With much fanfare (and by that we mean hype from fans) the new Chinese made Tesla Model 3 (code named Highland) was released started taking orders yesterday.
2024 Telsa Model 3 Highland Release Dates:
Australia & New Zealand: January 2024 – March 2024
Canada: not yet available
China: Q4 2023
Japan: December 2023 – March 2024
Korea: not yet available
Malaysia: late 2023
Middle East: October
Singapore: not yet available
United Kingdom & Ireland: not yet available
United States: Not yet available
We immediately looked for three things and found all missing. This is truly just a mid-cycle refresh and not a new vehicle.
In particular what we wanted to see were:
1 – Heated Steering Wheel
This is not an expensive option and for those living in Scandinavian countries, Scotland, Canada, much of the United States, and other northern climates, the heated steering wheel is not just a nicety. In the competitive world of automobiles a heated steering wheel is something that virtually all car companies offer on virtually all of their models. It really is shocking that a heated steering wheel is still not available on Model 3’s is 2024.
2 – Generation 4 Hardware
The word hardware usually relates to computers these days, and in this case it still does. It was anticipated that the 2024 Tesla model three would have Tesla’s fourth generation computers and cameras, to enable the ever promised but never delivered, full self driving. FSD will arrive on Tesla’s within the next five years as Tesla struggles to catch up with innovators like Google’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise and who are already fully licensed and actually driving without even a safety driver.
3 – A Big Price Drop
We expected there to be at least a $5000 price drop in the new Tesla Model 3 2024 edition. This was because the model 3 was supposed to have significant cost reductions by way of the use of mega-castings in the front and rear as well as notable battery cost reductions 4680 cells. While the 2024 model three is cheaper in China than the current Model 3, apparently it is not going to be less expensive in Europe or England, so we assume it’s going to be the same price in the United States and Canada… and that is disappointing. Of course the 2024 Tesla M3 will not be released until 2024 in these markets, so there’s still plenty of time for price changes to occur. Perhaps Tesla is just not wanting to kill the sales of their current model 3, but it is still a let down.
As a side note to these more quantifiable issues, we’re also not a big fan of the new front end. It looks fine but we think it’s a step back from the 2023 Model 3.
The two new paint colors (pink-ish and grey-ish) are also pretty sleepy. We don’t think it would hurt Tesla to add something interesting like a lime green or neon blue.
The Tesla Model 3 was never a particularly interesting vehicle to look at, and the new styling does little to change that.