Tesla has started production for its Model 3, the company’s first mass-market vehicle, and it’s a clear winner on baseline specs.
The base Model 3 starts at $35,000 and crushes most of the competition when it comes to range, power, and speed. The Chevy Bolt is the only caveat, edging out the Model 3’s range by 18 miles, but it doesn’t match on performance.
The Model 3 has received rave reviews from people who have gotten behind the wheel. It resembles a smaller version of the Model S while still boasting the raw power and performance consumers expect from Tesla vehicles. At a first glance, the Model 3 is a knock-out among consumer friendly, electric vehicles.
The sedan also comes equipped with the hardware to support Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot features, arguably the most sophisticated autonomous tech platform current on the market. Like all Tesla vehicles, it also has access to the company’s massive Supercharger network for a small fee.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that the base trim for the Model 3 is pretty basic.
Most will want to purchase the Model 3’s Premium package for features that are usually standard, like the ability to adjust the front seats and side mirrors automatically. Other options, like a paint job outside the standard black, are extra. Autopilot will kick the price up an additional $5,000.
All in, the Model 3 starts to look like a $50,000 vehicle.
For those who can swing it, that’s perfectly fine. Tesla, however, has put itself in a strange place: the Model 3’s specs easily beat other mass-market cars in the space, but it’s not exactly priced like one. The car will also not be delivered until at least mid-2018 for people who order today.