Tesla bucks the traditional yearly model changes and instead makes constant upgrades to its vehicles via a cloud-based downloading system. Software upgrades can add new features at any time. For now, the biggest confirmed changes are the addition of AWD and a mid-range model with a smaller battery pack, 260-mile range and a lower price. See the 2018 Tesla Model 3 models for sale near you
For its added range and upgraded feature set, we'd go with the Long Range model, then toss in the enhanced Autopilot self-driving upgrade just for good measure. The Performance model is nice, and you won't sacrifice any additional range, but can you really tell the difference between 4.5 and 3.2 seconds? Find a Tesla Model 3 for sale
The 2018 Model 3 comes in three trims: Base, Long Range and Performance. Tesla talks about a lower price Standard trim, but at the time of this review, it exists nowhere on their consumer site. Tesla's pricing uses some backhanded ways of dropping the price, basically calculating gas savings and possible local tax breaks into the price. We've listed the list price without the possible discounts. The Model X still qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit and may qualify for additional state credits where applicable.
The Model 3 ($46,500) comes with RWD, Autopilot (automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring), heated 12-way adjustable power front seats, an immersive sound audio system, standard maps and navigation, fog lights, Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, keyless entry, a dual-zone automatic climate control, black paint, 18-in wheels, a 15-in center control screen, power windows, power locks, auto-dimming power-folding heated side mirrors, Bluetooth, app-based key for entry and some car functions, a rear camera, a tinted glass panel roof and eight airbags. Options include paint colors other than black ($1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 depending on color) and the enhanced Autopilot system with full self-driving capabilities for $5,000.
The Model 3 Long Range ($53,000) adds a longer driving range (310 versus 260 miles) and a slightly faster 0-to-60 mph time (4.5 seconds versus 5.3 seconds) and the option of dual-motor AWD. Also on board is the Premium interior that adds heated front and rear seats, 14-speaker Premium audio with subwoofer and two amps, satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization, a panoramic glass roof, leather seating, in-car internet music streaming, an internet browser, LED fog lamps, a location-aware garage door opener, four USB ports and docking for two smartphones.
The Model 3 Performance ($64,000) brings an even faster 0-to-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, plus 20-in performance wheels, a lowered suspension, performance brakes, a carbon fiber spoiler, a Track mode and an increased top speed of 162 mph.
The Model 3 warranty covers 8-year/unlimited on the battery and drive unit, while the rest of the car comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||8 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2018 Nissan Leaf -- The Nissan Leaf can't quite go the distance compared to the Model 3, but its 140-mile range isn't far from most other electrics, and the Leaf's base price along with the $7,500 federal tax credit undercuts the Model 3's bottom line by a good bit.
2018 Chevrolet Bolt -- The Bolt also costs less than the Model 3, qualifies for the reduced federal tax credit and has a range of 238 miles. However, for the money, the Model 3 offers way more tech and advanced features and much faster acceleration. The Bolt also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Used Tesla Model X -- If you can't swing a loaded Model 3, try looking at an older version of the larger Model X. The Model X first arrived in 2015, and older models had a bit less range and power, but many of the same features as the new one. The 2015 Model X 60D was the least expensive version, with only a 200-mile range.