If you’re looking at buying a used Model 3, you may have heard that there are two interior options—the Partial Premium Interior, and the Premium Interior.

But the most important question is—how do they compare? When you look at Tesla’s Partial Premium Interior vs Premium Interior, what are you sacrificing/gaining with one option or the other?

In order to help you understand the differences and be the best-informed Tesla buyer you can be, we’re continuing today with another installment of our “Tesla Features Explained” blog series, where we take an important Tesla feature or option available on various models, and break it down on an oh-so-nerdy level leaving no details out. Sound like something you’re interested in? We thought so! Now, let’s jump in!

History of the Partial Premium Interior (Model 3)

Tesla’s Partial Premium Interior first surfaced in March 2019 when they began selling the Standard Range RWD Model 3 (also known as the $35,000 Model 3) and the Standard Range Plus RWD Model 3 (which is still available online today).

In order to cut costs on the lower-tier Model 3 variants, Tesla removed some features from the interior (which we’ll get into in detail a bit further down the page).

Changes to the lighting, seating, Premium Connectivity, and most notably the audio system were made to keep the price down in that sub-$40,000 range.

Tesla still sells both the Standard Range RWD Model 3 (off menu, special order only) and the Standard Range Plus RWD Model 3 (available on their website now), so the Partial Premium Interior is still alive and well in two different Model 3 variants.

Some important things to note about the history (and current status) of the Partial Premium Interior are that there’s no option to upgrade it to a Premium Interior on the Standard Range and Standard Range Plus Model 3 vehicles. You can, however, upgrade some individual features that are disabled by software (like the rear heated seats), but you can’t upgrade most of the missing features.

Also, it’s important to note that the Mid Range RWD, Long Range RWD, Long Range AWD, and Performance AWD Model 3 variants all come with the top-of-the-line Premium Interior, and there’s no option to order those with the Partial Premium Interior; if you’re buying one of the more expensive Model 3 vehicles, you get the full Premium Interior and it’s the only option.

Now let’s take a look at what’s specifically included in each package…

Tesla Partial Premium Interior—What It Includes

  • 12-way power adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats (but not rear seats)
  • Upgraded audio – AKA “Immersive Sound” (Note: Immersive sound is missing in the $35k Model 3, and rear speakers plus the subwoofer are missing in all Partial Premium Interior cars)
  • 30-day trial of Tesla Premium Connectivity

Tesla Premium Interior—What It Includes

  • 12-way power adjustable front seats
  • Heated front AND rear seats
  • Premium audio (14 speakers, a subwoofer, 2 amplifiers, and Immersive Sound of course)
  • 1-year (vs. a 30-day trial) of Tesla Premium Connectivity
  • LED fog lamps (the Partial Premium Interior only has fake fog lamps)
  • Interior floor mats (sorry, no factory floor mats in the Partial Premium Interior)

OK, So What Are the Actual Differences Between the Partial Premium Interior and the Premium Interior (Sometimes Called the “Full Premium Interior”)?

OK, so here’s specifically what’s missing in the Partial Premium Interior:

  • No fog lights (instead you get plastic insert that looks like a fog light)
  • No foot well lights (these are disabled in the Model 3’s software)
  • No rear speakers
  • No subwoofer
  • No amps
  • Only 30 day trial of Premium Connectivity (vs. 1 year with the Premium Interior)
  • No rear heated seats (but you can pay $300 via the Tesla app to enable them)

If you want to see a side-by-side comparison, check out the video posted by YouTuber Daniel Spalding here:

And his review of the Partial Premium Interior sound system vs. the Premium Interior sound system here:

Which Models Have the Option of a Partial Premium Interior?

The only Model 3 vehicles that have the option of the Partial Premium Interior are the Model 3 Standard Range RWD (AKA the $35k Model 3) and the Standard Range Plus RWD.

Both are currently sold by Tesla, but the Standard Range RWD Model 3 is an “off menu” purchase, which means you need to go into a Tesla store and ask for it, or contact Tesla directly.

If you’re wondering what the Partial Premium Interior of the $35,000 Model 3 actually looks like, YouTuber Car Confections has an awesome walkthrough here:

Does the Model Y Have a Partial Premium Interior Option?

No, the Model Y does not currently have an option for the Partial Premium Interior. This is because the Model Y (at the time of writing) is only available in Long Range AWD and Performance AWD variants (similar to the way that the Model 3 was launched) which come with the Premium Interior.

At some point, we expect that the Model Y will have lower-tier variants (such as Standard Range or Standard Range Plus perhaps), and these less expensive models will likely have some options stripped from the interior (which Tesla may call the Partial Premium Interior).

Can You Order the Black and White Interior in Partial Premium?

Yes—you can order the Partial Premium Interior with the Black and White Interior, however, you’ll have to pay the extra $1,000 upgrade cost (vs. the included All Black interior).

Can You Get Premium Connectivity with the Partial Premium Interior?

With the Partial Premium Interior, you only get a 30-day trial of Tesla Premium Connectivity, where with the full Premium Interior, you get a 1-year subscription.

Either way, after 30 days or 1-year, you’ll need to pay $9.99 per month for the subscription, so essentially the value of the complimentary Tesla Premium Connectivity in Premium Interior package is $119.88 ($9.99 x 12 months).

Does the Partial Premium Interior on Model 3 Have the Same Seats?

Yes! No matter which Model 3 you get, the seats use the same synthetic vegan leather material.

However, the Model 3 seats have gone through a few different iterations over the last few years, with recent iterations improving the stitching and cushioning material.

Does The $35,000 Model 3 Have Cloth Seats?

No—the $35,000 (Standard Range RWD) Model 3 does not have cloth seats. In fact, no Model 3 vehicles or variations have cloth seats.

Can You Watch Netflix on a Tesla with the Partial Premium Interior?

OK, here’s how this works:

Netflix streaming is available on any Tesla Model 3 over WiFi—you don’t need the Premium Connectivity package to watch this way.

However, if you want to watch Netflix without a WiFi connection, you’ll need a Premium Connectivity subscription.

And, as we explained above—the Partial Premium Interior only comes with a 30-day trial of Premium Connectivity vs. the Premium Interior which comes with a 1-year subscription. And after both of these time frames are up, you’ll need to subscribe to Premium Connectivity if you want the features (explained in detail in our post about Tesla Premium Connectivity here).

Partial Premium Interior vs. Premium Interior—Which is the Best Value?

Well, there isn’t really a “best value” winner here—it really comes down to which Tesla you really want as there are bigger considerations than the interior package like range and drive type (RWD vs. AWD).

Because the Partial Premium Interior is only available on the Standard Range RWD and Standard Range Plus RWD, you really need to decide if you’re looking for a less expensive Model 3 with less range and RWD, or you want to spend more money to get more range and AWD.

The truth is that the besides the audio system and some other minor tweaks, the Partial Premium Interior and the Premium Interior are both very similar, so we recommend looking at range and drive type to make your decision vs. focusing on the interior (although it’s a valid consideration, it’s just not as important in our eyes and both interior options really are quite similar).

If you’re looking for a used Model 3 with the Partial Premium Interior or the Premium Interior, check out our used Model 3 listings. We’ve made it super easy to find the perfect used Tesla for you with just a few clicks! And of course, if you’ve got any questions feel free to reach out—we’re always here to help!