We drove a $58,000 Tesla Model 3 and were blown away by its minimalistic design and high-tech features. Here’s what else impressed us.

Our Tesla Model 3 test car.

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Our Tesla Model 3 test car.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • The Model 3 is Tesla’s first foray into the mass market.
  • The Tesla Model 3 starts at $35,000. However, the smaller battery pack need for the base Model 3 won’t be in production until the end of the year.
  • Currently, only the $44,000 longer range Model 3 is available. Our test car’s as-tested price is $57,500.
  • The Model 3 is packed with really interesting features such as a minimalist interior, advanced infotainment, and Tesla Autopilot.

There have been few cars more sought after in recent memory than the Tesla Model 3. It’s Tesla’s first foray into the mass market after dominating the luxury electric vehicle segment for much of the past decade.

Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a few hours with a brand new Model 3 on the road in and around New York City.

We’ve had the chance to spend time with both the Model S and the Model X. So we were quite keen to get our hands on the Model 3.

The standard Model 3 with 220 miles of range starts at $35,000. But the smaller battery pack for the 220-mile version won’t be in production until the end of the year. As a result, Tesla is currently delivering only the top spec edition with 310 miles of range. Our longer range test car started at $44,000, but with additional options cost $57,500.

A $78,000 all-wheel-drive, high-performance version of the Model 3 will soon be available as well.

As you may expect, Tesla packed its most “affordable” offering to date with more than a few really cool and interesting features. These range from a striking minimalist interior to its app-based control system.

Here’s a rundown of just some of the most impressive features available on the Tesla Model 3.


1. The Tesla Model 3’s minimalist interior. It’s virtually devoid of buttons. The design is simple, functional, and easily upgradeable in the future.

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2. Almost everything runs through the Model 3’s massive 15-inch central touchscreen infotainment display. This system is effectively the brain of the car. It also replaces the instrument cluster.

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3. The Model FM and internet streaming radio was designed and developed in-house by Tesla. It sounds terrific.

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4. Due to the lack of buttons and switchgear, the Model 3 uses steering wheel’s two scrolls for a multitude of tasking ranging from changing the volume to adjusting the mirrors.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

5. With the 15-inch display, the image from the backup camera is massive with good clarity.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

6. Tesla Autopilot. Enhanced Autopilot is a $5,000 option on our test car. The system is essentially a super advanced cruise control. When activated, the system controlled the car’s throttle, brakes, and steering. It worked well for us on the highway, but you still have to remain vigilant and in command of the car.

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7. The Model 3’s hidden air vents. Tesla hid the car’s air vents inside a long narrow crevice running the length of the front dash. It looks really cool.

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8. Digital vent controls. With the vents buried inside the dash, adjustments are made using the touchscreen.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

9. App control. There’s no physical key or button to push. To start the Model 3, you need access to the app that can also control a variety of other functions.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

10. The card. In case of emergency or for valet access, Tesla does provide a key card. Simply tap the card on the car’s b-pillar to the unlock doors. Tap the card again on the center console to start the car.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

11. Built-in charging docks: Tesla built a pair of charging docks into the center stack of the Model 3. One dock is for iPhones and the other is for Android devices.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

12. Glass roof. Our top-spec Longer Range test car came with a glass roof. The roof delivered spectacular views of New York’s skyscrapers.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider