Tesla Model 3 Refresh for 2021

Tesla Model 3 Refresh for 2021

One of the cool things about Tesla is that they don't have "model years".

They're constantly updating their cars, mostly through software updates, but sometimes they'll do "refreshes" to a car's interior or physical design elements. The Tesla Model 3 is getting its very first refresh coming soon in 2021 with 8 big changes that you should know about.

Center Console 2.0

The original Model 3 center console has a glossy piano black surface and is divided into three separate sections with "flip up" lid designs. The newly redesigned center console almost looks like two pieces with the top section where you dock your smartphone at the top looking completely different. Tesla replaced the piano black glossy finish with a matte black finish. Instead of being a lid that flips open, it’s now a sliding door like in the Model S and Model X. It’s separated with the chrome trim now wrapping around the second section. The cup holders don’t have a chrome trim and they are located higher on the section closer to the section with an opening. The phone charger section looks like a solid piece that doesn’t flip up. It’s wrapped with fake leather and the center has what looks like a suede-like material.

Glove Box DashCam

Tesla owners can connect a flash drive to one of the USB ports in the center console to enable Sentry Mode and TeslaCam, the automaker’s dashcam feature, which will capture footage from the exterior cameras. In the new 2021 Model 3 refresh Tesla has updated the glovebox to now get a USB port on the top left corner of it. The new port is going to connect to Tesla’s MCU and enable Tesla owners to connect a USB drive in order to record Sentry Mode and TeslaCam events. Recently, Tesla pushed a software update with a new feature called ‘Glovebox PIN’. In Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, there is no physical button to open the glovebox and drivers have to open it through a command on the center touchscreen. With the new feature, anyone is required to enter a PIN code to open the glovebox. Combining the updated 2021 Model 3 design with this new features results in Tesla owners now being able to secure their Sentry Mode/TeslaCam storage device in a locked glovebox.

Heat Pump & Octovalve

Tesla Model Y features a brand new heat pump and octovalve that may be coming to the newly refreshed Model 3. The heat pump and octovalve work together to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle’s thermal systems, thus improving range especially in cold temperatures.

Automatic Trunk

The Model 3's trunk will supposedly get converted from a manual trunk to a powered automatic lift gate trunk. It's similar to what Model Y has except the trunk in the Model 3 will not be a hatchback style - it will stay a trunk style opening but will have the ability to open and close automatically.

New 19” Sport Wheels

Tesla looks to have updated the design of the 19’’ Sport Wheels for Model 3. While the spokes are similar, the new design feature a larger rim that meets the spoke flat. The new design leaves a lot less open space in the wheel and hopefully will be a lot more aerodynamic, which improves range and efficiency.

Black Trim

Model 3 used to come with chrome trim, but in the new refresh it will come with black trim instead of chrome. Model Y comes with black trim with no chrome option so we are assuming Model 3 will follow suit.

Interior & Windows

There's also rumored to be a slightly darker material for the new upholstery in the Model 3. Tesla also changed the windows with a new double-paned glass, which should help with noise and weather isolation.


There are also some smaller changes and we expect that there are quite a few other changes that we are going to learn about as they deliver the vehicle in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.