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In-depth reviews

Tesla Model 3 saloon - Practicality & boot space

Generous passenger space and two boots give the Tesla Model 3 plenty of flexibility

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

1.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Practicality & boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

Tesla has made bold claims about the Model 3’s interior space, which is boosted by the electric powertrain effectively sitting underneath the car's floor. That frees up more room for passengers and luggage, and is responsible for the slightly quirky exterior design, with a short bonnet and overhangs.

As promised, there's plenty of passenger space, with ample headroom and decent knee room for back seat passengers – although space for feet is a little tight. Despite being the smallest Tesla, and quite a bit shorter than the Model S, it doesn't feel that much smaller inside, and compares well with rivals like the BMW i4.

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The front driver and passenger footwells are notable for their size. Unlike in many conventionally powered cars, they aren’t affected by a gearbox, giving occupants more space. The storage bins are also bigger and easier to access because of the Model 3’s flat floor. This gives it an advantage over the Polestar 2, which has less space for passengers in the back and a transmission tunnel that eats into space for feet. Of course, if you need even more space, the Tesla Model Y offers even more room without costing much extra.

Size comparison

Model 

Length

Width

Height

Tesla Model 3

4,720mm

1,993mm

1,441mm

Polestar 2

4,606mm

1,859mm

1,473mm

BMW i4

4,783mm

1,852mm

1,448mm

Hyundai Ioniq 6

4,855mm

1,880mm

1,495mm

Boot space

Like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Hyundai Ioniq 6, the Model 3 is a four-door saloon, so its boot opening will seem small to those used to hatchbacks, estates or SUVs. The boot itself is quite large, though, with a deep floor and another compartment underneath it, and the rear seats split and fold if you need to carry larger objects. Unlike petrol and diesel cars, there is extra space under the Model 3’s bonnet to provide a handy second luggage space, with 542 litres of space when both are totted up. The Polestar 2 has a 440-litre boot but its hatchback opening is larger, making it easier to load bulky items.

While the rear boot is a decent size, some may find the shape and width of the opening a little less useful compared with others. The storage space under the bonnet, or the ‘frunk’ as Tesla calls it, can be a little difficult to access, because the button to open it is buried in a few menus on the touchscreen, but the smartphone app does at least make it a little simpler. The 'frunk' has also shrunk slightly in the 2021 Model 3, because some space is taken up by a new heating system for the car's interior.

Boot space comparison

Model 

Boot space

Tesla Model 3

542 litres

Polestar 2

440 litres

BMW i4

470 litres

Hyundai Ioniq 6

401 litres

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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