Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

Pros: Strong acceleration; low-per-mile operating costs; agile handling

Cons: Uneven production quality; lower-priced models not yet available; control screen complicates many functions

CG Says: The Model 3 is Tesla’s long-awaited “mass-market” electric car; it technically debuted as a 2017 model, but actual customer deliveries didn’t begin until the 2018 calendar year, so we are listing it as a 2018 model. The Model 3 fits into our premium compact car category alongside such competitors as the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Cadillac ATS. Though it is Tesla’s most affordable model, the Model 3 is not yet as affordable as it was originally promised to be. Tesla initially announced a starting price of $35,000 for a base-model version of the car with a 220-mile estimated driving range, but that car is not yet available—an upgraded version with a 310-mile estimated driving range is the only Model 3 offered so far, and mandatory options push its base price to around $50,000. Rear-wheel drive is standard; Tesla is also adding an all-wheel-drive model that adds another electric motor to drive the front wheels. A 450-horsepower Performance version that Tesla claims is capable of accelerating 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds will be offered as a variant of the AWD model. Other Model 3s are no slouches either; they can accelerate from 0-60 in a little over 5 seconds. Though its long-delayed introduction has been happening in fits and starts (under a cloud of drama and controversy surrounding Tesla the company), the Model 3 is nonetheless a groundbreaking vehicle that pushes EVs further into the mainstream market. In terms of luxury features and overall performance, the Model 3 is surprisingly similar to many gas-engine premium compact cars. If you’re willing to accept the currently limited model offerings, the significant quirks of the unconventional touchscreen control system, and a higher-than-normal probability of teething problems, the Model 3 is a dramatic and compelling electric-car statement.

The Facts
Class Premium Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Tesla
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices Long Range: $49,000
Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive: $55,000
Performance Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive: $64,000

Base Engine
electric motor/motors
Std. Transmission
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range
120-136 MPGe
EPA Hwy Range
112-123 MPGe

Tesla Model 3
2018 Tesla Model 3
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - NA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - NA
Side Crash - NA
Rollover - NA

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