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Tesla Model 3 refresh brings new colors, interior, and more

Tesla Model 3 updates impress

A gray Tesla Model 3 Highland refresh on a road with mountains in the background.
Tesla / Tesla

A recent refresh of the 2024 Telsa Model 3 EV includes new colors, upgraded wheels, and updated exterior and interior design. Tesla reduced Model 3 and Model Y prices twice last fall, and those prices hold for the refreshed Model 3. The rear-wheel drive Model 3 starting price is $38,990. The Model 3 Long Range, the dual-motor version with all-wheel drive, starts at $45,990.

The new Model 3 is available for order on Tesla’s website, with delivery from January through March, depending on configuration and color. It’s worth mentioning upfront that Tesla changes prices up and down more frequently than most automakers. Tesla has not made any statements about introductory pricing, but if demand increases significantly for the new Model 3 version, Tesla could raise the prices anytime.

Tesla Model 3 Highland refresh two cars, one red one gray, both headed the same way on a highway.
Tesla / Tesla

Why Tesla’s Model 3 refresh matters

New Tesla models are significant events in the auto industry worldwide, particularly in the U.S. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a small but growing portion of U.S. sales, accounting for roughly 8% of U.S. new vehicle sales in 2023. Tesla’s U.S. sales were about 51% of all new BEVs and 4.2% of U.S. new vehicles, more than Subaru, VW, Mazda, BMW, and many other established brands. The least costly Tesla Model 3’s $38,990 starting price is significantly lower than the average U.S. vehicle selling price, $48,759 as of December 2023. Also, Tesla dominates the used EV market.

Tesla’s Supercharger network, now with 20,000+ fast charging ports in the U.S., is no longer the largest in the country; ChargePoint has that honor with 56,000+ ports. Most automakers have declared their EVs will be able to connect to Tesla SuperCharger ports starting in 2024 and 2025, adopting the Tesla connection standard that’s now renamed the North American Charging Standard (NACS).

2024 Tesla Model E Highland reefresh interior shot with the information display in the center.
Tesla / Tesla

New with the Tesla Model 3

The 2024 Model 3 has newly designed headlamps and taillights. There are two new color choices. Stealth Grey, now the standard color, and Ultra Red, a $2,000 upgrade, are “designed to change with the light and viewing angle.” You can upgrade to Pearl White Multicoat or Deep Blue Metallic for $1,000 or Solid Black for $1,500.

The Model 3 interior still seats two in front and three in the second row. Both rows get goodies. The front seats are now ventilated, and the center console has a wireless charging deck for two phones. Model 3 backseat passengers have an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen display mounted on the rear of the front seat center console. The rear display controls entertainment and climate control settings. Tesla says the cabin is quieter, and the upholstery is more luxurious.

The  Model 3 also supports three special-purpose modes. In Sentry mode, the Model 3’s sensor array monitors the car’s perimeter and alerts your phone if it detects possible threats. Dog Mode locks the door, maintains a preset interior temperature, and displays a large font message that your dog is safe and cool while you run short errands. When you fold the rear seatbacks to sleep in the back, Camp Mode maintains a preset interior temperature and keeps the entertainment functions awake.

Model 3 by the numbers

The RWD 2024 Model 3, which starts at $38,990, has an EPA-estimated 272-mile range, 125 mph maximum speed, and 5.8 second zero-to-60 mph acceleration. If you spend an extra $ 1,500 for 19-inch Nova wheels instead of the standard 18-inch Photon wheels, the range estimate drops to 248 miles.

Choose the Model 3 Long Range version with dual motors and all-wheel drive for an additional $7,000, and the starting price climbs to $45,990 (but still below the U.S. average). With the standard 18-inch wheels, the Long Range variant has the same 125 mph top speed, but the EPA-estimated range increases to 341 miles, and the zero-to-60 time drops to just 4.2 seconds, though surely you won’t get the best range if you accelerate with a heavy foot from every stop. Drop $1,500 extra on the 19-inch Nova wheels, and the estimated mileage drops by 11.4% to 305 miles.

Additional options on both versions include $1,000 for white upholstery and trim instead of standard black, Enhanced Autopilot for $6,000, and Full Self-Driving Capability (including Enhanced Autopilot) for $12,000. Tesla also sells a charging wall connector for $475 and a mobile connector for $230. All vehicle purchases require a $1,390 destination fee.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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