Tesla Model 3: How Do Early Production Models Differ From Latest Ones?

Have you ever wondered if the cars that exit the assembly line when production commences are exactly the same as the ones that are manufactured a bit later?

Since the Model 3 is one of the hottest cars right now and some owners have complained that build quality was patchy, it made sense to examine if, and how, later production models might be different from earlier ones.

We already know that Tesla likes to do things a little bit differently, so customers should expect their models to improve continuously without a mid-life cycle revamp, as is the case with pretty much any other passenger vehicle.

Nevertheless, there are some changes that were implemented as Model 3 production ramped up. To find out, Teslaunity made a quick comparison of an early VIN Model 3 and a late VIN one. The older car is VIN #005XXX and the newer one is #101XXX, which were manufactured seven months apart.

For starters, older Model 3s didn’t feature a trunk garnish straight out of the factory. The owner of the grey car had to have his installed afterwards, just so he wouldn’t have to deal with that much exposed metal.

There is also a slightly different seat design in the newer model, with new stitching patterns in front and a raised, by about 2 inches (5 cm), backseat. Newer models also come with a matte finish Tesla emblem on the steering wheel, instead of a chrome one, which we admit is a visual upgrade since chrome tends to look a bit cheap and is a fingerprint magnet.

Meanwhile, behind the steering wheel you’ll find a chrome insert which is now uninterrupted in its design, while the sun visor doesn’t feature Alcantara flaps anymore.

There are a few more differences worth mentioning, which you can see by watching the video below.


  • no25

    oh my gosh who cares? a brand changed thing after 7 months. big whoop.

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    “Tesla makes changes on a daily basis to improve the vehicles”. Does Nissan do that with the Leaf? No, because changing parts and the way things are done on a daily basis harms productivity and quality. Tesla has an insane amount of catching up to do, if they are truly serious about wanting to compete as a proper manufacturer.

    • Jarosław Kotowicz


    • GobbleUp

      Delusional thinking.

      • Matteo Tommasi

        Smart, real-life, not-Musk thinking you should say

        • HN

          “not-Musk thinking”

          Elon Musk think that the ICEV is dead, only BEV is good for the future and he did it.

          Elon Musk think that the disposable rocket is dead, only reusable rocket is good for the future and he did it too.

          Only the idiots would try to stay with the past, the smart ones think about the future and do something about it.

          • Mr. EP9

            Elon Musk thinks this; Elon Musk thinks that. That doesn’t mean he’s right and calling other people idiots for sticking with tried and tested technology instead of going all on unproven tech that can, and will, blow up in your face is a really poor way of looking at things.

          • HN

            @Mr. EP9 – “Elon Musk thinks this; Elon Musk thinks that. That doesn’t mean he’s right”

            He was perfectly correct in working on BEV and reusable rocket. How many company didn’t invest billions in BEV development ? Look at Toyota heavy investment in hydrogen fuel cell, did they success with the Mirai ?

            If Elon Musk was incorrect in BEV then why Tesla sold more Model 3 than all cars sold by BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus in USA the last quarter ?

            If Elon Musk was wrong about reusable rocket then why SpaceX had been used Falcon 9 more than once ? Also, gave customers discount on reusable rocket on top of the lowest launch cost.

            Yes, only the idiots would want to stay with last century technologies. Proof ? GM had a chance to make EV1 a success in the 90’s but they killed it to stay with ICEV. What do they have ? Layoff thousands, closing plants, stop working on Chevy Volt and others.

            Don’t you see the idiots are paying the price and the innovators are ripping the benefits ?

      • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

        How is it delusional? Please explain. From the outside, it seems that Nissan has been able to build an affordable and decent-quality EV for the global market since 2010, something that took Tesla quite a few years longer to achieve. Nissan has a history of mass-manufacturing quality cars for profit. Tesla doesn’t.

    • HN

      ” if they are truly serious about wanting to compete as a proper manufacturer.”

      Tesla doesn’t compete with the last century car companies. Tesla is leading the change of the car industry to EV only and they are the leader in the EV segment as of now. Tesla sold more Model 3 than BMW sold all cars in the last quarter.

      • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

        You really do not understand how manufacturing works and neither does Tesla. No wonder it barely scrapes a profit.

        Are you referring to a specific BMW model? BMW sold more car globally across all of their models in the last quarter than Tesla did with the Model 3. You seem to be fabricating statistics like a USSR-supporting banana republic.

    • Haggy

      Oh, the horror of constant improvement! Some people will do anything to make the positive look negative.

      Of course it would be easier for Tesla to never change anything. They know that. Customers know that. Fortunately, Tesla does it anyway.

      • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

        Like Tesla, you clearly don’t understand the principles of mass manufacturing. Henry Ford showed how it was done in the 1910s. Constantly changing how a car is built in such a short space of time, either through extra parts or extra processes, impacts how quickly a car can be built and the quality. No wonder mainstream car manufacturers are rapidly catching up with them.

        • Haggy

          Tesla understands mass manufacturing better than anybody. Its competitors took years or decades longer to get to the production volume of the Model 3, if they got there at all, and few got there or came close to it.

          Ford isn’t catching up. They don’t make any car in anywhere near the volume of the Model 3.

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            What are you talking about? Henry Ford revolutionized the mass-manufacturing of cars in the 1910s. The Japanese perfected it with just-in-time manufacturing principles in the 1960s and 1970s. You probably should be reminded that Nissan were successfully mass-manufacturing a decent-quality and affordable EV back in 2010, two full years before the Model S and seven years before the Model 3.

            In Europe, Volkswagen produce and sell the Golf in far higher volumes than Tesla. Last year figures hit over 482,000. At their peak in 1999, they produced and sold close to 704,000 in a single year.

          • Haggy

            The Golf has been on the market since 1974. The Model 3 became generally available about a year ago. VW did NOT get up to that level of production in a year or anywhere close to it.

            If you want a fair comparison, let’s look at how many cars Tesla makes 45 years from now and compare it to what VW makes today. Or you can simply admit that what I said was true. There’s no car on the market that got up to the production level of the Model 3 this fast. The Model 3 is the best selling American car in the US. The three Japanese cars that beat it in volume (the Model 3 is still far ahead in terms of revenue and is number one in the US by far) took years or decades to get there.

            In terms of quality, the Leaf has poor battery management, poor range, and the life of the battery is so poor that the resale value of the car plummets quickly. It’s anything but a quality vehicle if it lasts for only a few years.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Alcantara flaps!!
    I wonder if the wife would like an upgrade ?

  • Joseph Brown

    No mention of the headlight redesign, which almost certainly happened between these two cars. The new headlights are much better, and earn a rare IIHS ‘Good’ rating,

  • no25

    Care about the change in stitching on the seats on a car from a brand I will never own? lol

  • Hot Twink

    Hopefully the rear bumpers don’t fall off the latest production examples. That would be a spectacular improvement….

  • KareKakk

    People seems to have little knowledge of british or italian small scale production, where cars were put together on a daily basis with whatever ready-made generic parts the factory could get hold of that week. Barely two cars rolling off the assembly line after eachother were equal at any level, custom built or not. Tesla are doing quite fine in that comparison.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      Those British and Italian manufacturers sell cars for over $200k per vehicle, they can afford to take a bit extra time and care in their production. When Tesla wants to compete on the global market for mass-manufactured cars that cost $40k, they just can’t afford to do it, which is why they’ve barely made a profit for over the five years. Henry Ford showed everyone the importance of mass production in the 1910s. This is nothing new!

      • HN

        “they’ve barely made a profit for over the five years.”

        How many cars did Tesla produce 5 yearsto rowth” ? Where is the money is coming from to expand the company ? Why investors are betting on Tesla and it has more market cap than both Ford and GM ? Smart investors are looking to invest with a company with brighter future and they are not either Ford nor GM.

        • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

          The money is coming from investors. Tesla as a company is $9 billion dollars in debt.

          • HN

            Which car company doesn’t have any debt ? If Tesla is a terrible company then why it expand its business while Ford and GM are laying off some employees, closing some plants and discontinue some sedans ?

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            Did I say Tesla was terrible? No. However, they have far too much debt considering how little profit they make. Ford and GM have to restructure to survive. They got too big without putting a decent business plan in place. It isn’t just them, Volkswagen will be in just the same position over the next five to ten years.

  • Haggy

    It’s the opposite. If parts need to be replaced, the customer gets something better than new.

Mazda Teases Interior Of Its First Production Electric Car

Mazda’s first-ever production EV will be a subcompact model packing the latest technologies and sustainable materials.

The Hyundai i30 Fastback N Is Already Getting A Facelift

The tweaked Hyundai i30 Fastback N will include revised headlights, taillights, and bumpers.

Faraday Future’s Troubled Founder Files For Bankruptcy In The U.S.

Jia Yueting needs to repay more than $3.6 billion to over 100 creditors following the collapse of LeEco.

2021 Genesis GV70 Compact Luxury SUV Shows Production Body For The First Time

The Genesis GV70 will go up against the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and the like.

Ford Recalls 2019 Rangers Over HVAC Fire Risk

This is the second recall to impact 2019 model year Ford Rangers in the U.S.

Musk Says Tesla Pickup Will Be Like A Futuristic “Armored Personnel Carrier”

The Tesla pickup truck is shaping up to be unlike any other truck on the market.

2021 Hyundai Tucson Drops Heavy Camo To Reveal Sporty Body

The all-new Hyundai Tucson will feature a more raked roofline and coupe-like window line.

Volkswagen Delays Final Decision On New Turkish Car Factory Over Syria Invasion

VW is postponing their decision as criticism grows over Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Syria.

2020 Ford Transit Custom Nugget Launched With New Engine, Onboard Wi-Fi Modem

The latest Ford camper van has gained an 182 HP variant of its 2.0-liter diesel engine and has just been launched in the UK, where it starts at £56,273.

This Is It: 2020 VW Golf Revealed Ahead Of Schedule, What Do You Think?

These photos of a 2020 VW Golf look like the real deal and likely show an entry-level version.