• author: Andrew Ethan Zeng

2023 Tesla Model 3: Long Range - A Comprehensive Review


The 2023 Tesla Model 3: Long Range is garnering a lot of attention, especially with the upcoming Model 3 refresh. This refresh is expected to bring about exterior changes, Drive Unit optimizations, and new hardware, while also potentially removing certain components like the driver stalks, in-house made seats, and ultrasonic + temperature sensors. As a first-time owner, I have been driving this car for over a month now, and in this article, I will provide an honest review of my experience with the Tesla Model 3.

The Downsides

Let's start with the things that caught me by surprise and that I didn't particularly like about the Model 3.

  1. Lack of Guidance in Delivery Process: The lead-up to taking delivery of the car was somewhat lacking in guidance compared to traditional automakers. I was left to figure out things like car registration number, insurance, and next steps after the deposit on my own. While some may enjoy the minimalist experience, it does require extra effort to gather all the necessary information.

  2. Quality Issues: Tesla's Fremont Factory is known for its longstanding quality issues, including panel gaps, paint imperfections, and broken trim pieces. However, it's worth noting that Tesla's gigafactory in Shanghai is said to produce higher quality vehicles. So, if you are taking delivery from the Shanghai region, you can expect better quality control.

  3. Loud Whirring and Popping Sound: As an EV newbie, I was initially concerned about a loud whirring and popping sound during cold and hot temperatures. After some research, I discovered that this is a normal occurrence caused by the battery expanding and preheating. While it may be surprising at first, it's important to be aware of this so that it doesn't catch you off guard.

  4. Stiff Suspension: The suspension of the Model 3 feels stiff, especially when compared to the silky-smooth suspension of the Mercedes A-Class. While the in-house made seats compensate for the stiffness to some extent, it might be an issue for those coming from a performance car or expecting a more comfortable ride.

  5. FSD (Full Self-Driving) Uncertainty: Tesla's promise of level 5 full Automotive autonomy through their Full Self-Driving feature (FSD) has not been fully realized. The company has even removed ultrasonic sensors and transitioned to camera-based Tesla Vision for FSD. Until it is proven to work safely, it may be wise to hold off on purchasing FSD as a software upgrade.

The Positives

Now, let's delve into the aspects of the Model 3 that I genuinely appreciate:

  1. Comfortable Interior: The legendary in-house made seats of the Model 3 truly live up to the hype, providing an incredibly comfortable experience. Whether it's short drives or long road trips, the comfort factor is consistently impressive.

  2. Handling and Performance: The Model 3's handling and performance are commendable. It corners well, maintains a good grip with minimal body roll, and feels incredibly planted on the road. Even with its fast acceleration, it instills confidence in the driver.

  3. Basic Autopilot: All Model 3s come with basic Autopilot, which exceeds expectations. The double press down on the drive stalk activates key features like acceleration control, lane-keeping, and obstacle monitoring, making longer drives more relaxing and reducing mental effort.

  4. Improving Charging Infrastructure: Charging the Model 3 has become increasingly convenient with the expanding availability of Superchargers and EV charging infrastructure in general. While access to an at-home charger is preferable, charging at local Superchargers or car parks has been relatively hassle-free, especially when considering the cost savings compared to traditional fuel-powered cars.

  5. Aesthetically Pleasing Design: The design of the Model 3 is subjective, but personally, I find it clean, timeless, and visually appealing. Aesthetically, I made a few changes, such as replacing the Aero V2 covers with aftermarket Uber turbine covers, which give the car a more aggressive and meaner look without trying to pass it off as a performance vehicle.

The Aesthetic Upgrades of the Model 3: Meaner and Aggressive Look

When it comes to the aesthetics of the Tesla Model 3, there have been some notable changes that deserve attention. These changes not only enhance the overall look of the vehicle but also contribute to its uniqueness on the road.

Aftermarket Uber Turbine Covers

One of the first changes made to the Model 3 is the replacement of the Aero V2 covers with aftermarket Uber turbine covers. While the primary goal was not to make the car look like a high-performance vehicle, these covers add a meaner and more aggressive look to the Model 3. The blackout aesthetic is further enhanced by these sleek covers. Installing them was a breeze, requiring a simple snap-off of the old covers and snapping in the new ones. Despite the aesthetic upgrade, the range of the Model 3 remained unaffected, which is undoubtedly a significant advantage for any Tesla owner.

Graphene Coating for Unbeatable Shine and Protection

To protect the vehicle and add a stunning shine, the author opted for a graphene coating instead of a standard ceramic coat. Applied by the professionals at shmiko, this innovative coating offers superior resistance to scratches, water spotting, and dust and dirt accumulation. The application process involves an initial hand wash followed by the precise application of G Fusion's graphene coating, which is done by hand over three hours. The result is a breathtaking shine and depth that truly enhances the appearance of the Model 3, especially for those who have chosen the Black variant. This wet, straight-out-of-the-showroom look is simply unmatched and brings a sense of pride to Tesla owners.

Carbon Fiber Trims for a Black Aesthetic

The wood trims of the interior were also modified to match the black aesthetic of the Model 3. Utilizing a kit from Hillsmaid, the author replaced the wood trims with stylish carbon fiber trims. This simple change further elevates the overall appearance of the interior, creating a cohesive and sleek aesthetic that complements the exterior design.

Improved Interior: Minimalistic and Soundproof

Moving on to the interior, the Tesla Model 3's design is undoubtedly a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Some may find the minimalistic approach overrated, but for the author, it is an appealing feature. Furthermore, the interior of the 2023 Tesla Model 3 boasts improved soundproofing compared to previous models. The cabin is dead quiet, with minimal road noise, fewer internal squeaks, and vibrations. This improvement is a testament to the maturing manufacturing process and the high-quality standards coming out of Tesla's gigafactories.

Despite these positive aspects, there are a couple of considerations to mention about the interior. The absence of tactile buttons for everyday functions like air conditioning can be a drawback for some. Additionally, the absence of a heads-up display to show crucial information such as speed requires the driver to glance down at the touchscreen display, which can be distracting. However, as the author points out, adaptation to these features takes time, and with continued use, one can become accustomed to them.

The Model 3's infotainment system and display user interface remain class-leading, offering a wide range of technological features. The 15-inch touchscreen, paired with the powerful MCU 3 units, delivers a seamless and snappy user experience. The in-built Tesla navigation system stands out as one of the best in the market, providing precise directions and intelligent route planning. Furthermore, Tesla's commitment to software updates has allowed for continuous improvements in range and acceleration, making the Model 3 an even more appealing choice for tech enthusiasts.

Impressive Performance: Acceleration and Range

One of the standout features of the Tesla Model 3 is its exceptional performance. The long-range variant of the Model 3 offers acceleration that can only be described as epic. With a 0-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds, merging and overtaking become effortless and exhilarating experiences. The instant torque unique to the long-range variants makes the Model 3 a force to be reckoned with on the road.

For those seeking even more exhilaration, the optional $2000 acceleration boost software upgrade unleashes the Model 3's full potential. With this upgrade, the 0-60 mph time can be reduced to an impressive 3.7 seconds, bringing it closer to the performance levels of the Model 3 Performance variant. This enhancement significantly enhances the driving experience and adds to the already thrilling package of the Model 3.

In terms of range, the Model 3 proves its capability without sacrificing practicality. With EPA estimates providing generous range figures, the long-range Model 3 delivers impressive results in real-world situations. It is not uncommon to achieve over 300 miles on a single charge, assuming relatively stable weather conditions. However, as with any electric vehicle, driving at high speeds on highways can reduce range more significantly when compared to city driving. Tesla has addressed this concern by implementing a comprehensive journey planning feature in its vehicles, ensuring that drivers can easily plan their travel stops and charging requirements along their routes.

Safety and Environmental Impact: Top Priorities for Tesla

Safety and minimizing environmental impact have always been priorities for Tesla, and the Model 3 is a testament to their dedication to these crucial aspects.

In terms of safety, the Model 3 has excelled in various international safety tests, performing exceptionally well in crash tests and simulations. The lack of an engine in the car provides a significant advantage when it comes to passenger safety. Without the engine components, the car's structure efficiently deflects impact energy away from the passengers, minimizing potential harm. The roof of the Model 3, for instance, has been designed to withstand over 20,000 pounds of force, ensuring maximum protection in the event of a collision. These safety features, combined with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement, make the Model 3 one of the safest options available on the market today.

In addition to safety, the environmental benefits of owning an electric vehicle like the Model 3 cannot be overlooked. With growing concerns over urban pollution, electric vehicles offer a cleaner alternative, especially in densely populated areas. By choosing the Model 3, drivers actively contribute to reducing pollution in large cities, making a positive impact on both the environment and public health.

**Overall, as a first-time owner, my experience with the 2023 tesla model 3: long range has been a mix of positives and negatives. while there are some areas where tesla could improve, like providing more guidance during the delivery process and addressing quality control issues, the model 3 impresses with its comfortable interior, exceptional handling, and the convenience of charging infrastructure. however, for those considering full self-driving capabilities, it may be advisable to wait until it has proven to work safely.

: The Underrated Brilliance of the Tesla Model 3**

In conclusion, despite the hype surrounding Tesla, the Model 3 remains a vehicle that often exceeds expectations. The aesthetic enhancements, including the aftermarket Uber turbine covers and carbon fiber trims, elevate the style and presence of the Model 3 on the road. The interior, with its minimalistic design and improved soundproofing, offers a sanctuary-like experience that isolates passengers from external disturbances.

Technologically, the Model 3 delivers an exceptional performance, with powerful acceleration that makes driving a thrilling experience. Furthermore, the range capabilities of the long-range Model 3 provide a practical driving experience and mitigate range anxiety concerns.

With its unwavering commitment to safety and reducing environmental impact, Tesla has created an innovative and forward-thinking vehicle in the Model 3. The passion and satisfaction expressed by the author reflect the undeniable brilliance of the Model 3, and it is no surprise that it has become their favorite car.

Although the 2024 Tesla updates are on the horizon, the author stands by their

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