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Differences between black and white interiors

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
81
56
USA
I'm getting close to finally pulling the trigger on ordering my first Tesla, a Model 3. I've narrowed my exterior color choices to white with black interior or blue with white (or black).

I'm trying to understand the differences between the white and black interior options. Looks like only the following items are different:

seating surfaces
door inserts
dashboard panel / strip

The rest of the interior pieces seem to be the same between the black and the white. i.e. the seatbacks are black even if you get the white interior. If I were to order the white interior I think I'd almost certainly replace the dashboard panel / strip with a woodgrain one or wrap it somehow.

I guess I'm asking as a way of hedging my decision. In other words, may want to change from one to the other immediately or down the road. Guess that could be done by swapping genuine parts or third party options.
 
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Payjack

Member
Jun 29, 2020
60
37
Gilbert, Az
You are correct the only difference is the color, front dash trim color and pocket inserts. I have a white on white and love the way the it looks. That said if I had to do it over again I would get Gray with black interior. The white car gets so much dirt on the back of it from just driving around and my white seat bottom is already showing signs of wear after just 1 year and 5k miles. If you have any sort of ocd get the black interior trust me. White is also the free color so every tesla I see on the road is white now. Also,if you plan on wrapping the Gray would be easier to wrap over as you won’t see the white peaking through.
 

Raechris

Member
Nov 21, 2017
643
298
Boston
I have both interiors and the major difference is white vs alcantara door panels and dash insert wood vs white plastic. I like both but find the white drivers seat lacks some lateral support in the side panel that I did not expect. The white material is softer and the cushioning too like being on a pillow in a good way (still plenty firm). You can't go wrong with either and if I were you - blue go white otherwise black. Good luck and congratulations on your first Tesla! Whatever you decide will be awesome and the car is fantastic. Don't be too picky like some you read on here. It is an amazing car and technology- there is no comparison to anything. I am excited for you. Congratulations in advance!!
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
218
69
Pittsburgh
I ended up sticking with black. I agree white is "cooler" but it also is going to require more maintenance to keep it up. I don't think you can go wrong either way and the white does add a wow factor to the car. I don't really understand why Tesla upcharges for the white since by all accounts is exactly the same materials etc. Seems like a money grab and that annoyed me a little. If you get the white paint, it equals out in terms of money but as much as I love a white car, there are too many white model 3s around so I went MSM.
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
752
142
El Paso, TX
White is also the free color so every tesla I see on the road is white now.
I considered an M3 for my wife since they came out, and white interior was always a $1K up charge, so not sure where you got that, since you seem to be in the US. And I had to pay an extra grand for white interior on the 2021 I finally bought for my wife.

Two final points. The dash trim is plastic in both interiors, but I much prefer the white; don't like fake wood. The seats are not leather, but at least they're the best substitute I've seen so far. And my last point is white interior is supposed to be softer and cushier than black, hence the extra charge. I never tried them back to back, but Raechris confirmed that above, so now I know it's true :). That material is obviously not $1K more expensive than the black one, but at least you're getting something for your extra grand. Ha ha. Oh, and it's super easy to clean, so it doesn't really need any extra maintenance.
 

Payjack

Member
Jun 29, 2020
60
37
Gilbert, Az
I considered an M3 for my wife since they came out, and white interior was always a $1K up charge, so not sure where you got that, since you seem to be in the US. And I had to pay an extra grand for white interior on the 2021 I finally bought for my wife.

White Exterior is free. My white interior I had to pay the same $1k for.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
218
69
Pittsburgh
White Exterior is free. My white interior I had to pay the same $1k for.
Right. My point related to exterior not interior. White exterior is free so I see a lot of white cars on the road. I decided to go MSM exterior and Black interior but for the same money you could go white on white. I can say that the car in MSM and Black interior gives off an entirely different vibe than white.
 
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elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
752
142
El Paso, TX
Oh, sorry about that. Yes, white exterior has always been free on the M3 as well, and that's what we wanted, so I only paid for the interior. Having said that, the white paint is the worst I've seen on any car. Maybe the other colors are the same. It's thin and brittle as hell. In fact, it might not even have a clear coat, for all I've seen. I removed the 'DUAL MOTOR' letters, which were pretty easy to remove, and still managed to remove the paint all the way down to the primer, just for a little pressure on the 'D' when I lifted it from the top, and barely touched the paint at the bottom. It wouldn't even have marked the clear-coat on other cars, let alone get down to the primer. We'll see how it wears over time.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,184
9,043
Riverside Co. CA
Oh, sorry about that. Yes, white exterior has always been free on the M3 as well, and that's what we wanted, so I only paid for the interior. Having said that, the white paint is the worst I've seen on any car. Maybe the other colors are the same. It's thin and brittle as hell. In fact, it might not even have a clear coat, for all I've seen. I removed the 'DUAL MOTOR' letters, which were pretty easy to remove, and still managed to remove the paint all the way down to the primer, just for a little pressure on the 'D' when I lifted it from the top, and barely touched the paint at the bottom. It wouldn't even have marked the clear-coat on other cars, let alone get down to the primer. We'll see how it wears over time.

The white exterior hasnt "always been free on the model 3". From when the model 3 was released (2017) till around the middle of 2019 or so, black was the free color and white was a $2,000 add on cost. The same white that is free now, many (many many) people paid 2k for.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
218
69
Pittsburgh
Oh, sorry about that. Yes, white exterior has always been free on the M3 as well, and that's what we wanted, so I only paid for the interior. Having said that, the white paint is the worst I've seen on any car. Maybe the other colors are the same. It's thin and brittle as hell. In fact, it might not even have a clear coat, for all I've seen. I removed the 'DUAL MOTOR' letters, which were pretty easy to remove, and still managed to remove the paint all the way down to the primer, just for a little pressure on the 'D' when I lifted it from the top, and barely touched the paint at the bottom. It wouldn't even have marked the clear-coat on other cars, let alone get down to the primer. We'll see how it wears over time.
Common complaint. My rocker panels are already chipped after two week of ownership. Another guy here stripped his paint off with a pressure washer. Definitely unacceptable on any level. My hood has a paint defect from the factory which needs to be addressed. So far Tesla has agreed to resolve it. As far as interior colors go I still think the 1k up charge is ridiculous. Any increase in materials would be negligible.
 
Nov 12, 2020
26
7
Southern California
From what I read, White interior is a softer material and has an added special coating to make it more stain resistant. Which adds to the extra cost.

There are tons of YouTube vids of people throwing wine, tomato sauce, coffee, etc on the seats to show it's tough to stain. But I wasn't going to rely on factory protection, so I threw on a couple coats of ceramic coating for leather (Gyeon leather shield) just for good measure - and glad I did. It rained hard when my son and I went out for grocery shopping. When we got everything loaded in the car, we were both soaked. My son had new jeans that was only machined washed once before. I didn't think anything of it until we got home and he got up and there was blue dye all over the seat! :eek: After recovering from the heart attack, I grabbed a bag of baby wipes (picked these up before hand knowing I'd use them to clean the seats some day) and started wiping up. At first I didn't think it was coming off, but after a minute of good rubbing and using a clean sheet each time, the seats turned pristine white again.

Would I make the decision to buy the white seats again in the future? Yep- the slight extra maintenance is very minor compared to the over all look and feel every time I get into the car. Besides, It forces me to keep the car clean and sanitary. Black seats can be filthy, but you just don't know it until you can smell it. :D
 
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Mr X

Future Martian
Jan 18, 2013
2,136
1,663
Simi Valley, CA
I'm getting close to finally pulling the trigger on ordering my first Tesla, a Model 3. I've narrowed my exterior color choices to white with black interior or blue with white (or black).

I'm trying to understand the differences between the white and black interior options. Looks like only the following items are different:

seating surfaces
door inserts
dashboard panel / strip

The rest of the interior pieces seem to be the same between the black and the white. i.e. the seatbacks are black even if you get the white interior. If I were to order the white interior I think I'd almost certainly replace the dashboard panel / strip with a woodgrain one or wrap it somehow.

I guess I'm asking as a way of hedging my decision. In other words, may want to change from one to the other immediately or down the road. Guess that could be done by swapping genuine parts or third party options.


Wood dash with white interior?

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timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
81
56
USA
I mentioned this elsewhere in a review I posted of my test drives, but figured I'd update this discussion. I think the white is really cool to look at. Really makes the car pop when you look at it from the outside. On my test drives, both cars had white interiors. They did feel more spacious. It was a sunny day. In the end I felt that the white was too bright, a little harsh actually. Kind of like a being in a big shopping mall and cutting through the posh makeup store or department store jewelry counter, you know how they're so brightly, whitely, lit up. It reminded me of that. Not relaxing. By contrast, sitting in another car that had the black interior felt soothing and comforting by contrast. Right now I'm sold on black.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,110
1,737
SWFL | Vegas
I ended up sticking with black. I agree white is "cooler" but it also is going to require more maintenance to keep it up.
Disagree. White cleans up easier. You just have a harder time seeing stains on the black. Being synthetic I'm not worried about my white interior cracking and/or prematurely wearing like leather/pleather. Tesla recommends white.
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,043
1,214
The Woodlands, TX
I like both but find the white drivers seat lacks some lateral support in the side panel that I did not expect. The white material is softer and the cushioning too like being on a pillow in a good way (still plenty firm).

This is not correct. What you're experiencing here is a difference in build specification as Tesla went along. Has nothing to do with the seat color.
 
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BeeGood

Member
Jan 27, 2020
169
121
Georgia
I had black interior in the 2020 M3 and now have white in a 2021 M3.

Pros for white seats:
-The seats look amazing, especially in sunlight
-They’re unique since most people opt not to pay for the upgrade.
-Maybe it’s just in my head, but the texture feels different/slightly softer on the white seats (could have been a change from 2020-2021 in general and not about color)
-white surfaces don’t show dust/light colored dirt as mush so they can often “look cleaner” than the black interior

Cons:
-Obviously cost more
-Dye transfer from pants/other staining that wouldn’t be as obvious on black interiors
-You will definitely see dark colored dirt, hairs, fibers from dark clothing more.


Overall, for me, 100% worth it. I used Gyeon Q2 leather shield on the seats immediately after delivery and have had zero issues with dye and stains over the last 2.5 months. I wear jeans every day and haul sweaty/dirty kids back and forth from track/soccer practice all week. Nothing has taken more than dish soap and and a microfiber towel to come off. Most of the time just baby wipes after using a soft duster to remove debris. I honestly don’t clean them any more frequently than I did my black seats.

Everything else is personal preference really. I never loved the wood grain so the white dash is an upgrade to me and the car just feels and looks more open and spacious with the white seats and the door panels. I’ll just keep slapping Gyeon on it every 6 months and keep pushing.
 

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