The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest car in the automaker’s lineup, but that doesn’t mean you’re settling for less. For a little over $39,000, the Model 3 gives you plenty of range for the average driver. It’s almost as cheap as a Hyundai Kona EV, plus you get a fancier interior.
The Tesla Model 3 is such a great value that it won Vincentric’s Best Value in America Award. Each year, Vincentric gives this award to a vehicle in each segment with the lowest cost-to-own. Here are the standout qualities that make the Model 3 the best deal in the luxury EV class.
The Tesla Model 3’s incredible efficiency
The Tesla Model 3 comes in three different trims, each one with different ranges. The Standard Range Plus comes with 263 miles of electric range. The Performance trim can get 315 miles of electric range, while the Long Range model gets 353 miles of range. The latter two trims also have standard AWD.
Even more impressive about each of these models is their performance numbers. The Performance model is predictably the fastest, jumping from 0-60 mph in only three seconds. The Long Range model achieves this in a little over four seconds, while the Standard Range Plus needs five seconds.
The batteries are situated under the floor, which greatly improves the Model 3’s handling. Car and Driver praised the car’s precise steering and overall stability.
Charging the battery also isn’t a big hassle for the Tesla Model 3. If you use a Tesla supercharger for just 15 minutes, you can restore around 175 miles of range. The wall chargers offered by the automaker can recharge as much as 44 miles per hour.
The Model 3 retains its value
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An iSeeCars study found that electric vehicles depreciate at a rapid rate, as much as 52 percent in the first three years. Surprisingly, this study also found that the Tesla Model 3 only depreciated by 10 percent in the same timeframe. However, it’s important to note that the data was based on leased vehicles. Since Tesla began offering leases for the Model 3 in 2019, the study’s findings aren’t quite complete.
Still, it’s a good indicator that a Tesla will be worth more after a few years of ownership than its rivals. This could possibly be due to Tesla’s over-the-air software updates for past models. The batteries in Tesla cars also reportedly last the longest out of any other EV.
The Tesla Model 3 is also surprisingly cheap to maintain. Owner Andy Slye reported that he didn’t have to spend any money on repairs after the first 40,000 miles. He also said that the estimated range on the battery increased as he put more miles on the car.
Other great qualities to note
The 2021 Tesla Model 3 comes with subtle aesthetic changes, including redesigned wheels and pillowy satin trim for the door sills. These changes continue inside, with metal finishing on the controls and two wireless charging pads. It still retains its open-pore wood for the dash behind the massive center touchscreen.
The seats are also just as comfortable as ever, though some critics think there’s not enough room in the backseat. It compensates for this with a wide trunk area, plus a frunk where a gas-powered engine is absent. The frunk’s floor is made of rubber, so it’s ideal for storing dirtier items.
The Model 3 is also packed with all the latest Tesla technology, including a hands-on semi-autonomous driving system. It’s the same tech you’d find in more expensive models like the Model X. This, combined with all the money you’ll save on fuel, makes the Tesla Model 3 an awesome value.