Refreshing or Revolting: Tesla Model 3

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Tesla revealed the Model 3 entry-level sedan at a special even on March 31, completing the electric automaker’s lineup. Starting at $35,000, the Tesla Model 3 will duke it out against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4. With the standard variant expected to be able to go 215 miles on a single charge, the Model 3 will also compete against the similarly priced, 200-mile-range Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback. Since the car doesn’t have a direct predecessor, we’ll be using the Tesla Model S as a reference point.

Immediately, you’ll notice that the Model 3 is part of the Tesla lineup because it features a smaller but similar silhouette as the Model S. Despite being a sedan, the short rear decklid makes the Model 3 look more hatchback-like when viewed from the side. Additionally, the Model 3’s roof looks taller, making it appear less streamlined than the longer Model S. In a way, the Model 3’s side profile looks like a fusion of the Model S and Model X, with elements from both cars integrated throughout.

Where the Model 3 distinguishes itself from its larger sibling is in the front fascia, which is short, blunt, and appears to have shorter overhangs. In comparison, the Model S has a more aerodynamic front end that’s more rounded and has a blacked out area that simulates a grille, which the Model 3 lacks. The rear end of the Model 3 shows a family resemblance to the Model S. However, the taillights are much more compact compared to the longer, thinner units found on Tesla’s larger sedan. Though the Model 3 looks like it should have a hatch, the long panoramic rear glass makes that impossible. Instead, the car has a trunk with a near-vertical opening.

Compared to the Model S, the Model 3’s interior has a unique look that features a landscape-style 15-inch screen as its centerpiece. Unlike the Model S’ 17-inch screen, which is integrated into the center stack and oriented vertically, the Model 3’s screen looks more like a tablet that’s been attached to the dash. The Model 3’s dash layout is also more minimalist than the Model S thanks to all the instruments being integrated into the 15-inch center screen.

Will the Tesla Model 3 have what it takes to go head to head with the rest of the entry-level luxury segment? Is its styling a hit or a miss? Tell us in the comments below.

Last week’s Refreshing or Revolting featured the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, and the comments were mostly positive.

“Love it!!!  Looks really sharp!!! Really sporty and looks like the German sports cars Porsche, etc.,” said BlondeBMW.

“Revolting. Looks like a Super Deformed (in the Japanese toy/anime parlance) version of a McLaren Spider. It’s too stubby to be truly elegant and the flying buttresses fail to hide the fact that, with a near vertical rear window, it’s not truly a fastback. I was hoping for a lot more but they will sell lots of these,” said osunick.

“Refreshing. It’s something new,” said Midosan.

“Never thought MX-5 would go targa top on us, but I approve,” said PushTheButtonJerry.