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Customizing Model 3 interior

I’m considering a Model 3 for a family member but my biggest concern is that the interior is very spartan and not up to par with the competition. The other option is an E-Class which has a nice and luxurious interior IMO (see below). If I order the Model 3, I’d like to get some custom work done on the interior and if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to share. I’m considering contrasting stitched leather on the steering wheel airbag cover, dash top, top of door panels, sides of center console. I’ll also see if I can add wood elsewhere too. The interior would’ve seemed less bare bones if there was at least an instrument cluster screen but I don’t think that can be addressed aftermarket. Good ambient lighting might also help.

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Lol, after driving Teslas for 5 years, I find "regular" car interiors ugly, confusing, and overly complicated with buttons and knobs, unnecessary trim pieces, etc.,

I could live with the S and X interior even though it’s not up to par for the price, but the 3 doesn’t even have a 2nd screen! Just seems incomplete to my eyes, not merely minimalist.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,652
8,918
Austin, TX
You call it spartan. I call it modern. I love the Model 3 interior. Your photo of the Mercedes E-class interior is exactly what I don’t want my car to look like. Take those big ugly air vents, for example. In comparison the continuous air vent of the Model 3 is beautiful.

Anyway, there are much more important things than interior design. Like the Model 3 being an EV and the Mercedes E-class isn’t. Priorities.
 

commasign

TeslaAdviceBlog.com
Aug 31, 2013
3,202
4,298
Davis, CA
I could live with the S and X interior even though it’s not up to par for the price, but the 3 doesn’t even have a 2nd screen! Just seems incomplete to my eyes, not merely minimalist.

That was my thought too when the 3 was first announced. But I've been driving my sister's 3 for a few months now and while I wouldn't say I prefer only 1 screen to the 2 screens in S and X, the difference between the cars is much less than one might expect. In fact, it's really nice not having the instrument cluster screen because the view of the road is so much better.
 
You call it spartan. I call it modern. I love the Model 3 interior. Your photo of the Mercedes E-class interior is exactly what I don’t want my car to look like. Take those big ugly air vents, for example. In comparison the continuous air vent of the Model 3 is beautiful.

Anyway, there are much more important things than interior design. Like the Model 3 being an EV and the Mercedes E-class isn’t. Priorities.

Mercedes interior design is definitely more ornate and that’s not to everyone’s taste. But even modern can be upscale eg in new Audis etc. 3 doesn’t feel like a $55k car. So I’d have to “fix” the interior if I get the 3. Being an EV is important but this feels like a compromise.

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You might want to check out unpluggedperformance.com. From the website:

“There is a limit to the luxury you can expect from a technology-packed mainstream vehicle, but at Unplugged there are no limits. Combine your inspirations with our impeccable bespoke coachwork to make your driving environment as luxurious as you demand.”
 
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... 3 doesn’t feel like a $55k car. So I’d have to “fix” the interior if I get the 3. Being an EV is important but this feels like a compromise.
The 3 doesn’t feel like a $55k ICE car because that’s not what it is. It’s important recognize what you’re paying for. It’s really a $25k car strapped onto a $30k battery pack. Nothing wrong upgrading the appointments if you’d like a more refined interior.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I’m considering a Model 3 for a family member but my biggest concern is that the interior is very spartan and not up to par with the competition.
Substitue “S” or “X” for “3” in your statement and you can find numerous threads over the past 5 years on TMC about the same issue. And yet with that “spartan” interior, the S and X took major market share from established luxury brands like Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche.

If fancy stitching and more wood is important to you, then of course you are welcome to spend money modifying the interior of your 3. In my opinion such things are inconsequential frills. I prefer the clean, simple, functional yet sophisticated look that Tesla offers. My only criticism of the Model 3 interior is the wood dash piece: I would prefer it be carbon fiber or some other modern material. Wood is for horse drawn carriages in the 19th century. Just like gasoline is for cars in the 20th century. This is the 21st century...
 

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
It's not as simple as only black or white - EV vs ICE, take the EV with the Spartan interior (the 3/S/X are all quite plain, only to various degree) or leave it. I had the S, now 3 and the E class. Of the 3 cars, I find the most refined interior and the most comfortable drive in the E. I wish Tesla offered a real premium upgrade package similar to that. It should not be even that hard - just have better materials overall and get some real interior lighting. Perhaps when they ramped up they can concentrate on the next gen S and refinements to the 3.
 
Substitue “S” or “X” for “3” in your statement and you can find numerous threads over the past 5 years on TMC about the same issue. And yet with that “spartan” interior, the S and X took major market share from established luxury brands like Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche.

If fancy stitching and more wood is important to you, then of course you are welcome to spend money modifying the interior of your 3. In my opinion such things are inconsequential frills. I prefer the clean, simple, functional yet sophisticated look that Tesla offers. My only criticism of the Model 3 interior is the wood dash piece: I would prefer it be carbon fiber or some other modern material. Wood is for horse drawn carriages in the 19th century. Just like gasoline is for cars in the 20th century. This is the 21st century...

Honestly, the biggest thing I find making the 3 look incomplete is the lack of an instrument cluster. The S and X interior don’t seem incomplete. I wish Tesla had just spent a few hundred dollars per car to add that to the 3.
 
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DanH

Member
Dec 23, 2017
174
220
CA
I’m considering a Model 3 for a family member but my biggest concern is that the interior is very spartan and not up to par with the competition. The other option is an E-Class which has a nice and luxurious interior IMO (see below). If I order the Model 3, I’d like to get some custom work done on the interior and if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to share. I’m considering contrasting stitched leather on the steering wheel airbag cover, dash top, top of door panels, sides of center console. I’ll also see if I can add wood elsewhere too. The interior would’ve seemed less bare bones if there was at least an instrument cluster screen but I don’t think that can be addressed aftermarket. Good ambient lighting might also help.

maxresdefault.jpg
Why not wait for the Ipace?

Today delivery of my 3 2 weeks ago, first time inside a Tesla.
It’s a beautiful car. The interior is gorgeous and it makes a lot of sense.
I like it a lot more than my wife’s BMW 3’s interior.

I took the BMW for a quick errand yesterday. Driving it felt like a big step back. The interior was cramp even though both cars were very similar in size.
 
Why not wait for the Ipace?

Today delivery of my 3 2 weeks ago, first time inside a Tesla.
It’s a beautiful car. The interior is gorgeous and it makes a lot of sense.
I like it a lot more than my wife’s BMW 3’s interior.

I took the BMW for a quick errand yesterday. Driving it felt like a big step back. The interior was cramp even though both cars were very similar in size.

I agree, BMW interiors are terrible unless you step up to the 7. The 3 series is all plastic.
 
I think the Model 3's interior is primarily the way it is due to the need to cut cost. The battery is probably almost as expensive as the ones in the low-end Model S, so they had to cut cost elsewhere to bring the price down. It's most obvious in the interior, but also a few other things such as not very good road noise isolation compared to other premium cars in this class such as a Merc C class or Audi A4.

I also agree that it was a mistake not to have a second small screen behind the wheel (similar e.g. to the BMW i3), showing basically the information that now occupies the left third of the center screen. That would not only have placed vital information in a more comfortable position, but also made additional screen real estate available on the center screen (which currently doesn't have a good place to display e.g. navigation instructions). Early adopters and EV enthusiasts are probably willing to live with it, but I think in the long run it will be off-putting to regular car buyers.

At the end of the day you have to decide what is more important to you: the EV drive train or some luxury features ...
 
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TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,652
8,918
Austin, TX
Tesla doesn’t have to please most car buyers. There are 17 million cars sold in the US each year. To sell 500,000 cars in the US it only has to please 3% of car buyers.

Anyway, sounds like you don’t own a Model 3. It took me less than a day to get perfectly comfortable with the screen to the side. It’s not a matter of being willing to live with it, I don’t even think about it any more.
 
Personally, I love the way new Mercedes and BMW interiors look in photos, but they’re dissapointing IRL. Less is more, especially when high quality materials are used. I really like Model 3’s simplistic design, but I personally think it needs a touch of detail more to really complete the car, so I’ll be updating some colors and materials.

This is just based off personal taste though, and I still think the stock interior is a lot nicer in person than it looks in photos, so YMMV.
 
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I’m considering a Model 3 for a family member but my biggest concern is that the interior is very spartan and not up to par with the competition. The other option is an E-Class which has a nice and luxurious interior IMO (see below). If I order the Model 3, I’d like to get some custom work done on the interior and if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to share. I’m considering contrasting stitched leather on the steering wheel airbag cover, dash top, top of door panels, sides of center console. I’ll also see if I can add wood elsewhere too. The interior would’ve seemed less bare bones if there was at least an instrument cluster screen but I don’t think that can be addressed aftermarket. Good ambient lighting might also help.

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Hi! I know how you feel with the interior, as I own a Mercedes S-Class and also a Porsche GT3. It's hard to get the best of both worlds with I picked up my Tesla M3. I was able to integrate a couple of extra comforts and sporty aesthetic upgrades to bridge the gap. Being a former Model S and Model X owner, I knew my M3 interior would be very minimalist. I love the car for all its other awesome features, but needed to add a few things as you can see in my photos. As my daily driver, the seat upholstery replacements with diamond stitch leather was a smart choice. With the original seats, I'd say in my opinion they were as comfy as the seats in a Mercedes C-class range.

I added glossy carbon fiber to the wood panel and steering wheel. I wanted to do more like the center console and other trimmings, but the cost would be too much. To me, I like the touch of sportiness that reminds me of my Porsche. Hope this helps give you an idea of some things you can do to spruce up the inside to your liking.
 

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