2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3
MSRP range
$49,000 - $64,000
2018 Tesla Model 3

What’s new

  • New dual-motor variants with all-wheel drive
  • Part of the first generation of Model 3 introduced in 2017

Pros

  • Tesla prestige at a lower price
  • Class-leading performance and handling
  • More technologically advanced than rivals
  • Supercharger network access for long-distance driving

Cons

  • Currently only available with pricey options
  • Touchscreen interface design can lead to driver distraction
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support
  • Limited cargo capacity and interior storage
  • Questionable durability based on our experience


Which Model 3 does Edmunds recommend?

Tesla isn't offering much choice for the Model 3 currently. The main thing you'll have to decide is whether to get single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive. The gains in acceleration from the dual-motor setup are significant, so it's likely worth the cost if you consider yourself a bit of a car enthusiast. One option for consideration is the Enhanced Autopilot upgrade, which future-proofs your car for when Tesla makes the Full Self-Driving Capability option available.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

8.4 / 10

2018 is the first full year of production for Tesla's Model 3. While at the time of this review the long-promised standard Model 3 with 220 miles of range has yet to materialize, the initial single-motor drive with a long-range battery has been joined by a new dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) version and an available light-color interior.

But if you just can't wait for the affordable version, or you have an order already filed, you won't be disappointed with the Model 3 that's on the road now. In many ways, it sets new standards for a relatively affordable electric vehicle. The big battery has a rated range of 310 miles, which is more than any non-Tesla rival's range. With rear-wheel drive, the current Model 3 can cover 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and will top out at 140 mph. The new all-wheel-drive Performance blasts from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds, which is quicker than most high-performance sports cars.

On the inside, you'll likely appreciate the Model 3's minimalist interior design highlighted by a gigantic central touchscreen display. But the touchscreen has some drawbacks. Because Tesla routes almost all of the car's controls through it, you'll often end up having to take your eyes off the road to use them.

Of course, the Model 3 is compatible with Tesla's Supercharger network. Model 3 owners will have to pay for access, unlike owners of the larger Model S and Model X. Still, once you're hooked up, the network greatly enhances the Model 3's long-distance driving ability and is a distinct advantage compared to other similarly priced EVs.

We will note that we've had some trouble with a 2017 Tesla Model 3 that we've bought and are testing for a year. You can read about the maintenance issues we've encountered in our Tesla 3 Long-Term Road Test. It's just a sample size of one, but we also encountered reliability problems with our Tesla Model S and X test cars.

Then again, Tesla has typically improved its cars' reliability over time. If you want the more affordable standard-range model (available late  2018 or early 2019), it may not make sense to get the Model 3 right away. Overall, though, we like the Model 3 and think it's a great choice for an EV.

2018 Tesla Model 3 configurations

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 sedan currently comes with a long-range battery pack good for an estimated 310 miles of range. The single-motor (rear-drive) version is rated at 258 horsepower, and the dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) produces about 346 hp. The Performance version of the dual-motor setup cranks the output up to 450 hp.

The standard features for the rear-wheel-drive, 310-mile Model 3 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 Upgrades package (mandatory for early adopters) 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, simulated-leather upholstery, wood interior trim, a covered center console, driver-seat memory functions and a premium audio system. For the Performance trim, Tesla also offers a Performance Upgrade package that includes 20-inch wheels, performance tires, a lowered suspension, upgraded brakes and a higher speed limiter.

Also available is the Enhanced Autopilot option that adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic lane changing and self-parking. Buyers can also choose an option that gives the Model 3 the capability to be fully self-driving in the future. Nineteen-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.

Trim tested

The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range (electric motor | direct drive | RWD).

Driving

8.5
The Model 3 feels sporty and engaging thanks to strong off-the-line performance, intuitive steering, and a balanced rear-wheel-drive chassis that feels coordinated and nimble. The standard 18-inch all-season tires are the limiting factor. Buy the optional 19-inch tires if you wish to maximize grip.

Acceleration

8.0
There's ample thrust from the 258-horsepower electric motor, and it moves out in a smooth, seamless way with no shifting interruptions. The rear-wheel-drive layout adds poise and confidence when you lay into it. Ours reached 60 mph in 5.3 seconds at our test track, which is properly quick.

Braking

8.0
The powerful four-piston fixed-caliper front brakes are easy to modulate, but you'll rarely need to use them because lift-throttle regenerative braking will handle routine braking. Our panic stop from 60 mph took a longish 133 feet due to our car's standard 18-inch all-season tires.

Steering

9.0
The Model 3's steering feels nicely weighted and quick off center, which makes it a joy on winding roads even without a ton of feedback. When driving straight, it feels connected, and the effort builds rather naturally as cornering loads mount up. Of the three settings, we liked Normal and Sport.

Handling

8.0
It displays admirable coordination and balance when entering a corner, transitioning through a bend, or feeding on the power while exiting. But the standard 18-inch tires hold it back and can lead to early stability control intervention if pushed hard. Optional 19-inch rubber may have higher limits.

Drivability

10.0
Power delivery is impeccably smooth and accurate, and the throttle is responsive without being jumpy. Direct drive means no shifting, so there's no way that gear changes can ever be out of step with the driver's wishes. The transition from acceleration to lift-throttle braking is easy to manage.

Comfort

9.0
We found the Model 3 to be a pleasant place to sit, and that feeling held up for hours at a time. Its comfortable seats and quiet cabin deserve a great deal of credit. It rides agreeably most of the time, but it can sometimes feel busy and bound up if the road surface is broken or uneven.

Seat comfort

9.0
The leather seats that are part of the Premium Upgrades package are broad but not flat. They are supportive but not hard. The adjustments are simple but effective. We liked the fit and feel much more than any Model S and Model X seats we've sampled, and we remained comfortable all day.

Ride comfort

7.5
It swallows large and small bumps with equal ease, and it glides along nicely over reasonably smooth asphalt. But the suspension doesn't breathe freely over lumpy surfaces and can feel stiff-legged on cracked concrete roads. The Model 3's tires run at a fairly high pressure, and it can feel like it.

Noise & vibration

9.0
Immensely quiet and still. There's very little propulsion noise because the electric motor is under the trunk floor, and we didn't notice much wind noise flowing over the roof and around the mirrors either. The standard 18-inch all-season tires seem good at keeping quiet as well.

Climate control

9.0
Electric heat means no waiting, and preconditioning the cabin is easy when plugged in. Front vents are contained within a door-to-door slot that looks like a styling element. Unique yet straightforward touchscreen controls allow driver and passenger to readily alter the air stream. Has rear vents.

Interior

8.0
The Model 3's interior is more attractive than we ever expected of such a simple design, and its driving position, roominess and visibility are all fantastic. The touchscreen doesn't block your view, but it does absorb your attention for too many routine tasks that should be doable without looking.

Ease of use

5.0
Far too many controls divert the driver's attention away from the road and onto the touchscreen. You must look away to change the wiper speed (never appropriate, even in auto mode) or alter the cruise-control speed. The same goes for the side mirror tweaks and tilt-and-telescoping wheel adjustments.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
The doors open wide, but there's a knack to the nifty push-in/pull-out door handles that we're not sure everyone will like. The sills are a bit high and require a wee bit of foot lift, but the roof doesn't present much of a ducking problem. The front and rear are virtually the same on all points.

Driving position

9.5
The seat and pedals are in perfect agreement, and the telescoping steering wheel has a ton of range. The feel and grip of the steering wheel rim are excellent, and the view out commanding. Our one gripe: We'd like a gap between the brake and dead pedal to allow the occasional leg stretch.

Roominess

8.5
The optional Premium Upgrades glass roof does amazing things for headroom, and front legroom is abundant. This smaller Tesla still feels wide, and the abundance of glass only enhances the feeling of space. Rear legroom is decent behind a 6-footer, but toe room can be snug behind a tall driver.

Visibility

9.0
The view out is expansive thanks to a low cowl, low door sides and slender pillars. The over-the-shoulder blind spot isn't very big, and backup camera coverage is broad with a large display. But we'd like slightly larger side mirrors, especially since their positions are hard to tweak when underway.

Quality

6.5
The Premium Upgrades package includes nice-looking leather and wood materials. Most of our car's panel fits are true, but one hood seam isn't flush. Our test car was delivered with a broken vanity mirror and a loose seatback cover. Note: Ours is a very early-build car, among the first 1,200 made.

Utility

8.5
The Model 3's trunk can hold far more than you'd expect thanks to a very broad pass-through and SUV-like fold-flat rear seats. We were able to fit an extra-large mountain bike in easily. Inside, cabin storage is plentiful, something we can't say about the other Tesla models we've owned.

Small-item storage

8.0
Other Tesla models come up short in this area, but not the Model 3. It has a decent-size center console armrest and, because it uses a column shifter, it has two more hidden storage compartments ahead of the central cupholders. There are decent-size door pockets with molded bottle holders, too.

Cargo space

9.5
The Model 3 is a sedan with a trunk, but it's nearly as commodious as a hatchback. The trunk is broad, but there's also a deep well under the false floor. The rear seats fold utterly flat, and the aperture between is quite large. In a pinch, you could actually lie down and sleep quite comfortably.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.5
The three top anchors are very easy to access under flip covers on the fixed parcel shelf. The lower LATCH anchors are tucked tightly between the seat cushions, so you must take care to avoid scratching the leather as you hook up a seat.

Technology

7.0
The Model 3 scores an A for its sound quality, navigation display, and the Autopilot traffic-aware cruise and lane management system. But it earns a D-minus because Tesla's chosen way to bring your smartphone into the audio environment involves Bluetooth audio and fiddling with your phone while driving.

Audio & navigation

8.0
The large Google-based navigation display is beautiful and easy to control. The Premium Upgrades package includes an upgraded audio system with fantastic wide-spectrum sound. But it demands undue attention to switch between modes. It has FM, HD and internet radio but no AM or satellite radio.

Smartphone integration

4.5
Tesla lags far behind in this area. There's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but we're even more disappointed that an iPhone's music library doesn't come up on the screen when plugged in via the USB port; those are for power only. It's Bluetooth streaming audio or nothing — a huge hassle.

Driver aids

9.0
Our Model 3 is equipped with the Autopilot option, and it is the premier adaptive cruise and lane keeping system you can currently buy. The sensitivity of the collision alert and lane departure warning is easily customizable, but the adaptive cruise following distance is buried in the touchscreen.

Voice control

5.5
The standard voice button didn't recognize names in our paired phone's contact list very well. We found ourselves using our phone's own voice search instead. It works best when you are looking for music outside your phone environment, such as on the Slacker and TuneIn services the vehicle supports.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

First month from a former sports car owner
Matt W.M.,06/12/2018
I really like this car now. My first test drive was the day I purchased on faith about a month back. On that day I expected more out of it. My last car was a 350hp german sports car. While this has plenty of torque off the line, I thought it would be quicker. Now that I have driven this a few weeks I do really like the power, balance, and handling overall. It has grown on me. The stereo is great, but I end up using my phone or TuneIn, I hope there will be more popular options integrated into the car (Pandora or Spotify). The tech is amazing in the car, the sensors, remote access, HVAC, and interior design all are great value. The build quality is better now than a few months back, I have a few minor items that seam cheap or misaligned. I'd prefer stiffer suspension. Autopilot needs to improve, which it will, but part of that is my own comfort using in urban freeways. Does it have minor issues? Sure, but that has been true with every car I have purchased, German, Japanese, and American. I prefer this over any EV or hybrid I have driven. This is truly a fantastic and futuristic car.
TESLA's DECEPTIVE AND DISHONEST SALES PRACTICES
Armen Khachatryan,10/22/2018
. I have always liked Teslas and support the concept of clean electric cars. Elon Musk is a visionary and I want to see this brilliant idea succeed. When my wife performed a test drive recently, the local Tesla representative in Salt Lake City touted how they do things differently from other manufacturers. I took that as a positive, but as it turns out from my sister's recent experience, it is the opposite. They are more deceptive than other automakers. When I was visiting my sister in LA at the end of September, after months of deliberation and driving an 18-year-old Lexus, I talked her into ordering the Model 3. While normally she is not impulsive, she went online, designed her new Model 3 and could not wait to get her BRAND NEW CAR. Two days ago, on October 19, instead of getting a brand new car delivered to her, Tesla delivered a service loaner with over 2100 miles on it, with scratches, dirty interior and expected her to accept the delivery. If this is not worse than a cheap used car dealer bait-and-switch, dirty tactic, I don't know what is. The guy delivering the car even asked her if she knew that the car had over 2100 miles on it and her answer was "of course no". She tried all day calling her sales consultant but got no answer with a voicemail that was so full that would not accept any new voicemails. If anyone from Tesla is reading this post (her reservation number is RN109185359), please correct the situation or the bad press that I will spread will be my mission in life. And I will not shy away from spending my money to do so. My sister works much too hard for her money to deal with this kind of downright dishonest, deceptive, dirty car sales tactic. TESLA....I expected better from you. I am having a really hard time believing that something like this can happen and am truly disappointed.
Not just best electric car but best premium sedan!
DFWatt,11/07/2018
Let’s start with the take home message, after 2 months of ownership. The Tesla Model 3 Performance Version is an affordable four-door Ferrari that gets the equivalent of 110+ miles per gallon, and around town, you can easily reach 150 MPGe, and which combines amazing efficiency with great handling, performance, and space utilization . . . and it rides very decently too. With one person on board, it will get you to 60 mph in just a tick over 3 seconds but with no wheelspin, no engine noise, and no drama whatsoever. Although Tesla quotes 0-60 in 3.5 seconds for this model, several road testers have beaten this by .3-.4 seconds, consistent with Tesla’s statistics typically being conservative. Nothing costing this little is nearly as quick. Amazingly, its braking and handling might be just as impressive. It not only offers this BMW M3-beating performance with very little noise, drama or fuss, it might be the easiest car to drive I’ve ever owned . . or driven. Don’t test drive one!!! It will make your expensive BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Alfa Romeo, or ANY other premium sports sedan feel like a primitive 19th century horse and buggy. If you just bought one of these premium sports sedans, a test drive of the top Model 3 will literally make you sick with regret. It's just that good, and I can speak from experience (ownership and test drives) with most of those premium sports sedans. It might even be “the best sports sedan in the world” – factoring in performance, features, safety and efficiency. There is also the basic ecological equation, where the Model 3 isn’t just way better for the planet than any hybrid let alone gas vehicle, but is more efficient than any other electric vehicle, except one (which is only equally efficient and weighs a thousand pounds less). What might justify that appellation (“Best Car In The World”) is that the Model 3 strikes such a stunning balance, in which very little is compromised and much is optimized. There are a handful of ridiculously expensive cars that are quicker, more than a handful that might ride better, a very few that handle better, and many larger vehicles that have more carrying capacity. But there are ZERO more economical to operate/ecological vehicles, and none with this exceptional composite competence in performance, utility and comfort. None, zero, zip, nada. PROS/BENEFITS: 1) As noted above, an amazing overall dynamic envelope of performance, handling, braking, and ride – a fantastic driver’s car in overall dynamics, easily the equal of any other sports sedan. 2) Equally great efficiency and, with heavy free supercharger use, a way lower cost of both ownership and daily operating expense – even without free supercharging, much cheaper to own and operate 3) Comfortable and spacious feeling interior, with seats that are comfortable and supportive without being constraining, (a glass moonroof adds to the spacious feel), with a strong ‘minimalist’ theme. 4) Good control over wind and road noise, and as mentioned, virtually no engine or transmission noise 5) Better space utilization than anything in its class, with two trunks, including a useful front one, a ‘frunk’? 6) Will charge fully overnight from any house current 240 volt line, and one of Tesla’s Supercharging stations can get you 100 miles of range in 15 minutes, 170 miles in 30 minutes, and 280 miles (90% charged) comes in 56 minutes (hopefully just enough time to do the errands at the mall, and get a bite to eat). 7) Significantly future-proofed via updates to core system software, and easy updates over Wi-Fi. 8) Well integrated operating system run through touchscreen control. Menus are compact, well-organized, easy-to-understand, and don't have too much depth. 10) Best autopilot cruise control available – and it’s almost ready full autonomous driving. Will now navigate route on Autopilot 11) Massive convenience of controlling, starting & locking/unlocking your car without interacting w/ keys/key fobs, via smartphone Bluetooth connection and cheap ($20) NFC key cards. Game changer. Why didn’t anyone else think of this first? CONS: 1) range anxiety 2) Tesla is being impacted by the incredible demand for Model 3 and the painful transition from boutique to mainstream manufacturing. They are swamped with the task of delivering, servicing and taking care of Models 3 rolling out the door, at the rate of 20,000+ cars a month. This means some delays, hiccups and QC problems, although both of ours were delivered in great shape.
Driving the Future
dave,08/03/2018
Sold my C series MB to purchase this car. As my first EV I didn't know exactly what to expect, but after waiting for 2 years without ever even having driven the car, it has exceeded my expectations. The interior is unlike a traditional car as are some of the driving characteristics - most particularly the regenerative braking. The acceleration is stellar and the suspension and steering above average. It's hard to compare to any other car since - in many respects - you are driving an iPad. Nearly every control routes through the center screen. I'm old (50's) but it still didn't take very long to adapt to the lack of instrument cluster, etc. Driving visibility is quite good. Despite the fact that I've only had it 5 months, nearly every feature has improved through periodic over-the-air software updates. This is revolutionary and someday will be the standard. Right now, it just really cool to receive updates that improve the interface and driving experience. Very happy to have this car and would buy it again and again.
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2018 Tesla Model 3 video

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: What we have here are three electric vehicles that are well known, perhaps because each is a dedicated EV that has no gasoline counterpart. Chevrolet has plugged everything they learned from their Bolt plug-in hybrid into the Bolt EV. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 represents Tesla's first foray into a more accessible EV. CALVIN KIM: And the Nissan LEAF, the first widely available electric vehicle in the United States, is now in its second generation. And while they're all mainstream offerings, they're not true direct competitors. JASON KAVANAGH: Today, we're going to explore the differences and similarities among these three popular EVs. Well, the Tesla Model 3 has a lot of power, actually. I mean, there's no complaints that I have with the acceleration in this. And like all EVs, it has that instant torque. You can punch around cars on the freeway pretty much instantly. I mean, you dip your foot down on the accelerator, and there's just an instant reaction from the car. That's one of the things that EVs and in particular, the Tesla does really well. DAN EDMUNDS: One of the things I like about the Bolt is it's quick. I'm just rolling into the throttle, not really laying into it hard at all. And it's up to speed and in a short order. And I am having no problem getting around folks. People think these things are golf carts. Uh-uh. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF has what sounds like a low number-- 146 horsepower. But it's the torque that really gives it the beans. It's got about 236, possibly the torque. Don't quote me on that. But 236 is a lot for a small car like this. The car weighs about 3,500 pounds. So it's well in line. I mean, basically, it'd be equivalent to a bigger engine in a compact car. Needless to say, acceleration is easy and brisk. JASON KAVANAGH: Well, compared to the Bolt or the LEAF, the Tesla Model 3 is definitely the most powerful. It's the most capable. It's also the most expensive. It's also the only rear-wheel drive EV of the three. The other two are front-wheel drive. And that affects the driving dynamics in a beneficial way for the Model 3. The Model 3 has the best steering and handling of the bunch by far. It's just a more grown-up feeling car in the way it goes down the road. The steering feel is really good. It corners flat. It picks up its speed well over bumps. In terms of steering and handling, the other two don't touch the Tesla Model 3. DAN EDMUNDS: The Bolt handles great. I mean, you wouldn't think so to look at it. It's tall and skinny. But the battery pack is low and underneath the floor, so that keeps the center of gravity low. And that makes it feel more like a go-cart than an SUV or something like that. The steering is also nicely weighted. It's immediate, but not darty. It's just what you want to kind of maneuver around in traffic. JASON KAVANAGH: Now, the range in the Model 3 is kind of its trump card. We got the long-range version, which has a 310-mile max range in normal mode, which is what Tesla recommends you use on a day-to-day basis. This will do 279 miles, which is still really impressive. It's still more range than the other two. In fact, it's the longest range EV you could buy currently. CALVIN KIM: This face-lift of LEAF-- you get 150 miles of claimed range. Wonderfully for us, if you put it in ECO mode and enable e-Pedal, you can get a lot more than that. With our long-term LEAF, we've been able to drive it a little bit already. And we've routinely gotten over 150 miles with those features enabled. That's great news for commuters, especially those that drive a little bit longer distances. So they can go a week without charging. Now, for EV owners, the best way to do it is to charge every night. But, hey, if you're going to go visit a friend's house, or maybe go across town to hang out somewhere, it's nice to have that option. DAN EDMUNDS: The Model 3 has a higher range rating than this one. But I don't really think that at actual practice that would be the case. Because I've had a really hard time getting close to the Model 3's rating. And yet, with this car, which is rated at 238, I've gone 334. That's almost 100 miles more than the rating. And if I'm paying for more battery than I need, then that's a big part of the price of the car. And this car could be cheaper if it had a 150-mile range or a 175-mile range. CALVIN KIM: One of the best advantages of electric vehicles is the ability to regenerate, which is regenerative braking. That means you can use an electric motor that propels you to help slow you down. And one thing that they did very cleverly, though, is give you a switch right on the center console here called e-Pedal. And just by clicking the switch, you immediately engage that regenerative braking. Nissan says you can break as much as 2/10 of a "g," which doesn't sound like a lot, but from our testing, it's plenty. JASON KAVANAGH: And in the Model 3, the regenerative effect is strong. You can basically one-pedal drive this thing most of the time. DAN EDMUNDS: Now, the Bolt is especially good in this regard, better than I think any other car that you can buy, any other EV. Because when it's in drive, like it is now, I toggle using this here. When it's in drive, there's no regenerative braking. It's all pads and rotors, so the brake feels utterly natural. A lot of cars-- EVs and hybrids use something-- a computer that kind of decides whether it's going to be regenerative or brake pedal, based on demand. And so then the brakes feel weird. This never feels weird, indeed. And then when you put it in L, there's so much regenerative braking that the brake lights come on. And you can actually execute a stop all the way down to zero without ever touching the brake pedal. You just modulate the throttle. Compared to the Model 3 and the LEAF, I like the Bolt's setup much better. Click it into L. You've got all the regen you want. Put it in D. You've got the brake pedal feel you want, if you want that. The Model 3-- it's poke through the touchscreen. And the LEAF requires you to flip a switch, and you may not remember to do it. And it's not where you think it should be. This is really intuitive, really easy, and very effective. CALVIN KIM: Inside the Nissan LEAF, you'll find a pretty much traditional car. The materials are good. There's not a lot of busyness with the colors and design choices. We're in the top SL model, so the seats are this nice leather with microsuede inserts. The controls-- again, easy to use, well laid out. Again, it's more like a regular car, instead of maybe a science project, or a sci-fi set you'll find in some of the other EVs. DAN EDMUNDS: The one thing that really disappoints me more than anything else about the Chevy Bolt is the quality of the interior materials. It's just hard plastic which would be OK if it was attractive. But there's just a lot of weird lines. And this color scheme is kind of hard to take. I mean, I would trade away some battery capacity and range to get a better interior. I mean, it doesn't help that we've got the light-colored interior here. I think that really does not show it in its best light. A darker color might mask some of this stuff, even like the reflections of the dashtop or in the windshield. Everywhere I go at just about any light condition. And that's kind of annoying, because the visibility as a car is great otherwise. This car is probably the least well equipped of the three when it comes to active driver aids. It has a Lane Keeping Assist System. It has a Forward Collision warning, but it doesn't have Adaptive Cruise. It has nothing like Autopilot or Nissan's ProPILOT Assist. That's not bad because you're not paying for it. But at the same time, it does lag behind. And you couldn't get those things if you wanted them. JASON KAVANAGH: The design of the Model 3's interior is pretty unusual. There's not a whole lot of stuff in it. I mean, it's a wide-open space with a big touchscreen in the middle, and that's about it. I mean, you could even go and say that maybe this is a little generic looking. But what you can't say is that it's cluttered or crowded. It feels really breezy and airy in here. There's a lot of space. If you need anything, you have to go to the touchscreen. Or you've got a couple of controls on the steering wheel, and that's about it. A good amount of headroom for me. I'm over 6 feet tall. It does have this panoramic sunroof arrangement up here, which gives you a little bit extra headroom. Compared to the Bolt and the LEAF's interior, or the Model 3's cabin-- is definitely a departure. And some people really love it. And some people-- they're maybe going to have to warm up to it a little bit. In terms of material quality, the Model 3 does pretty well there. The seats are this synthetic leather, which feels pretty convincing, and looks like the real thing. There's this synthetic suede on the headliner and on the door panels. There's also this wood applique on the dashboard. Overall, the materials look pretty good at a glance. If you look closer at the Model 3, though, you'll notice some build quality issues here and there-- cheap plastics, things that don't fit quite right. We've had some issues with things falling off our car. But it is built to a higher price point, certainly than the Bolt or the LEAF is. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF is a hatchback which means, obviously, it's got a big hatch. A lot of interior cargo room with the seats folded up. The rear seats do fold 60/40. You'll find that once you do fold them up, there is a bit of a shelf from the seatback to the cargo floor. But I'd say that between its comp competitors, this general cargo area is very useful-- the low-loading height, and the nice, deep floor, and the tall ceiling height. So you can fit taller cargo, bulkier cargo in a little bit easier. DAN EDMUNDS: Of the three, the Bolt does have the least cargo-carrying capacity on paper. But it is very flexible, because of the way the seats fold, the way the floor can be set into two positions. And because you can put roof racks on it. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 might look like a hatchback from the outside, but surprise, it's a sedan, which means it has a traditional sedan trunk. But that's no bad thing, because the Model 3's cargo space is pretty huge. Not only is the trunk really deep and a good width, there's extra bonus storage in the floor of the trunk and an additional trunk at the front of the car. So you're not hurting for cargo space at all in this. Another thing it has is a 60/40 folding backseat, which goes basically completely flat. You could sleep in the back of the Model 3 if you fold the seats down. That's how much space there is. CALVIN KIM: Compared to its competitors, the LEAF prices pretty well. Now, in this SL trim with the Pro-PILOT Assist and everything like that, that'll set you back a little over $37,000. That's a little bit less than the Bolt Obviously, a lot less than the Model 3. And the federal tax credit is still available for this car, so you can get out the door for a lot less than that. You do get a lot of car for your money. The biggest attractor, though, will be the range. Both the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 have a lot more range than the LEAF does. Now, for those that are truly range conscious that really do want to go on longer trips, rumor has it that the Nissan LEAF-- bringing out a higher range LEAF next year-- one with a 60-kilowatt battery that cracks the 200 barrier. Even if you're on the fence about that, this standard range LEAF with 150 miles is nothing to sneeze at. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about this car is you can buy it with a premium package, or you can get the lower-priced base model that does everything as far as the driving experience. It just doesn't have as many bells and whistles for a lot less money. The Model 3-- right now, the mythical $35,000 one doesn't exist. It's vaporware. Certainly, this is a lot less money than the Model 3. If the $35,000 one ever comes out, well, we may have to re-evaluate that. JASON KAVANAGH: When the Model 3 was launched, it was purported to be the $35,000 entry-level Tesla. While that might be the case, Tesla is not shipping the $35,000 variant of the Model 3. They're only shipping a long-range variance. And once you have even a bare minimum of options like this one-- I mean, this one's sticker price is $55,000. So we're in a totally different segment than the other two cars, which are substantially less expensive than this one. Tesla's Autopilot system makes Nissan Pro-PILOT Assist look like it's in diapers. And in a way, it is. It's Nissan's first attempt at a semi-autonomous driving mode, whereas Tesla has had several years now of real-world use of Autopilot. And they've accumulated a lot of data. With that said, it's not a perfect system. We've discovered some issues with it in the past. But the continual software updates are a means to address limitations, not just in Autopilot, but in any system in the car. So again, pros and cons with being at the leading edge of things. CALVIN KIM: Definitely one of the coolest features of the LEAF is Pro-PILOT Assist. Now, it's not an autonomous driving system. What it is, though, is a very, very connected driver-assist system. Now, just one button push on the steering wheel enables the system. And then to turn it on, you just activate your cruise control. Now, what that gives you is adaptive cruise control, which keeps the distance from ourselves and the car in front. It does lane centering to-- keeps the car in the center of the road. And it'll even bring you to a complete stop. It's not a self-driving car. All it's doing is just keeping it in the center and at a safe distance from the car in front. In an interesting twist of fate, this system actually works pretty darn good, even alongside the Tesla's Autopilot system. Now, the Tesla has the advantage of a GPS and a connected system, where it knows road conditions to a certain extent. The Nissan does not have that feature set. But considering the price premium that Autopilot has and that Tesla has, we believe Pro-PILOT is a fantastic addition to the Nissan LEAF. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about the Bolt EV is while I like the way it drives, I'd trade some of its range for a nicer interior and better seats. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. And while the Model 3 is definitely the best driving, most capable EV here, you're going to pay for the privilege. The least expensive Model 3 you can get is $50,000. The $36,000 version just doesn't exist yet. CALVIN KIM: Speaking of price, that's the Nissan LEAF's forte. It's the least expensive. But it's also one of the more comfortable out of the three, which begs the question, which of these three EVs is the right one for you guys? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, for me, 151 miles of range is enough. And I do like those seats, so yeah, the LEAF. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. For me, the cost is the single overriding factor. And while I don't think the Nissan LEAF is necessarily the best driving one here, its price point is really attractive. So that's the one for me. CALVIN KIM: Well, we're unanimous. It's the LEAF for me also, thanks to its price and practicality. DAN EDMUNDS: But I do reserve the right to change my mind when the $36,000 Tesla Model 3 becomes available. For more videos, click Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

EV Comparison Test -- Chevy Bolt v. Nissan Leaf v. Tesla Model 3

As battery electric vehicles become an established part of our automotive landscape, we took this opportunity to put the three most popular EVs - Chevrolet's Bolt, Nissan's Leaf and Tesla's Model 3 - through testing to re-examine each model's strengths and weaknesses. As a group, how have electric vehicles changed from when they first hit the road? Which is the best all-around EV? Watch to find out about the latest crop of battery electric cars.

Features & Specs

MSRP
$49,000
MPG
136 city / 123 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
MSRP
$55,000
MPG
120 city / 112 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
MSRP
$64,000
MPG
120 city / 112 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
See all 2018 Tesla Model 3 features & specs

Safety

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.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover6.6%

Tesla Model 3 vs. the competition

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Bolt is the only other EV that comes close to the Model 3's range (240 miles versus 310 miles). It's also less expensive. The Bolt's interior is a comparative disappointment, though. It has low-quality materials and front seats that aren't very comfortable. The Model also handily outperforms the Bolt on acceleration and handling.

Compare Tesla Model 3 & Chevrolet Bolt EV features

Tesla Model 3 vs. Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Compared to the Model 3, the Ioniq lacks in range and performance and may seem out of its league. But with its spacious rear hatch and fold-down rear seatbacks, the Ioniq is a pleasantly practical choice. It's also a lot more affordable than the Model 3.

Compare Tesla Model 3 & Hyundai Ioniq Electric features

Tesla Model 3 vs. Nissan Leaf

The Leaf has more range than ever before — around 150 miles — but it's still less than half the range of the Model 3 with the big battery pack. Equipped with ProPilot, the Nissan comes close to the Model 3's Autopilot functionality. Plus the Leaf's cavernous rear hatch is perfect for hauling big loads. Dynamically it's no match for the Model 3.

Compare Tesla Model 3 & Nissan Leaf features

2018 Tesla Model 3 for Sale

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More about the 2018 Tesla Model 3
2018 Tesla Model 3 Overview

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 is offered in the following submodels: Model 3 Sedan. Available styles include Long Range 4dr Sedan (electric DD), Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), and Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD).

What do people think of the 2018 Tesla Model 3?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Tesla Model 3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 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 2018 Model 3.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Tesla Model 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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 2018 Tesla Model 3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Tesla Model 3 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

Can't find a new 2018 Tesla Model 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Tesla Model 3 for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $13,345.

Find a new Tesla for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,030.

Why trust Edmunds?

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 2018 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.

Check out Tesla lease specials