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 VersionPriceRangeTop Speed0-60 mphEV Tax CreditState/Local Incentives
Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive$40,240272 miles140 mph5.8 sec$7,500Check Incentives
Model 3 Long Range (AWD)$47,240333 miles145 mph4.2 sec$7,500Check Incentives
Model 3 Performance (AWD)$53,240315 miles162 mph3.1 sec$7,500Check Incentives

Note: Recent changes to Tesla’s supply chain to meet battery component and battery mineral requirements have made all three trims of the Model 3 eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

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.

EV Life Electric Vehicle Financing

There has never been a better time to finance a new Tesla Model 3. Right now, plenty of federal, state, and local programs offer incentives to help drivers with their electric vehicle purchases.

The largest and most accessible EV incentive, outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, offers a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 to qualified drivers purchasing electric vehicles. The great news? All three versions of the Tesla Model 3 qualify for the tax credit.

What’s more, the Model 3 is also eligible for a variety of other state and local rebates, grants, and incentives, all of which can add up to big savings. 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. 

Even when you do the legwork to figure out which programs to apply for, you still have to wait an average of 6-18 months for approval before you can take advantage of the credits, rebates, or grants provided. If you finance with a traditional auto lender, you’ll be stuck making full-price payments on your loan for months before you ever see a dime in incentives.

With the EV Climate Loan from EV Life, you can say goodbye to the waiting period for your EV incentives. EV Life allows you to apply your incentives directly to your EV Climate Loan, which can significantly lower your monthly payments by an average of $200 per month, right from the start of your loan.

For California drivers, this amounts to savings of $15,000 or more on their EV purchase. And with their newly expanded state tax credit, Colorado drivers can save up to $18,000 or more on their EV purchase!

No matter where you live or your level of eligibility, EV Life will help you uncover every incentive you qualify for, so you don’t miss out on any of the money available to you.

Get pre-qualified today and find out how much you could save on your new Tesla Model 3.