Tesla Model 3 Changes

We had one of the original Tesla Model 3s. Put down a deposit and waited two years to get it. We have had it since 2018 or so. It wasn’t a commute car but just one for around town driving. We also put in a home charger which made a big difference in convenience. We just got a new Tesla Model 3, and while Tesla doesn’t do the traditional sort of upgrades on a yearly basis that other car makers do, there are some changes. Here are a few early observations.

Battery: our original long range model had older lithium batteries (with cobalt?). This gave us 310 miles of range, max. But we mostly charged it to 90%, based on Tesla recommendations. We also saw a (roughly) 10% drop in capacity after a year or so. So our typical max range was more like (roughly) 250 miles. The new iron chemistry battery has a lower top range, but can be charged to 100% routinely. A complicated subject, but there are differences.

Home Charging: the old Model 3 charged at 48A on the home charger. The new Model 3 is only 32A. This is only about 2/3 as much power being delivered to the batteries. We haven’t done a big charge at home yet but I suppose it will be significantly slower. Probably won’t matter much, and shouldn’t effect supercharging.

Tax Credit: only half the $7500 tax credit. While the car is made in Fremont, CA the batteries are still from China.

Floor mats: No floor mats. Noticed quickly. Have to buy them via the app. Only $100.

Range sensors: The ultrasonic range finders used to tell how far the car is from obstacles has been replaced by camera / vision technology. So far doesn’t seem as reliable.

AM radio: Theee is no AM radio. I don’t really care, but a bit odd.

Center Console: new sliding door on console. Hated the old one. Could never get it to close properly.

USB: all USB-C. Need new charging cables. Also built in wireless phone charger. My old phone cannot use it though.

Video Saves: I’m pretty sure the old Model 3 required a specially formatted USB drive to store video from cameras for things like sentry mode. The new Model 3 seems to use existing internal memory. I’m tod there is a USB port in the glove box but I have yet to investigate.

Self Driving: we don’t have “full” self driving, but it does come with some sort of lane assist that I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the old model. I admit I’m not well versed in the different pieces of Tesla’s self driving technology.

Garage Door Opener: not a game changer, but someone should have mentioned this. The built in garage door opener is now a $350 option. Luckily we still had an old clicker so we could open the garage with the new car when we got it home.

Trunk Close Button: trunk can be closed automatically with a button. Nice because people tended to really slam the old one. I’m thinking grocery pickups during the pandemic.

Probably some (lots?) More I havent run across yet, but these are my own first impressions. All errors are mine and mine only.


Subwoofer: music doesn’t seem as good as the original Model 3. Possibly no subwoofer?