What is the Cheapest Tesla? A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re interested in buying a Tesla, you may be wondering what the cheapest option is. Tesla offers several models at different price points, so it can take time to determine which one is right for you. 

The cheapest Tesla model is the Model 3, a rear-wheel drive starting at $60,000 AU. You also have the option of the Long Range version of the Model 3, an all-wheel drive that has an extra 135 km of range on a fully charged battery for just $20,000 more. 

Want to learn the differences between the Tesla Model 3 vehicles and which is best for you? In this article, we’re going to cover the differences between the Model 3 variants, as well as the pros and cons you need to know before purchasing this vehicle. 


Tesla Model 3 Price and Options Overview

If you’re looking for the cheapest Tesla, the Model 3 is the way to go. It’s Tesla’s entry-level sedan and has a starting price of $39,990. However, there are a few different versions of the Model 3, so let’s break them down to see which one is the cheapest.


Standard Range 

The Standard Range version of the Model 3 is the cheapest one you can buy today. It has a starting price of $39,990 and comes with a single motor that powers the rear wheels. It has an EPA-estimated range of 440 km on a single charge, which is more than enough for most people’s daily commutes.

The Standard Range version also comes with Tesla’s Partial Premium Interior, which includes 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats, a seven-speaker audio system, and a tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection. 

It also comes with Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, which includes features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.


Long Range

If you want more range, you can upgrade to the Long Range version of the Model 3. It has a starting price of $53,990 and comes with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that provides better traction and handling in all weather conditions. 

It has an EPA-estimated range of 575 km on a single charge, one of the longest ranges available, which is a key concern for many drivers when purchasing an electric car from any manufacturer on the market today.

The Long Range version also comes with Tesla’s Premium Interior, which includes a seven-speaker premium audio system, heated rear seats, and a premium centre console with storage, docking for two smartphones, and wireless charging. 

It also comes with Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability, which includes features like automatic lane changing, summon, and advanced parking assist.


Model Standard Range Long Range
Price  $60,000 AUD $82,000 AUD
Motor Single Dual
Drive Rear All-Wheel
Range 440 km 575 km


Maintenance and Repair Costs

One of the benefits of owning an electric vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 is that it requires less maintenance than a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle. Less frequent maintenance and servicing appointments combined with no reliance on petrol or diesel make it much more economical long-term.


The Model 3’s regenerative braking system helps reduce wear and tear on the brakes, and the lack of an internal combustion engine means there are fewer parts that can break down.

However, it’s important to note that Tesla vehicles are still relatively new, and there may be some maintenance and repair costs associated with owning one. The cost of repairing a Tesla Model 3 can be higher than that of some other vehicles due to the specialised parts and technology used in the vehicle.


Overall, while the initial cost of a Tesla Model 3 may be higher than that of some other vehicles, the long-term savings on fuel and maintenance costs and the environmental benefits of driving an electric vehicle may make it a worthwhile investment.


Tesla Model 3 Pros and Cons

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding if the Tesla Model 3 is right for you. While this vehicle has many positives, there are some drawbacks you need to consider before committing to a purchase. 


Pros of the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is a testament to how far electric vehicles have come, with a range of appealing positives, including: 

  • Performance – Many owners of the Tesla Model 3 rave about the car’s performance and technology. The Model 3 is the benchmark for an affordable electric vehicle with all the internal technology you would want, with performance rivalling high-end vehicles from competing manufacturers. 
  • Driving Experience – The Model 3’s acceleration and handling make for a fun driving experience, while its electric powertrain provides a smooth ride. Very few vehicles can match such a smooth and rewarding drive in the same price range. 
  • Features – Additionally, the Model 3 has advanced features such as Autopilot, which can assist with driving on highways and in traffic. Advanced technological features improve the vehicle’s overall safety, prioritising the most important factor when driving; safety. 
  • Range – Another major selling point for the Model 3 is its range. The car can travel up to 420 km on a single charge, making it a practical option for daily driving and road trips. Charging the car is also relatively easy, with access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.


Cons of the Tesla Model 3

While there are many positives to the Tesla Model 3, there are a few notable downsides, including:

  • Design – Some owners find the minimalist design and lack of physical buttons confusing and difficult to use. 
  • Build Quality – The car’s build quality has been criticised by some owners, with reports of issues such as paint defects and panel gaps.
  • Cost – Another consideration is the cost of the Model 3. While it is more affordable than Tesla’s other models, it is still a relatively expensive car. 
  • Maintenance Frequency – Additionally, some owners have reported high maintenance and repair costs for the car, especially repairs related to the battery


Is the Tesla Model 3 Worth It?

The Model 3 is the entry-level Tesla, and it is the cheapest in the Tesla lineup, receiving high marks from many owners for its performance and technology. If you can get past the initial cost and the minimalistic design, this electric vehicle is a worthy investment. 


On the one hand, the Model 3 offers exceptional range, solid performance, and a comfortable luxurious interior. On the other hand, it’s not the cheapest electric car on the market, and insurance rates can be high. For those looking to make a move into the world of electric vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is a reliable, consistent vehicle well worth the time and money. 


Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

What is the cheapest Tesla