Tesla Model 3 Trunk – Is It Big Enough?



It’s no wonder the US is a repeat gold medalist in the 500-meter worry. We’ve shifted seamlessly from range anxiety to space anxiety. Some people are bummed that the Model ≡ has a trunk instead of a hatch. The payoffs, of course, are copious rear seating and a panoramic rear window that almost nobody on earth has experienced yet. But regardless of the rewards, some people feel just plain robbed, imprisoned, by that trunk — and the frunk be damned. George Carlin, anyone?

Sure, some folks may have a legit beef because they regularly carry a large, essential item that simply won’t fit in a trunk, even with a pass-through to the rear seats. But TeslaMondo thinks most complainers find it vogue to bemoan a restriction — any restriction — on an allegedly “full” lifestyle.

Before TeslaMondo writes any more about this trunk issue, it’s time for a quick check on the context. First, Model ≡ is obviously a home run, so second-guessing any part of it is moot. Second, a crossover based on the III platform is warming up in the on-deck circle. It might be warming up for quite some time given the response to the ≡, but still . . .

Back to the issue. This comes down to America’s uneconomical way of life. We waste space, period. The best example? The average American home size grows while our space needs shrink:

  1. Family size is not growing.
  2. Elaborate computer work stations are getting replaced by laptops, tablets or even smartphones.
  3. Entertainment centers stuffed with VCRs, DVDs, CDs etc. are getting replaced by wall-mounted wafers.
  4. Families don’t eat meals together anymore, so kitchens and dining rooms do nothing but enshrine previous generations. They’re Brady Bunch fantasies.

We need less living space than we had while growing up, but insist on more. Apartments? Same thing. We’re never satisfied. A teensy apartment in the US is gigantic elsewhere. And even these bigger living spaces don’t pass muster. We’re overflowing with absolutely essential stuff that ends up in off-site storage, an industry that can’t grow fast enough.

*Video of Tesla Model 3 trunk starting at 3:30

Naturally, we drag this superfluity into our cars. We overestimate the amount of stuff we need to take with us. And then we compound the error by overestimating the space required for that stuff. TeslaMondo speaks from two decades of auto dealership experience. When people trade in their old cars, they have no idea what’s in their trunks or why it’s all there. But somehow it all needs to move into the new car.

When we weigh our car purchases, we weigh our lives. It’s a humbling self-assessment. Rather than face a reality that doesn’t measure up to the adventurism pushed by TV ads, we tend to overshoot our travel range, our entourage and our “gear.” If we were dogs, we’d be a tiny breed that doesn’t roam very far and needs very little paraphernalia, but barks constantly for a longer leash and a bigger doghouse.

Hence our range anxiety and space anxiety. It’s a notable irony that the Model ≡, which embodies Tesla’s hard-fought economy of scale, must now overcome some people’s ineconomy of space. What, the word “ineconomy” doesn’t exist? Economy of language sometimes requires custom words.

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

Category: Tesla

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137 responses to "Tesla Model 3 Trunk – Is It Big Enough?"
  1. Speculawyer says:

    It is big enough, IMHO, it will just be difficult for many items because that opening is small.

    1. Lausbub says:

      I’d have no problem at all to relinguish the glass roof for the benefit of a big trunk opening. I am hoping for a sport wagon version.
      If there won’t be another option, I would still buy the Model 3 since there’s no alternative anyway. Even though, a real sedan car has always been an absolute no go for me.

      1. georges says:

        “I’d have no problem at all to relinguish the glass roof for the benefit of a big trunk opening.”

        When you give up the glass roof you give up 1-2 inches headroom. Is that what you want?

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          Actually, that would be a yes for a lot of people.

          A glass roof is something that was not expected or in demand while the hatch, at least as an optional version, is or was expected.

          I would not mind that much but two choices would be a plus.

        2. IchDochNicht says:

          Yes, yes, and yes.

          This is absolutely not about space, but about versatility. Teslas have traditionally been versatile; the Model 3 is not.

          Many don’t want or need a bigger car, and don’t have a truck sitting on their front lawn for transporting larger items. Needing an additional vehicle for anything bulky defeats the purpose of owning an eco car.

          Most who buy cars in this price class don’t transport 4 large adults as frequently as they would benefit from more versatility. However, America has traditionally not been very hatch friendly. I thought with Tesla we left the old fashioned sedan behind.

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        There are no alternatives now but there are no MOdel 3s for sale either, so what are you going to buy? By the time you will be able actually buy $35k Model 3, you will have plenty of alternatives, all kinds of them.

    2. Waiting says:

      With the Model 3, what are you buying? Are you buying a truck? NO! Are you buying an SUV? NO! Are you buying a crossover? NO! You are buying perhaps the most innovative, futuristic, and simply spectacular EV that’ll currently exist. If you need to haul something big, go rent a truck or rely on a friend. If you are heading out on a road trip, you will make the trunk and frunk work.

      1. evcarnut says:

        Waiting … U R rite 0n!..

      2. martinwinlow says:

        Couldn’t agree more – The 3’s design puts the space emphasis where it should be; in the cabin. Maybe T’l do a hatch version (or something even more estate-like) for those who want or need such a thing.

  2. pjwood1 says:

    I would take less storage even in the Volt, if it meant more rear leg room. So long as it passes the Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s test, I’m sure Model 3 will do fine.

  3. This is my only real disappointment with the Model 3 – if it had a hatch like the Model S – it would be nearly perfect for me.

    The size of the trunk opening is the issue with any trunk – getting large(r) objects into the trunk is the make-or-break challenge.

  4. AlanSqB says:

    Most of the arguments I have seen from others is that the in-economy comes from the fact that they try to use their car like a pickup truck in an effort to avoid purchasing a pickup truck.

    News flash, you can rent a pickup truck or van for $19.95/day in most cities. Need to move a drum set, rent a van. Need to haul some rock and mulch, rent a truck. Just because the III has a trunk instead of a hatch doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy an F-150 to go along with it.

    1. AlanSqB says:

      If you’re regularly hauling around all the gear for your garage band’s Friday gig’s at the pub, this is probably not the car for you.

      1. EVdrive says:

        Just so happens that the Bolt is a 200 mile hatchback EV.

        Yay, all of the people that want a hatchback EV, have an option.

  5. Fred says:

    Look at an American going on holiday, then look at a European, … Then look at a Japanese person packing.

    Simple fact (please take no offense, dear American friends, we luv you just the same) :

    Americans,… Can,… Not,… Pack! 😉 lol.
    Living with less, and being efficient with space, our American friends will soon find out, is a blessing, not a curse…

    The III is a medium sedan, not a hatchback, not a crossover, not an suv.
    Medium sedans have trunks, not hatches.

    P.S. : Elon, don’t you dare changing the III design. It is utterly awesome. Keep-The-Trunk!!

    1. Nate says:


      You are probably right, and I referenced this in my post below.

    2. Rob Stark says:

      The biggest complainers on the net regarding the 3’s trunk are Norwegians not Americans.

      And there are only 5M of them and only 70% are fluent in English.

      Yet somehow they are b’n the most that Model 3 is not a hatchback on English language websites.

      1. Carsten says:

        In Europe a sedan is a granny car.
        I live in the US for 10 years now. I still think, the trunk is just a big & ugly booty, some growth at the back end of a car. I even avoid sedans as a rental car.

    3. pjwood1 says:

      LOL, you don’t buy toilet paper 36 rolls at a time?

      1. ArkansasVolt says:

        funny thing… as an american, we keep at least 36 as backup at all times in case of natural disaster or something. we keep backs to our backups pretty much all over the house.(we have lots of storage space!) and we do not like going to the store constantly so we keep overstock so that we dont have to go all of the time.

    4. Dan says:

      How many Europeans do you know who buy sedans?

      Zero. The practical, frugal solution to using small spaces is the hatchback or the wagon.

      1. Marcel Montes says:

        BMW 3-series, Audi A4, MB C-Class… aren’t they german cars?

        And yes, I know all of them have a SW version but I live in Europe and 90% os these cars are sedans.

  6. Anon says:

    Having to transport large items, is no fantasy. Buying an EV that can accomodate one’s urban / suburban / rural needs, is the reality many consumers face, and factor into their purchases.

    Lack of cargo capacity and minimal utility, was a major strike against vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric…

    1. Aaron says:

      There’s a stark difference between a smallish opening on a trunk vs. sacrificing 2/3rds of your storage space because Ford didn’t want to create an EV platform.

      1. Anon says:

        You are correct. The FFE has a large rear cargo opening, but almost no usable space to put anything.

        The M3 has the inverse issue: very small trunk opening, with a boxed in initial interior space that opens up past the folding rear seats. Long, short items like surfboards aren’t a problem.

        But I don’t surf. Or Ski.

        Neither does my large dog, who won’t be able to use that entrance, like he can on my current vehicle. Or items I normally transport, that are over 30 inches tall, and quite irregularly shaped, and wide as well.

        Truth is, my $17k VW has more utility and useful cargo capacity than a $35k Tesla. I would gladly give up the rear headroom for a large hatch.

        I’m hoping the M3 based Crossover will be fast tracked.

    2. TedFredrick says:

      My Ford Focus electric was great except for the trunk. My wife told me yesterday to get my $1000 back because it has no hatch. I am 55 years old and don’t want to climb in a tunnel to get my groceries. I have had cars with a hatch and a trunk and the Hatch wins every time. To many fanboys on this sight its getting tiring. Tesla can do no wrong to them. My son had his Model X for a week and it is already recalled and many things on the car don’t work. Tesla needs to be rated on the same scale as all other cars. If the Volt broke down as much as the Tesla GM would be out of bussiness.

      1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

        Hehe. Use the frunk for groceries then. It’s probably even easier. 🙂

        I have a big telescope that I need to get out of the city on occasion. It barely fits in the back of my Leaf, and it’s a mid-sized hatchback. I literally can’t give up a hatchback.

        My bike might fit in the back of a M3, but I’d probably buy the hitch option and just get a rack.

  7. Mikael Larsson says:

    For a regular car buy this trunk would be a deal breaker for me.
    A proper hatch is essential. The only reason it’s not a deal breaker for me this time is because it’s a Tesla, I will transform my reservation into an order in 3-3½ years when it’s my turn and accept the inconvenience and compromise.
    Hopefully Tesla will have improved the opening at least.

    If only a hatch was optional instead of that glass roof.

    1. Lausbub says:

      I agree 100%.

    2. sveno says:

      Well Elon did mention in a tweet that they try to make the trunk opening larger and it was also mentioned that the trunk is shallower in the prototypes.

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      Well with about 400000 reservations, Tesla could now afford to make at least two versions, the glass roof with trunk and the standard roof with hatch. Just like the BMW 3 series is available with a standard trunk or a hatch. That would not change much in production and answer all demands.

  8. James says:

    I like having a trunk. I agree on American space silliness and our ridiculous need to buy 100-pack rolls of toilet tissue and pallets of bottled water. Trunk means thieves can’t see my stuff or get to it by simply smashing a window. Buy a Bolt if you need a hatch.

    1. LEAF_n_PiP says:

      Most hatchbacks offer a cover for the rear so that thieves can’t see what’s in the trunk. And if a thief wants to rob a car with a trunk, they would break a window and open the trunk from the button inside (which most cars with trunks have). Having had both cars with trunks and cars with hatchbacks, I will say the hatchback is significantly more convenient (I’m not saying it’s a dealbreaker for the Model 3 like a lot have been saying).

      1. voracity says:

        I get that people are concerned about the size of the Model 3 prototype trunk opening — it does look small for a sedan. (Let’s hope the real trunk is at least as large as average.) I also understand that many people find hatchbacks more appealing.

        However, having had both a hatchback and (now) a sedan, my personal experience is that a hatchback is only slightly more convenient than a typical trunk. I can’t think of a case in which I’ve had to forego carrying something in the sedan, that my hatchback would have managed. This includes things like: office equipment, sporting gear, luggage, big screen TVs, ladders, lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, chairs and semi-mature plants. Some of those things would have fit more easily in a hatchback, but my life is not somehow the lesser for the extra minute here and there of loading effort.

        The difference between a sedan and a hatchback seems smaller to me than the difference between a hatchback and an SUV.

  9. R.S says:

    You missed the obvious contra argument, while families might not consist of more people, they still grow in volume and so does the rest of America.

    Look at the average American today and 50 years ago. You could fit 3 of those 60s Americans in one recent specimen and he would still order them with super sized coke and fries…

  10. EVs says:

    You can’t put a dog in a trunk.

    1. Aaron says:

      Sure you can! (runs and hides)

      1. mr. M says:

        Dead or alive? (Runs even faster below the blanket)

      2. Speculawyer says:

        Actually, you probably can. Just fold down one seat so the dog can get air and see out. But put some netting up so the dog can’t crawl into the back seat.

    2. Someone out there says:

      Sell the dog. Problem solved!

      1. TedFredrick says:

        I love my dog more than the car

        1. W on says:

          You have a hatchback dog? lol

    3. Speculawyer says:

      Back seat dog eith Ludicrous speed!

      1. Mister G says:


      2. ffbj says:

        Sit Muffy, Sit.

      3. Rick Danger says:

        Too funny!

      4. Phr≡d says:

        I think this was originally a commercial for Doggy Diapers, yes?

  11. Nate says:

    It may not be ideal but it is not a deal breaker for me. We’ll still be a 2 car family and the other car (Sienna) will work for carpooling groups of kids, hauling appliances, ‘glamping’ trips, and towing a small utility trailer and the like. If I could afford to replace that Sienna with a Model X I would but that’s not in my budget. The Model 3 is and we’ll enjoy making it work just like we’ve done with our Volt. The Volt cargo space is small but we’ve taken an 8 day trip with it with room to bring a few things back from the inlaws we visited. And, I have no doubt that a non American like Fred could have packed our things smarter and created more room to spare.

    The Model 3 will give more room as legroom and headroom than the Volt as my tall kids grow into teenagers. The Bolt probably would as well if I get to impatient waiting for the 3. I figure that is more important to address than the cargo space.

  12. Rooster says:

    I regularly haul stuff around in my car and I need a Hatch back. With the seats folded I can get a dishwasher to fit, but I can’t do that with a trunk.

    A hatch should be an option.

    1. Djoni says:

      Oh that’s funny.
      Always carry your own dishwasher, but instead seat her beside you……
      Joke aside, did you know that anywhere you but it, they usually deliver free of additional charge.
      With a bit extra money, they will plug plumbing and power.

      1. Djoni says:

        Put not but!

        1. Djoni says:

          I think you dishwashe my brain.
          I meant “anywhere you buy it…”

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Usually delivery is not free and takes days. Or if you need to rent a truck you also waste a lot of time getting and returning it and pay some money. With hatchback or station wagon or SUV you just open hatch and put you stuff in. It isn’t just dishwasher but any bigger size appliance or TV or bicycles or stroller or skies or whatever, and happens all the time. Also it doesn’t rain below the hatch if it extends far enough when you are loading.

        It may be not worth to sacrifice rear seat head room for hatch, but if you have other choices, hatchback has more utility.

    2. Trace says:

      How many dishwashers do you ruin in a year? Rinse the dishes first, and you won’t have to haul so many home!

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      Well I didn’t expect to launch the dishwasher anxiety some days ago, but apparently yes. 😉

  13. JMK says:

    You US folks are funny. For the rare occasion you need to transport something big with this car, attach a trailer. You don’t need the pickup truck.

    1. Mikael Larsson says:

      Yet it’s europeans loving to have a proper hatch/wagon.

      1. Terawatt says:

        Wagons are popular in Norway. Personally I’ve never understood some people’s preference for sedans. Unlike with a pickup truck, a wagon isn’t compromised compared to a sedan. It rides the same. It looks better IMO.

        To my mind it’s simply a matter of a wagon offering more utility without really sacrificing anything. Maybe it’s because I live in a place where worrying whether someone can see what’s in my trunk is a bit alien.

        I’d love to see a Tesla wagon, but it’ll be a long wait. 🙂

        The Model 3 trunk makes the car unsuitable for dog owners. People who regularly haul dishwasher-sized objects should complain elsewhere – it’s ridiculous to expect Teslas long-announced BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 challenger (killer?) to be their ideal car.

        But for most normal people who happen to not have dogs, the car still offers plenty utility. You can tow a trailer the few times you need to move really bulky stuff. And in everyday use, you’ll have incredibly practical storage in the frunk and loads of luggage space in the trunk, plus more room inside the car at all times. Considering what a unique and awesome car the Model 3 looks to be, I find it a bit incredible what sort of complaints some people come up with.

        1. mr. M says:

          The BMW 3 series and the Audi A4 both offer a wagon form. If the Model 3 want to compete, please compete fully.

          1. Marcel says:

            They have a wagon version but 90% os sales are for the sedan version.

        2. alohart says:

          One important sacrifice a wagon or compact CUV makes compared with a sedan is aerodynamics. With highway range important, a sedan wins over a wagon. But highway range is less important to me than utility and efficiency, so I won’t be replacing our i3 with a Model 3.

  14. AtlantaCourier says:

    I hope the Model 3 has a space-saver tire along with a way to properly stow it.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      My last two cars didn’t have spare tires and I didn’t miss it. I haven’t need a spare tire in over twenty years.

      No modern EVs come with spare tires. The Model S doesn’t have a spare, I doubt the Model 3 will either.

      1. an_outsider says:

        May the frunk spacious enough to fit a spare for those who wants one?

      2. Speculawyer says:

        Fix-a-flat cans have worked for me twice.

        1. Ziv says:

          I am one of the unlucky ones that had a serious flat and then fix a flat system in my Volt failed. When the flat bed came to pick me and the Volt up, an hour later, it turned out not having the fix a flat work didn’t matter because the tire was torn in two different locations and the goo wouldn’t have worked anyway.
          I miss having a spare.

  15. carcus says:

    If they make the pass through large enough, I can get by without a hatch…..

    Large enough = fitting a full sized bicycle without removing the front wheel or lowering the bicycle seat.

    It’s great that it’s going to have a hitch optional (that I can fit a bike carrier on) but that will reduce range noticeably. I would much rather put the bike in the trunk.

    Until the supercharger network is built out substantially, I could foresee “range with bike in trunk” vs “range with bike on hitch rack” could be a deciding factor in whether the 3 can make the weekend bicycle trip or not.

    1. carcus says:


      For all those around town “pickup” chores (home depot run for lumber, furniture moving, etc…) a model 3 with a lightweight trailer should work fine for that (I’m assuming the model 3 will provide at least a 1500 lb towing capacity).

      Pulling anything up the interstate highway for long distances? …. not so much.

    2. Aaron says:

      Have people really forgotten trunk-mounted (or hitch-mounted) bike racks? Does your bike need to be inside the car?

      1. carcus says:

        I thought I explained that. Bike on carrier = less range.

        1. Terawatt says:

          Range is one part of it and a good point. An additional point is your bike gets unbelievably dirty out there, even more so behind the car than on the roof. So if it fits inside and you’re alone or with one person, that’s clearly the preferred way to bring the bike along.

    3. Djoni says:

      Nice bike have quick release.
      It remove your wheel faster than your pant.

      1. Terawatt says:

        Which is why it’s so beloved by thieves. Many manufacturers have reverted to bolting wheels on, so a thief at least needs a tool and to spend a minute or two…

  16. ozz says:

    I don’t think this should be an argument for us whether the trunk is right or wrong, it’s just a preference, and American’s preferences shift. Look at the mega-SUV craze and how we got here. Back in the 80’s sedans were huge, and there were only wagons and trucks. Oh, and the Caravan. In the 90’s we wanted more utility and we got truck based SUV’s and most wagons went away. A swiss army like machine that did everything well, if not great. Then we got car based SUV’s and some more hatch and wagons back. Now we’re getting a lot of baby SUV’s and with lower gas prices, the bigger SUV’s and Trucks are selling better.
    I prefer a wagon, or small SUV, so while I like the model 3, I think I’ll pass and get the Bolt instead because I like and need the utility for my lifestyle. I think trunks are stupid, they cause so many problems with loading items, and they solve so few problems, but that’s my opinion and my experience. I can honestly report to you that I’ve put the seats down on my Volt every week I’ve owned the car, and just last week I hauled a recliner in my Volt, thru a rainstorm. I also put a new printer back there, and a new 110 quart cooler filled with groceries. I like to put our dogs back there. I like to be able to throw cooler in the back, throw in the canopy tent, the bbq and head to the beach. And while I could do that last thing with a trunk, it would have been harder to get to the stuff I put in the middle right where the shelf above the trunk is.
    It’s preference and functionality. I like smart designs.. and I don’t think trunks are smart designs. But I love wagons.. I don’t expect you to understand.

    1. TedFredrick says:

      According to the fanboys on this sight you should be ashamed of yourself for wanting to carry things in your car. Elon said no. Please don’t deviate from the fanboy mantra.

      1. Djoni says:

        Go ahead and cary anything you want.
        I just don’t care much what you’re doing with your car, as far as you drive safely.

  17. Kent A says:

    Obviously, it was made for someone, but blaming Americans for what you perceive as fantasies might be reality for some people with 4 kids, 2 dogs, etc. Relics of previous generations or frankly someone outside your little sphere of influence/reality. Time will tell who is right, and acting like it is beyond questioning is simply being a fanboi.

    1. TomArt says:

      The article was referring to national trends in family size and behavior. 3, 4, 5 kids used to be common. It’s not, anymore. Families used to sit down and eat meals together – that’s no longer common, or at least frequent enough to justify a huge dining room, much less the current “standard” of a formal dining room plus “breakfast nook” and whatever else.

      Your miles may vary.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Well, apparently I must be a used to be common person since I fit exactly your used to be common description. 🙂

        But I think having kids is not only a pleasure but a social necessity if you are educated and technology minded since that is the kind of people that will be needed for the future.

  18. IDK says:

    For $35k the trunk works for me. Don’t like it? Upgrade to the Model S or Model X.
    Or…get a roof storage bin. 🙂

    1. Terawatt says:

      Or get a Bolt. Or LEAF 2.0. Or Nissans crossover EV whenever it arrives. Or one of the 40 PHEV models arriving by the time Model 3 does.

      No one car is perfect for all people all of the time. I’m lucky that the Model 3 meets my needs rather well, so if I can afford to, I’ll convert my reservation to a purchase when the time comes.

      Model 3 is anyway doing its job. That’s not to be all cars in one, but to move EVs into the mainstream. Already the incumbents are getting tough questions about how they plan to meet the competition in their shareholder meetings and earnings calls.

      In time, Tesla too may offer such a wide variety of cars that nearly everyone can find one that fits them, going by brand preference alone. But in the mean time, it’s really childish to expect Tesla to design their car to your particular preference. The trunk clearly isn’t simply “stupid”. It’s a trade-off that give many people a greater benefit than the reverse trade-off of less interior space and no awesome glass roof for easier access to a trunk they hardly use. I know, because I’m one of them. In the last year I’ve rented a small van from IKEA the one time I needed to move bulky stuff. Most of the time I move nothing more than groceries. I put them on the floor behind the drivers seat, where they don’t move about as freely as they’d do in the back. 95% of the time I’d use the M3 frunk and enjoy the improved cabin while not even noticing my impractical trunk opening.

  19. DonC says:

    After the video I can’t say the back set room is “copious”. Those people don’t seem to be that large and the seating seems adequate but not more.

    Hardly a reason to complain though. I think Tesla made a mistake with the body style. Sedans sales are down. SUV/CUV sales are up. One reason is that you don’t get a lot of cargo space in a sedan. But if you like the small sedan style then there is no point in complaining about the lack of cargo space.

    1. Paul Stoller says:

      Yes they really should have released the CUV version first, and the sedan second.

    2. carcus says:

      I don’t think they made a mistake. The reason is range. The “smaller footprint” model 3 (be it sedan, hatchback, CUV etc..) has got less room for the floorpan battery layout. I would say highway range would decrease by at least 10% and probably more than 20% if they were to go with the higher profile body styles.

      I would also say 200 mile highway range is a bare minumum for the car to be considered a full purpose (not a city) car.

      Regardless of how the EPA or the manufacturer rates the range, when the going gets tough (cold temperatures, windy days) the high profile vehicle will pay a bigger penalty.

    3. Terawatt says:

      If anything, less demand was a good thing for Tesla! It’s going to be a HUGE challenge to satisfy the demand for this unpopular body style..!

      You’re certainly welcome to your own opinion, but I think it’s odd how little people seem to think through what they gained by compromising on storage-area access. For people who don’t often move large things and don’t have dogs, this is a great compromise with benefits way greater than the drawbacks. I think the vast majority of people have no need to haul big stuff often – not even once a week, and for me, not even once quarterly – but I do wonder what percentage of families have dogs.

      In any case, generating more demand is clearly not a reason to modify the car. In the long term it’s a reason to make more models, and that is in the cards.

  20. Joshua Jones says:

    I think the author hit it right. The design of the car is to compete with the 3 series or A4 styling and hatch backs aren’t the demand there. If I can get two weekend duffel bags its more than enough. This feels like Tesla’s All-In bet and if they flop well, it’ll generate the solvency to produce more options because options increase manufacturing costs and production time. The prudent decision is to appeal to the masses and turn the quickest profit to ensure long term solvency at which point they gain flexibility and deliver on time to market.

  21. Someone out there says:

    There has to be some drawback to the car to give the competitors a chance!

  22. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    It’s called the Model 3.

  23. acevolt says:

    Look at the top sellers in the US like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and even BMW 3 series. All sedans with trunks. Tesla needs to go after that market and not the smaller hatchback market. The US likes sedans with trunks, that’s what Tesla needs to make.

    1. FFEINKY says:

      Exactly the same thing I was thinking. You add those manufacturers numbers of sedans sold and its in the millions. People are just nitpicking. If you don’t want a trunk then don’t buy a Model 3. It’s really that simple ?

  24. Someone out there says:

    The comments of that clip links to a previous clip where the same people drive the model S prototype. It’s quite interesting to see that it changed quite a bit in the final version even though the gist of it is the same. I’m pretty sure the same will happen to the 3, there will be a lot of refinement and when the final version comes it will be spectacular!

  25. Yup says:

    Oh wow, another article written by an EV zealot explaining why people are stupid for wanting something.

    First of all, the very first justification given for the trunk in the Model 3 is that it allows copious rear seat room. Presumably the author is talking about headroom. Well hey, guess what one of the advantages is to a hatchback over a sedan? You guessed it, headroom!

    Let me remind you of two previous cases where EV zealots have told people they didn’t need something, but then suddenly got quiet when people got it. Lots of people said that NOBODY wanted five seats in the Chevy Volt. That was stupid because who would want to sit back there? Well, now we have it, and yes, I’m very happy it’s there. The other case is the case of limited range BEVs. You people have been saying for years that nobody really needs more than 70 miles of range. People are just too stupid to realize it right? Well, you sure all dumped the Leaf pretty quickly as soon as better options became available! (Check current sales and resale of the Leaf for reference)

    So in conclusion, stop writing articles that imply that people who don’t like this EV or that EV are just stupid. Maybe those people actually want to buy something big at a store and take it home in their car?

    1. TomArt says:

      Huh…I don’t recall the Volt complaints that you do – I remember the opposite – a staggering amount of complaints about the fact that you can only fit 4 people as opposed to having the option to sit 5.

      Also, I agree that there have been a substantial minority of people pointing out that you only need double-digit range; however, for the most part, comments I’ve seen over the years at least acknowledge that triple-digit, and preferably 200+, would make EVs mainstream, due to perceived need. Not that many have delivered a sermon on the subject.

      1. Yup says:

        Yes, there were some people, like myself, who said that the Volt needed a fifth seat, but the preachy people were out in force saying that there was no need, and that anybody asking for the fifth seat must just be inventing a need to bash the car.

        And trust me, many MANY people have been very preachy about not needing more than 70 miles of range. Those people have largely disappeared into the woodwork now that there are a couple upcoming 200+ mile range cars.

        That’s my exact point. Lots of people, such as the author of this article, treat negative feedback about any EV as a symptom of stupidity rather than valid feedback. It’s unfortunately true that many of us EV supporters are both elitist and overly defensive. One of the hidden benefits of EVs going mainstream is that we won’t have to listen their bleating any more.

        1. sven says:


          That’s also my recollection of events.

    2. Terawatt says:

      People aren’t stupid for wanting something. They are sometimes stupid hoping for what they want. And often stupid for not realizing others don’t want the same as them.

      For example, writing “the trunk is a deal-breaker”, without any mention like “for me”, or “for dog owners”, or something else to qualify the statement gives the impression that the person doesn’t even understand that any designs involves different trade-offs, with benefits as well as drawbacks.

      Personally I’d prefer M3 to be a wagon. But I’m not silly enough to write “I’m hoping for a wagon option” because I’m not completely clueless.

      As it stands, the M3 appears to be in sufficient demand. It’s bringing EVs a huge step closer to the mainstream. Not just directly as THE mainstream offering, but by encouraging the 60 kWh Bolt and basically raising the game across the board.

      Some day someone will even make my dream EV wagon. And that’ll be in large part thanks to M3 and Tesla, or at least happen much sooner because of them. So I’m happy.

      Being a little disappointed if the M3 doesn’t fit your particular needs is understandable. But being pissy about it is just infantile, and a lot of people are.

  26. Kosee says:

    I don’t get it… it comes with towing capabilities… buy something to pull and problem solved.

    Or wait for the Y.

    Stop making things that are not complicated complicated. Instead of pushing tesla to focus on the design I say, let’s all shut up and hope they can ramp up production real fast.

  27. notting says:

    “The average American home size grows while our space needs shrink:

    1. Family size is not growing.

    At least in Europe they say that the average flat size increase _because_ there’re more households with only one person (no matter if it’s more like a young person without a partner or a a person driving home to the partner only for the weekend or an older person whose partner already died). If you’re living together with somebody you e.g. usually got a bathroom of similar size like when living together. But when these both persons are singles, they each need such a bathroom…


    1. TomArt says:

      Very interesting point, but I think there are different angles being discussed here.

      You are referring to a per capita increase, and that seems to be a global trend among industrialized nations, where people are marrying later, if at all, and are less likely to have multiple generations living in the same house. You are talking about the trend were fewer people live in the same domestic space.

      What is happening here, in the US, is that the number of people per domestic space is dropping while the size of the domestic space is growing – bigger apartments, bigger houses, yet the number of people living in each apartment or each house is going down.

  28. Ambulator says:

    The Bolt is basically my ideal car. I was willing to give the Model 3 a shot, but from the first shot of its stupidly long nose I knew it wasn’t for me. The hatchback versus trunk issue is just one of many where the Bolt wins.

    The Model 3 is a fine car, but it’s designed for someone else.

  29. *EV* says:

    Tesla, Tesla, Tesla, Tesla…
    If it wasn’t a Tesla few would argue that this trunk design isn’t unpractical?

    1. TomArt says:

      Actually, the opposite is true – the car is a magnet, so every detail is going to be under greater scrutiny.

      Based on the various pictures and videos that I’ve seen, the trunks of the Model 3 prototypes seem just as spacious as other mid-sized sedans. Furthermore, the opening looks slightly bigger than average!

      I’ve seen sedans that family and friends own, from various automakers, and I’m shocked at how small the openings are compared the internal volume. Some are complete jokes – useless, in my mind – even dealbreakers!

      Although I’m used to my full rear hatch of my Mariner hybrid, I rarely use it now that I haven’t moved in nearly 4 years. The next time I move, I will hire movers because it’s such a huge undertaking.

      When I get my Model 3, the hybrid will be sold, and if my future needs require large objects moved (and no available delivery by the retailer), then I’ll rent an F-150 from the nearest U-Haul by the hour.

  30. Gibby says:

    I want the wagon version, with an old-school roll down window in the hatch door.

    1. TomArt says:

      That would be fun!

  31. kubel says:

    I don’t like the trunk either. The Bolt may not be as sexy and doesn’t have Supercharger access, but at lease it has a practical hatchback design.

  32. ffbj says:

    As long as my golf clubs fit in there I am good. Others may prefer a hatchback, but one positive is you can decline helping your friends move. Sorry your, couch, chairs, etc… won’t fit in my car.

  33. an_outsider says:

    Are those with “steel” top instead of glass, have any chance being hatchback?

    1. ffbj says:

      I doubt that would be the case. Also in New Jersey they prefer trunks.

      1. an_outsider says:

        At least in my minds, it may be an avenue to explore on Tesla side to overcome that hatchback against trunk wide opening “issue”.

      2. CopperRoad says:

        Yes, new Supercharger in the The Pine Barrens – coming soon.

        1. ffbj says:

          Lol. Convenient.

    2. Braben says:

      According to one of Musk’s tweets, putting a support beam for a hatch would leave too little headroom on the rear seats. Of course they could have chosen to build the car taller, but then it wouldn’t look as sleek anymore. This is what happens if you duplicate the exterior proportions of a standard ICE sedan in an EV that needs more room in the floor for the battery.

      1. an_outsider says:

        Roof steel: Even with if the support beam for hatchback sits just behind rear passengers headrest?

        Sure, rear glass won’t be as gigantic but who knows, they have enough time ahead to revise their copy to offer 2 versions: a) glass roof + trunk b) steel roof + hatchback

        1. Braben says:

          I’d love option b), but apparently it’s not possible. Straight from the horse’s mouth:


          Looking at the image below, it looks like a support beam right behind the rear seats would block the driver’s view due to the extremely flat angle of the rear window:

          1. an_outsider says:

            I guess you’re right.

          2. an_outsider says:

            … and this horse has a big mouth 🙂

  34. proxymusanonimy says:

    You can’t please all of the people all of the time. You will always have the whiners.

    Mr. Musk just build it as is.

  35. Jeff Anderson says:

    The standard model 3 will have a metal roof. The optional glass roof will have a sun roof that will open. The all glass roof is what you saw in the model 3 showing. Also the rear seats are supose to fold down. The sudan is not a deal breaker for me, but I would much rather have it configured as a hatch back. This is because it makes the vehicle more flexable in it’s use.

    1. Terawatt says:

      It’s not that simple. A hatchback would mean either 2 inches less headroom in the back or a taller car, which in turn would hurt not just the car’s proportions, but also its aerodynamic drag – and therefore range. And that incredible glass roof wouldn’t be possible.

      There’s no argument that a hatchback offers easier access to the storage area. But many people don’t use the storage area often. I put my groceries on the floor behind the drivers seat (I drive a LEAF) so they don’t move about as freely. And I can’t tow anything with my car, so a Model 3 would allow me to do much more with my own car the few times I want to move something big. Although I’d still opt for the very inexpensive home delivery and setup option when the time comes to replace my washer-dryer. 😉

  36. JakeY says:

    The trunk is big enough. The trunk opening is small. Even Elon acknowledged this on twitter and said it will be made bigger.

  37. Trace says:

    As a photographer, the value of an enclosed trunk that hides my gear is a benefit over a hatch that just advertises “Break my window and steal”. But I am an outlier.
    I’ve had hatchbacks before and they do hold a lot of stuff.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Normally you can’t see well what is or isn’t in hatchback, it is covered one or other way. And you can open whatever after braking a window, it is all the same.

  38. ClarksonCote says:

    “First, Model ≡ is obviously a home run”

    Wow, no bias here.

    I hope the Model 3 is a home run, but until its final form is available, in hands of owners, and deemed reliable, we won’t know that.

    If GM introduced this everyone would call it vaporware until it was in production, where people had it in their home.

    I want Tesla to succeed, but we should all still be objective. Put another way, if we blindly love everything Tesla does, the product won’t end up being as good as it could be with some constructive criticisms.

  39. Scramjett says:

    I can’t say I’m too surprised over how polarizing this topic is. I think the polarization kind of proves Tesla Mondo’s point, that people overestimate their needs and then justify it “it’s not about the space, its about the opening” or some other excuse.

    I don’t find the “trunk” a deal breaker and I don’t have issues with downsizing on space. My wife and I are constantly disposing of stuff that we don’t need/use anymore and we make what limited space we have work. Our house is one of the smallest of our friends at <2000 sqft and yet we are one of the few people in our neighborhood who can actually park our car in the garage (when we had 2 cars, we could park both!). And yet, I wouldn't object to downsizing.

    No, for me, the real deal breaker is the missing dashboard. I just can't get passed it and I'm not convinced that a HUD (if there will be one) is a suitable replacement. I think I'll just make my Volt last as long as possible and save my money for a Model S; not because of the hatch, but because it actually has a proper dashboard.

    1. mxs says:

      If you have been a life time hatch back user, trust me, those people do not over estimate their needs. Elon has never driven hatch back in his life, so how would he know???

      The best hatch value in the world has been for ages Golf, because it drives remarkably well and does the job 95% of time and doesn’t cost arm and a leg. Give me Golf in BEV drivetrain format and I will stop posting and visiting insideevs.com …. that’s all I need.

      If I was in a market for a cool car, yes, I’d be probably reserving my model 3 with my latest iPhone 6S …. 🙂

      Very different markets ….

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        I’m pretty sure that Elon has driven a hatchback for a significant amount of time. That is, unless you think he’s never driven a Model S.

  40. mxs says:

    Yes it is ludicrous for most people who require practical car. It will be fine for others …

    Sorry but this comment made me laugh .. .”It is big enough, IMHO, it will just be difficult for many items because that opening is small.” ….. anything but to admit, it will not work for him. But the 1000 bucks is down, so I have to tread the Tesla line.

  41. Eric W says:

    I did a Google search for “worldwide auto sales by body style” and this IHS link was on forts page –


    Stats are for US Only, could not find FREE WorldWide stats, but Sedans are ~36%, SUV/CUV are ~36% and combined Hatchback & Wagons 6.6% from 2009 to 2014.

    Which market would you target first and second? Elon said making a great sedan is Much easier then making a great SUV. Maybe Tesla did a Google search looked at these stats and made an informed accurate assessment of what Can they make the Easiest, Cheapest FIRST and cover the most market share. You know, ECON 101 type stuff.

    2009 2014
    SUV/CUV 31.4% 36.50%
    SEDAN 36.3% 35.40%
    PICKUP 14.1% 13.10%

    HATCHBACK 5.6% 5.50%

    VAN 5.0% 3.60%
    COUPE 4.5% 3.40%
    STATION WAGON 1.1% 1.20%
    CONVERTIBLE 1.6% 1.00%

    *Source: IHS Automotive, based on Polk U.S. new light vehicle retail registration data, CYTD May for each year shown

    ***mod edit (Jay Cole)***
    Hey Eric, perfectly ok to add links to wherever (you don’t have to add the “dot com”/instruction part), the system/moderators will not filter it…the system only auto-grabs a comment if there is 3 or more links inside a post total – I edited the above link to be direct
    ***mod edit***

    1. mxs says:

      You are looking up US stats for hatch back and wagon??? LOL … try some countries in Europe … North Americans don’t understand them, never have and never will. SUV’s? oh yeah. Give me some size and power …

      1. Eric W says:

        There appears to be a distinct difference in Market preference (based on statistics) between Europe (~40% Tesla Sales) and US (>50% of Tesla Sales). The below link was all I could find for Europe that mentioned Car Styles, its focused on Used Car market, but assume the cars were once New.

        *Page 29

        2014 EUROPE Stats
        SUV/CUV (Off Road & MPV) – 13%
        SEDAN (Saloons) – 19%
        PICKUP – ***NO DATA

        HATCHBACK – 44%

        VAN – ***NO DATA
        COUPE (Sport)- 6%
        STATION WAGON (Estate) – 12%

        So Everyone is Right, depending on which side of the Pond you live on. I guess Asian Market will be the Tie Breaker!

        Maybe this is why Tesla is starting Model 3 in USA and by the time its ready for Europe, the Model Y will be ready for reservations.

        1. Mxs says:

          Correct,Americans don’t like hatchbacks. Ask Audi and A3 …. Sales are great since they brought sedan and stopped selling hatchback in North America. Sadly, they would never get my money …. Sedan is typically purchased by people with more disposable income, so Tesla’s move makes sense and hence would not work for me.

      2. Dan says:

        Talk about misunderstanding the data. The word crossover in North America is basically another word for wagon. So, it is just bundled into the SUV/CUV numbers above.

    2. Eric W says:

      Maybe Stats easier to read below

      2009 Stats
      SUV/CUV – 31.40%
      SEDAN – 36.30%
      PICKUP – 14.10%

      HATCHBACK – 5.60%

      VAN – 5.00%
      COUPE – 4.50%
      STATION WAGON – 1.10%
      CONVERTIBLE – 1.60%

      2014 Stats
      SUV/CUV – 36.50%
      SEDAN – 35.40%
      PICKUP – 13.10%

      HATCHBACK – 5.50%

      VAN – 3.60%
      COUPE- 3.40%
      STATION WAGON – 1.20%
      CONVERTIBLE – 1.00%

      1. John Mclaren says:

        A lot of those stats result from availability. Big hatches are expensive. The old Saabs were hatchbacks, and that’s exactly the expanded niche Teslas are fulfilling.

    3. Braben says:

      If Tesla was just following existing trends, the Model S wouldn’t have a hatchback either, since almost none of the competitors in that class do. But it does, and it is a better car for it.

  42. Phr≡d says:

    The ≡ will be a hatchback

    this is part I of reveal.