Tesla Model 3 Highland 2024 Review: Sleeker And More Efficient Than Before

Tesla Model 3 Highland 2024 Review: Sleeker And More Efficient Than Before

Ng Chin Hui
01 May 2024
... not a revolutionary facelift, but rather an improvement of a product that was already a winning formula.
What we like:
Incredibly sleek and minimalist inside and out
Excellent build quality
What we dislike:
Takes a while to get used to operating the vehicle
Could do with greater tactility inside

Tesla properly arrived on our shores sometime late in 2021 with their best-seller (at that time), the Model 3, which proved to be a rather compelling value proposition amongst market offerings then. Fast-forward 3 years, the brand synonymous with Elon Musk has reintroduced a facelifted Model 3, dubbed the “Highland” to compete with the likes of BYD. Would this be enough to entice buyers? Let’s find out.

Exterior Design

The Tesla Model 3 Highland 2024 retains the sleek and timeless design language of its predecessors, but with notable enhancements that elevate its appeal. Compared to the previous Model 3, the most notable changes on the Highland variant would be in front, where the headlamp clusters are now significantly tapered and pinched, making the front fascia noticeably sleeker than before. The rears underwent a similar nip and tuck treatment as well, with slimmer “pincer-like” taillights to complement the sharper angles. Despite these changes, the Highland maintains the minimalist aesthetics and clean lines that have become synonymous with Tesla's design ethos.

What’s Different Inside?

Expect a similar look and feel when you step inside the Model 3 Highland. Compared to its predecessor, cabin space in the Highland remains relatively unchanged, but does feel slightly better put together. You will find that the seats, although clad in animal-free leather, are soft to touch, and firm enough to provide enough support for long journeys.

The main focal point remains the portrait oriented 15.4-inch touchscreen display, which, for better or worse, controls most of the vital functions of the car, including selecting drive modes. While aesthetically pleasing to look at, this may not be a car that you will fully get accustomed to in a matter of minutes. To top it off, the Model 3 Highland no longer has stalks on the steering wheel, which would otherwise control indicator and headlight functions. Instead, those vital functions now reside on buttons on the steering wheel.

Think of this as a very capable smartphone—you will need to dedicate time (initially) to learn how to navigate the complexities of the system.

What Is It Like to Drive?

The rear-wheel driven, single-motor variant we drove has an estimated range of 513 km (WLTP) and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. The steering feels a tad heavy and lazy on the move, but the car is still a very decent tourer around town. The automatic brake regeneration (one-pedal drive) works brilliantly, and takes very little getting used to. As for range, the 500 km mark is attainable with plenty of sensible driving and minimal time “idling” with the air-conditioning and music dialed to 11. Occupants will also appreciate the well-insulated cabin, thanks to enhanced sound deadening and 360-degree acoustic glass.

Safety Features

Safety has always been a cornerstone of Tesla's philosophy, and the Model 3 Highland raises the bar with its comprehensive suite of advanced driver-assistance systems. Building upon the safety features of its predecessor, the Highland introduces new enhancements such as automatic emergency braking and enhanced pedestrian detection. The Model 3 Highland’s battery packs are also designed to divert heat away from the cabin in the event of an emergency, in order to prevent fires and better protect occupants.

Is The Model 3 Highland Worth Considering or Buying?

The Model 3 Highland 2024 is a clear step forward from its popular predecessor. The Highland feels properly put together—and you get the sense that it feels on par with premium Japanese or European counterparts. It is not a revolutionary facelift, but rather an improvement of a product that was already a winning formula. It does take some getting used to, as with many modern electric vehicles today, but can be a fairly reliable and enjoyable daily runabout for most drivers on our shores. And with prices starting from S$94,890 (before COE), the Model 3 Highland does seem like good value too.

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