HomeVehicleCars2021 Tesla Model 3 Refresh Vs Old Model 3: Differences Explained

2021 Tesla Model 3 Refresh Vs Old Model 3: Differences Explained

In Mid-October, we reported the launch of the Tesla Model 3 2021. It was set to get a host of rejuvenating features. The refreshed Model 3 will have:

  • Fresh center console
  • New wheels
  • Interiors and aesthetic changes

Apart from these changes, there are some upgrades “under the bonnet.” These changes will see model 3 reach 0-60 in 3.1 seconds, a tenth of a second from the previous model. The range also gets a boost. The new Model 3 will have a new “efficiency package” resulting in a longer range. (20-30 miles extra range for all the variants of Model 3)

Differences in the New 2021 Model 3

The physical and software changes are expected in the 2021 Model 3. However, we aren’t sure which country will get all or some updates. But a UK company has released a video comparing the new model 3 with an older version. The video touches upon some smaller changes; changes that strike out at first glance. However, it also focuses on some changes in detail. Let’s take a look at the video first.

NOTE: As the car is bought in the UK it is a right-hand drive. It is possible that some of the updates are the UK and/or Europe specific

Subtle Changes

The front boot is a tad bit smaller compared to the older Model 3. Space may be occupied by the new heat pump. As a result, the 2021 Model 3’s front bonnet isn’t as plush as the older version.

The 2021 Model 3 gets a de-chromed finish for many components. The components range from rear-view mirrors right back to the boot opener. The image below is of the indicator

de-chromed version Tesla Model 3 indicator

Look how crisp the de-chromed version looks. However, we can notice that it does not have the Tesla badging. All the de-chromed components are metal. The components look anodized.

There is a huge improvement in the fit and finish. Earlier, owners have complained about misaligned doors, roof components in different planes, etc. Recently, it was reported that small pieces of the body detached while driving, due to lack of primer. However, the 2021 model 3 finish looks on point.

The Trunk now comes with height memory. Sometimes the trunk when opened to its limit might bang on the ceiling. However, with the height memory feature, the owners can set the trunk height. The rear boot is the same as the older model 3.

The rim design also has some slight changes. The 2021 model 3 has sharper or less rounded rim elements compared to the older model. The aero cover also has some minor changes. We do not have exact changes but we will update you soon. On the left is the old rim and on the right is the 2021 rim:

Old Tesla Model 3 RimsNew Tesla Model 3 Rims

We reported that the new Model 3 will get double-paned windows. However, it has come to notice that only the front windows are double-paned. The windows at the rear are the same as the old Model 3.

Headlights and Center Console

The center console has got a better finish. In the old model 3, the center console had a glossy black finish. Scratches on the surface looked shabby. Hence, Tesla has given a Matte finished center console in the 2021 version. The new center console also gets chrome-plated edges. The leather around the new center console looks more premium. The opening for storage under the console was a pop-up type. The new model gets a sliding type opening.

Old Tesla Model 3 Center Console
Glossy black finish (Old Tesla Model 3)
New 2021 Tesla Model 3 Center Console
Matte finish (Tesla Model 3 2021 version)

The glove box gets a 64 GB memory card for sentry mode and dash cams.

Headlights get a major update in the 2021 model. We have photos comparing the normal and full beam of both the models.

Old Tesla Model 3 HeadlightsNormal Mode (Old Model 3)

New 2021 Tesla Model 3 Headlights  Normal Mode (2021 Model 3)

  Full Beam Mode (Old Model 3)

Full Beam Mode (2021 Model 3)

The headlights in the 2021 model look squarer. The headlights also have a refined edge compared to the old model 3.

Tesla has promised a fair few upgrades via software updates. We reported these software updates earlier. Here’s a brief look at what other features the 2021 model may have.

2020.40.7 software update.

To avail this increased range, Tesla had rolled out the 2020.40.7 software update. The aforementioned update included other improvements as well. Here’s a brief summary of these improvements:

  • Improved Efficiency
  • Priority Bluetooth Device
  • Glove-box PIN
  • Speed Assist Improvements
  • Charge Port Inlet Heater

Within a month Tesla has provided another software update; the 2020.44.10.1.

2020.44.10.1 Software Update

Last week we reported about the 2020.44.10.1 Software Update. Here’s a summary of the last update. You can check the detailed report here.

  • Autopilot Set Speed Option
  • Spotify Improvements
  • Additional Media Sources

Subtle improvements to the UI like multiple languages. On tapping the notification, Model 3 UI will redirect to the manual, etc. There is also a hidden feature regarding the range of the car.

Holiday season Special Software Update

Last week, Musk announced the V11 software update. He took Twitter to announce this update:

Here are the features the V11 may have.

The “vector-space bird’s eye view” is coming to Tesla vehicles under the FSD package. The observer is imagined from the perspective of a bird flying over the object or the scene. This feature will primarily be used for parking assist but isn’t limited to that. We may see this in the V11.

Video conferencing is another interesting feature that could be in the V11. Tesla already has an in-car camera.

Elon had also mentioned Tesla’s being able to speak. Tesla will use external speakers for this. The feature may make custom sounds for pedestrians. Here is a video of a Tesla talking,

Along with this, the software might update the Tesla Arcade. You can find the detailed report of the update here.

Let us know your thoughts on the changes. How soon do you think will the other features be available?

Ritwik Shah
Ritwik Shah
Aspiring Mechanical Engineer and Formula Student. An automotive and sports enthusiast who is always up for a discussion.


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