Now We Finally Know How The Tesla Model 3's Touchscreen Works
The Model 3's touchscreen has been the most misunderstood and tentatively maligned piece of automotive design in years. No buttons, no gauges, just a big-ass piece of glass awkwardly slapped on the dashboard. Naturally, people are really curious as to how well it will replace all the functions buttons and dials usually take care of, and thanks to a new video from a Tesla gallery in Austin, we finally (sorta) know.
The video was taken at the first Model 3 delivery in Texas (and the first outside California), and shows two men, one of whom is a Tesla salesperson, walking the owner through the new car's features. The salesperson doesn't seem to be terribly well-educated on how the Model 3's touchscreen works, which is probably more Tesla's fault than his - Tesla has been disturbingly shady about how the car works, likely because they, along with literally everybody else, know this isn't really the best way to do it.
Highlights of the video include the music player, which apparently doesn't have FM radio and instead only streams from internet radio like Slacker; FM is possibly coming in an update (if the video is right and it's not yet there), even though it's been the most basic entertainment feature in any car of the last 50 years. The salesman was iffy on whether the wipers were fully automatic, and the only available controls on the screen are "Fast", "Slow", and "Off"; you can't even Bluetooth your phone to it yet. That's just ridiculous.
One positive thing that can be gleaned from the video is that the build quality of the Model 3 seems to be much improved from where the Model S and X were at this stage. It's hard to gauge this kind of thing from a slightly grainy cell phone video, but the buttons and interior materials look and sound solid and tight, and there aren't any alarming panel gaps or fitment issues. The doors even close with a decent thunk, though they're surely not yet on the level of some of the Model 3's direct competitors like the Mercedes CLA-Class and Audi A4.
If the Model S is any indication, the Model 3's current foibles are teething problems that will likely be resolved over time; as you know, Tesla ironed out the Model S's questionable build quality and and early issues pretty quickly. In a year or so, the Model 3 could be a formidable competitor in not just the small electric car space, but the small car space period. Once Tesla manages to deliver more than 50, that is.