Hybrids & Electrics

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 Refresh Is the Most Cost-Effective Tesla

Regardless of your opinion on Elon Musk, you can’t deny that his company makes good cars. The Model 3 has received many awards from critics over the years, including Best Value and Best Styling. The latest refresh promises even more reasons to love the Tesla Model 3.

The most exciting thing about the 2021 Tesla Model 3’s refresh is the range updates. All three versions of the Model 3 now have longer battery lives. Additionally, compared to other Tesla cars, the Model 3 gives drivers the best value based on electric range.

Performance upgrades for the 2021 Tesla Model 3

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range model can now drive up to 353 miles on electric power. That’s a 30-mile increase from the outgoing model. The 2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance now has 315 miles of range, 16 more miles than last year’s model. 

Drivers who only want the Standard Range Plus will have 263 miles of range – up from 250 miles. Tesla attributes the extra mileage to an updated heat pump system plus a new “efficiency package” that will be available upon release. The 2021 Performance model is also even quicker for this model year.

It can now get from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, but Tesla cars frequently surpass these estimations during real-world driving. The Long Range model can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than last year. The wheel designs across the Model 3 lineup have also been updated, including the addition of optional 20-inch wheels.

The Model 3’s cost per mile

YouTuber Ben Sullins neatly explains why the Tesla Model 3 is the best choice for budget-minded drivers. A 2021 Long Range model costs almost $47,000, which translates to around $133 per mile. The Long Range Model Y only has 326 miles of range, yet it has a higher cost per mile of $150.

The Tesla Model S Long Range can drive 50 miles more than the Model 3, but its cost per mile is $173. The most expensive Tesla Long Range Model to keep is the Model X. The biggest Tesla Model gets 371 miles of range, which equates to $216 per mile.

What else is new for 2021?

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In addition to its drivetrain enhancements, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 received several new aesthetic changes. The steering wheel now has a heating function, plus it’s finished with a shiny metallic material. The center console also looks completely different from the one in the outgoing model.

Instead of flipping up the center tray for more storage, it now has a metallic sliding lid. The center storage bin’s lid now has a matte finish instead of black. Below the large touchscreen, there’s also some new faux leather material surrounding the standard USB port.

The Model 3 also now sports dual-paned windows, which will make it more insulated against exterior noise. Other minor upgrades include auto-dimming mirrors, a power-operated trunk, and some extra tech features.

Cost of ownership is surprisingly low

Despite all these nifty upgrades, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range actually got cheaper for 2021. A new 2020 Model 3 Long Range retails for $48,990, approximately $2,000 more than the 2021 model. Ben Sullins also mentioned that the Tesla Model 3’s upkeep isn’t that much more expensive compared to gas-operated cars.

Sullins paid $26,369 in maintenance, insurance, and depreciation loss on his Model 3 over three years He also points out that his Model 3 was purchased back in 2017 when it had a higher cost per mile. By comparison, the average three-year cost to own a Honda Accord is $24,509.