4 Great Tesla Model 3 Alternatives for Less Than $40,000

The Tesla Model 3 is an enormously successful electric car — second only to the Model Y as the best-selling EV. While Tesla touts the Model 3 as a more budget-friendly electric vehicle for the masses, it’s still expensive. Fortunately, for those that can’t afford a Model 3, there are great alternatives that cost less than $40,000. Here are our four picks.

More affordable electric cars to get instead of a Tesla Model 3

Red 2023 Tesla Model 3 driving on mountain road, highlighting cheaper alternative EVs that cost less than 40000
2022 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 Base has a starting price of $46,990, while the top-tier Performance has a starting price of $62,990. If you’re looking for a more affordable electric car alternative to the Model 3, then consider these four EVs:

1. 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 (Starting price: $39,950)
2. 2023 Fisker Ocean (Starting price: $37,499)
3. 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric (Starting price: $33,550)
4. 2023 Chevy Bolt EV (Starting price: $25,600)

Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a great EV alternative to the Tesla Model 3

Front angle view of 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, a cheaper EV alternative to Tesla Model 3 costing under $40,000
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 | Hyundai

One of the best EV alternatives to the Tesla Model 3 is the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, which has a starting price of $39,950. Hyundai has already proven itself to be a big player in the burgeoning EV market, and a prime example is the critically acclaimed IONIQ 5. 

There’s much to like about the 2022 IONIQ 5, including its distinctive exterior design, fun-to-drive nature, roomy interior, and an estimated driving range of up to 256 miles. The IONIQ 5 offers multiple electric drivetrain configurations. The rear-wheel drive version generates up to 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the all-wheel drive model produces 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. Also, with the all-wheel drive version, the IONIQ 5 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Another strength of the IONIQ 5 is its generous warranty coverage. It’s backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for the powertrain and battery. 

Fisker Ocean is a more affordable electric vehicle than the Tesla Model 3

Side view of 2023 Fisker Ocean, an electric car alternative to Tesla Model 3 that costs less than $40,000
2023 Fisker Ocean | Fisker

Another affordable electric vehicle alternative to the Tesla Model 3 is the first-ever 2023 Fisker Ocean compact crossover SUV, which has a starting price of $37,499. With a 0-60 mph time as low as 3.6 seconds, the Ocean provides acceleration that rivals the Model 3 — but at a much lower price. Also, the electric crossover SUV has an impressive driving range of up to 350 miles. 

Additionally, the Fisker Ocean offers some unique features. This includes California Mode. When activating California Mode with the press of a button, the Ocean switches to a convertible-like layout by retracting the roof, side windows, and rear glass. Additionally, the Ocean has a touchscreen that can rotate to either landscape or portrait positions.

Hyundai Kona Electric is a cheaper choice for an EV

Front angle view of blue 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric | Hyundai

The third EV alternative to the Tesla Model 3 is the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric subcompact crossover SUV, which has a starting price of $33,550. Along with its affordable price, highlights of the Kona Electric include agile handling, perky acceleration, and an estimated driving range of up to 258 miles. The electric motor mounted at the front wheels of the Kona Electric produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque. Also, the 0-60 mph time of the Kona Electric is 6.4 seconds.

Additionally, like the IONIQ 5, the Kona Electric has a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for the powertrain and battery. 

Chevy Bolt EV: the cheapest electric car available

Light blue 2023 Chevy Bolt EV driving by an old building
2023 Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet

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If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly electric vehicle alternative to the Tesla Model 3, then check out the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV subcompact hatchback. With a starting price of $25,600, the Bolt EV is the cheapest electric car available in the United States, as detailed by Cars.com. Also, relative to the 2022 model, the 2023 Bolt EV has a $5,900 cost reduction. 

On the performance front, the front-mounted electric motor in the Bolt EV produces 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, and its 0-60 mph time is 6.5 seconds. Also, the electric hatchback has an estimated driving range of 259 miles. Additionally, if you desire a crossover SUV version of the Bolt EV, then get the Bolt EUV, which has a starting price of $27,200. 

Relatively more affordable EV alternatives to the Tesla Model 3 that cost less than $40,000 include the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, 2023 Fisker Ocean, 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric, and Chevy Bolt EV. Also, with the federal EV tax credit, the price of these electric cars could be even lower. 

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