Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6

Tesla Model 3 2019 driving position

  • Minimalist interior design dominated by touchscreen
  • All functions handled from the screen
  • Build quality is improved over the Model S and X 

How is the quality and layout?

It’s quite an event sliding behind the wheel of a Tesla Model 3 for the first time. First you unlock the car by waving a key card around on the car’s door pillar (or using your smartphone, once you’ve downloaded the Tesla app). This is about as minimalist as car interiors go, and the modernist cabin is distinguished by a near total absence of buttons and switches.

Apart from window switches and traditional controls to move the electric seats, all other functions are operated by the touchscreen infotainment system. Thankfully, the logic is impeccable and if you can use a smartphone, you’ll be absolutely fine with the interface in here.

The steering wheel gets a pair of roller switches designed to scroll through a variety of services, from audio controls to the adaptive cruise control and Autopilot systems. The control wheels work vertically and horizontally, so take your time to acclimatise to them. Traditionalists may prefer more old-fashioned switches, but if you’re the kind of target customer interested in a Tesla, we figure you’ll be just fine. 

The interior can come in very light shades, and some family owners might find this off-putting. The good news is that this is easy-to-clean and hard wearing. You’ll be pleased to know that there is an ‘All Black’ option for those who don’t want to take the risk…

Infotainment and tech

The dashboard is dominated by a single, giant touchscreen (arranged horizontally here, like an iPad on its side, rather than in portrait like on the bigger Tesla Model S and X). It is your control panel for everything. Where as the adjusters for the mirrors, the steering wheel and the climate control system? They are all located in the central screen’s top-level menu system.

The centre console therefore becomes a supremely-roomy depository for your phones, wallets and coins, with matte black trim panels lifting to reveal cubbies below. A lot of thought has gone into these. The area has two separate wireless phone charging pads, as well as USB-C slots. So if your phone connects via USB, remember to get an adapter. There is a standard fit USB slot in the glovebox for dash cams too.

Tesla Model 3 2019 touchscreen


  • Supportive front seats in a variety of trims
  • Lots of legroom upfront, not so good in the rear
  • Glass roof and panoramic windows make it very airy inside

The seats in a Tesla Model 3 are comfortable and supportive. The cheapest models come with the so-called Partial Premium interior, which brings 12-way electric adjustment and a simpler leather upholstery. If you order the Long Range Plus or Performance model, you automatically receive the Premium Interior package, with upgraded seat material and other niceties such as an improved 14-speaker stereo, streaming services for music, internet browser and other services.

As usual in an electric car, there is no transmission tunnel (reflecting the lack of a propshaft taking drive from a combustion engine to the wheels and an exhaust system). So, there is plenty of space for feet and limbs, especially in the rear passenger compartment. It’s not as roomy as a Ford Mondeo or Skoda Superb, but compared with other premium players, such as the BMW 3 Series, it’s more than acceptable.

We love how they’ve managed an entirely flat floor and sculpted space for a third rear passenger’s feet under the front middle armrest. However, on the Model 3 we reviewed this area of the floor made a tinny booming sound when stepped on, audible from outside the car – a small child would find this impossible to resist drumming their feet on.

You really can get five adults in a Model 3, and that’s quite a feat in this market sector, although they’ll still need to be good friends. A full-length glass roof is also standard in the UK, bathing the interior in light all day long. It’s a clever trick that makes this cabin even more appealing.

Tesla Model 3 2019 rear seats