Tesla Model 3 bids for ‘king of the EVs’ crown as new facelift hits the UK
Tesla’s updated Model 3 is priced from £39,990 and gets up to 421 miles of range
The Tesla Model 3 is not just one of the most popular electric cars, it’s one of the most popular cars of any kind in the UK. In 2022 and so far in 2023 it’s playing second fiddle to the newer Model Y SUV in sales, but Tesla has given the Model 3 a boost by launching the new facelifted version.
Revealed at the 2023 Munich Motor Show, the new Model 3 is on sale now in entry-level Rear-Wheel Drive form at £39,990 or range-topping Long Range at £49,990.
Both versions look identical from the outside and the exterior changes brought by the new facelift are quite subtle compared to the original Model 3, with Tesla stating that the car stays “true to its sleek, uncluttered design aesthetic”. There are thinner headlights and a reshaped bumper up front which helps reduce the drag coefficient to 0.219 - the lowest of any Tesla to date. To the rear, we can see new C-shaped lights, ‘Tesla’ badging across the bootlid, a faux rear diffuser and a new bumper.
There’s also a new selection of aerodynamically-optimised wheels. The 18-inch ‘Photon’ wheels are standard across the two trim levels and the 19-inch ‘Nova’ wheels command a £1,500 premium. Two new exterior paint finishes have also been added - Ultra Red and Stealth Grey, both costing £2,000.
Tesla hasn’t announced any changes to the battery for either model. Despite this, both Model 3 versions feature improvements to range. The Rear-Wheel Drive now gets a claimed 344 miles (down to 318 miles with the larger wheels), which is up from 305 miles. The Model 3 Long Range offers 421 miles (down to 390 miles with the larger wheels), which is up from 374 miles in the pre-facelift models. The 0-60mph time remains the same for both with the Rear-Wheel Drive taking 5.8 seconds and the Long Range taking 4.2 seconds. We expect a faster ‘Performance’ variant to return to the range with supercar-baiting pace and a 0-60mph time of around three seconds.
Tesla says the interior has been ‘fully redesigned’ although it looks similar to the minimalist cabin of the outgoing model. The front and rear seats are now ventilated and heated as standard, there’s a new steering wheel with indicator buttons rather than stalks, plus there’s new ambient lighting on the dash.
The huge 15.4-inch central touchscreen has more usable space due to a thinner surround. A rear passenger can make use of a new eight-inch display for climate control and entertainment. Both screens are able to make use of over-the-air infotainment updates.
Tesla claims the Model 3 should come with significantly reduced road noise. Part of this is down to ‘elevated levels of execution’ according to the US brand, but also there’s acoustic glass all around, improved suspension bushings, seals and extra sound deadening.
Now check out the latest info on the Tesla Model 3 facelift here...