For best value, we would ideally recommend a base, non-Long Range model. The base Model 3 offers 220 miles of range and starts at a BMW-3-Series-slaying price of $36,000 (after a $1,000 destination charge).
But, because the standard Model 3 looks like it won’t even enter production in 2018 – and it’s reserved out well after that – it’s hard to recommend. We would also love to recommend all-wheel drive, but that hasn’t made production yet, either. For now, your only choice is a Model 3 with a Long Range battery and rear-wheel drive, and even for that you’ll have to wait several months. The Model 3 does have the standard features to take on the Germans: an LTE WiFi hotspot, standard navigation, voice activation, a state-of-the-art infotainment system, keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
But if you want some of Tesla’s signature features – like their much-discussed active safety tech – you’ll have to add packages that begin at $5,000. With these restrictions, the least you can currently pay for a Model 3 is $45,000, and the final sticker will likely exceed $50,000. That’s a far cry from the promised base MSRP.
In an effort to stick to the Model 3’s mission, we would keep ours simple:
- Model: 2018 Tesla Model 3
- Engine: 192-kW electric motor
- Output: 271 hp / 307 lb-ft
- Transmission: Single-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
- Fuel Economy: 130 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent)
- Options: None
- Base Price: $36,000 (after $1,000 in destination fees)
- Best Value Price: $36,000