Up close look at the new 2021 Tesla Model 3

Just a week after the first deliveries began, we were able to get our hands on a brand new 2021 Tesla Model 3 with all the refreshed features.

With 115km on the odometer, the Model 3 was just delivered to its lucky new owner Ken last night, who was generous enough to let us have a quick look over it to show us some of the new features.

UPDATE: We were able to get some more seat time with the new Model 3. Here’s our walkthrough video.

New Aero Wheels

The first thing that stood out were the brand new Aero wheels and covers. While the changes are subtle, we are expecting these new covers to be a hot seller when they finally arrive in the Tesla Shop. We were also able to confirm they do fit the existing Aero wheels.

Power Trunk

This is a feature that Drive Tesla first brought to you exclusively back in August. The new power trunk is a great addition, and whisper quiet during operation compared to aftermarket options. The trunk can be opened and closed from the mobile app or in-car display.

Center Console and Wireless Charger

The operation of the new sliding door for the center console was very smooth. The amount of storage underneath has been slightly reduced because of the integrated wireless charger, but there is still plenty of room to store your junk valuables.

There had been some speculation that the cup holders now light up, but we can confirm that’s not the case, and they’re just regular cup liners.

USB Storage for Sentry Mode in Glovebox

The new Model 3 now includes a 64GB USB storage device for Sentry Mode in the new glovebox port. The USB is small enough, and tucked far enough into the corner that it should not interfere at all with the typical use of the glovebox.

New Black Trim and other Finishes

Another big change to the Model 3 is the new factory black trim, as well as upgrades to the finishes of the interior. The seat controls now have a more refined graphite finish and the door exit buttons and black door sill plates from the Model Y are now included.

Regenerative Braking Option

As we reported earlier, the option to select the level of regenerative braking is missing.

Missing regen braking option


Heated Steering Wheel?

Like other reports, we found no evidence of a heated steering wheel, although the upgraded metal scroll wheels are a nice touch.

Refresh Model 3

Door Pocket Lights

Unfortunately the door pocket lights are still not included in the SR+.
Refresh Model 3

B-Pillar Cameras

The B-pillar cameras do not feature the same smaller outline found on the Model Y.

Software Version

The new Model 3’s are being delivered with software version 2020.35.202.1, a unique numbering system used for cars straight from the factory.

Refresh Model 3 screen details

Heat Pump

Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to open up the frunk to see the new heat pump, but there is a noticeable difference in noise when the heater was set to max.

We hope to be seeing another new Model 3 very soon and get to see behind the frunk tub for the first time, and get behind the wheel to test out the new laminated glass.

Let us know in the comments below if there’s anything in particular you would like to see when we do.

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