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Top Features of Base Model
- Competitively priced at $35,000
- All-wheel drive versions available
- Highest energy efficiency of any long-range electric car
- Software update boosted power, added range to top version
Tesla Model 3: Everything You Need to Know
About the Model 3:
The 2019 Tesla Model 3 is a compact premium electric sedan built by Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors. Now available for $35,000 in its base version, the Model 3 is the company’s highest-volume and most popular car—and it has received rave reviews.
The Tesla Model 3 is sleek, fast, and runs entirely on battery power for 200 to 300 miles, depending on the version. Buyers can specify all-wheel drive and various luxury packages, and the car is sold online at a fixed price. That saves haggling with dealers. Drivers also get access to Tesla’s Supercharger network of fast-charging stations along highways, plus Tesla-only chargers at some restaurants and hotels.
The Tesla Model 3 is the only electric car under $50,000 that marries style, long range, and the ability to drive coast to coast with charging stops of only 30 to 45 minutes. Other makers will follow soon, but today, it’s the most desirable electric car that’s also affordable. Drive a Model 3, and you’ll be driving the future of the automobile.
What’s New in the Current 2019 Tesla Model 3?
Model years don’t really apply to Teslas. The company updates its cars as soon as new features are ready, and model years only indicate the build date. A Tesla built in January may differ a lot from one built in December.
Just since the start of 2019, Tesla has withdrawn one version (the Model 3 Mid-Range) and added the base version for $35,000. It also updated the car’s software to give all Model 3s slightly more power. A separate update added more range to the top Long Distance version as well.
The 2019 Tesla Model 3 is available in five different versions, plus one that was recently discontinued:
Standard Range: The long-awaited base $35,000 Tesla has manually operated cloth seats, a simpler center console, and a more basic audio system. It is EPA-rated at 220 miles (estimated) of range, with a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds. It comes only with rear-wheel drive, powered by a 192-kilowatt (258-horsepower) electric motor.
Standard Range Plus: This slightly nicer version of the base car gets a higher range rating of 240 miles. Its 0-to-60-mph time is 5.3 seconds. It also has heated power front seats, leatherette upholstery, and a configurable console.
Mid-Range: This version was discontinued in February 2019, but may still be available. It is rated at 264 miles of range and came only with rear-wheel drive.
Long Range RWD: The top Model 3 with rear-wheel drive has the highest rated range, at 325 miles. Acceleration to 60 mph is 5.0 seconds.
Long Range AWD: Adding all-wheel drive cuts range to 310 miles. It also boost acceleration to 60 mph, rated at 4.5 seconds.
Performance: The highest-end Model 3 is the AWD Performance version, with far faster acceleration of just 3.2 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. It’s also the most expensive.
All Model 3s come standard with a full glass roof, a 15-inch central touchscreen that controls most non-driving functions, and the ability to use Tesla’s network of Supercharger fast charging stations along highways.
Black is the only standard color on the Tesla Model 3. Specifying silver, charcoal, pearl white, red, or blue adds an extra $1,500 to $2,500.
What Does the 2019 Tesla Model 3 Compete With?
Tesla Model 3 buyers crave the latest technology, want to cut the environmental impact of driving, and like the low cost per-mile of driving on electricity. The Model 3 competes with both premium sport sedans and other battery-electric cars, including:
Among electric cars, the Model 3 is sexier than the boxy Bolt EV and Leaf hatchbacks. It’s also much less expensive than its big brother, the Model S. It’s similar in size and performance to the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, but those cars still run on gasoline.
Exterior Design of the 2019 Tesla Model 3
The 2019 Tesla Model 3 is a low, sleek sedan with a long cabin, a short nose, and a high tail. This gives it greater interior space—especially in the rear seat—than German competitors with a bulky engine under the hood.
Like all Teslas, the nose is blunt, without a mock grille. The cowl is low, giving excellent forward visibility. The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most aerodynamic shapes on the market today, which adds to battery range by cutting wind resistance.
Interior Style in the 2019 Tesla Model 3
Inside a Tesla Model 3, the first thing you notice is the large and striking central 15-inch touchscreen. It sits on top of a low, horizontal dash with few buttons, knobs, or switches. It may seem odd to control almost every non-driving function from a touchscreen, but Tesla made it surprisingly easy. It takes less than a day to get fully accustomed to it.
Front seats are comfortable and supportive. The base car has cloth seats, but all others have leatherette or leather. The battery pack under the floor means front occupants’ legs stretch out ahead of them. Meanwhile, rear-seat riders sit slightly knees-up. Tesla claims room for five passengers, but only four will ride comfortably.
Tesla claims 15 cubic feet of cargo volume in every Model 3. That’s split between the conventional trunk in the rear and a small additional space under the hood.
Black interiors are available, but the Model 3 also offers a variety of lighter fabrics and two-tone treatments that add a luxurious look. Plastic quality is average for a premium car; wood accents are tasteful. The Model 3 cabin is full of light due to the full glass roof.
Technology: (What Technology Comes in the 2019 Tesla Model 3?)
The most notable technology in the Tesla Model 3 is its electric drivetrain. One or two motors power the rear or all wheels, and the large battery under the floor can recharge at several different rates.
Because it was created in Silicon Valley, the Model 3 has aspects of a digital device that no other car does. For instance:
- Over-the-air software updates: This allows Tesla add new features even to older cars.
- No ignition key, just an RFID card: No bigger than a credit card, this unlocks the car with a tap on the pillar and powers up with a second tap inside.
- Standard Supercharger navigation: The system routes the car via its Supercharger network and tells drivers how long to charge.
- Full web browsing: Accomplished via its central touchscreen.
- Autopilot: Tesla gets a lot of press for this system, but it’s nowhere near fully self-driving. It’s a bundle of active-safety features only a little more advanced than those from German competitors.
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Tesla Model 3?
The Tesla Model 3 gets the highest ratings for crash safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency rates it at five stars, its top score, both overall and on tests for front and side crashes, side barrier and pole impacts, and rollover safety.
Standard safety features include:
- Forward-collision warning
- Lane-departure warning
- Automatic emergency braking
If you want active cruise control, you have to order the Autopilot package. That also adds active lane control, plus the ability to change lanes when the driver uses the turn indicator while on cruise control.
Despite the name Autopilot, however, shoppers should know this is not a self-driving or autonomous vehicle. Drivers must keep their hands on the wheel, and the car will alert them to do so.
What is the 2019 Tesla Model 3 Like to drive?
Like all electric cars, the 2019 Tesla Model 3 delivers smooth, continuous acceleration. It’s a heavy, solid car with the battery weight low in the chassis. It corners predictably and holds the road tenaciously even on twisty mountain curves. It’s not a lithe, light sport sedan, but it competes with them just fine.
Tesla provides strong regenerative braking, meaning the car slows notably when you lift off the pedal. Drivers quickly learn they can drive almost all the time just by modulating the accelerator. The brake pedal only comes into play in hard stops. Still, drivers who prefer a more conventional feel with idle creep and more coasting can opt for that setting in the car’s digital controls.
Should I Buy a Current 2019 Tesla Model 3?
If you want a sleek, fast compact sport sedan that’s not an Audi or BMW, the Tesla Model 3 fits the bill. And if you want an electric car that’s more stylish than the boxy hatchbacks from other makers, the Model 3 is your only choice at the price.
If you like to have the latest thing, consider the Tesla Model 3 the prototype for what dozens of cars from established makers will be like in three to ten years—except you can buy one today.
You’ll need to learn about plugging in at home, public charging networks, and a few other facets of owning an electric car. But trust us, it’s neither difficult nor daunting.
Should I buy a Used 2019 Tesla Model 3? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
As of 2019, there are few used Tesla Model 3 cars for sale. Production was low during 2017, and most 2018 cars are still with their first owners.
More will become available, but remember, older Model 3s were all the Long Range version with limited options. They didn’t offer the Performance model, or all-wheel drive, which only became available in mid-2018.
How Much Does the New 2019 Tesla Model 3 Cost?
The 2019 Tesla Model 3 starts at $35,000 for the Standard Range version in black. Any other color adds $1,500 to $2,500. The Standard Range Plus model costs $2,000 more for a bit of added range and some extra features. It can be ordered with a white interior for $1,000 more.
The Long Range version starts at $44,000, with all-wheel drive costing $3,000 more. Finally, the Performance version starts at $58,000, with all-wheel drive standard. All cars also carry a mandatory $1,200 delivery fee.
The Model 3 was long touted as the “$35,000 Tesla.” Now, after almost two years, that’s true. But most versions run over $40,000, and the Performance model with every option exceeds $60,000. Still, it offers a combination of style, range, technology, and just plain cool factor that’s hard to beat.
Pros and Cons of the 2019 Tesla Model 3
- Sleek exterior design, minimalist modern interior
- Quiet electric performance, instant acceleration
- Over-the-air updates give new features even to older cars
- Access to Supercharger fast-charging network along highways
- Tesla will take back any Model 3 for a full refund within seven days and 1,000 miles
- Buyers become part of the future of cars
- Model 3 build quality has been variable
- Large central touchscreen replaces almost all switches and dials and has to be learned
- A few states don’t let Tesla deliver cars within their borders
- Tesla has grown quickly and its network of service centers hasn’t always kept up
- Battery charging is tougher without your own off-street parking
The History of the Tesla Model 3: Mission Accomplished
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first vehicle with a base price close to the mass-market average of $35,000—though options can take that past $50,000. Tesla has said for ten years that was its goal. Despite heavy odds, the company did exactly what it said it would, if slightly later than planned.
When the design was unveiled in March 2016, Tesla got hundreds of thousands of deposits from all over the world. It began delivering those cars in June 2017, though slowly. It has since expanded the lineup of battery ranges and options.
Model 3 specs change regularly, so buyers need to get up-to-date information from the company’s website. By the end of 2019, the Model 3 may be the world’s highest-production electric car.
Specs & Key Features of the 2019 Tesla Model 3
- Body Style
- 258 hp
- 1-Speed Automatic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Rear Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Back Up Camera
- Blind Spot Sensor
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- LED Lights
- Lane Departure Warning
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Motor: AC Permanent Magnet
- Transmission: 1-Speed Automatic
- Rear-Wheel Drive
- 9.00 Axle Ratio
- 33-Amp/Hr Maintenance-Free Battery
- 3 Skid Plates
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front Anti-Roll Bar
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- Double Wishbone Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Regenerative 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Lithium Ion Traction Battery
- Wheels: 18" Aero
- Tires: 18"
- Wheels w/Gray Accents
- Clearcoat Paint
- Fixed Glass 1st Row Sunroof
- Fixed Glass 2nd Row Sunroof
- Body-Colored Front Bumper
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Chrome Side Windows Trim
- Chrome Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power w/Tilt Down Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
- Trunk Rear Cargo Access
- Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
- Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto-Leveling Auto High-Beam Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: Basic Audio System -inc: standard maps and navigation, music and media over Bluetooth and 4 USB ports
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
- Window Grid Antenna
- 7 Speakers
- 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
- Front Bucket Seats -inc: custom driver profiles
- 6-Way Driver Seat -inc: Manual Recline, Height Adjustment and Fore/Aft Movement
- 6-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline, Height Adjustment and Fore/Aft Movement
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Traction Battery Level, Power/Regen, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Leatherette Steering Wheel
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Doors And Power On
- Valet Function
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy and Illuminated Entry
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Power Charge Port Door
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Distance Pacing w/Traffic Stop-Go
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning w/Steering Wheel Controls
- HVAC -inc: Console Ducts
- Illuminated Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Piano Black Console Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Cloth Door Trim Insert
- Cloth Seat Trim
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination, Driver And Passenger Auxiliary Mirror
- Full Floor Console w/Storage and 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate and Windows
- Tracker System
- Smart Device Integration
- Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Digital Display
- Fixed Front Head Restraints and Fixed Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Engine Immobilizer
- 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Front And Rear Parking Sensors
- Blind Spot Sensor
- Forward Collision Mitigation and Rear Collision Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Departure Warning
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
- Power Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera
- Front Camera
- Left Side Camera
- Right Side Camera