Few cars have generated as much attention as the all-electric Tesla Model 3. When company founder Elon Musk revealed the first prototypes to the public, people literally lined up at Tesla dealerships to put down their deposits, even though a production date had not been announced.
Potential buyers have good reason to be excited. The Tesla Model 3 offers the long range (220 to 310 miles) and sparkling performance of the Model S, but at a fraction of the price. The entry-level Model 3 starts at $35,000, which translates to a $27,500 bottom line after the federal tax credit. But Tesla is likely to hit the production limits specified by the tax credit during the Model 3's production run, cutting off the credit to buyers.
The Tesla Model 3 takes the iconic shape of the Model S and shrinks it down to the size of a BMW 3 Series. The minimalist interior, punctuated by a single large screen at the center of the dashboard, is unlike anything else on the road. The Tesla Model 3's only serious competitor is the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV, but given the way Tesla has captured the world's imagination, the Model 3 should have no trouble succeeding.
Current Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is sold in a single trim level with dual-zone climate control, navigation, a cloth interior and built-in Wi-Fi. Though the Model 3's $35,000 pre-incentive price is attractive, it's likely most Model 3 buyers will end up paying a great deal more, as much of the more desirable equipment costs extra. An interior upgrade package — with heated and power-adjustable seats, an upgraded audio system, a panoramic sunroof and other features — is available for $3,000. All Model 3s have the hardware for Tesla's semiautonomous Autopilot system, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and automated parking, but buyers must pay for an extra $5,000 to unlock these features. Although the system is still under development, Tesla plans to offer a fully autonomous driving option for an additional $3,000. Upgraded wheels and tires are available for $1,500, and if you want your Tesla Model 3 in any color other than black, you'll have to pay another thousand bucks.
Even though Tesla hasn't officially revealed specs on the Model 3's powertrain, documents filed with the EPA indicate that the electric motor driving the rear wheels produces 258 horsepower. Tesla claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.6 seconds with the standard battery pack, which delivers 220 miles of range, just shy of the Chevrolet Bolt EV's EPA-rated 238-mile range. An optional ($9,000) battery pack extends the Model 3's range to 310 miles and reduces the zero-to-60 run to 5.1 seconds. An all-wheel-drive version will be available at some point in 2018, followed by a high-performance version.
The Tesla Model 3's interior is minimalist, with a single landscape-style screen (which looks a lot like the monitor from a desktop computer), showing the speedometer as well as navigation, climate and stereo functions. It's an unusual setup at first glance, but in practice it's not much different to use than the center-mounted instrument cluster found in the Toyota Prius. Trunk space is limited, with 15 cubic feet divided between front and rear cargo compartments.
Used Tesla Model 3 Models
The first-generation Tesla Model 3 was introduced for the 2018 model year.
Read the most recent 2018 Tesla Model 3 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Tesla Model 3 page.
Our expert team of auto researchers have reviewed the Tesla Model 3 and compiled a list of inventory for you to shop local listings, and lease a Tesla Model 3 .