2017 Tesla Model 3
- Tesla prestige at a lower price
- Stunning performance among other EVs
- More technologically advanced than rivals
- Access to Tesla's Supercharger network
- No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support
- Touchscreen interface design can lead to driver distraction
- Currently only available with pricey options
Which Model 3 does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4.5 / 5
Tesla's first two mass-market vehicles, the Model S and Model X, made a huge impression on the auto industry and consumers. With outrageous performance and cutting-edge technology, these vehicles were aspirational for many due to their rather exorbitant price tags. The latest addition, the 2017 Tesla Model 3, however, delivers many of the factors that make its predecessors so attractive, but at a much more accessible price.
In terms of size, the Tesla measures 184.8 inches long, 56.8 inches high and 72.8 inches wide. That makes the Model 3 similar to an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 Series. There's 15 cubic feet of trunk space, again similar to what other entry-level luxury cars offer.
Tesla has announced two versions of the car. The $35,000 base car has a range of 220 miles, but it won't be available for the 2017 model year. The only 3 you can get is the upgraded long-range model; it has a rated range of 310 miles, can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and will top out at 140 mph.
On top of that, it's important to note that this initial run of Model 3s will only be offered with some rather pricey features that will push the price close to $50,000. Those looking to own the standard version will have to wait at least until the 2018 or 2019 model year.
Much of the Model 3's design follows the formula established by the Model S and X. The interior is dominated by a standard 15-inch touchscreen display mounted in the center of the dash. There is no traditional instrument cluster, so all functions are controlled and monitored through the center screen. One significant advantage is the 3's compatibilty with Tesla's Supercharger charging network, which greatly enhances its usability for road trips.
Clearly, the 2017 Tesla Model 3 has the potential to ascend past all other non-Tesla EVs. With initial estimates for performance, its 310-mile range combined with the numerous high-tech features, the $50,000 price could very well be justified.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Tesla Model 3 is a five-passenger sedan powered by a single electric motor that is fed by a long-range lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 258 horsepower. A single-speed transmission drives the rear wheels, and its range is estimated at 310 miles. In 2018, Tesla plans to introduce a more affordable standard range model (220 miles) with reduced power, along with an all-wheel-drive option.
The Model 3 is available in one trim level with standard features that include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights and high beams, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable front seats and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
Standard technology features include a 15-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with real-time traffic, voice activation, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote control of some systems via a smartphone app, a rearview camera, and a seven-speaker audio system with internet streaming radio and two USB ports. Standard safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with collision avoidance, and lane departure warning.
The Premium Upgrade package (mandatory for 2017 models) adds LED foglights, tinted glass, heated and power-folding auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a panoramic glass roof, heated seats, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, a covered center console, driver-seat memory functions and a premium audio system.
Also available is the Enhanced Autopilot option that adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic lane changing and self-parking. A full self-driving capability option is also offered for when this feature is eventually activated. Nineteen-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.
Noise & vibration5
Ease of use2
Getting in/getting out4
Child safety seat accommodation3.5
Audio & navigation4
2017 Tesla Model 3 videos
DAN EDMUNDS: We're here at the Edmunds test track, and we've brought our Model 3 back for another go. Last time we were here, we measured its stopping distance on the standard 18 inch tires at 133 feet, which was a little longer than we would have liked, but not that far out of the ballpark. But subsequent to that, others tested their cars and got numbers in the 150 foot range-- really out to lunch. And since then, Tesla has responded with a new software update that's supposed to improve the stopping distance. How much? We don't know. We're here to find out. [MUSIC PLAYING] This car's configuration is identical to last time, same 18 inch wheels, same pads and rotors. The only thing that's different is the software upgrade. Let's hit it, 60 miles an hour, boom. There's a lot more initial bite. It gets with the program right away, and the stop, about 10 or 11 feet shorter. And nothing but a software change, which means the ABS or the hand off between regenerative braking and friction braking has been altered. And that's really the only thing it could be because the tires are the same, the pads and rotors are the same, the car is the same, the track's the same. So yeah, it looks like software made a difference. It's hard to know what's going on exactly. So it could be the ABS timing, which seems unlikely because that's pretty well known. But also since this is an electric car, and a rear wheel drive one at that, there is this desire to harvest as much electricity using regenerative braking as you can. And so the hand off to the rear friction brakes may not have been as immediate as it needed to be for a panic stop. That's the theory I'm operating on. I'm not sure if we'll get confirmation of that from Tesla, but certainly that seems likely. But we don't know for certain. The results are pretty clear. Today's test with revised software, it resulted in a stop that was 10 feet shorter. Our first stop was 123 feet versus 133 feet last time. The second stop was even a little bit better than that at 122 feet. So 10 or 11 feet, that's a pretty significant difference. And really nothing on the car has changed except software. And it wasn't just about the number 122, 123 feet. It was also the feel. The initial bite when I got onto the pedal feels much more positive than before. And throughout the stop, there's just a nice consistent deceleration feel, which was lacking last time. So yeah, it's a lot better in terms of how the ABS works in a panic stop situation. So this story is a good news, bad news story in a way because the good news is over the air software updates are awesome. We didn't have to go to the dealer to get this reflashed. It just happened. But the flip side is why was this necessary at all? I worked at two automakers' proving grounds for a total of 17 years, and it's really hard for me to understand how this wasn't discovered in the testing phase and implemented before production started. It's great that there's over the air software updates, but it's kind of odd that it needs to happen this way. If you already own a Tesla Model 3, this won't be a problem because the last software update included the same fix that we've got. And if you're going to buy one or you're on the waiting list, this will be included in future production vehicles. For more information on how we test cars and to see more videos from the Edmunds test track, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Did Tesla's Over-the-Air Firmware Update Change the Braking Distance of Our Model 3?
Did Tesla's over-the-air firmware update change the braking distance of our Model 3? Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing for Edmunds, heads back to the track with our long-term Model 3 for a second round of brake tests following a firmware update (2018.18.13) Tesla released late in May.
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Model 3 safety features:
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
- Active Cruise Control
- Maintains a set gap between you and the car you're following. It comes to a complete stop and resumes following, too.
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Warns if you are drifting out of your lane and will nudge the steering to get you back in line.
There's been a lot of hype surrounding the all-new 2017 Tesla Model 3. Indeed, there's been a lot of hype around the previous two models from Tesla, but the Model 3 is notable for its more accessible $35,000 price. Unfortunately, that price is unattainable for the 2017 since only the more expensive extended-range version will be available initially. It's possible that 2018 Model 3 versions will be offered closer to the mid-$30,000 range, but for 2017 the price of admission is almost $50,000.
The five-passenger 2017 Tesla Model 3 sedan is propelled by a single electric motor that is powered by a long-range lithium-ion battery pack. It creates the equivalent of 258 horsepower fed through a single-speed transmission that drives the rear wheels. Cruising range is estimated at 310 miles. In 2018, Tesla plans to introduce the more affordable, 220-mile-range standard model with reduced power, as well as an all-wheel-drive option.
Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights and high beams, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a 15-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with real-time traffic, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote control of some systems via a smartphone app, a rearview camera, and a seven-speaker audio system with internet streaming radio and two USB ports. Forward collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with collision avoidance, and lane departure warning are also standard.
Also included for 2017 models is the Premium Upgrade package that adds items such as LED foglights, heated and power-folding auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim and a premium audio system.
The available Enhanced Autopilot option provides adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic lane changing and self-parking. A full self-driving capability option is also offered for when this feature is eventually activated. Nineteen-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.
In the 2017 Tesla Model 3's price range, the BMW i3 represents one of its few competitors. The 2018 Model 3's lower price will pit it against other EVs that include the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf. In all of these cases, the Tesla outperforms these alternatives by a significant margin in terms of acceleration and range. It does come up short in regard to cargo space and interior storage, though.
For most shoppers interested in the Model 3, the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. Thankfully, you can use all of the tools available at Edmunds to get a clearer picture of the differences.
2017 Tesla Model 3 Overview
The 2017 Tesla Model 3 is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Long Range 4dr Sedan (electric 1DD), and Standard 4dr Sedan (electric 1DD).
What do people think of the 2017 Tesla Model 3?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Tesla Model 3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Model 3 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Model 3.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Tesla Model 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Model 3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 Tesla Model 3s are available in my area?
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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 Tesla Model 3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.