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2023 Tesla Model 3: Choosing the Right Trim

For 2023, Tesla has trimmed the Model 3’s price by $3,000, making it more enticing to consumers who now have more choices when buying an EV. Competing against the Model 3 are varied models such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Polestar 2, and Volkswagen ID.4. However, none of these rivals can match the Model 3’s impressive maximum range, nor do they, save the ID.4, currently qualify for the U.S. government’s $7,500 tax credit.

The entry-level Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive is the least expensive trim but has the shortest range (272 miles) and slowest 0-60 mph time (5.8 seconds). Moving to the Model 3 Performance trim brings all-wheel drive (AWD) courtesy of dual electric motors and a larger battery pack. The Performance version increases its range to 315 miles and can dash to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.

The Long Range trim increases range to 358 miles with a 60 mph sprint in just 4.2 seconds. However, due to supply issues and cost-cutting measures, the Long Range is currently unavailable on Tesla’s online configurator, although it may reappear later in the model year.

2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive: $43,990

The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive is the least powerful of the three trims but the most affordable.

The Model 3 offers a choice of five colors, but only Pearl White Multi-Coat is a no-charge option. Midnight Silver Metallic and Deep Blue Metallic add another $1,000 to the price, Solid Black costs $1,500, and Red Multi-Coat is a not-insignificant $2,000.

Interior color choices trend to the stark side, limited to black or a $1,000 upgrade to black and white.

The Model 3 is fundamental when it comes to features. It includes LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated power side mirrors, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Rear, front, and side cameras provide a 360-degree view for the Sentry Mode system, which can record the movement of other vehicles or people around the Model 3 when parked.

There’s a front trunk (sometimes called a frunk) beneath the manually operated hood and more storage beneath the power-activated rear decklid.

A keyless entry system turns your phone into a key fob, unlocking the doors and allowing you to drive. The phone app also allows you to set the interior climate while you’re away, schedule maintenance, or locate the vehicle.

The Model 3 includes a massive fixed-glass roof that makes the cabin feel open and bright, but it doesn’t have a sunshade. The glass is heavily tinted, blocking out 99% of UV light.

The Model 3 touts 12-way power heated front seats, heated rear seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and dual wireless charging pads.

Vegan leather upholstery looks and feels like leather and is easy to clean.

In place of an interior door handle, occupants push an electric button to open the doors. There’s also a manual override just in case you run out of juice.

Every feature is viewed or controlled via a massive 15.4-inch center touchscreen. Via the screen, the driver views vehicle speed, battery level and usage, climate controls, wiper settings, and infotainment features. Even opening the glovebox requires using the touchscreen.

The screen includes several fun features, like creating a whoopie cushion sound effect at any seating position or posting a message for passing pedestrians, letting them know a pet inside the car is safe and enjoying the A/C. There’s even an option to display a roaring fire on the screen while warm air gently blows from the vents.

Regarding infotainment, the Tesla system comes standard with a 14-speaker Premium audio system, FM HD Radio, and Bluetooth streaming. However, AM radio, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto are unavailable.

The Premium Connectivity package requires a subscription but is the best way to connect with apps like Spotify or Audible. A Premium subscription includes satellite view navigation maps, video streaming for Netflix or Hulu (not for use when driving), Caraoke, internet browsing, and Live Camera, which grants external cameras access.

With Live Camera, you can see what’s going on around your car and honk the horn, flash the lights, or speak directly through a speaker, chasing off would-be thieves.

The Tesla system also includes over-the-air updates (OTA), constantly updating the car with the latest Tesla technology and power usage improvements.

On the safety front, the Model 3 comes standard with Autopilot, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

Automatic high-beam headlights, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control are also part of the Model 3’s standard driver-assist features.

An Enhanced Autopilot option costs $6,000 and adds auto lane change, auto parking, the ability to navigate while using adaptive cruise control, and Smart Summon, which can automatically pull the Model 3 out of its parking space and bring it to where you are waiting.

The Full-Self Driving Capability Package costs $15,000 and brings fully-autonomous driving plus the ability to stop at stoplights or stop signs automatically.

Adding in the $1,390 delivery fee and non-refundable $250 ordering fee, the 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive costs $45,630. On a 60-day loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $820. See 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive models for sale near you

2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive includes:

  • Heated seats – Heat front and rear seats, including the back middle seat, are an unusual but welcome addition.
  • 15.4-inch touchscreen – This massive touchscreen is the control center for nearly every Tesla feature. It puts all controls in one convenient place, creating a simple yet elegant dash.
  • Available autonomous driving – This optional upgrade permits hands-free driving on approved highways and roads. The Model 3 can steer, brake, accelerate, change lanes, and exit the freeway without driver input when using the navigation system.

2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance: $53,990

The Performance adds AWD via dual electric motors. It also gains 20-inch wheels, performance brakes, a carbon-fiber spoiler, performance pedals, and Track Mode, which adds increased powertrain cooling and regenerative braking. Track Mode also uses the electric motors to improve turn-in and allows for driver-customizable driving modes.

Adding in the $1,390 delivery fee and non-refundable $250 ordering fee, the 2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance costs $55,630. On a 60-day loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to $1,000. See 2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance models for sale near you

2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance includes:

  • More power – The dual-motor AWD system makes the Model 3 lightning-quick, and its more powerful battery pack increases range over the base rear-drive version.
  • Performance suspension – The Performance trim’s stiffer springs and lower suspension improves cornering.
  • Performance brakes – Upgraded brakes include larger calipers and lightweight 2-piece discs for better heat dissipation and improved stopping power.


What is the best 2023 Tesla Model 3 trim?

The Performance trim offers a better range than the base Model 3. It’s also faster, with better handling, making it our choice.

How long does it take to charge a 2023 Tesla Model 3?

When using an at-home Level 2 AC charger, the Model 3 can reach full charge in about 6 hours for the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive and up to 8 hours for the Model 3 Performance.

Using a Tesla DC Supercharger, you’re looking at 175 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Maximum charging for the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive is capped at 175 kW, meaning it takes about 25 minutes to reach a full charge.

The Model 3 Performance has a maximum charging capacity of 250 kW and takes about 30 minutes to reach full charge.

Which 2023 Tesla Model 3 trim offers the most safety?

All Model 3 trims are exceptionally safe, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarding the Model 3 a Top Safety Pick + accolade.

Opting for the Enhanced Autopilot brings more driver-assist systems, making this option highly desirable for maximum safety.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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