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Am I the Only One Who Thinks the Tesla Model 3 Is Ugly?

I remember the day in 2016 when Elon Musk unveiled the highly hyped Tesla Model 3. I remember watching the live press conference, waiting for the big reveal. I’m not a Tesla fanboy by any stretch, as you may have guessed from the title of this article, but I couldn’t help but be a little excited by the idea of an electric luxury car for the masses. It was pre-ordered sight-unseen by over 100,000 people before the unveiling, and that number hit almost a quarter million two days after the big event.

What I was hoping for was a compact Model S, and what we got was the ugly blob we call the Model 3. I was appalled by how ugly the Model 3 was when I first saw it. The face and the overall shape of the car looked just plain bad to me. But I kept a little bit of my optimism and thought maybe I’ll change my mind when I see one in person.

I recently saw my first Tesla Model 3 in person and I must say … I still think it’s a really ugly car. What’s going on with that shape? It’s this goofy egg shape that makes it almost look like a crossover. I know that "liftbacks" are all the rage and regular trunks aren’t cool anymore, but somehow the Model 3 just misses the mark for me on that whole design. You know what’s a great-looking liftback sedan? The Tesla Model S. You know what isn’t? The Model 3.

And that face. We need to talk about the face of this car. That is a face only an Elon could love. Yes, I know they’re showing off the fact that it doesn’t have a grille because it doesn’t need one because it’s electric. But why does it have that ugly flat snout instead? I suppose it has a functional purpose — to give the car a roomier frunk — but at what cost? There have been lots of cars with no prominent front grille that are gorgeous and didn’t just phone it in by giving the front end a flat surface where the grille would normally go and then just not put a grille there. I’m not saying it needs to look like a Delorean or a Porsche 911, but Tesla had some freedom to give the front of the Model 3 a cool, unconventional style. It’s certainly unconventional, but I don’t think it’s cool.

Despite my great distaste for the exterior of this car, I have to admit I like the interior. I like the techy minimalist approach and the great big screen in the middle. I imagine that would be hard to get used to, especially without a supplemental display right in front of the driver, but I dig that whole interior design. I’m kind of hoping other brands follow suit.

Of course, my opinion about the Model 3’s appearance doesn’t matter, and it’s going to continue being ordered by excited Tesla fans who can’t wait to put down a deposit for a car they might get in a year. But if this is the car of the future, I think I’ll stick around in this era. Find a Tesla Model 3 for sale

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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37 COMMENTS

  1. I just ordered a Mustang Mach-E, for one reason only.  Yes, the E has less range and a more-costly, slower long-distance charge system.  BUT, it DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A BAR OF SOAP!  To my eye, all of Tesla’s cars suffer from bland styling…and that includes the new roadster as well.  Nothing from Tesla excites me visually.

  2. I agree the front looks fugly. I had one behind me the other day and was like, “that can’t be the model 3”. So dumb looking. The sides and back look good though. 

  3. Ugly inside and out. What’ s that screen attached to the dashboard with––a command strip? 

    Who wants to look like hillbilly with a 20 years old GPS riding on top of the dash of a 1996 soccer-mom car? 
    High-end Tesla model buyers of the future will reconsider. I know I am. A real faithkiller. Terrible. Very dissappointing.

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