Tesla Model 3 Highland

  • BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    It’s safe to say that BYD has set the country alight with the Seal, an electric sedan that goes toe-to-toe with the ever-popular Tesla Model 3. The Chinese company has been quite aggressive with its latest model, particularly in terms of pricing.

    Doubtless, there will be those of you who will be wondering how the BYD compares against the Tesla in terms of price, size and bare numbers. Here, we’re taking a closer look at how the Seal stacks up against its fiercest rival.

    Pricing: Seal undercuts Model 3 considerably

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    We’ve been eagerly awaiting pricing for the Seal since it was confirmed it would be coming to Malaysia, and now that it’s here, it’s clear that BYD isn’t messing about. Prices are as follows:

    • BYD Seal Premium RWD – RM180,430 on-the-road without insurance
    • BYD Seal Performance AWD – RM200,430 on-the-road without insurance

    As such, the Seal Premium RWD undercuts the Model 3 LR (RM190,700) by more than RM37,000. Meanwhile, no Model 3 Performance competitor for the Seal Performance AWD has been launched, yet the Seal Performance AWD is over RM19,000 cheaper than the Model 3 Long Range AWD (RM219,700), and you get more performance to boot.

    Dimensions: Model 3 is smaller but more practical

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    Given that the Seal has been designed to compete with the Model 3, it’s no surprise they are largely the same size. However, the Chinese car edges out its Chinese-built American rival ever so slightly, being 80 mm longer and 19 mm taller; the Tesla counters by being 42 mm wider.

    This advantage should give the BYD greater interior room compared to the Tesla, although the Model 3 is by no means cramped inside. But if luggage space is what you’re looking for, then the Model 3 has a slight edge, both in terms of the rear boot (425 litres vs 400) and especially the front (88 litres versus 40). The fact the Seal even has a front boot, however, is noteworthy, especially as the Atto 3 and Dolphin don’t have one.

    Performance and range: Seal is faster, Model 3 can drive further

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    Tesla is known for providing a staggering amount of performance for your money, but it’s been upstaged by BYD here. The Seal Premium RWD makes 313 PS and 360 Nm of torque and is able to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5.9 seconds.

    Meanwhile, the Performance AWD variant churns out 530 PS and 670 Nm from its dual motors, enabling it to complete the century sprint in just 3.8 seconds. That’s six tenths of a second quicker than the Model 3 Long Range AWD. To be fair, the Seal Performance AWD is more of a competitor for the Model 3 Performance, which in its latest Highland guise isn’t out yet. We’d expect the latter to be significantly more expensive.

    The cheapest Seal is the one that has the most range (as the 82.5 kWh LFP battery comes standard). Even so, the Model 3 Long Range comfortably beats the Seal Premium RWD with a range of 629 km, versus 570 km for the BYD (both figures are WLTP) – despite the fact it has all-wheel drive.

    Charging: Advantage Tesla

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    Charging times are inconclusive as Tesla doesn’t provide any figures for the Model 3 (only that its 250 kW DC Superchargers are able to provide up to 282 km of additional range in 15 minutes). But the car can accept a higher amount of DC fast charging power than the Seal (170 kW vs 150 kW), the latter taking 37 minutes to charge from 10 to 80%.

    The Model 3 will also charge quicker when plugged up to an AC charger, as it can support up to 11 kW, compared to just 7 kW for the Seal. The latter takes a staggering 15.2 hours for a full charge.

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    And that’s with the right 7 kW single-phase charger. If you use an 11 kW or 22 kW three-phase charger thinking it’ll be faster, the Seal’s onboard charger will step down to between 3.5 and 3.7 kW, meaning that it will take twice as long (more than a full day) compared to a technically slower 7 kW charger. Electric vehicles with a three-phase 11 kW (like the Tesla) or 22 kW OBC don’t suffer from this issue.

    It also goes without saying that only the Model 3 can use Tesla’s Supercharger network as well as its Destination Chargers.

    Maintenance: Less servicing with Model 3, but shorter warranty

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    It’s here where you really see the difference between Tesla’s unconventional attitude to maintenance and BYD’s more traditional approach. The former hardly has a service schedule at all, simply recommending you to replace your cabin air filter every two years and an air-con desiccant bag replacement and brake fluid check every four years.

    Tesla does not provide any pricing details on its Malaysian website, nor the cost of a replacement cabin air filter, which is user-serviceable. However, the Tesla Shop in the US lists the latter at US$17 (RM81) at the time of writing. We assume all these maintenance jobs (along with tyre rotations, recommended every 10,000 km) can be done by third-party workshops, although Tesla warns this may affect warranty coverage.

    By contrast, BYD will sell you various service packages to keep you in its after-sales network. The Standard package includes tyre alignment, single-speed transmission oil service, air-con filter replacement and refrigerant service, brake fluid service, motor coolant service. This is priced at RM2,688 for three years, RM6,288 for six years and RM8,288 for eight years (add RM200 each for the Performance AWD model).

    BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 Highland Malaysia comparison – how do these electric sedans stack up?

    BYD Seal service packages

    Alternatively, you can purchase a Plus package that throws in replacements for wipers, washer fluid, remote control and 12V batteries, and brake pads and discs. This is very expensive, weighing in RM11,488 for six years and RM17,488 for eight years. As yet, BYD has not released a schedule for these replacements, nor has it confirmed if servicing your car at its service centres is required to maintain warranty coverage.

    Speaking of which, Tesla’s more lenient maintenance schedule means you get less warranty coverage – just four years or 80,000 km for the vehicle, compared to six years or 150,000 km for the BYD. The Model 3’s battery and drive motor warranty is at least competitive with the BYD, with the same eight-year/160,000 km coverage (the BYD’s warranty for the drive motor is only up to 150,000 km).

    What else?

    BYD Seal (left), Tesla Model 3 (right)

    If you’re looking for the car with the most value for money, the Seal trumps the Model 3 hands down. The kit list is basically identical across both variants, including full-LED lighting, massive 19-inch alloy wheels, flush pop-out door handles, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a novel rotating 15.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, powered leather seats, a glass roof, a 12-speaker Dynaudio sound system and a 360-degree camera system.

    You also get a full suite of driver assists, such as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist, plus nine airbags that include rear side and driver’s centre airbags.

    By contrast, you have a lot of option boxes to tick with the Tesla, such as alloy wheels (lowly 18s as standard), colours (only white is free) and even the choice of Autopilot (normal, Enhanced or the dubious Full Self Driving). On the plus side, even the standard Autopilot is one of the best in the business, as are the standard 15.4-inch front and eight-inch rear touchscreens. No stalks, however, so there’s that.

    Itching to find out how these two cars drive? Check out Hafriz’s video review of the Tesla Model 3 and Anthony’s first drive impressions of the BYD Seal.

    GALLERY: 2024 BYD Seal Premium RWD in Malaysia


    GALLERY: 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD in Malaysia

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 Highland EV body-in-white structure currently on display at IOI City Mall until Feb 26, 2024

    Tesla Model 3 Highland EV body-in-white structure currently on display at IOI City Mall until Feb 26, 2024

    If you ever wondered what’s under the skin of a Tesla Model 3 Highland, you’ll want to head on over to LG West Court in IOI City Mall from now until February 26, 2024 to check out the electric vehicle’s (EV) body-in-white (BIW) structure.

    The Model 3 is primarily constructed using stamped steel of various strengths, which is different from the Model S and X that are composed of large aluminium castings and extruded profiles. This construction method is more suited for a lower-priced, high-volume vehicle, and steel is stronger than aluminium, which is important for the centre underbody where the battery resides.

    Along with a range of passive and active safety systems, the Model 3 managed to secure high ratings in crash tests conducted by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    In addition to the Model 3 BIW structure, the full range of Tesla models are also being showcased at the event. The Model 3 is offered in two variants, starting with the Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive that retails for RM189,000, which is followed by the Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive at RM218,000.

    The former gets you 513 km of range (WLTP) along with a top speed of 201 km/h, a 0-100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds and a peak DC charging capacity of 170 kW. Go with the latter and range is increased to 629 km, the 0-100 km/h time drops to 4.4 seconds and the DC charging limit is upped to 250 kW.

    There’s also the Model Y which comes in three variants, including the Standard Rear-Wheel Drive at RM199,000, the Long Range Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive at RM246,000 and the Performance Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive at RM288,000.

    The base option offers 455 km of range, a top speed of 217 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 6.9 seconds. Step up to the mid-range variant and the range goes up to 533 km while the century sprint time drops to five seconds. At the top of the heap, the Performance variant is the quickest to 100 km/h from a dead stop at just 3.7 seconds and the top speed is increased to 250 km/h, but range takes a hit to 514 km.

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 deliveries halted in Australia – what is it all about and does it affect Malaysian buyers?

    Tesla Model 3 deliveries halted in Australia – what is it all about and does it affect Malaysian buyers?

    There has been reports that Tesla has been forced to halt Model 3 “Highland” deliveries in Australia over a matter of technical non-compliance with Australian rules.

    Here’s the gist of it – Australia Design Rules (ADR) requires that a car comes with a centre top tether point to secure a child seat that is accessible without tools.

    The Tesla Model 3 does have a top tether point welded to the body. But the updated Highland model is now missing a hole in the parcel shelf to access it. This was previously available on the original pre-update Model 3. This violates the “accessible without tools” portion of the rule.

    This requirement does not exist in Malaysia. The top tether rule is generally an Australian thing. Most parents here secure their child seats with ISOFIX points only, and an alternate to top tether is a support leg which extends to the floor of the cabin. However, if you intend to use a child seat that requires the use of top tether for proper fitment, you may want to take note of this issue.

    No news yet how Tesla will deal with this. It might have to update the design of the rear parcel shelf to add the access to the top tether point back in.

     
     
  • Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    By and large, buying a new car is a simple enough affair, with virtually all the matters of process being handled by someone else once you’ve decided you rather fancy that fresh metal and have put a down-payment for it. Of course, there’s always a modicum of involvement on your part along the way, but for the most the entire run is usually painless and sweat-free, the aspects predictable right down to final delivery.

    So when a carmaker decides to go the direct route and have you handle all the things a salesman usually would, all in the interest of cost savings to buyers, so it goes, it really can’t be that tough, right? Well, unless you’re familiar with the workings, it can be, as seen from a number of social media posts from Malaysian Tesla buyers during the initial delivery period for the Model 3 Highland, highlighting among other things the chase for paperwork and visit/s to JPJ to the futility of calling Tesla delivery assistants for clarification.

    While the noise has quietened a fair bit on those channels, the buying process itself remains constant, and so we decided to find out what’s involved in the DIY route and what early Highland buyers, having run that gauntlet, thought about the overall experience and how different it is to other brands in terms of interaction and the assorted elements (insurance transfer, JPJ no plate, car loan, etc), with the idea of giving those who are eyeing a Tesla purchase down the line an inkling of what to expect and prepare for.

    We tried reaching out privately to a couple of owners, but they didn’t respond. Then, by chance, I got a WhatsApp message from my friend Barry Lim, who wanted to ask about the BYD Seal. It turned out he had bought a Model 3 Highland, and had taken delivery of it a couple of days after the first deliveries of the car began. Seeing as he was in that early mix, I asked him to provide notes about the buying process to be fleshed out into a story.

    Barry, being Barry, decided not to stick to the brief and opted to go one better, providing the following long-form piece – which has only been given minor edits for house-style and brevity – below. In it, he not only details the buying experience and things to look out for, but also the reasons as to why he decided to go green and went for a Tesla, even going so far as to volunteer an opinion on the EV vs ICE debate. We’ll let him take centre stage from here.

    Pre-purchase, or why I bought a Tesla

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    First off, here’s my buyer profile:

    • Pre-middle-age male, married, two school going kids
    • Klang Valley-based upper middle-class landed house
    • Fortunate history of nice past and current cars (mostly non-Japanese), but this is my first BEV

    My two constant areas of interest in life have always been cars and tech. EVs are an amalgamation of both, with Teslas especially being so, having been described as “a gadget that so happens to take the shape of a car.”

    I’ve toyed with the idea of an EV for many years, especially since the missus has been onboard the environmental express for a long time, i.e., the vegetarian, cycle and walk everywhere type. However, the lack of EV access and choice because of the non-conducive Malaysian car industry put the plan onto the back of a snail all this while. That was until the previous government mooted the EV incentives a couple of years ago, which changed the market dynamics to the benefit of the ‘EV-ready consumer’.

    Fact is, EVs are more expensive to manufacture compared to ICE. It is also a much newer segment with much smaller economies of scale as compared to the incumbent option. This simply means that not only are the bill of materials (concentrated on the batteries) more costly, there is also less volume from customer demand, and shorter production lifespans.

    This final point is often missed by many: as EV technologies (batteries, motors, platforms) are newer, sitting on the early non-mature/nascent part of the ‘technology adoption curve’, not only are there (relatively) less customers to spread the development cost, there’s also less time for the technology to be ‘market competitive’ before the ‘next best technology’ comes around or gets discovered. I’ll come back to this point again later.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Moving on, even as the government EV incentive plans came into being, the major manufacturers still decided they wanted healthier margins despite being able given a decent period of tax-free status for their fully-imported EV models. A personal example I will highlight (the Korean brands are another good example) is the MINI Cooper SE that I was keen on. It was an early-entry model with an attractive ‘pre tax-free’ price of RM225k. Tax-free pricing was announced initially at RM184k, but very quickly revised upwards to just below RM200k.

    This gave EV ready customers like me a feeling of being taken for a ride despite government incentives, and that there was little to be gained as an early adopter in Malaysia. Together with my recent realisation that buying a two to three-year old second-hand car isn’t as difficult and risky as it used to be, I thought I’d hold off on an EV purchase and aim for a tasty ‘posher’ used Mercedes-Benz EQE/Audi Q8 e-tron/Porsche Taycan once those hit the second-hand market.

    Heck, my bet was almost sure-proof in my head as the general Malaysian car-buying public is very much risk-adverse and always bikin tak serupa cakap (exhibit A: “I will definitely buy a manual version of XXX if they offered it here”).

    This prudent strategy fell apart upon the announcement of Tesla’s entry into Malaysia. At first, the expectation was that their core models like the Y and 3 would likely be priced to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQB/BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQA/Hyundai Ioniq 5 respectively. After all, the Chinese entrants were already pushing closer to the RM200k figure than the RM100k end. But Tesla Malaysia got to work very quickly.

    When it first announced the Model Y priced from RM199k (which we initially booked), and then the updated facelift Model 3 Highland at RM189k, we didn’t have to think long and hard about putting the RM1k (non-refundable and not part of the car price) booking fee. This was done on the very first day the Model 3 Highland was announced for Malaysia, which was September 1, 2023.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    The Model 3 Highland that I ordered was a Long Range version (RM218k), with a blue exterior (and standard black interior) adding RM5k to that. Additionally, I opted for the Enhanced Auto Pilot (EAP), which added a further RM16k, making the purchase price RM239k.

    Pre-delivery, otherwise known as waiting

    From readings of Tesla’s marketing model overseas, it wasn’t much of surprise to me that many of the steps and process of buying a new car with it would be very much different from the experience of buying a new car with practically any other brand in Malaysia. The required milestones are the same i.e., book, get your hire-purchase loan, insurance NCD transferred, registration with JPJ (and plate number ‘interchange’ in our case) and delivery/pick-up.

    However, unlike dealing with just one sales agent (and maybe one banker), here you may not even have a SA at all (such as our case because we booked online – for those that booked a Tesla in person, the SA’s job ends upon taking your order).

    For most of the first month, there was nothing to be done and no known updates to our purchase besides the earlier announced ‘year-end’ delivery promise. We too did not do anything, and indeed I did not even make any real attempt to dispose of the wife’s current car, which the Model 3 was to replace.

    Some time in October (month two), we were contacted by what Tesla calls a delivery agent, or DA in short. The DA’s job is supposed to help ‘guide’ the buyer through the necessary steps and process until the car actually gets delivered to him/her.

    So, step one was to get the bank loan approved. If you don’t have your own banker, Tesla Malaysia will offer you contact numbers for you to reach out to. Its panels are Maybank and Ambank, I believe. We went with Maybank through another referral contact (from a Tesla group setup by some early buyers – we called ourselves Tesla MIM for so-called ‘Made in Malaysia,’ and yes, we know it’s not made in Malaysia).

    Once the loan came through, there was again radio silence and the only notable activity I did the rest of October was to go check-out the physical car for the first time in their newly-launched HQ in Cyberjaya. No test drives were available, but that was fine as we had already experienced the old pre-facelift Model 3 as a holiday rental for almost a month a year prior overseas, and there were proxy test drive videos by Hafriz Shah to keep things going. Oh, congratulations on the recent nuptials, Hafriz!

    In early November (month three), we were contacted by the DA that our actual car had been allocated to us in the system. This was immediately reflected in the Tesla app with an assigned VIN number (you get an account on the app upon making the booking). With the VIN, we were then supposed to proceed with the remaining steps.

    Now, since in our case we wanted to keep the number from the old car and have it transferred to the new Tesla, this process (by JPJ) called “interchange” added a complexity that isn’t there for buyers that opt for new numbers.

    The interchange process requires that an old plate number (i.e., used on any existing vehicle) be immediately transferred to the new vehicle and cannot be kept ‘floating’ for any period. As the Tesla had not arrived (represented by a K1 form issued by Kastam upon arrival of the actual car into the country), we could not do that as yet.

    Also to be kept in mind that at the same time, the old car must be then issued a ‘new number’ during the interchange process i.e., any old car (already registered with JPJ before) cannot have an ‘old number’ assigned to it – either the car or the number has to be new or unregistered per JPJ, which some say is to protect the used-car AP business model.

    So, despite our loan and insurance (issued without a plate number attached) all ready and done up (not without its own drama, as even the banks are not entirely sure about Tesla Malaysia’s processes), the key steps of (1) interchange, and (2) registering of the actual car was dramatically left till the morning of our assigned delivery date, in this case December 1, 2023.

    JPJ is where I want to be, not

    Basically, we needed to bring two forms to JPJ: (1) the B2 form issued by Puspakom upon inspection of old car for interchange purposes, and (2) the K1 form issued by Kastam upon arrival of the Tesla at a Malaysian port. Tesla Malaysia could not get us the K1 form until the early morning on Friday, December 1, the same day we were supposed to collect our car at 2.45pm.

    With some work already scheduled for that Friday morning, we could only get to a JPJ just before it closed its morning session for Friday prayers. We were literally the last customer to be transacted before the JPJ office grilles were shut!

    With the newly-issued JPJ registration grant for the Tesla in our hands, we went back home, picked up the kids, got into a Grab car and made our way to Tesla Cyberjaya for our assigned collection slot.

    Actual delivery

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    The Tesla delivery process was also one that was very different from our past experiences picking up a brand new ride, especially in one key aspect: customers were assigned into batches and practically collected their respective cars together. Things might have changed since the initial period, but here’s what customers who took deliveries of their cars early on experienced.

    First, you arrive and get ushered to the registration table (much like when you arrive for say, a conference) where you pick out your name from a long list on a printed xls table. Second, you are then told to huddle together in the waiting area behind said registration table, with a water cooler and self-service coffee machine, which looked out-of-service when we were there.

    Third, you then get huddled into a briefing room (the size of perhaps a typical apartment’s master bedroom) with a Chinese (by heritage) guy speaking in a real – as opposed to television – American accent (to remind us that Tesla is an American brand?) about the basics of Tesla ownership and operations of the car e.g., swiping on the centre screen for drive, reverse, as well as buttons on the steering instead of a signal stalk. The BMW owners in the room didn’t seem to care about this, for some reason.

    Finally, for the moment of truth, you are ushered in a group to the adjacent delivery hall (large enough for three to four cars concurrently in there), which opens up through a single ramp to the car park area outside the building.

    We were then quite randomly put into a sequence to get our keycards – marked by the respective registration number – and had the option to (A) go find your car on the parking lot, get in, drive off, or (B) do A but then wait for a slot to drive your car into the delivery hall, put on the large red ribbon and take pictures, then drive off. Our family decided to do option B just for the heck of it in order to get the picture you see here.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Pro Tip: As this is your one and only chance to use its ‘delivery supercharger’ for free, consider plugging in for a quick top-up before you leave the parking lot as all the cars we noticed on the day had approximately 60% or so of charge only. Not an issue, but if you’re not in a hurry, then why not get some extra electric juice into your car for free?

    So, after exactly three months from booking (in our case), we were driving home as one of the very first owners of the Tesla Model 3 Highland in the world. Is it really a big deal? As ‘just another car’, maybe not. But as an EV, it apparently is a ‘big deal’. Why? Read my summation below.

    Post-delivery thoughts

    Globally, Tesla has somehow (not something I personally understand) built an almost fanatical fan-base. In some ways, it can be likened to the Apple brand that is part aspirational, part nonsensical. Is it because of Elon Musk? Despite popular belief, Elon did not start Tesla. He just had money to invest it in, fire the two actual founders, make himself chairman and CEO, and arguably make the Tesla ‘vision’ a reality. So, is Tesla what it is because of Elon? Because of the real risk of being hunted by Tesla’s fanboys, I will not state my position publicly.

    Are we enjoying the Model 3 Highland as a product? That’s an easy yes! Compared to the pre-facelifted Model 3, this is a product that has matured in very measurable ways, beneficial to buyers. As mentioned earlier, we had the Model 3 as a rental for a decent enough period, clocking in some good road-tripping miles in it. The biggest gripes were the harsh ride, especially in the rear seats, worse than average noise levels, and a not very attractive exterior design. The facelift fixes all the above, and yes, I like the updated looks very much.

    Is there anything that makes Tesla the default go-to EV brand of choice, at least for now? Yes, only one. The Supercharger network. This very nice value proposition really makes the brand stand out, not just for consumers, but on a wider scale as an ‘ecosystem builder’ at an industry level. With its own charging network, Tesla as a company has to put effort (and money) into not just its cars and the necessary supplier network of partner firms, but also R&D into charging and its technical protocols, deal with energy suppliers and land-owners as well as manage the operations across all locations.

    Proof that it has succeeded here is that in other markets where Tesla has been operating for years now, the Tesla superchargers are known to be highly reliable with easier availability than other public chargers that presumably are the main business of their respective operators with a wider addressable market of many more EV brands. However, is this a deal breaker for other EVs? I think not.

    To EV, or not to EV?

    As to the on-going “EV vs non-EV” debate of today, my response is this (for now, until I think of something more brilliant): will you ever refill your ICE car at a public petrol station if you had your own petrol station at home with RON 95 at approximately half the price per litre?

    You see, as long as you fit the criteria of landed-living (which many Malaysians do, and others can too as long as they are willing to either move a little further from the city or buy older landed properties instead of only considering new developments) and ideally have another ICE car in the household for the occasional balik kampung trips, you have the perfect use-case of an EV consumer.

    Ignoring the upfront purchase price, which is tax-free for now despite costing more than the equivalent-sized ICE option, the operating cost of an EV is approximately half for every kilometre travelled in the Malaysian context (not expected to change much even as petrol prices become unsubsidised, as TNB pricing is also expected to rise).

    Factor in the total cost-of-ownership where there are little to no scheduled servicing intervals (no major oil changes), negligible wear-and-tear components besides tyres and wipers, and lastly the higher energy conversion efficiencies of electric motors compared to dinosaur-juiced engines, and the EV proposition starts to become a viable alternative.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    In fact, I would like to emphasise the word “alternative.” EVs will not replace ICEs any time soon. Likely not in our lifetime. Even in mature economies where new ICE models will be banned in about a decade’s time, existing ICE vehicles will continue to run for the next decade or two. That means 30 more years in places like western Europe and maybe North America. In other economies of Asia, Africa and South America, let’s perhaps add another two more decades to that. So that’s 50 years of arguing if you still want to adopt a hard position on the EV vs non-EV debate, no? Quite tiring, if you ask me.

    Instead, accept that EVs are just another track of vehicles to give us consumers more options. Both have their pros and cons and respective use-cases e.g., if you do outstation trips very often, an EV most certainly cannot be your (main) car of choice. Are Teslas for that matter perfect? Not at all.

    In my own experience and opinion (yours may vary depending on your point of comparison), the much-hyped Tesla Autopilot (remember that we opted for the EAP add-on too) is more hype than substance, at this juncture performing worse than that on my other current car, and there’s also the deletion of the ubiquitous ultrasonic sensors to rely exclusively on the so-called ‘Tesla-vision’ and the unnecessary stalkless driving experience to contend with.

    Aside from these minor niggles and the teething issues of the purchase process, our ride in the EV bandwagon so far has been a good one. Is it for everyone? Nope. Is it good for the environment? Notice I didn’t bring up that topic at all, but if you must discuss it, remember that EV development is at best two decades old versus a century for ICE development, so think about the implications of that for a moment.

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 Highland pre-configured available inventory now listed on Tesla Malaysia website

    Tesla Model 3 Highland pre-configured available inventory now listed on Tesla Malaysia website

    Tesla Malaysia now has a page listing available pre-configured brand new available inventory of Tesla Model 3 Highland on its website.

    We did a quick check and there are 16 cars available at time of publishing, ranging from a white RWD with no ticked options priced at RM189k all the way up to a blue LR with upgraded Nova wheels, white interior for RM235,500. You can click here to view the full inventory.

    If you want your own specs with all the most expensive available options checked, you can still do so as a custom configuration order. At this time that would be an Ultra Red Model 3 LR model with Nova wheels and white interior, a config which isn’t listed as being in stock.

    How fast can you get these cars registered upon ordering one? Best you enquire with Tesla as we don’t actually know if these cars are physically here yet – they might be a list of unbooked cars on the next shipment on the way from Shanghai to Malaysia.

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – first units of RWD, Long Range EVs delivered to customers

    Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – first units of RWD, Long Range EVs delivered to customers

    Deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift have commenced in Malaysia today, and customers have started taking delivery of their new vehicles at Tesla Malaysia’s Cyberjaya headquarters with more deliveries to come in the course of the day.

    Thus far, around 20 customers have collected their new EVs this morning, and more deliveries will take place this afternoon, with a total of around 100 customers expected to take delivery of their cars today.

    Tesla Malaysia has also launched Premium Connectivity for this market through the Tesla mobile app, for data-enabled features including music and media streaming, live traffic visualisation and more, and is priced at RM35.99 per month. This is offered on a free trial basis for the first 30 days upon taking delivery.

    The Premium Connectivity service is tied to the Tesla app, and for Tesla vehicles bought through non-official channels, this will be priced according to the market where the vehicle was first registered. For example, if the parallel-imported Tesla vehicle was first sold in the United Kingdom, pricing for Premium Connectivity will be quoted in pounds sterling.

    Click to enlarge

    Customers who purchase their vehicles from Tesla Malaysia will also be invited to join Tesla Owners Club Malaysia, which brings members privileges from Tesla partners, in addition to getting connected with existing members of the Tesla community, says Tesla Malaysia.

    Owners of the new Model 3 in Malaysia presently have access to four Supercharger locations and six destination charging locations. A new batch of chargers will be brought online in the coming months across several states, says Tesla Malaysia.

    The Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift takes up to 250 kW of DC charging in Long Range AWD guise, offering up to 629 km of range on the WLTP cycle, while the base RWD supports up to 170 kW of DC charging with up to 513 km of range (WLTP). With the Supercharger V3, the Model 3 can be recharged to gain 282 km of range in just 15 minute, according to Tesla Malaysia.

     
     
  • REVIEW: Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – superb EV and great value, it’s better but not perfect

    REVIEW: Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – superb EV and great value, it’s better but not perfect

    This is the reference point for EVs, and that’s unfortunate for all the other carmakers selling EVs in Malaysia. Their plans were sound, and so were their electric cars, but many playing in the RM150k to RM300k range woke up to find their products become ‘poor value’ overnight, next to the Tesla Model Y and the Model 3 you see here.

    It’s not fair, because a good EV is not exclusive to Tesla (research and test all before committing to one), but Elon Musk’s car company has strong branding and a direct sales model that doesn’t require a local partner or dealers. After the first salvo that was the Model Y, the Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift upped the ante with more appealing looks, newer tech and an even lower price.

    The Model 3 facelift is offered here in two variants, the Standard Range rear-wheel-drive priced from RM189,000, and the Long Range all-wheel-drive priced from RM218,000. It’s the latter that Hafriz Shah reviews in the video below.

    The Model 3 Long Range AWD gets a dual-motor powertrain as well as a larger capacity battery, enabling a WLTP-rated range of 629 km, compared to 513 km range for the Standard Range. The LR can also be recharged at a higher DC rate of up to 250 kW, whereas the SR takes in 170 kW max. Both versions have a top speed of 201 km/h, but the dual-motor LR is much faster from 0-100 km/h – 4.4 seconds versus 6.1.

    For me, more important than the blistering performance is the much improved looks of the Highland. Small changes, big effect. This is a facelift that’s immediately recognisable, with slimmer headlamps, more prominent LED DRLs and a revised rear end with new tail lamps. The Pearl White tester sits on 19-inch alloys, which look perfectly sized.

    Inside, a new steering wheel houses the indicator signal controls in place of stalks, while the transmission is now controlled via the touchscreen; a physical set of gear selector buttons on the front of the ceiling serve as backup controls. Did they really have to reinvent the wheel in this manner? The main touchscreen itself is now brighter and faster responding, and rear occupants now get an 8.0-inch unit at the back of the centre console.

    REVIEW: Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – superb EV and great value, it’s better but not perfect

    The Model 3 is very well-equipped, with ventilated seats and a 17-speaker sound system with dual amplifiers and dual subwoofers, up from 14 speakers on the pre-facelift. The SR RWD gets a nine-speaker, single-amplifier set up. As for driver aids, all Malaysian-spec Model 3s come with Autopilot as standard, though this can be upgraded to Enhanced Autopilot for RM16,000, or Full Self-Driving for RM32,000.

    So, is the Model 3 facelift the best EV you can buy for around RM200k? “It’s a superb electric sedan. It’s far more comfortable and refined than the previous version, with a higher quality interior too. But, it’s far from perfect,” our man says. For the full review and verdict, watch the video above.

    GALLERY: 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland Long Range AWD

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 Highland Long Range facelift in Malaysia – 629 km range WLTP, 0-100 4.4s; price from RM218k

    Tesla Model 3 Highland Long Range facelift in Malaysia – 629 km range WLTP, 0-100 4.4s; price from RM218k

    The Tesla Model 3 facelift, also dubbed Highland was launched in Malaysia last week, alongside the opening of the first Tesla Experience Centre in Malaysia in Pavilion Damansara Heights.

    The Model 3 is offered in Malaysia in two variants, the Standard Range rear-wheel-drive priced from RM189,000, and the Long Range all-wheel-drive priced from RM218,000. It is the latter we have photographed here in this live image gallery.

    Here, the Model 3 Long Range AWD gets a dual-motor powertrain as well as a larger capacity battery, enabling a WLTP-rated range of 629 km, compared to the 513 km range (WLTP) for the Standard Range variant. The Long Range AWD can also be recharged at a higher DC rate of up to 250 kW, whereas the Standard Range takes DC charging at up to 170 kW.

    Both versions of the facelifted Model 3 reach a top speed of 201 km/h, though it is the Long Range AWD that does the quicker 0-100 km/h sprint at 4.4 seconds; the Standard Range RWD manages the acceleration benchmark in 6.1 seconds.

    As shown here, the facelift brings styling changes with slimmer headlamps, more prominent LED DRLs as well as new tail lamps and rear bumper. The Pearl White multi-coat paint finish seen here is a standard offering, though more are available; Solid Black or Deep Blue Metallic are RM5,000 cost options, as are Stealth Grey (RM7,500) and Ultra Red (RM11,000).

    This example of the Model 3 facelift is outfitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, shod in tyres measuring 235/40R19. Inside, the Model 3 gets a black interior as standard, though buyers can specify a white interior for RM5,000 more. Seats are ventilated units in this Highland facelift.

    A new steering wheel houses the indicator signal controls in place of conventional stalks, while the transmission is now controlled via the touchscreen; a physical set of gear selector buttons on the front of the ceiling serve as backup controls. The main touchscreen itself is now brighter and faster responding, while the rear occupants now get an eight-inch unit in the back of the centre console.

    In terms of audio, the Model 3 Long Range AWD gets a 17s-speaker setup with dual amplifiers and dual subwoofers, which is up from the 14-speaker count on the pre-facelift. The facelifted Standard Range RWD gets a nine-speaker, single-amplifier sound system.

    For driver aids, all versions of the Model 3 come with Autopilot as standard, though this can be upgraded to Enhanced Autopilot for RM16,000, or the Full Self-Driving set for RM32,000.

    Initial deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift are scheduled to commence before the end of the year; check out our live image gallery here to see the EV in greater detail.

     
     
  • FIRST LOOK: Tesla Model 3 Highland in Malaysia

    The Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift is officially in Tesla showrooms in Malaysia. The order books for Tesla’s compact sedan opened in Malaysia on September 1, the very first day it was revealed to the world, and the first units are expected to be delivered to Malaysian customers in Q4 2023.

    Priced from RM189k, the base model Rear Wheel Drive with a single rear-mounted can do the 100 km/h sprint in 6.1 seconds, onto a top speed of 201 km/h. Maximum range is 513 km according to the WLTP cycle.

    The pricier Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive (commonly called the LR) at RM218k is much faster thanks to two motors – the 100 km/h sprint can be done in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is the same 201 km/h. Max range is 629 km thanks to a bigger battery.

    Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 6.1 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 513 km

    Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 4.4 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 629 km

    Exterior colour

    • Pearl White Multi-Coat: Included
    • Solid Black: RM5,000
    • Deep Blue Metallic: RM5,000
    • Stealth Grey: RM7,500
    • Ultra Red: RM11,000

    Wheels

    • 18-inch Photon wheels: Included
    • 19-inch Nova wheels: RM7,500

    Interior colour

    • Black: Included
    • Black and white: RM5,000

    Driver assistance systems

    • Enhanced Autopilot (Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change) – RM16,000
    • Full Self-Driving Capability (all functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot) – RM32,000

    Watch our first look video where we dive into what the new Highland update for the Model 3 offers, and stay tuned for a review coming soon.

    Look after the jump for a full gallery of the Highland.

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift launched in Malaysia – 513 km SR RM189k, 629 km Long Range RM218k

    Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift launched in Malaysia – 513 km SR RM189k, 629 km Long Range RM218k

    As indicated during the launch of Tesla Malaysia’s Cyberjaya headquarters earlier this month, the new Tesla Model 3 facelift is now in Malaysia, with the all-electric sedan making its official debut in the country today, alongside the introduction of the first Tesla flagship Experience Centre in Pavilion Damansara Heights.

    Revealed in September, the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland, is the second Tesla model to be offered here. The EV is available in two variants, and these are:

    • Standard Range rear-wheel drive – priced from RM189,000
    • Long Range dual motor all-wheel drive – priced from RM218,000.

    The Model 3 versions are cheaper than their equivalent-spec Model Y siblings, by RM10k compared to the Model Y Standard (RM199,000) and by RM28k in the case of the Model Y Long Range AWD (RM246,000). There is currently no Performance variant for the Model 3 facelift.

    Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift launched in Malaysia – 513 km SR RM189k, 629 km Long Range RM218k

    Equipped with a single rear-mounted motor, the Model 3 Standard RWD has a maximum travel range of 513 km (WLTP cycle) on a single charge, and performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds and a 201 km/h top speed. The Standard RWD can support a DC charging rate of up to 170 kW.

    As its moniker suggests, the Model 3 Long Range AWD has two motors, and it also gets a larger capacity battery, enabling it to offer up to 629 km of travel on a single charge, again measured on a WLTP cycle. The AWD supports a higher DC charging rate of 250 kw. Although it has a similar top speed as the RWD, it’s faster to the century mark from standstill, doing that particular sprint in 4.4 seconds.

    A quick note about operating ranges in relation to the pre-facelift. Back in 2020, UK-based specifications listed that the Standard Range offered 381 km on a WLTP cycle, while the pre-facelift Long Range provided up to to 580 km (WLTP) of travel on a single charge.

    The refresh brings about minor changes to the Model 3’s exterior. The headlights on the facelift are now slimmer and the car gets more prominent LED daytime running lights. The fog lamps have been ditched, replaced by a single central vent, which gives the car a more aggressive look. Meanwhile, the rear gets new tail lights as well as a redesigned bumper.

    As standard, the Model 3 comes with a Pearl White Multi-Coat exterior finish, but there are cost-added colour options. Add RM5,000 if you prefer the car in Solid Black or Deep Blue Metallic, or pick from the two new colours available for it, these being Stealth Grey (RM7,500) and Ultra Red (RM11,000).

    In terms of wheels, the Malaysian-spec Model 3 comes equipped with 18-inch Photon units as standard, but 19-inch Nova wheels are available for an additional RM7,500. The customisation doesn’t stop there. As with the Model Y, Autopilot is included on the Model 3, but you can upgrade to Enhanced Autopilot for RM16,000 and Full Self-Driving for RM32,000.

    By default, the Model 3 comes with a black interior, but buyers can specify a white interior for RM5,000 more. Speaking of the interior, the facelift’s cabin is a quieter place than before, thanks to the use of dual-pane acoustic glass across all window surfaces as well as the incorporation of additional sound insulation. This has resulted in a 30% improvement in wind and ambient noise, a 25% reduction in surface impact noises and a 20% improvement in road noise.

    The interior has also been spruced up through the application of more premium material and contrast elements.Elsewhere, the dashboard has been redesigned with LED lighting and customisable dash trim, and there’s also a new steering wheel, which now houses the indicator signals.

    That’s not the only stalk that has been deleted, because the gear stalk is also gone, with gear selection now being carried out via the touchscreen. Should the touchscreen fail, there are physical gear selector buttons at the front of the roof, on the panel between the driver and passenger sunshades, to fall back on.

    Other refinements include ventilated seats, a brighter and faster responding central touchscreen and the introduction of an eight-inch rear cabin screen – housed in the rear of the centre console – for passengers, allowing them to control the stereo and AC or watch movies and play video games.

    Wi-Fi connectivity has been enhanced for the facelift. As for audio, the Standard RWD comes with a nine-speaker, single amplifier audio system, while the Long Range AWD has a 17-speaker system, with dual amplifiers and dual subwoofers, an increase from the 14 speakers on the pre-facelift.

    Here’s a quick list of the key specifications of the Model 3 as well as the options available for it:

    Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 6.1 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 513 km

    Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 4.4 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 629 km

    After choosing your preferred powertrain, there are also quite a number of options that you can add to your Model 3. These include:

    Exterior colour

    • Pearl White Multi-Coat: Included
    • Solid Black: RM5,000
    • Deep Blue Metallic: RM5,000
    • Stealth Grey: RM7,500
    • Ultra Red: RM11,000

    Wheels

    • 18-inch Photon wheels: Included
    • 19-inch Nova wheels: RM7,500

    Interior colour

    • Black: Included
    • Black and white: RM5,000

    Driver assistance systems

    • Enhanced Autopilot (Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change) – RM16,000
    • Full Self-Driving Capability (all functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot) – RM32,000

    First deliveries of the Model 3 Highland are scheduled to begin before the year is out.

    @paultancars Akhirnya dah sampai! #Tesla #Model3 Facelift kini di #Malaysia ! Harganya start dari RM189k! #paultancars #paultan #carsoftiktok #cartok #cartiktok #ev #viral #trending #fyp #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Paul Tan's Automotive News

    GALLERY: Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift Standard Range, Malaysian launch

    GALLERY: Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift Long Range AWD, Malaysian launch

    GALLERY: Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift arriving in Malaysia this month, deliveries by end of 2023 – from RM189k

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift arriving in Malaysia this month, deliveries by end of 2023 – from RM189k

    At the launch of Tesla Malaysia’s Cyberjaya headquarters today, it was revealed that the first units of the new Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift will arrive in the country this month, with customer deliveries scheduled to happen by the end of 2023.

    The refreshed Model 3 is the second Tesla model to be offered here after it was announced early last month, and is available in two versions. The base option is the Rear-Wheel Drive that starts at RM189,000, while the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive is priced at RM218,000. The specifications for each are as follows:

    Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 6.1 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 513 km

    Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive

    • 0-100 km/h time: 4.4 seconds
    • Top speed: 201 km/h
    • Range (WLTP): 629 km

    After choosing your preferred powertrain, there are also quite a number of options that you can add to your Model 3. These include:

    Exterior colour

    • Pearl White Multi-Coat: Included
    • Solid Black: RM5,000
    • Deep Blue Metallic: RM5,000
    • Stealth Grey: RM7,500
    • Ultra Red: RM11,000

    Wheels

    • 18-inch Photon wheels: Included
    • 19-inch Nova wheels: RM7,500

    Interior colour

    • Black: Included
    • Black and white: RM5,000

    Driver assistance systems

    • Enhanced Autopilot (Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change): RM16,000
    • Full Self-Driving Capability (all functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot): RM32,000

    It should be noted that customer deliveries of the Model 3 will start ahead of the Model Y, the latter being the first Tesla vehicle offered for our market when the brand was launched here back in July this year.

    However, deliveries of the Model Y are only scheduled to start sometime in early 2024. If you’ve placed an order for the Model Y but had a change of heart and want a Model 3 instead, you can do so by following this guide we’ve prepared.

    GALLERY: Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift comes with more dual-pane glass windows, frequency selecting damping

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift comes with more dual-pane glass windows, frequency selecting damping

    Tesla has posted a new video detailing some of the revisions made to the new Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift, which was announced earlier this month and is currently available for order in Malaysia.

    In the video, Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering, is in Shanghai to test the updated Model 3’s stability, wet handling, road noise and wind noise. On the matter of wind noise, Moravy explained the Model 3 now uses dual-pane glass across all windows instead of just the front (windscreen and front doors) previously. This is said to improve cabin noise levels and better isolates occupants from the noise generated by other vehicles on the road.

    The revised Model 3 has gains new shock absorbers with what Tesla calls “frequency selective damping,” which are said to improve ride quality while maintaining the handling of the electric vehicle (EV). Moravy claims the new dampers make the Model 3 more performant and fun to drive, but didn’t provide a deep dive into how the system works.

    Unlike the Model S, the Model 3 does not come with air suspension when it debuted in 2017, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said a few years later that it had no plans to introduce air suspension for the affordable model, quelling leaks that suggested as such.

    The new dampers and their “frequency selective damping” technology will attempt to improve ride quality. FSD systems employs a special damper valve design that allows for variable damping force depending on the frequency of the input disturbance.

    In low-frequency movements, such as body roll and pitch during cornering or acceleration, the valve provides higher damping force for better vehicle stability. Conversely, for high-frequency inputs, like those encountered from road imperfections, the valve allows for lower damping force, thus improving ride comfort.

    This dual behavior is typically achieved through a bypass channel containing a frequency-sensitive valve, often implemented using a spring-mass-damper system within the damper itself, enabling adaptive response without electronic control.

    The Model 3 starts from RM189,000 for the Rear-Wheel Drive variant with 513 km of range, and RM218,000 for the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive with 629 km of range. A non-refundable fee of RM1,000 is needed to place a booking, with estimated first deliveries scheduled to take place later this year, ahead of the Model Y in early 2024.

     
     
  • Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift revealed, RWD and LR AWD now open for order in Malaysia from RM189,000

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift revealed, RWD and LR AWD now open for order in Malaysia from RM189,000

    Tesla has unveiled the facelifted Tesla Model 3, which has been known by the codename ‘Project Highland’ for some time now. Although what you can see from the exterior is mainly a new front end inspired by the Tesla Roadster, Tesla says they have changed more than 50% of the parts on the Model 3.

    Before we get into the details, we’ll get the most important part out of the way first – ordering is now open in Malaysia! Here’s the prices:

    • Tesla Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive – RM189,000
    • Tesla Model 3 LR All Wheel Drive – RM218,000

    You can order one now for a non-refundable RM1,000 fee. Estimated delivery is late 2023, which is ahead of the Model Y’s early 2024 delivery time.

    The Tesla Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive with a single rear-mounted can do the 100 km/h sprint in 6.1 seconds, onto a top speed of 201 km/h. Maximum range is 513 km according to the WLTP cycle.

    The pricier Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive (commonly called the LR) is much faster thanks to two motors – the 100 km/h sprint can be done in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is the same 201 km/h. Max range is 629 km thanks to a bigger battery. No Tesla Model 3 Performance available to order for now.


    Pearl White Multi-Coat is the standard paint included, and you can add RM5,000 for Solid Black or Deep Blue Metallic. Upgrading to Stealth Grey costs RM7,500, while the most expensive Ultra Red is RM11,000. Stealth Grey and Ultra Red are new colour options.

    By default, the Malaysian spec Model 3 comes with 18 inch Photon wheels, but you can upgrade to 19 inch Nova wheels for RM7,500. A black interior is standard, but a white interior upgrade can be picked for a RM5,000 upgrade.

    Just like the Model Y, when it comes to driver aids Autopilot is included but upgrading to Enhanced Autopilot costs RM16,000 and Full Self-Driving is RM32,000.

    The exterior sees a subtle yet noticeable transformation. The front lights are slimmer and sleeker, with more prominent LED daytime running lights. The fog lamps have been eliminated, replaced by a single central vent that gives the car a more aggressive look. The rear also gets new tail lights, and the bumper has been redesigned.

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift revealed, RWD and LR AWD now open for order in Malaysia from RM189,000

    Inside, the dashboard has been redesigned with LED lighting and customisable dash trim. Tesla also says they have improved the quality of materials, aiming for a more luxurious feel. There’s more use of aluminium trim highlights around the cabin, so it doesn’t look so barebones.

    The tech-savvy will appreciate the brighter and more responsive dashboard screen. The screen now allows you to turn off the passenger side AC blower to save on electricity if you’re driving alone, but like the previous Model 3, blower angle is still adjustable via the screen only, with no physical knobs.

    The steering wheel is of a new design and now houses the indicators, eliminating the need for stalks, which might be either a good thing or bad thing depending on if you can get used to it. Yes, together with the deletion of the signal stalk is the deletion of the gear shifter. You now have to choose what gear you want to go into (P, R, D, etc) through the touchscreen.

    If for some reason your touchscreen doesn’t work, there are physical gear selector buttons at the front of the roof on the panel between the driver and passenger sunshades.

    Although it is a small car that competes with the BMW 3 Series, the car now also features a rear cabin screen for passengers, allowing them to control the stereo and climate, and even watch movies or play games.

    One of the standout features is the focus on reducing cabin noise. Acoustic glass now extends to the rear windows, and additional sound insulation has been added. Tesla claims a 30% improvement in wind and ambient noise, 25% improvement in impact noises (think potholes, rough roads), and a 20% improvement in road noise, making the ride quieter and more comfortable.

    Other interior comfort improvements include adjustments to the geometry of the seats to make them more comfortable. They re now perforated, serving both an aesthetic and functional purpose. The front seats now get ventilation in addition to the heating that was already previously available.

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift revealed, RWD and LR AWD now open for order in Malaysia from RM189,000

    Tesla has also tinkered with the suspension – it gets new springs and dampers and a revised subframe design. It also gets fitted new comfort-oriented tyres, aiming to improve the ride quality.

    The Bluetooth system now has two separate systems with microphones on each side of the car for improved audio during phone calls. Wi-Fi connectivity has been enhanced, allowing for downloads even when slightly farther away from a router. Tesla says Ultra-Wide Band gives better Phone Key performance.

    The car’s audio system has been upgraded to include 17 speakers with dual amplifiers and dual subwoofers, up from the previous 14. However, this is only for the LR AWD model, as the RM189k RWD model gets a nine speaker, single amplifier system.

    The Model 3 now comes with a USB-C port that can charge at 65 watts, powerful enough to charge a laptop like a Macbook Air. This is in addition to two other USB-C ports in the back, ensuring that all passengers can keep their devices charged.


    Airbags – L: Original Model 3, R: Highland Model 3

    Tesla has also updated the airbags for the Tesla Model 3 Highland. Previously, the Tesla Model 3 came with knee airbags. These knee airbags have been removed.

    A new airbag has been inserted in the driver’s seat side bolster which inflates into the space in the middle of the front two seats.

    This new airbag configuration matches the Tesla Model Y, which came out after the original Model 3.

    Another new safety feature which was not found on the Model 3 before this is the addition of Blind Spot Indicators (BLIS), which comes in form of a light that will light up at the base of the A pillar.

    Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift revealed, RWD and LR AWD now open for order in Malaysia from RM189,000

    No changes under the hood – the motor remains the same. Aerodynamic changes have led to an 8% improvement in efficiency and thus range, pushing the car’s range to 554 km for the rear-wheel-drive version and 678 km for the dual-motor long-range version.

    The car’s drag coefficient has been reduced to 0.219 Cd from 0.225 Cd, making the new Model 3 the most aerodynamic Tesla yet, though streamliner-designed cars like the Hyundai ioniq 6’s 0.21 Cd and the EQS’s 0.20 Cd still has it beat.

    The refreshed Tesla Model 3 is now open for order in Malaysia, with deliveries estimated in late 2023. Are you going to order one?

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated Feb 22, 2024