2018 Tesla Model 3 Electric

#118
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL
$44,000 - $55,000 See Inventory Prices

7.2

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

With many European car giants like Porsche pushing aggressively towards an electric future, the Americans aren’t much behind in this aspect. The Elon Musk headed and owned Tesla seems to be leaps ahead of any competition at this point and with only a few variants Tesla has managed to capture and change people’s perception of electric cars.

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Pros

Impressive price in spite of so much technology and features

Stunning performance compared to other electric vehicles

Houses very advanced techs and options

Satisfying driving experience

Cons

Lack of interior storage and cargo capacity

Large touchscreen takes time to get used to

Few ergonomic idiosyncrasies

Durability can be a little concerning

What's New?

Tesla follows a philosophy of not updating their automobiles year-wise but rather they believe in model-wise upgrade and hence, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan is an all-new version.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric in Solid Black color  2018 Tesla Model 3 electric in Red Multi-Coat color  2018 Tesla Model 3 electric in Pearl White Multi-Coat color  2018 Tesla Model 3 electric in Midnight Silver Metallic color  2018 Tesla Model 3 electric in Deep Blue Metallic color
Solid Black

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

Exterior

6.7

Engine

6.7

Comfort

4.0

Features

7.9

Interior

7.3

Fuel Economy

9.5

Driving

8.1

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Performance

Performance

power
N/A
fuel
N/A
mpg
N/A

$44,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (Electric) Starting at $44,000 MSRP N/A N/A
See Full Specs
N/A N/A N/A NA

 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric LONG RANGE

LONG RANGE

power
518 hp
fuel
Electric fuel
mpg
130 combined

$49,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LONG RANGE 4dr Sedan (Electric) Starting at $49,000 MSRP (136/130/123) 518 hp, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive all wheel drive 5 NA

 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric LONGE RANGE

LONGE RANGE

power
N/A
fuel
N/A
mpg
N/A

$55,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LONG RANGE 4dr Sedan AWD (Electric) Starting at $55,000 MSRP N/A N/A
See Full Specs
N/A N/A N/A NA

Top Tesla Cars

2018 Tesla Model S electric
8.7/10

MPG: 103 combined

2017 Tesla Model S electric
8.5/10

MPG: 99 combined

2017 Tesla Model X electric
7.9/10

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial May 14, 2019

7.2

Overall Rating


7.9/10
Features

 

6.7/10
Engine

 

9.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.3/10
Interior

 

6.7/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

Starting at $44,000 the Tesla Model 3 finds the right balance between luxury and sports which seldom happens at this price point. Model 3 runs on an electric engine which in turn is supported by its 1-speed direct drive transmission and sens power directly to its rear wheel drive system.

Tesla has also expressed interest in expanding to other countries, although not every country has the infrastructure to support EVs at the moment. Nevertheless, it does seem like Tesla would enjoy great popularity overseas as well if they get the opportunity.

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Features

7.9/10

Trim

Long Range

Standard

MSRP

(FWD)

$44,000

$35,000

Key Features

The Premium Upgrade package (mandatory for 2018 models) adds LED fog lights,

tinted glass, heated and power-folding auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a panoramic glass roof, heated seats, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, a covered center console, driver-seat memory functions and a premium audio system.

Also available is the Enhanced Autopilot option that adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic lane changing and self-parking. A full self-driving capability option is also offered for when this feature is eventually activated. Nineteen-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.

Standard technology features include a 15-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with real-time traffic, voice activation, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote control of some systems via a Smartphone app, a rearview camera, and a seven-speaker audio system with internet streaming radio and two USB ports. Standard safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with collision avoidance, and lane departure warning.

 

Both the trims of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan are powered by the single electric motor and a long-range lithium ion battery pack is its power source. The single speed transmission and rear wheel drive are common for both.

We recommend

We recommend the Long Range trim of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan that comes with an optional Premium Upgrade package featuring 19-inch wheels, enhanced autopilot, and full self-driving capability.

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Engine

6.7/10

2018 is the first full year of production for Tesla's Model 3. While at the time of this review the long-promised standard Model 3 with 220 miles of range has yet to materialize, the initial single-motor drive with a long-range battery has been joined by a new dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) version and an available light-color interior. - Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

The powerful 258 horsepower electric motor of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan smoothly gains the speed and is exceptionally quiet when doing so. It provides a strong torque right away and it is very responsive even at slow speeds. There is no shifting, thanks to the direct drive transmission and the transmission from acceleration to higher speeds is quite easy to manage.

Models

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

MSRP

$35,000

$44,450

$30,680

$36,620

Engine

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Transmission

Automatic

Automatic

Automatic

Automatic

Horsepower

258 hp

170 hp

170 hp

200 hp

Torque

NA

184 lb-ft

187 lb-ft

266 lb-ft

Among all the four electric vehicles, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan proves to have that best performing engine with the highest horsepower of 258. It is followed by the Chevrolet Bolt with a horsepower output of 200. Sharing a fairly engine power are the BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf with an equal horsepower of 170. So quite evidently, we know who wins the race in this aspect.

Acceleration

The 258 horsepower electric motor of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan generates ample thrust and due to the absence of shifting interruptions, it moves out seamlessly and puts out a smooth acceleration. Addition to the better acceleration is the rear-wheel drive which contributes significantly towards balancing the vehicle and giving the driver enough confidence to race down the road. The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan is a strategically crafted amalgamation of responsive acceleration and confident cornering, and even though it's not an ideal sport sedan, it is definitely among the fastest electric vehicles in the market.

Models

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

0-60 MPH

4.6

7.0

6.3

6.5

Quarter mile

13.3

15.6

17.3

14.9

Engine

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

NA

NA

NA

NA

As discussed above, leading the table with the strongest engine, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan has the best initial acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in a whopping 4.6 seconds and it outperforms all of its rivals by quite a margin as the second fastest in the lot is the Nissan Leaf with a timing of 6.3 seconds to reach the 60 mph mark. With a difference of only a couple of milliseconds, the Chevrolet Bolt comes third in hitting 60 mph in 6.5 seconds whereas the BMW i3 turns out to be the slowest among the four with an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds.

Over a quarter mile, things don't change at all for the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan as it still is the fastest to cover the distance in 13.3 seconds. It's a little different for the other three as the Chevrolet manages to bounce back with the second-fastest timing of 14.9 seconds and also the BMW with the slowest acceleration does well over the quarter mile, covering the distance in 15.6 seconds. Last but not the least is the Nissan Leaf which performed better than the other two with its initial acceleration, fails to hold on and becomes the last to cross the quarter-mile mark in 17.3 seconds.

None of the vehicles have any emissions because of their electrical orientation.

Handling and Steering

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan showcases impressive balance during entering a corner, transitioning through the bend and exiting it powerfully. The heavy battery is the reason behind it low-center of gravity and the weight distribution from front to rear is quite uniform. These two aspects are the pillars for its outstanding handling capabilities. The 18-inch wheels can be a little bothering in matters of handling but the optional 19-inch wheels perform better. As for the steering wheel, it is very quick off the center and is nicely weighted with minimal feedback. It offers you three different settings to choose from - Standard, Comfort, and Sport.

Braking

The powerful four-piston front brakes of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan has fixed calipers and is very easy to modulate. However, you wouldn't feel the need of hitting the brakes very often due to the lift-throttle mechanism which features regenerative braking.

Model

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

11.0

11.1

NA

Brake Rear (in.)

13.2

11.0

11.5

NA

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3549

2961

3323

3563

60-0 MPH (ft.)

119

125

129

132

As it is the fastest in accelerating, 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan is the fastest in braking as well. In comparison to its rivals, Tesla brings the car to a halt from 60 mph in just 119 feet. It's followed by the BMW i3 with a distance of 125 feet, which has a lot to do with its light curb weight. Next up is the Nissan Leaf with the third best distance of 129 feet and the Chevrolet Bolt, the heaviest of them all, comes last by stopping at 132 feet when coming down from 60 to 0 mph.

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Fuel Economy

9.5/10

The efficiency of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan along with all the other electric cars is measured by MPGe which is a unit to measure the efficiency of an electric vehicle compared to the gasoline-based cars. The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan has a rating of 130 MPGe, which means it can cover a range of 130 miles from an amount of electrical energy which is equal to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. It has an increased economy of 136 MPGe in cities while is suffers in the highways with 123 MPGe. Other than the Tesla can drive up to a distance of 310 miles on a single charge, longer than any of the other electric vehicles in the market.

 

Model

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

MPG (city)

NA

NA

NA

NA

MPG (highway)

NA

NA

NA

NA

MPG (combined)

NA

NA

NA

NA

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Interior

7.3/10

Seating and comfort

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan has a flat and low interior floor which gives an airy and spacious feel inside. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive although the rear seat suffers from the lack of thigh support and the low bottom cushion leads to an uncomfortable experience. The flat leather seats are broad and are not hard. The seat adjustments are quite simple to manage and are very effective.

Model

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Passenger capacity

5

4

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.6/56.3/42.7

39.6/53.6/40.5

41.2/54.3/42.1

39.7/54.6/41.6

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.7/54.0/35.2

37.2/49.2/31.9

37.3/52.5/33.3

37.9/52.8/36.5

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan along with the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt has a passenger capacity of 5 while the BMW i3 houses only 4 passengers.

As for the front row headroom, the Nissan Leaf takes the spotlight while the Tesla and the BMW share the lowest figures. However, Tesla manages to climb back up with generous legroom while the BMW still suffers.

When we go to the second row, the Chevrolet impresses with the most spacious headroom and legroom, while the BMW continues to suffer in these aspects as well.

Interior Features

  • Bucket front seats
  • Split folding rear seatback
  • Remote keyless power door locks
  • 4 one-touch power windows
  • Rear view camera
  • Electric power steering
  • Climate control
  • Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror

Infotainment

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan comes with a standard 15-inch infotainment system that has nearly all the functions of the car built into it and is well organized and easy to use. It also features a Google-based navigation system and the Premium Upgrades package offers you an updated audio system with a wide spectrum sound.

  • traffic
  • Navigation and voice control
  • Bluetooth phone
  • Mobile Wi-Fi
  • USB port
  • Remote control Smartphone application

Cargo

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan comes with a trunk which can be as spacious as a hatchback. It is wide and broad and also has a secret deep well under the floor of the cargo area. The rear seats when folded flat increase the cargo space significantly.

Model

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Trunk Volume (ft.3)

15.0

15.1

NA

16.9

When compared to the other rivals, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan has the least cargo volume of 15 cubic feet, only a point less than the BMW i3 with 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The Chevrolet Bolt enjoys the most spacious trunk volume with 16.9 cubic feet.

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Exterior

6.7/10

On the inside, you'll likely appreciate the Model 3's minimalist interior design highlighted by a gigantic central touchscreen display. But the touchscreen has some drawbacks. Because Tesla routes almost all of the car's controls through it, you'll often end up having to take your eyes off the road to use them.- Edmunds

Dimensions and Weight

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan enjoys fairly massive exterior dimensions and it just amplifies its presence on the road.

Model

Tesla Model 3 sedan

BMW i3

Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Curb weight (lbs.)

3549

2961

3323

3563

Length(in)

184.8

157.0

175.0

164.0

Width(in)

72.8

70.0

69.7

69.5

Height(in)

56.8

62.0

61.0

62.8

Ground clearance (in)

 

5.5

6.3

 

Wheelbase (in)

113.2

101.0

106.3

102.4

Track width (in) F/R

62.2/62.2

61.9/61.3

60.6/60.4

59.1/59.1

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan boasts to be the longest, widest and has the largest wheelbase along with being the shortest in height among the others. The BMW i3 being the lightest among the four is also short in length and has the least wheelbase. The Nissan Leaf has fairly balanced dimensions meanwhile the Chevrolet Bolt other than being the heaviest in the group is also the tallest and least wide.

Exterior Features

  • Speed sensitive wipers
  • LED headlamp
  • Fixed rear window with defroster
  • Black grille with chrome surround
  • Light tinted glass
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Front fog lamps
  • Trunk rear cargo access

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Safety

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan features quite a number of active safety options and advanced systems like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. The Autopilot feature is the most significant of them all.

  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Forward Collision and Rear Collision
  • Left Side Camera
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Power Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Back-Up Camera
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Front Camera
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Front And Rear Parking Sensors

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Competition

BMW i3

The BMW i3 is reputed as a unique and unconventional electric car. The carbon fiber and aluminum structure of the BMW derives its energy from the 170 horsepower electric motor and has an optional 184 horsepower electric motor allotted to its i3s trim sporty version which has phenomenal driving dynamics and great suspension. When compared to the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan, the BMW has a less powerful engine, slow acceleration, and braking and thus, it needs some tweaking on its end to put up a stronger fight.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is an ideal electric vehicle for everyday usability due to its long driving range. The 40kwh battery runs the electric motor and has an economy of 151 MPGe. It features DC quick charging that has the capability of recharging 90 miles worth of power in 30 minutes. Adding to that, the camera based self-steering lane keeping assist and pro pilots assist adaptive cruise control is optional. In comparison with the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan, it lacks in engine performance, has very poor acceleration and braking and hence, it still doesn't match the standards of the Tesla.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The quick and exciting Chevrolet Bolt is really worth its value, thanks to its floor-mounted battery powering its electric motor and generating a horsepower of 200. It has a range of 190 miles in a single charge and 96 MPGe of efficiency. The acceleration is great and it drives significantly well over rough terrains . The Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible infotainment system has a 10.2-inch touch screen and an additional 8-inch digital gauge are eye-catching interior features. Up against the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Sedan, the engine is less powerful yet decent, the acceleration suffers a little and so does the braking. It does have larger cargo space and hence, all these factors make it the only tough competition with Tesla.

2018 Tesla Model 3 electric Final Verdict

Leading the class with barely any worthy competitors the Tesla reigns supreme quite easily and does not break a sweat whilst doing so too. The car has garnered quite a following in the short time since his inception and passes most of the segment parameters with flying colors. Excellence assured the electric vehicle can be said to futuristic all thanks to the far fetched vision of Elon Musk .