2020 Tesla Model 3 Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos
The 2020 Tesla Model 3 sedan was never going to be palatial, but we can’t help but be disappointed by the lapses in material and build quality. Those flaws cancel out the roomy cabin and comfortable seats, bringing our total score to a 4 out of 10.
Appropriate for a car that sells on efficiency, the Model 3 offers plenty of interior space, thanks to a cab that’s pushed toward the front wheels and a roofline that arches up and over the cabin so its highest point is right in line with the pillars that split the front and rear doors. The design also provides ample trunk space—15 cubic feet before you fold down the seats, and it feels even bigger than the numbers suggest. The only thing hampering space is the narrow trunk opening.
The cabin feels big, especially with the big panoramic glass roof there to let in ample natural light. The seats are supportive and comfortable and offer up to 12-way power adjustment if you opt for the top trims.
The back seat is equally comfortable. It looks like it shouldn’t be, what with its low seat cushion, sloping roofline, and panoramic glass, but none of it eats into the head room. A 6-footer could sit in the back without issues. Three 6-footers could pose an issue, though. In fact, any three people will find it tight, thanks to a roofline that tapers upward and rearward.
There is plenty to like about the comfort of the cabin, but it’s the materials we’re sore about. Compared to luxury cars that cost similarly—both electric and gas offerings, mind you—the Teslas we’ve driven have felt a little cheap. The center console feels insubstantial. There’s too many thin, hard plastics. The complete lack of visual flair only exacerbates the sensation of cheapness. It would look better were it disguised under a veneer of different colors and textures.
The Model 3 has one of the best climate-control systems we’ve found in an electric car so far. Once you figure out how to adjust the Model 3’s climate-control vents—by dragging them on a screen with your fingers—the system adjusts very quickly.
One gripe that surfaced in every Model 3 we’ve tested has been the amount of road noise entering the cabin. Newer models may have that fixed, though, as the latest model we’ve driven has been the quietest yet. Go ahead, blame the fact that our ears are simply accustomed to hearing a gas engine at work, the Model 3 is still louder than we’d like it to be.
As a final point of contention, the Model 3 still lacks build quality. This was easier to overlook a few years ago, when Tesla was still a budding company. Now that they’re selling a few hundred thousand units a year, this isn’t quite so easy to overlook. The Model 3 should be screwed together as well as any other car at this point, so we’re disappointed that this isn’t yet the case.
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