Tesla’s Cheapest Car in 2021

Tesla is known for its innovations in electric vehicles and has been among the top EV competitors for years. Among its current model lineup is the Tesla Model 3. Currently, the baseline Model 3 is the company’s most affordable model. It’s more affordable than many other luxury EV models in 2021. Read on to find out the Tesla Model 3’s starting price, how it stacks up against other EVs on the market and more details on the Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Model 3 details

Tesla Model 3 vehicles parked outside of a Tesla factory in Shanghai, China
Tesla Model 3 vehicles parked outside of a Tesla factory | Xinhua/Ding Ting via Getty Images

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 has three trim levels: Standard Range Plus, Long Range, and Performance. The Standard Range Plus is the most affordable option and replaces the original Standard Range model. The range of this option is now around 263 miles, while the previous trim had a range of 250 miles.

Two of the three Model 3 models have dual all-wheel drive motors, with one motor in the front and the other in the back. This distributes power between the two motors depending on road conditions. Additionally, the Model 3 has increased safety due to its aluminum and steel body. On its official website, Tesla claims that the “Model 3 resisted four times its own mass, even with an all-glass roof: that’s the same weight as two full-grown African elephants.”

The vehicle’s interior includes more technological features, including a touchscreen allowing the driver to access the car controls. The car can also be unlocked using a smartphone, and the company will release over-the-air updates (OTA) for the vehicle’s technology features.

The Tesla Model 3 has so far had high ratings. From U.S. News, it was rated an 8.8 out of 10, with the highest score being in the safety category, where it received a 10 out of 10. On Edmunds, it has a similar rating, amounting to 8.4 out of 10.

Tesla Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable option

According to Tesla, the least expensive Tesla Model 3, the Standard Range Plus, costs $39,990 at its base value. Customizations, such as a different paint job or different wheels, will cost extra. Its Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature will also cost extra, either as a subscription service or at an upfront cost of $10,000. In comparison to other Tesla models, this is the most affordable vehicle. In comparison, the Model Y has a starting MSRP of $53,990, and the Model S has a starting MSRP of $89,990.

Surprisingly, the Model 3 is average when comparing car prices, making it more accessible to the average consumer. Price is one of the factors preventing more widespread adoption of EVs, even while they’re being encouraged through changing environmental policy and state incentives. Fully electric EVs were once largely on the higher side of the price spectrum. While some models remain this way, the lower cost of the entry-level Tesla Model 3 indicates a price shift that may lead more consumers to purchase an EV, either from Tesla or from other brands.

Comparison to other 2021 EVs on the market

Other 2021 EVs fall at different price points. Some are about the same or less than the Model 3. Among these is the Mini Cooper SE, which has a starting price of $29,900, and the Nissan Leaf, which starts at $31,670. Many others are more expensive, particularly luxury EVs. Luxury EV options include the Porsche Taycan, which has a starting price of $79,900, and the Polestar 2, which is $59,900. The majority of luxury EVs are higher than the Model 3 at the moment, but as price competition continues, more luxury EV brands may start offering lower-costing models. 

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