A Touchscreen-Hater’s Tour of the Tesla Model 3 Touchscreen

I’m a total infotainment nudnik; luckily Alex Roy is here to lead me to screen salvation.

byMike Spinelli|


With the Tesla Model 3 at The Drive Garage for a day, I asked Alex Roy to come over and give me a tour of the Model 3’s new information screen. I drive a 15-year-old Jaguar, which is known more for the 2002-era Motorola StarTac mounted in its console than it is for cutting-edge telematics. Alex—despite being known for parking his Morgan 3-wheeler under buses when it rains—has spent an entire coast-to-coast run getting familiar with the Model 3’s horizontally oriented, 15-inch touchscreen, so he knows things.

It's important to note that the Tesla Model 3 has no dashboard switchgear, so most mission-critical functions, if they’re not on the steering-column stalks or steering-wheel thumbwheels, must be accessed via the screen. That means, if the screen’s interface design isn’t up to par, the effect on the Model 3’s overall driving experience will be devastating. At a glance, it looks to me like Tesla has erred on the side of speed and simplicity, with most important functions just one finger-press away. 

No doubt, giving up my beloved, janky analog switches would be difficult to fathom, and those wacky Tesla “easter eggs” seem frivolous (is that Mac Paint in there?). At least Alex is sympathetic to my plight, and can explain the functions in a way even I, a cretin, can understand. 

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