes to be able to touch the button corresponding to a turn signal at the right time when exiting the roundabout. A point that we had discussed at length in our tests of the new Tesla Model S and Model X, which were the first to be victims of the disappearance of these switches.
Usually, the place you have to touch to trigger a turn signal never moves. This means that regardless of the position of the steering wheel, your left hand will always operate the stalk up or down in the same place. With the new Tesla Model 3, if the steering wheel is not perfectly straight, you will have to think about looking where the button reserved for the turn signal is to be able to activate it.
It’s an extra headache for future Tesla Model 3 owners and we’ll be sure to let you know what we think of it when we’ve been able to take it in hand.
A rising price
The second negative point of this new Tesla Model 3 and of course its price. A slight increase of 1,000 euros (Model 3 Propulsion at 42,990 euros and Model 3 Grande Autonomie at 50,990 euros) was observed overnight, when the online configurator was updated. If this does not represent about 2% increase depending on the vehicle configurations, we cannot fail to point the finger at the latter.
A longer and lower car
The third negative point concerns the dimensions. The ground clearance of the old Tesla Model 3 was already not known to be very large. People who have owned and experienced some underground car parks know it well: it sometimes happened to rub under the vehicle.
With this new Tesla Model 3 with still reduced ground clearance, it is to be expected that some speed bumps will be taken extremely slowly so as not to rub. The same goes for the breaks in the slopes of underground car parks where you will have to cross your fingers not to damage the underside of the chassis.
What’s more, this new Tesla Model 3 is 3 centimeters longer (4.72 meters against 4.69 meters), which implies that it will be even more complicated to park than the old one.
Still no HD radar
We can regret that Tesla does not backtrack in its “all-camera” race. The first Tesla Model 3 had a radar, and the most recent did not. For a few months, a rumor concerning a high definition radar came up frequently. Unfortunately, it’s not for this time.
This implies in fact, a maximum speed in Autopilot limited to 140 km / h (against 150 km / h previously) and a higher following distance with the previous car. But Tesla had promised that the driving aids (adaptive cruise control and lane keeping) would also be effective without radars, after a while.
With the new Tesla Model 3, we still have the right to a new front camera, inserted in the front bumper, to (perhaps) benefit from a 360° view and a Park functionality Assist more useful.
No sponsorship for the new Model 3
Finally, we can point to Tesla’s latest pettiness, which activates and deactivates the famous sponsorship program according to its needs, and which discreetly altered it overnight.
Indeed, for Tesla Model 3 orders, it is no longer possible to benefit from a referral reward, neither for the sponsor nor for the godson. Only Tesla Model Y, Model S and Model X orders are currently eligible for rewards.
All about the new restyled Tesla Model 3 (Highland)
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