CC BY-SA 4.0 by Rayukk
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most highly anticipated cars of the decade. As one of Tesla’s first forays into making its revolutionary cars more affordable for the general public (though with a current base of $49,000, it’s still a bit of a hefty price tag), the Model 3 is a test for the company in many ways. Can it produce a car that has cutting edge features and commercial appeal while keeping the price tag down?
Only time will tell how low Tesla’s prices can go. But the features are already paving the road for the new standard of electric vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 is showing where this new class of cars can go. We’ll take you through some of the most impressive features below.
One of the first things you notice when you slide into a Tesla Model 3 is its minimalistic interior. Unlike other cars, there are no buttons on the dash at all. Instead, there’s a massive 15 inch central touchscreen that serves as the information, entertainment, and instrumental cluster all at once — it’s the real “brain” of the car. With just a few swipes, you’ll be able to access all the features you’ll need, from gas mileage to music choices. These features can be easily updated with software releases, meaning that the operating system will always be cutting edge. Plus this huge screen allows for new possibilities for established features, like a larger backup camera with better clarity than other competitors on the market.
Think of this as cruise control taken up to eleven. When activated, enhanced autopilot will control the car’s throttle, brakes, and steering. This is an advanced driver assistance program that’s aimed at improving both safety and convenience for Tesla Model 3 drivers. The enhanced autopilot includes features like autosteer (that helps steer within a lane), cruise control that automatically matches your speed to traffic, automatic lane changes, auto-park (say goodbye to parallel parking!) and summoning your car from its parking spot. Enhanced autopilot does require an upgraded package, but Tesla does offer a free fourteen day trial so you can decide whether this feature is a must-have for you. Whatever the case, as more brands attempt to compete with Tesla, we’re sure to see other autopilot programs emerge in the future.
Need to start your car? As the saying goes, there’s an app for that. Using an authenticated Bluetooth connection, the Tesla Model 3 syncs with an app that you can use to lock or unlock your car, monitor charging, heat or cool your Model 3 before driving, find where you parked, start your engine, or even summon your car from its parking spot. The app isn’t just a flashy feature though — it’s the preferred method for unlocking (or locking) and starting the Model 3. In other words, it’s meant to help your smartphone replace your key. It’s a savvy move. As our smartphones become more and more powerful and the so-called Internet of Things becomes omnipresent, our phones will do more and we will need to carry less. Other car models are sure to follow suit in the future, and at least offer the option of an app that can act as a key.
That said, Tesla recognizes that there are some cases where a phone won’t be possible. Phones run out of battery, and sometimes other people need to drive a car (like a valet, for example). Even here, Tesla is pushing boundaries. Instead of offering a traditional key (or key fob, like some other cars that offer a push ignition have), Tesla has a slim keycard that can fit into a wallet. The keycard can both unlock the Model 3 and start the engine, but for the other features you will need the app.
The attention to detail in the Model 3 really sets Tesla apart. Sure, hidden air vents or built in charging docks aren’t as splashy as self-parking, but think of them as the icing on a very technologically advanced cake. The air vents are hidden behind some classy panels, and add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the Model 3’s interior. And the charging docks don’t just eliminate the need for messy wires, but are an important feature when your phone also acts as your key. It’s less likely that your phone will run out of charge if you can always be sure a charger is at hand in your car. There’s a dock for both iPhones and Android devices, so you’ll never be out of power.
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most interesting cars on the market right now. Not only does it improve upon the features of some of its competitors, its new features and capability are setting the bar high for a new generation of vehicles.
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