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One of the most popular automotive brands has quickly risen to the top over the past decade. Tesla is an electric vehicle titan and jumped on top early. Now, every other automaker is attempting to catch up with their new EV lineup. However, those in the market for a Tesla might find that some models are a little expensive. How much is the cheapest 2022 Tesla model, and which one is it?

2022 Tesla Model 3: The cheapest available

Blue 2022 Tesla Model 3 electric sedan, one of the safest luxury cars to buy in 2022, driving by mountains
2022 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

According to Inside EVs, for the 2022 model year, every Tesla got a little more expensive. However, the cheapest model in the lineup stayed that way and is significantly more affordable than other options. The Model 3 Long Range AWD got a little more expensive in the last week. Thankfully, that’s the mid-range version of the sedan, so the base model is just as affordable. Additionally, the top-trim Performance model did not see a price increase.

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus base model starts at $46,490. While it isn’t as affordable as the base model of a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry, there’s a lot to like about the Model 3. On top of equipment and technology, every Tesla model is sleek and sporty. Not to mention, performance is at the forefront of this electric vehicle. Higher trim levels, of course, perform even better.

2022 Tesla Model 3 TrimPrice
Standard Range Plus$46,440
Rear-Wheel Drive$48,440
Long Range$55,940
Trims and prices from Car and Driver.

How much cheaper is the Model 3 than other 2022 Tesla models?

A red Tesla Model Y is driving on the road. How much is the cheapest Tesla model?
The Tesla Model Y | Tesla

A report from Inside EVs recently stated that the Model 3 wasn’t the only Tesla to get a price hike recently. Both the Long Range AWD and Performance trim levels of the Tesla Model Y grew in price. Tesla models are getting more expensive all the time, so how much more affordable is the cheapest sedan in comparison?

Firstly, the other sedan, Tesla Model S, starts above six figures. According to Car and Driver, a Long Range base model is $101,440. Additionally, the electric crossover, the Model Y, starts at $64,440. In other words, the most affordable Tesla that isn’t a Model 3 costs more than the Model 3’s top Performance trim. Lastly, the Model X SUV starts at $116,440. In conclusion, the 2022 Tesla Model 3 is the most affordable option from the EV specialist.

Why is the Model 3 so much cheaper?

With a lineup of expensive electric vehicles, how did Tesla make one model so much cheaper? The automaker made several cost-cutting changes to the sedan. Firstly, it contains half the wiring of the Model S and only one screen vs. the Model S’ two. Additionally, the Model 3 comes with fewer seats and less cargo space than its more expensive sibling. Another missing feature is automatically extending door handles. While it’s a signature feature of the Tesla brand for door handles to disappear into the car’s exterior then emerge when the driver approaches, it cuts a lot of cost from the Model 3.

Lastly, the Model 3 is far worse performance-wise than other Tesla models. A lower range, slower acceleration, and less power overall make it the cheapest 2022 Tesla model. Before its release, in 2017, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to say, “Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S w less range & power & fewer features. Model S has more advanced technology.” Tesla purposely built a more affordable version of the Model S for this exact purpose, to be the cheapest Tesla model.

Should you buy the cheapest 2022 Tesla model?

If you’re shopping for an electric sedan with performance and technology in its price range, the Tesla Model 3 is a great car. Although, the market is beginning to flood with other options. Not only could opposing automakers build better electric sedans, but the competition could also force Tesla to improve. As of 2022, the cheapest Tesla available is the Model 3, and it’s an excellent (relatively) affordable choice.