Tesla Model 3 - Practicality, comfort and boot space
With lots of room for passengers and two luggage areas, the Model 3 a practical proposition
The Tesla Model 3 is intended to tempt buyers away from three-box saloons like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4, so it makes sense that it also takes a similar approach to housing its occupants and luggage. It’s a four-door saloon with an ample boot, plus a separate storage area under the bonnet – one of the benefits of doing without a traditional internal combustion engine.
The Tesla Model 3 is pretty spacious inside and its minimal design helps add a sense of airiness. It’s easy to get comfortable in the driving seat thanks to 12-way power-adjustment options and visibility is excellent; big windows all round and an unobstructed view forward add to the car’s easy-to-drive nature.
There’s plenty of storage in the front too, with the centre console featuring wireless charging pads for two phones and two enormous cubbies: one under the large armrest and the other a little further forward below a sliding cover. The door bins are also generously sized, with two cup-holders for those in the front as well. Our biggest issue was the glovebox isn’t the size – though it is pretty slim – it’s the lack of a physical release, so you have to use the touchscreen or voice commands to gain access.
The Tesla Model 3 measures 4,720mm long, 1,850mm wide and 1,441mm tall. In other words, it’s slightly shorter and wider than a 3 Series or the fully-electric BMW i4. It’s also smaller than the Tesla Model S flagship saloon, and feels far better suited to British roads as a result.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The Model 3 is designed to carry four adults in comfort and it manages that task well: there’s loads of space in the front, while rear-seat passengers get enough head and legroom to enjoy a longer journey. The rear seats are also heated as standard, which is a nice touch. If you have to carry five people at once, the Model 3 can handle it, with a completely flat floor in the rear providing space for everyone’s feet. It’s not perfect, though, as the low-mounted seats cause passengers’ legs to be pushed upwards, giving them only limited under-thigh support.
The Model 3 has a 425-litre boot that’s larger than the Polestar 2’s and has an extremely deep under-floor storage area. However the Model 3’s narrow boot opening makes loading items trickier than it is with the BMW i4 or Polestar 2 as both feature hatchback tailgates. The ‘frunk’ under the bonnet is much easier to access, either using the car’s touchscreen to open the hatch or the Tesla smartphone app, and is big enough for two small soft bags or general odds and ends. You can also lower the Model 3’s split-folding rear seats if you need to haul longer items.
If you want to use a Model 3 to tow anything, you can order yours with a tow bar for an extra £1,300. Although the Model 3’s maximum towing capacity of 1,000kg, falls short of the BMW i4’s 1,600kg maximum capacity, and the 1,500kg the Polestar 2 can tow.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model 3 reviewDespite many talented EV rivals, the technology-packed Tesla Model 3 remains one of the very best electric cars around
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe Tesla Model 3 is spectacularly fast and now even more refined. It’s just not particularly fun to drive
- 3Range, charging & running costsImpressive range, fast charging times and zero emissions all bode well, however insurance won’t be cheap
- 4Interior, design and technologyAn inoffensive exterior is contrasted by a show-stopping interior, packed with tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingWith lots of room for passengers and two luggage areas, the Model 3 a practical proposition
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Tesla Model 3 achieves full marks for safety, with strong customer feedback in our Driver Power survey