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The Tesla Model 3 is one of the more affordable luxury electric cars you can get. It’s also the most popular Tesla model, possibly because it is also the cheapest Tesla model. However, its, relatively speaking, low price does not mean it’s a bad car. In fact, it is one of the best electric cars on the market right now.

The problem with a good luxury car is that, historically, they often only come with rear-wheel drive. However, more and more luxury and high-performance vehicles either come with standard all-wheel drive or offer it. So, does the Tesla Model 3 have all-wheel drive?

The Tesla Model 3 performance specs

An overhead shot of a red 2021 Tesla Model 3 parked on an empty air strip
The 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric car | Tesla

The base Model 3 comes with rear-wheel drive and boasts a top speed of 140 mph with a 0-60 mph speed of 5.3 seconds. It has a range of 263 miles with an estimated 150/133 MPGe city/highway rating. All Model 3 trims have a single-speed automatic transmission, a sporty suspension, precise steering, and decently smooth brakes.

The middle trim, the Long Range trim, has a top speed of 145 mph with a 0-60 mph of 4.2 seconds. True to its name, it has the longest range at 353 miles with an estimated 141/127 MPGe city/highway rating. Meanwhile, the top-level trim, the Performance trim, has a top speed of 162 mph and an impressive 0-60 mph speed of 3.1 seconds. It has a range of 315 miles with an estimated 118/107 MPGe city/highway rating.

Yes, the Model 3 has an all-wheel drive option

It is not a standard feature on the Model 3, but when you configure your Tesla, you have the option to add all-wheel drive. Both the Long Range and the Performance trims come with dual-motor all-wheel drive. U.S. News deemed the Model 3 one of the 13 best all-wheel drive sports cars for 2021, specifically on its Performance trim.

How much will it cost to configure your Tesla?

Even though it’s definitely the cheapest Tesla and one of the least expensive high-performance electric cars on the market, the Performance trim is still not cheap, with a starting price of $56,990. The base Model 3 starts at $39,490, and the Long Range trim starts at $48,490. It should be noted that these are the most recent prices, as Tesla has been steadily increasing the price of the Model 3. 

If you decide you want the Model 3 with all-wheel drive, it’s not difficult to select AWD as an option when ordering your car. It is actually the first choice Tesla gives you when you start to build your car online. The prices listed on Tesla’s website are slightly lower than the above prices, but they include the potential tax incentives and gas savings of $4,300. However, the important word here is potential, and any tax incentive or rebate you qualify for may or may not be included at the time of purchase. 

Some people love high-performance cars for the sound the engine makes when it’s revved up. Some people want a high-performance model that handles spectacularly in any given situation with blink-and-you-miss-it acceleration. If you fall into the latter group, the 2021 Model 3 Performance trim will likely satisfy you. Even at close to $57,000, it still undercuts the competition by tens of thousands of dollars. Just remember that the price advertised when you build the car on Tesla’s site reflects potential savings, and your initial cost will be higher. 


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