Talking Cars 444: Driving the Refreshed Tesla Model 3

Main theme: This podcast focuses on our first impressions of the refreshed 2024 Tesla Model 3. Tesla doesn’t make big revisions to its vehicles very often, tending to implement incremental updates instead. But the Model 3—Tesla’s second-most-popular offering, behind the Model Y—has remained nearly unchanged since it came out in 2017. That means this 2024 freshening is long overdue, especially in light of recent EV competitors such as the BMW i4 and Hyundai Ioniq 6

The revitalized Model 3 features updated exterior styling, acoustic glass for all the windows, greater use of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin, and an 8-inch touchscreen for rear passengers that allows them to adjust the climate system and entertainment controls. On the mechanical front, the Model 3’s ride has been softened slightly.

We found the new Model 3 to be an improvement in several ways because of the smoother ride, the quieter cabin, and an almost proper blind spot warning system. But the controls are now even worse, with Tesla replacing the turn-signal stalk with buttons on the steering wheel, and having moved the gear selector to the center infotainment touchscreen. 

Read our Tesla Model 3 first drive

Audience Questions
• My Ford Transit Connect is on its last legs, but they’ve stopped building them and the Ram ProMaster City. It seems like there is great potential for an automaker to build a small van with modern technology, and maybe as a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). What do you guys think?
• If you could come up with a new car safety feature, what would it be? Thank you, and keep testing and talking cars!