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Electric Vehicle Spotlight: Financing a Tesla Model 3

Learn about Tesla’s most affordable EV, the Tesla Model 3, and explore the vehicle and financing options available for potential buyers

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Peter Glenn

Since its release in 2017, the Tesla Model 3 has revolutionized the electric vehicle market. Its combination of affordability, performance, and impressive range has led it to become one of Tesla’s best-selling electric vehicles to date, proving to be a strong competitor against more affordable options from automakers like Hyundai, GM, and Kia. The Model 3’s sleek and sporty design, combined with its practical functionality, makes it one of the most versatile and desirable electric sedans on the EV market.

In this vehicle spotlight, we’re going to take a look at what makes the Tesla Model 3 so popular, delving into its technical specs, performance, and features. We’ll also be comparing the three available trims to help you decide which Tesla Model 3 is right for you.

Tesla Model 3 Interior, Exterior, and Safety Features

Model 3 Interior

The Tesla Model 3’s interior has a simple and elegant appeal, and its low floor gives it a spacious and comfortable feel inside. A 15-inch touchscreen display in the center of the dashboard controls most of the car's functions, from navigation and media to vehicle settings. It also offers access to Tesla's in-car gaming system and other entertainment options. Standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity are included.

The four-door Tesla Model 3 has seating for five, with adjustable and heated front seats. For cargo space, the Model 3 has a total of 15 cubic feet of cargo space between the front trunk ("frunk") and rear trunk, and the 60/40 split-folding rear seats fold completely flat to expand storage considerably. There are two interior colorways available: All-Black and Black and White.

Model 3 Exterior

The Tesla Model 3’s exterior is equally understated and ergonomic. It measures approximately 185 inches in length, 73 inches in width, and 57 inches in height, and its blend of comfort and performance makes it the perfect vehicle for urban commutes and long road trips alike.

Each model comes with an all-glass roof and aluminum wheels covered with aerodynamic plastic hubcaps. The Model 3 has a low center of gravity and, like all Tesla models, carries its battery between the wheelbases on the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Safety Features and Charging Options

Tesla's semi-autonomous driving system, Autopilot, comes standard on all Model 3 trims. The system provides features like standard automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and parking assist. Tesla also offers the option to add its Full Self-Driving Capability.

The Model 3 also comes standard with a wide variety of modern and innovative safety features and boasts a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For charging, the Model 3 offers several different options to choose from:

  • Tesla's network of fast-charge stations, called Superchargers, allow the Model 3 to gain up to 75 miles of range in 5 minutes, under optimal conditions.
  • Adapters for public DC-charging stations
  • 240- and 120-volt outlets
  • Home charging stations

Comparing Model 3 Options at a Glance:

Tesla Model 3 Version
Top Speed
0-60 mph
EV Tax Credit
State/Local Incentives
Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
272 miles
140 mph
5.8 sec
Model 3 Long Range (AWD)
333 miles
145 mph
4.2 sec
Model 3 Performance (AWD)
315 miles
162 mph
3.1 sec

Note: Effective January 1, 2024, only the Model 3 Performance is eligible for the $7500 federal EV tax credit. There is unconfirmed speculation that additional trims could be updated to qualify before the end of 2024.

Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

The base version of the Model 3 is called the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive. As its name implies, this Model 3 is rear-wheel drive and offers a significant amount of performance for a relatively affordable price.

The Model 3 RWD accelerates 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 140 mph. It also has a reasonably large EPA-estimated range of 272 miles, giving average drivers nearly a week of drive time between charges.

Model 3 Long-Range

The Model 3 Long Range comes standard with all-wheel drive and offers improvements on the base model’s performance, speed, and range. It has a dual motor system that provides additional power, giving the Long Range a top speed of 145 mph and an impressive 0-60 mph acceleration of 4.2 seconds.

The Model 3 Long Range also lives up to its name, boasting a staggering EPA-estimated 333 miles of range, perfect for drivers who want to take their Tesla to more remote locations.

Model 3 Performance

The Model 3 Performance might be the most expensive option at $53,240 MSRP, but with the higher price tag comes a whole lot of—well—performance.

The Model 3 Performance’s AWD dual motor system provides an impressive top speed of 162 mph and goes from 0-60 mph in a lightning-quick 3.2 seconds. And while you don’t get the same extended range as the Long Range version, the Performance still offers a respectable EPA-estimated 315 miles of range on a single charge.

Model 3 Tax Credits & Rebates

There has never been a better time to finance a new Tesla Model 3.

In addition to the $7500 federal tax credit that can be taken off as a point-of-sale discount on the Model 3 Performance, there are plenty of other federal, state, and local programs that offer incentives to help drivers with their electric vehicle purchases. The problem is that each program has its own complex set of requirements for drivers and vehicles, and it can be difficult to sort through the fine print to see if you qualify.

Some great state incentives include:

  • The California Clean Cars 4 All program helps lower-income Californians by offering cash incentives of up to $9,500 to retire their older gas-powered vehicles and invest in EVs.
  • Colorado Electric Vehicle Tax Credit. The newly expanded Colorado EV tax credit offers all Colorado residents who purchase an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with an MSRP of up to $80,000 a tax credit of up to $5,000. Effective January 1, 2024, new electric vehicles priced under $35,000 MSRP are eligible for an additional $2,500 state tax credit.

Try EV Life’s Savings Calculator to see what you qualify for.

How EV Life Helps You Save Big on Model 3 Financing

EV Life offers a smarter EV financing solution. Here’s how it works when you apply for an EV Climate Loan with EV Life:

  • Pre-qualify for more than financing. EV Life’s application process is easy and fast. We’ll ensure that you qualify for every tax credit, rebate, and other incentive you’re eligible for, then help you file all the paperwork with our “Turbo Tax-style” incentive filing tools.
  • Bundle charging. An EV Life loan enables you to get an instant quote for home charger installation and bundle it into auto financing, reducing your upfront costs.
  • One low payment. The EV Life loan applies all your savings directly to your loan, significantly reducing your monthly payment.

Don’t navigate the complex and ever-shifting EV incentive process alone. Financing with EV Life guarantees the best prices and the lowest rates on your EV, saving the planet while saving your pocketbook.

Get pre-qualified today to find out how much you could save.

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

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