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We Bought a New Tesla Model 3 to Tell You What It's Like to Live With

Is this the best Tesla yet?

2024 Tesla Model 3 front end
  • We bought a 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range for our long-term test fleet.
  • Over the coming months we'll put at least 20,000 miles on the car and keep you updated with the good, bad and everything in between.
  • The new Model 3 did 338 miles in our official Edmunds EV Range Test.
  • First impressions are strong, with better ride quality and improved interior fit and finish.

When it first hit the market roughly seven years ago, the Tesla Model 3 was the car that brought electric vehicles to the masses. These EVs are so common on the road these days that some have referred to the Model 3 as “the new Toyota Corolla.”

Tesla finally gave the Model 3 a heavy refresh, so we decided to buy one for our long-term test fleet to see what's changed, and how it holds up over the long run. The hype surrounding this car is never-ending, and we're excited to put it to the test.

What did we get?

This is the sixth Tesla and third Model 3 that Edmunds has owned, so we decided to shake up the spec this time around. Our new Model 3 Long Range comes with Deep Metallic Blue paint ($1,000), 18-inch wheels, a black interior and Tesla's dubiously named Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology. Tesla charges $12,000 for FSD; however, the automaker granted us a promotion to transfer the feature from our 2020 Model Y Performance for free. Throw in the $1,400 destination and $250 order fees and we paid $48,630 for this car.

2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Interior Screen

Why did we get it?

There’s a short way and a long way to tell this part, so let’s start with the easy one. Ron Montoya, our senior consumer advice editor, who buys and sells all of Edmunds’ long-term test cars, said, “Well, we wanted the Long Range this time and we liked the blue. Simple as that.”

Of course, it wasn’t just the color that drove us to buy this Model 3. We chose the Long Range because it’s got a great mix of power and efficiency, and naturally, we want to hold Tesla accountable to its range claims. The standard 18-inch wheels are better for ride quality and give the car its maximum range potential.

Beyond that, our team wanted to buy a new Model 3 to see where Tesla is currently at as a company. We’ve reported issues and build quality problems with our past Teslas, and we’re eager to see if the new Model 3 represents a meaningful improvement.

2024 Tesla Model 3 Rear End

What’s happened so far?

The new Model 3 has been in our garage for less than a month, but we’ve wasted no time putting it to the test. We put the Long Range through our Edmunds EV Range Test, where it achieved 338 miles of range. We ran a pre-refresh 2023 Model 3 last year and saw 341 miles, so the new Model 3 is slightly worse, by a mere 3 miles — not a huge difference in the real world.

On our test track, the Model 3 Long Range threw down some decent performance figures. It ran to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and hit the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds, making it the second-quickest Model 3 we’ve tested, only behind the 2018 Model 3 Performance. The car also pulled 0.92 g on the skid pad on all-season tires, matching a BMW i4 on summer rubber. We’ll have more stats to share soon, including the speeds in the Edmunds EV Charging Test.

2024 Tesla Model 3 Front Detail

General impressions? Well, so far, it's more of the same. We like the way the Model 3 looks and drives, and the interior quality is noticeably better. Ergonomics still prove to be an issue, though; our executive director of written content, Jodi Tourkow, finds the turn signal buttons particularly annoying.

"While some of the changes from the previous Model 3 generation to the new one are for the better, I must say eliminating the turn signal stalk and replacing it with buttons on the steering wheel has gone a bit far," Tourkow noted. "The buttons are not as intuitive and aren't as easily accessible."

We'll see if more issues like this pop up during our time behind the wheel. Follow all our updates here.

Edmunds says

It's still early days, but we're impressed by the changes that Tesla has implemented with the new Model 3. We've had a mixed bag of results with long-term reliability on past Teslas, so hopefully the company's most recent model can stand up to the test.