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When it comes to finding the cheapest Tesla electric car in the marque’s lineup, there’s only one name you need to mention: the Model 3. The 2023 and upcoming 2024 Tesla Model 3 boasts the most affordable price in the industry-defining EV manufacturer’s offerings. So, is the baby Tesla worth its starting price point? Or is the most brawny Model Y a better bet?

How much is the cheapest Tesla car?

A black 2023 Tesla Model 3 electric car drives across a snowy landscape.
Model 3 | Tesla

The 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive starts at $28,490 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. As a result, the single-motor Model 3 is around $4,500 cheaper than the larger, higher-riding Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive. 

Still, despite the Model 3’s bargain price point in the Tesla lineup, the Model Y outsold the entry-level electric car model. According to GoodCarBadCar, the Model Y is on pace for a record sales year. Specifically, Tesla sold 110,997 more Model Ys than its cheaper Model 3 this year so far. 

Model2023 sales YTD (units)
Tesla Model Y284,498
Tesla Model 3173,501
Tesla Model S22,500
Tesla Model X17,501

What are the trims of the Tesla Model 3?

A red and gray set of 2024 Tesla Model 3 EVs cruise together.
A set of new Model 3s | Tesla

The 2023 Tesla Model 3 is available in three trims: the single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive, dual-motor Long Range, and explosively quick Performance

TrimStarting price (post-credit)Single-charge range 
Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive$28,490272 miles
Tesla Model 3 Long Range$35,490333 miles
Tesla Model 3 Performance$40,490315 miles

Unsurprisingly, the single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive trim is the most affordable Tesla electric car in the company’s lineup. However, even with heftier price tags, the dual-motor Long Range and Performance trims offer longer single-charge ranges, snappier acceleration, and grippy all-wheel drive (AWD). Furthermore, the Tesla Model 3 trims will carry over into 2024, albeit with a welcome refresh

Which Tesla Model 3 is the best value?

The 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive offers budget-friendly access to the brand’s electric cars. However, the Long Range is our pick for the best value in the trim lineup. With AWD, a 333-mile range estimate, and thrust-happy acceleration, the Long Range trim is worth the extra $7,000. 

Furthermore, for those who don’t feel the need to join the masses on the SUV bandwagon, the dual-motor Model 3 Long Range is just $2,600 more than the single-motor, entry-level Model Y. Better yet, the Model 3 Long Range will cover a staggering 73 miles further per charge than the Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive.  

Are Teslas getting cheaper?

Fans can expect higher prices for the upcoming 2024 Tesla Model 3 than the pre-facelift 2023 electric car model. We estimate that starting prices will increase by around $2,000 to $3,000 for the entry-level Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive. 

However, with updated styling and improvements in fit and finish, the 2024 Tesla Model 3 could be worth the higher price tag. What do you think about the Model 3? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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