New Tesla Model 3: Should you give in if you have the old version? Here is our opinion

Sep 11,2023

With the arrival of the new Tesla Model 3, some owners of the electric sedan may want a change. Do you have to sell your current Model 3 to get the new one? This is what we are going to see together.

Between a real revolution and a simple evolution, the new Tesla Model 3 is very tempting for many owners of the first electric sedans from Elon Musk's company. As is often the case with the release of a new product, we must distinguish between the simple excitement of the new product and the real advances offered by the hardware update.

We are therefore going to take a look at the valid reasons that there may be to fall for the improved Tesla Model 3 (Highland project) if you already own a Model 3.

A real improvement in certain areas

The new Tesla Model 3 has many new features that its predecessor does not have. If the 2021 version had already brought its share of improvements, this late 2023 version offers even more. At first glance, we can try to reassure ourselves if we are the owner of a current Model 3, but it is clear that the new one has serious arguments in its favor.

There was a lot of missing equipment that we expected more from Tesla, as we have already recalled in this dedicated file. The new Model 3 corrects certain black spots, starting with the arrival of ventilated seats at the front.

Particularly on the black interior, the seat upholstery can get very hot in summer. To avoid burning your skin or simply to improve comfort, seat ventilation is a major asset. Still on the interior, where the Tesla Model 3 from 2019 and 2020 had adjustments and materials that were not the best, the 2023 version is much better made.

More quality materials are used throughout the passenger compartment, and practicality is also there. The layout of the central console has, for example, been modified, to hide the cup holders on request and reveal deep storage. Note also the drastic improvement in the isolation of rolling and external noise, which was again a downside of the first models.

Finally, if you frequently transport passengers in the back, the screen at the center console could be a big advantage for consuming media or adjusting the ventilation, compared to the old model.

More autonomy and lower consumption

The real sinews of the electric car war, we can only salute the feat that Tesla is achieving with this new Model 3, which gains another 12% in autonomy compared to the previous one. We do not currently have the exact details of the batteries located under the floor, however we do know the ranges: 678 kilometers WLTP for the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie on 18-inch rims, and 554 kilometers for the Propulsion version.

For comparison, a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie had a WLTP range of 560 kilometers. This is therefore a leap forward of 21% in just four years. These improvements will allow the new Tesla Model 3 to undoubtedly become the queen of road trips, in particular thanks to the integration of Tesla Superchargers in the onboard planner.

A design that clearly marks a change

Since 2017, apart from the change from chrome to black for the door contours and handles, the Tesla Model 3 has been unchanged. Therefore, seeing redesigned headlights at the front and rear, as well as some differences in the logo applied to the rear trunk is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Tastes and colors depend on everyone, however, we cannot deny that the manufacturer wants to mark a break between the old and the new model. So much so that the Tesla Model Y could seem neglected for the moment since it retains its old design until further notice.

What's more, if the colors offered by Tesla are not out of the ordinary for the moment, the two new shades (Ultra Red and Stealth Gray) make it possible to stand out from the many Tesla Model 3s that we know. If we add to this the revised interior design as well as the ambient lighting which seems to please the first testers, it is a winning combo that becomes almost irresistible.

A Tesla Model 3 does not only have advantages

We have already explained in a little more detail what is wrong with this new Model 3, and this may put off potential buyers. In this case, is it intended for people who already have an older generation Model 3, or rather for newbies to Elon Musk's brand?

For example, will people who have been used to using their Model 3 for several years easily do without switches for the turn signals, ultrasonic sensors and radar at the front of the vehicle? Is it worth it, or are they just regressions that become more and more difficult to accept?

Only time will allow us to see if this new version of the electric sedan is enough to restore its appeal compared to the Tesla Model Y, which seems to have conquered most markets since it was the best-selling car in the first semester of 2023.

In addition, customers looking for performance will have to be patient, since the Tesla Model 3 Performance has currently disappeared from the catalog. As is often the case with Tesla, we are still at a stage where there are many unanswered questions, at the dawn of the first deliveries. Unfortunately for current Tesla Model 3 owners, it's a safe bet that the second-hand market will quickly collapse, especially if many of them take the plunge towards the restyled version.

However, with the end of the quarters - and even more so the end of the year - we must keep our eyes open: if Tesla wishes to exceed its sales objectives, some good deals could show up. In such cases, upgrading from an old Tesla Model 3 to a new one can be a great financial move. Especially since it is possible that the famous new front camera will appear in some time.

For the moment, it therefore seems urgent to wait with regard to this Tesla Model 3 which still leaves many questions awaiting answers.