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Finance Tesla's Model 3 is loaded with impressive features — but one stands out above the rest (TSLA)

Tesla minimalist design has created an opportunity to add something special to the driving experience.

  • Published:
The Tesla Model 3. play

The Tesla Model 3.

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)

  • We recently spent a few hours sampling the new Tesla Model 3.
  • Its minimalist design is one of its most striking features.
  • But I had an interesting reaction to the lack of a traditional instrument cluster.


Tesla recently let us borrow a $57,500 Tesla Model 3, in fetching red with a black interior.

We were impressed with the car, but it isn't without some radical departures from business-as-usual, particularly when it comes to user interface and information design.

For example, Tesla has eliminated the instrument cluster. This has bothered some reviewers.

But I'm of a different mindset.

Behold the Model 3!

Behold the Model 3! play

Behold the Model 3!

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)

This is a snazzy looking car. Tesla let us borrow it for a few hours, and we made the most of our time, escaping the concrete canyons and traffic of Manhattan for the bucolic sights and winding roads of Northern New Jersey.



Here's the now famous, ultra-minimalist interior. See if you can guess my favorite feature?

Here's the now famous, ultra-minimalist interior. See if you can guess my favorite feature? play

Here's the now famous, ultra-minimalist interior. See if you can guess my favorite feature?

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)

Could it be that large central touchscreen, floating in the middle of the dash like an iPad suspended in space?

How about the almost button-free steering wheel?

Maybe the sleek piece of open-grain wood stretching from side-to-side?

The unadorned central stack? The clean lines of the seats?



Nope, none of those things. Rather, it's the VIEW!

Nope, none of those things. Rather, it's the VIEW! play

Nope, none of those things. Rather, it's the VIEW!

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)

The basic information about the car — whether it's in drive, park, or reverse — and the speedometer are displayed on the left-hand side of the screen.

Some reviewers have complained about this and said that the Model 3 should have a heads-up display projecting info in front of the driver, due to the lack of a traditional instrument cluster.

But I differ. In practice, gathering information from the touchscreen was easy for me to get used to. So I could then spend most of my time gazing serenely forward, looking at nothing but open road. This is a meditative, blissfully calming experience (not so much that I stopped paying attention, but still quite relaxing).

Can you call an unobstructed, distraction-free view a feature?

I think you can, and in the Model 3, it's my favorite.