2021 Tesla Model 3 Electric

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in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$39,990 - $56,990
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6.7

Overall Rating

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2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020
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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

If there has been one brand that has been pioneering the electrification of global automobiles, it has to be Elon Musk’s Tesla. Right from the Model “S” sedan in 2012 to the recent SUVs like the model X and Y, Tesla has shown how futuristic, powerful, performing, stylish as well as practical electric mobility could be. Its latest Cyber Truck further went on to put a full-stop to every mushrooming question of the potency and capability of electric vehicles. However, with the onslaught of the new era of “smart mobility”, buyers were also concerned about the expensive price tag of the new technology. This was exactly the time around 2017 when Tesla launched its most affordable Model 3 sedan. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Affordable and efficient

Futuristic and practical cabin

Impressive handling and acceleration

Exemplar autonomous specs with the best safety scores

Over-the-air installation of feature updates

Cons

Absence of a separate instrument cluster.

No hard buttons or dials

Charging time and costs are high

What's New?

Updated Auto pilot features

New battery pack expected


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric in Deep Blue Metallic color 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric in Midnight Silver Metallic color 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric in Pearl White Multi-Coat color 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric in Red Multi-Coat color 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric in Solid Black color
Deep Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Interior

8.0

Exterior

8.0

6.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Standard Plus

Standard Plus

power
243 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$39,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Standard Range Plus 4dr Sedan (electric DD) Starting at $39,990 MSRP (2/23/27) 243 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 7

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Long Range

Long Range

power
243 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$48,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) Starting at $48,990 MSRP (2/23/27) 243 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt all wheel drive 7

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Performance

Performance

power
243 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$56,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) Starting at $56,990 MSRP (2/23/27) 243 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 7

Expert Review

6.7

Overall Rating


Priced in the bracket of $35-40k, the Model 3 beautifully brought out the essence of Tesla as a brand in a compact yet less pricier package. A comfortable, luxurious and efficient sedan with a wide array of available customizations catering to the largest possible buyer spectrum. Its elite hereditary traits were further accentuated by its fun and peppy character,driving engagement and leaping forward technology.

For those likely to switch to the smarter segment, the Model 3 put forth an irresistible presentation. Four years into its sale and production now, it has served its purposes and kept its promises very efficiently. Few months down the line, Tesla is now expected to release the 2021 Model 3 sedan. Mostly supposed to be a carry over from the 2020 model, the 2021 Model 3 does have some whirling winds moving around itself. Let's take a quick look at what the 2021 Tesla Model 3 could look like. 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Sedan Front View
2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Sedan Rear View

 
 
 

8.0/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Features

The 2020 Model 3 comes in three different trim levels; Standard Range Plus, Long Range, and the Performance trim. With no alterations, we would get the 2021 Model 3 in the exact same configuration. While the Standard Range Plus gets an RWD drivetrain and an electric motor, the Long Range and Performance trims get two electric motors with an AWD drivetrain. The trims do not vary much with specs but differ in terms of performance figures like MPGE or top speed or range or so. The Long Range trim seems to be better equipped and well-priced and seems to balance performance and looks. 

Trim Standard Range Plus Long Range Performance
MSRP $39.190 $48,190 $48,890
Key Features 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones Satellite View Maps with Live visualization and navigation Satellite View Maps with Live visualization and navigation
  19” Sport Wheels 19” Sport Wheels 20” Performance Wheels
  12-way power-adjustable heated front seats 12-way power-adjustable front and rear heated seats 12-way power-adjustable front and rear heated seats
  LED Fog lamps In-car internet streaming music and media with internet browser In-car internet streaming music and media with internet browser
  Center Console with storage  14 Speaker including subwoofer  14 Speaker including subwoofer 

*2020 year data used for reference

Expected Price and Release date of the 2021 Tesla Model 3

The 2021 model is expected to be priced the same as the 2020 year model. As of now, no changes or pricing has been officially declared ahead of the much-awaited release. However, the prices are expected to start at $40,000 for the Standard Range Plus trim, which goes up to $48,190 for the Long-Range trim. The Performance trim should cost you around $48,890. The model is expected to be released by the end of 2020. 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Engine and Performance

No probable changes and the 2021 Tesla Model shall feature its familiar electric engine. The engine in the 2020 model makes 258 hp and 317 lb-fts of torque. The numbers should be identical in the 2021 model as well.

The EV gets a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive with a 1-speed direct-drive transmission. Standard Range Plus gets standard RWD drivetrain and the Long Range and Performance trims also add FWD as standard. However, the Long Range and Performance trims get the Dual Motor, along with the AWD that makes them capable of pumping out 340hp and 450hp respectively. The Tesla vehicles do offer extreme-quality rides and performance and make the buyer satisfied to the extreme extent. The speedy rides are extensively smooth, silent, and sporty. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

MSRP

$39,190

$38,500

$37,495

$30,700

Engine

Electric

Electric

Permanent Magnet Drive Motor

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor

Drivetrain

RWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

Power (hp @ rpm)

258 @ 0

201 @ 0

200 @ 0

134 @ 0

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

317 @ 0

291 @ 0

266 @ 0

218 @ 0

A close look at the competition reveals the Tesla Model 3’S clear edge in terms of power as well as torque figures. The impressive performance specs give a better advantage to Model 3 and make it out as one of the best EVs at the price. The Kia Niro and Chevrolet Bolt have comparable power and torque values but not enough to take on Model 3.

How quick is the 2021 Tesla Model 3?

The 2020 Tesla Model 3 can sprint to 60 mph from a perfect rest within 4.6 seconds. That's enough swiftness to baffle any sports car to shame for sure. That's electric propulsion for you and with no mechanical tweaks, the number should be the same for the 2021 Tesla Model 3 as well.

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric sedan covers 0-60 in 4.6 sec

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

0-60 MPH (secs)

4.6

6.7

6.5

9.9

Quarter Mile (secs)

13.3

15.3

14.9

17.4

Top Speed (MPH)

140

125

93

103

Engine

Electric

Electric

Permanent Magnet Drive Motor

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor

More power, more performance. The EV equation is straight and simple here. The 2020 Model 3 completely dominates its rivals in terms of acceleration. Thanks to its powerful independent motors at the back and front which are always ready to splash an instantaneous wave of pure electric thrust.

How well does the 2021 Tesla Model 3 brake?

The 2020 Tesla Model 3 shows decent braking performance and it promises the same for 2021 as well. The electric sedan comes equipped with 12.6-inch rotors at the back and 13.2 at the rear. Not to forget, it has the largest set of discs in its class. The car gets powerful four-piston front brakes with fixed calipers. No signs of brake fade at all and the pedal is reassuringly firm and easy to modulate as well. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Brake Front (in)

12.6

11

NA

11.2

Brake Rear (in)

13.2

10.3

NA

11.2

Curb Weight (lbs)

3549

NA

3563

3164

60-0 MPH (ft)

119

131

132

NA

Among its rivals, no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 seems to be the best in terms of braking. The 2020 Model 3 stops from 60 mph to 0 in the shortest distance among its segment which stands at 119 feet. While complete braking data for the Hyundai Ioniq are yet to be released, the Kia and Chevy seem to lag far behind Tesla in the braking test. 

How well does the 2021 Tesla Model 3 handle?

It's a Tesla after all and excellent driving dynamics and engagement does come standard with it. No surprise, the 2020 Tesla Model 3 stays very firm and planted on the go. A lowered suspension, carbon-fiber rear spoiler and independent torque-delivery not only helps its performance but also handling and stability. The available traction control and AWD further enhance it hold on most surfaces. Potholes and road undulations are dealt with ease but being electric you do hear the audible interaction between the wheels and larger obstacles inside the cabin. With extremely efficient aerodynamics and multiple steering modes, the Model 3 negotiates with curves and twisty sections like a pro. Overall, the ride is smooth and comfortable with its own quirks of an EV but surely has a distinct sporty flavor into it. With almost no changes coming up, we expect the 2021 Tesla Model 3 to show similar obedience. 

 The 2020 Tesla Model 3 stays very firm and planted on the go

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Fuel Economy

The 2020 Tesla Model 3 has been keeping the promise of delighting its buyers with an almost unrealistic economy and driving range. The engine gets you extremely good MPGE figures. Model 3 gives you 148/132/141 Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGE) figures. Not only that, the Tesla also offers a best-in-class range of 322 miles. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

MPGE (City)

148

123

128

145

MPGE (Highway)

132

102

110

121

MPGE (Combined)

141

112

119

136

Range (miles)

322

239

259

170

In the EV infrastructure, economy and range are direct factors of the battery pack. However, the decreasing battery potency does necessitate an updated battery, not only for Tesla but also for all the EV manufacturers. Well, rumors have it that Tesla is going to upgrade the battery pack in the 2021 Model 3 of which we are yet to know the complete details. However, the overwhelming update sounds like a reason, good enough to wait for the 2021 Model 3.

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Interior

8.0/10

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 shall continue to ooze buyers with its upscale and futuristic cabin. The cabin is neatly laid out with a minimalistic theme that looks very stylish. Moreover, the white soft-touch surfaces give it a very distinctive upscale look. No buttons and the dashboard is highlighted by a large touchscreen that reciprocates well witty its overall character.

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric sedan Front Seats

Both the rows of seats are very supportive and comfortable over long journeys and also have very good padding and under-thigh support. Apart from the rich and supple interior ambience you also get plenty of creature comforts. The Model 3’s cabin cherishes you with automatic climate-control, interior air filtration, leatherette surfaces, heated front and second row seats as well as split-folding rear seatback. The pillars around are also thin that allow for good outward visibility. The large panoramic sunroof carved in the full-glass roof also adds to the airiness inside. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder room/Legroom) (in)

40.3/56.3/42.7

40.1/56.0/41.7

39.7/54.6/41.6

39.1/56.1/42.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder room/Legroom) (in)

37.7/54.0/35.2

37.7/55.1/36.0

37.9/52.8/36.5

37.4/55.0/35.7

Overall, the interiors of the Tesla Model 3 is certainly more upscale, futuristic and comfortable than that of its rivals. While its second row seat might not be as roomer as the Chevrolet Bolt, it does have the best in class front seat headroom and legroom. With its added dose of premiumness, the Model 3 is a more happy companion on longer trips over its rivals.

The interior features of the 2021 Tesla Model 3 are:

  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Split-folding rear-seatback
  • Interior air filtration
  • Black or white or both colors in the interiors
  • All-glass roof with panoramic sunroof
  • Center console with storage space
  • Auto climate-control
  • Leatherette surfaces
  • 8-way power front seats

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 Tesla Model 3?

Tesla Model 3 comes with a standard 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which handles and controls almost all the functions in the car with ease. Google navigation system is a notable standard company with the system.. The system also gets voice controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The most affordable Tesla car also gets features like Wi-Fi hotspot facility, 15-speaker audio system, four standard USB ports, and many more. One can’t find the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in Model 3, disappointingly. Tesla also offers a subscription-based Premium connectivity package for $9.99 per month which gets you video streaming capability, satellite-view maps and live traffic visualization. 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Sedan Dashboard

The infotainment screen is sharp, crisp and fairly responsive as well. And why not, it is the brain of the car which controls it entirely. Though we would most likely be getting the same infotainment package in the 2021 model, some changes have been on the cards recently. The 2021 Tesla Model 3 is expected to add up some features like “Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change and Autopark in both parallel and perpendicular spaces’. Optimism aside, we could only wait till this deadly year ends, to finally get a glimpse of the updated 2021 Model 3. However, for the time being, some of the major highlights of the 2020 Tesla Model 3 are mentioned below for reference.

  • 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Google-based navigation system
  • Voice controls and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wi-Fi hotspot 
  • 15-speaker audio system
  • 4 USB ports

How much cargo can the 2021 Tesla Model 3 carry?

Tesla Model 3 is not the best in terms of cargo-carrying capacity. It has the least cargo space in the segment, specifically at 15 cubic feet. That doesn't seem like a grouse, considering the overall delightful and tech-laden overall character of the affordable Tesla. The primary compartment might be small, but the trunk floor has a deep compartment beneath, for improving the cargo volume. Thankfully, the split-folding rear seatback can be dropped down to access a generously handy storage area. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Cargo Capacity (cu. ft)

15

19.4

16.9

23

Its rivals on the other hand, are more promising in the storage department. All the other three-cars offer better cargo space than the Model 3. The Hyundai ioniq tops the list with its crossover-like 23.0 cu-fts of space behind the rear seats.

What are the other storage spaces inside?

Tesla Model 3’s cabin also has a good sense of practicality. What it means is that you get many convenient storage spaces within the cabin. The center console gets covered storage spaces. You also get cupholders in front of the armrest which lets you easily place your cups. The rear doors also get spacious pockets that improve practicality.

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Exterior

8.0/10

2021 Tesla Model 3 is expected to have the least changes in exterior compared to the previous versions. However, that's not a bad thing at all. The electrical vehicle looks already very imposing and premium with its large proportions and elegant creases. Drawing inspiration from its larger sibling, the Model S, the Model 3 is sts even lower to the ground than its larger sibling. Look up close at the front and you are reminded of elements from somewhat different cars. 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Sedan Three Quarter View

The curvy bonnet with edgy lines and raised brows housing the sleek and triangular headlamps remind you of Porsches. The slimmer lower air intake has some hint of a Mustang into it. However, we are used to by now with Tesla’s signature styling cues that have now been centric to the aspiring EV industry. Move to the side and you are introduced to its jaw-dropping profile. A curved and sloping all-glass roof along with the muscular shoulder line running all the way from the hood to the tail looks very bold yet stylish. Also, the available 19” inch sport wheels and chrome-wrapped window-line adds an elevated sense of premiumness into it. 

Models

2021 Tesla Model 3 (expected)

2020 Kia Niro EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Curb Weight (lbs)

3549

NA

3563

3164

Length (in)

184.8

172.2

164.0

176.0

Width (in)

72.8

71.1

69.5

71.7

Height (in)

56.8

61.4

62.8

57.1

Ground Clearance (in)

NA

6.1

NA

5.5

Wheelbase (in)

113.2

106.3

102.4

106.3

At the rear though, things are pretty clean and minimal. Wide rear section with raised edges along with slim LED lights and a carbon-fiber spoiler makes it look clean yet aggressive from the back. Overall, just like its other siblings, the Tesla Model 3 does a very good job of distinguishing itself from its rivals. Unlike some sense of “conservatism” in the profile of its rivals, the Model 3 flashes a very trendy and unique profile. 

The major exterior features include:

  • Speed sensitive wipers
  • LED Headlamp
  • Daytime running lamps
  • Heated mirror
  • 19” sport wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear defroster
  • Chrome accents

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Safety

Safety is always the greatest priority for Tesla cars and each of them has very aptly served the purpose. The Model 3 is no different and one of the safest cars in its segment indeed.he car comes with Autonomous driving technology which enhances safety, and Autopilot feature to make your rides less troublesome. The driver gets 360-degree visibility and forward-facing Radar that helps monitor all around visibility, without any struggles. The car also gets 12 Ultrasonic sensors that aid you in hassle-free driving. The best part is the Autopilot technology, the Future of Driving, which enhances safety and convenience that keeps an assistive eye on almost everything going in and around the car. 

With reinforced chassis and independent battery packs at the front and rear, the Model 3 further strengthens its safety cage. Not to forget, it does come with most of the safety equipment that one would expect at the price. No surprises, the 2020 tesla Model 3 earned a 5-star rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ recognition by IIHS. With such strong safety screening, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 should also offer you a similar peace of mind. We will surely have a detailed peek into the 2021 variant, once it's launched. Till we dont, some notable safety features of the 2020 Tesla Model 3 are listed below for reference.

  • Autopark and lane-keep assist
  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Stability and traction control
  • Forward Facing Radar
  • 12 Ultrasonic sensors
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Blind spot warning accident avoidance system
  • Pre-collision safety system

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Competition

2021 Tesla Model 3 vs 2020 Kia Niro EV

The Kia Niro EV is a good EV but fails to hit the sales because of less impressive performance specs. However, it does fit into the budget of an average EV buyer and offers good driving range as well. Scoring high on practicality, the Niro EV also offers the best in class cargo space. However, among the two Tesla offers most power and torque. It also comes with Tesla Autopilot making it a great value proposition. Above all, it's the luxury and comfortable attributes of the Tesla which the Niro misses out by a great margin. 

2020 Kia Niro EV

2021 Tesla Model 3 vs 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV 

The Chevy Bolt EV is another popular EV that offers very balanced specs in the price range. Even though it doesn’t seem to be a perfectionist, figures show the car is highly capable and practical. The range and efficiency figures are also impressive. It is also the second-longest running EV in the competition just after Model 3. However, when pitched against the Tesla Model 3, the futuristic, comfort and premium Tesla, topples the Bolt in almost every single aspect.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV 

2021 Tesla Model 3 vs 2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV 

The Ioniq EV is yet another capable and one of the recent entrants into the EV league. Car. It also churns out some very good sales numbers. The Ioniq checks almost all the basic boxes expected from it with a good sense of balance. The car gets contemporary looks, moderate interiors, and a fairly ample suite of tech and safety features. The aforementioned attributes sound lucrative enough to the average EV buyer in the market. However, no matter what value and proposition the Ioniq might pack, messing-up with the Tesla Model 3 still needs a very significant effort. No mentioning the fact that each and every Tesla is the master of its respective segment with no other rival getting close to it. 

2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV 

2021 Tesla Model 3 electric Final Verdict

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 is the most awaited budget EVs in the US markets. Though it should remain mostly unchanged in its new model year, the whispers of its possible new battery pack are enough to make fanboys drool over it again. Update or not, it already holds the crown of the best EV under $40k range. It has a futuristic design inside and out, it looks and feels very premium, is very comfortable, promises sports car-like performance and is loaded with tech as well. Above all, being a Tesla, it does get over-the-air updates throughout the year, much like your smartphone though.

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