Tesla Model 3 2023 facelift review: so much more than just a new face

The updated Tesla Model 3 is pretty much an all-new car

  • 4.5 out of 5

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    The difference is tangible. There’s very little road noise, even on our car’s larger 19-inch wheels (18s are standard) and you’ll not notice significant wind noise around the A-pillars either – even at 70mph. This, added to the Tesla’s excellent Autopilot semi-autonomous drive functionality make it an excellent motorway car.

    You’ll still notice a faint pitter-patter on most roads – the damping clearly isn’t as accomplished as an i4’s, but it’s significantly more pliant than a Polestar 2’s. The Model 3 rarely crashes into bumps, and deals with camber changes well.

    At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a challenge. Leaving a car park or approaching a junction with the steering wheel dead ahead, the buttons are exactly where you want them to be. They self-cancel once you’ve made a turn, and even know when you’ve changed lanes. But try to find those switches on the exit of a roundabout – with half a turn of lock or more – and you’ll have no choice but to give up.

    For now there are just two Model 3s to choose from, with no confirmation whether a flagship Performance variant will return in time. Prices have been slashed once again, so the base car now comes in at under £40,000. That’s astonishing value when you consider the cheapest i4 costs at least £10k more.

    Our Tesla has a quoted range of up to 344 miles, while the Long Range (from £49,990) can do up to 421 miles on a charge – both those figures tallying with the smaller of the two wheel options. Entry-level Model 3s can charge at up to 170kW, meaning a 10-80 per cent charge at a Supercharger will take around 27 minutes. Long Range cars boost this to 250kW, but the bigger battery means a slightly lengthier charge time.

    The standard kit list casts further shade on this car’s rivals. Every Model 3 gets those razor-sharp screens front and rear, vegan leather alternative and a glass roof, plus ambient lighting and wireless phone charging. Our car’s Stealth Grey paint is new for the facelift, but a £2,000 option on all models.

    Model: Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
    Price: £39,990
    Powertrain: 57.5kWh battery, 1x e-motor
    Power/torque: 245bhp/420Nm
    Transmission: Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
    0-60mph: 5.8 seconds
    Top speed: 125mph
    Range/charging: 318 miles/170kW, 10-80% in 27 mins
    L/W/H: 4,720/1,850/1,441mm
    On sale: Now

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