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Tesla produces cutting-edge EVs — with their quick acceleration, excellent driving dynamics, and state-of-the-art technologies. However, most Tesla vehicles are expensive and not financially accessible for the majority of drivers. In an effort to appeal to automotive shoppers with greater budget restrictions, the automaker offers a more “affordable” EV with the 2023 Tesla Model 3. It’s the cheapest new Tesla. Also, the Model 3 is the world’s best-selling electric car.

2023 Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest new Tesla car

Front angle view of blue 2023 Tesla Model 3, cheapest new Tesla and world’s best-selling electric car
2023 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

With a starting price of $46,990, the 2023 Tesla Model 3 electric sedan is the cheapest new Tesla car in the United States. While the Model 3 is more expensive than many other electric cars, such as the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Chevy Bolt EV, it’s the most affordable Tesla you can get. The next most affordable one is the 2023 Model Y crossover SUV, which starts at $65,990.

Here are the four new Tesla cars currently available — in order from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. 2023 Tesla Model 3: $46,990
  2. 2023 Tesla Model Y: $65,990
  3. 2023 Tesla Model S: $104,990
  4. 2023 Tesla Model X: $120,990

It’s important to note that the $46,990 starting price for the 2023 Tesla Model 3 is for the Base trim, which features a single-motor rear-wheel drive system. The Performance, the top-of-the-line trim with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system, starts at $62,990 MSRP. Also, while a mid-tier Long Range trim is offered in other markets, it’s not currently available in the U.S.

The 2023 Tesla Model 3 is the world’s best-selling electric car 

Dashboard and front seats in 2023 Tesla Model 3, cheapest new Tesla car and world’s best-selling EV
2023 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

In addition to being the cheapest new Tesla, the Model 3 is the world’s best-selling electric car. The driving force behind producing the Tesla Model 3 was to offer a mainstream EV that’s more affordable for the masses. It’s a much cheaper alternative to the Model S sedan. Many drivers want to get a Tesla but can’t afford one. However, the Model 3 is more financially accessible. As a result, it sells in droves.

In 2021, Tesla sold 500,713 units of the Model 3. The Wuling HongGuang Mini EV from China is second, with 424,138 units sold, followed by the Tesla Model Y (410,517 units).

Here are the world’s 10 best-selling cars, per CleanTechnica

  1. Tesla Model 3: 500,713 units
  2. Wuling HongGuang Mini EV: 424,138 units
  3. Tesla Model Y: 410,517 units
  4. Volkswagen ID.4: 121,631 units
  5. BYD Han EV: 86,901 units
  6. Changan Benni EV: 76,454 units
  7. Volkswagen ID.3: 76,278 units
  8. Renault Zoe: 73,867 units
  9. GAC Aion S: 71,192 units
  10. Chery eQ: 68,821 units (estimated)

While the Model 3 is the best-selling EV in the world, the Model Y is the top-seller in the U.S. Crossover SUVs like the Model Y are more popular in America compared to other countries. 


How Much Does a Fully Loaded 2023 Tesla Model 3 Cost?

The Model 3 has been a big international success. However, there are reasons to believe it could lose its crown as the world’s best-selling EV. Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle segment, but it now faces competition from many other automakers. Along with Chinese automakers, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, BMW, GM, and Stellantis are making a big push to go electric. Recently, MotorBiscuit named the Hyundai IONIQ 5 the best EV of the year. 

Also, the brand image of Tesla has taken a hit in the wake of Elon Musk’s divisive antics, especially since his chaotic takeover of Twitter. Many Tesla customers are canceling orders and terminating leases early — citing Musk’s behavior as the reason. 

However, the relative affordability of the 2023 Tesla Model 3 will continue to be a draw. It’s the cheapest new Tesla, helping it be the world’s best-selling electric car — at least for now. We’ll have to see if it continues to be in the future.