7 Reasons To Avoid A Tesla Model 3 At All Costs

White Tesla Model 3 White on a hilly road with trees in the background

7 Reasons To Avoid A Tesla Model 3 At All Costs

Key Points

  • The Tesla Model 3’s price ranges from $40,000 to over $53,000, making it less affordable than initially advertised.
  • Charging stations are not yet accessible or convenient for everyone nationwide.
  • The Model 3’s range of 272-358 miles per charge falls short compared to rival EVs.

Tesla Model 3 has held the attention of car and tech enthusiasts worldwide since its launch. From its sleek style to innovative features, the Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. However, looking beyond its iconic reputation, you’ll see a less-than-perfect picture. Let’s look at seven reasons why it might be a good idea to avoid a Tesla Model 3 altogether.

Tesla Model 3 Specs: 2023

Model 3Model 3 Long RangeModel 3 Performance
PowertrainSingle-motor RWDDual-motor AWDDual-motor AWD
EPA-Est. Range272 miles per charge358 miles per charge315 miles per charge
0-60 MPH5.8 seconds4.2 seconds3.1 seconds
Top Speed140 MPH145 MPH162 MPH
City/Highway138/126 MPGe134/126 MPGe118/107 MPGe
Battery Warranty8 years/100,000 miles8 years/120,000 miles8 years/120,000 miles
Tax Credit Eligible?YesYesYes

5 Must-Know Facts About the Tesla Model 3

  1. Tesla Model 3 mobile app lets owners control their vehicles remotely. Through the app, Tesla owners can monitor their car’s charging status, pre-condition the interior temperature, lock or unlock the doors, and even locate their vehicle on a map.
  2. Model 3s are equipped with a HEPA air filtration system, which effectively removes fine particulate matter, pollen, bacteria, and even some viruses from interior air, creating a cleaner and healthier driving environment.
  3. Tesla batteries are notorious for spontaneously combusting. As a protective measure, Tesla encases its battery modules in reinforced steel to protect the vehicle from damage in a collision. Still, Tesla fires persist — even with multiple layers of safety measures.
  4. The Tesla Model 3’s Enhanced Autopilot system relies on cameras, sensors, and high-tech software to deliver semi-autonomous driving capabilities. This Model 3 feature can assist with steering, accelerating, and braking on the highway.
  5. Tesla and Elon Musk have long been accused of overstating the car’s true capabilities. A recent recall of all Full Self Driving Beta-equipped Model 3s proves this claim. These particular Model 3s were found to speed over the limit through intersections and stop signs.

The History of the Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3’s path to becoming the most popular electric vehicle ever is paved with bad decisions, shortcomings, and disappointments. It all began in 2014 when controversial Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the EV company’s plans to develop an affordable electric car that could be mass-produced. Naturally, this announcement excited people, especially following the launch of the Model S two years prior in 2012. Unfortunately, some of that excitement was misplaced by consumers and investors alike.

Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in 2016 with an advertised starting price of $35,000. With the success of the Model S and the Model X behind it, the Model 3 was poised to be a massive success. Pre-orders and media attention exceeded all expectations. However, the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3 started to emerge as production began in 2017. Tesla struggled to mass-produce the vehicle to meet the massive demand. This led to supply chain struggles, resulting in delays and quality control issues.

With this, the company and Musk faced some well-deserved criticism. Simply put, consumers and investors felt that Tesla had overpromised but underdelivered. This complaint has stuck with the company and its CEO ever since. Model 3 production did not stabilize until 2018. Against all odds, it still went on to become the best-selling electric vehicle in the world. Even with its higher-than-advertised price and fewer-than-expected features, the Tesla Model 3 is a remarkable milestone in the electric vehicle industry and Tesla’s history.

A white Tesla Model 3 Performance on the road.
The Tesla Model 3 beat the odds, becoming the best-selling EV ever made.


Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model 3

Moving away from the car’s history and basic makeup, let’s explore the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3 at all costs. It’s a tough pill for some, considering it’s a popular model. From pricing to charging, manufacturing flaws to maintenance issues, these are the seven reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3.

The Price

Tesla Model 3 was introduced as an affordable, cost-effective electric sedan at an MSRP of $35,000. However, in 2023, the Tesla Model 3 has a much higher MSRP than that. The base Model 3 costs over $40,000, while Long Range and Performance models cost $47,000 to $53,000. It’s far from the affordable electric sedan it was initially marketed as. More expensive EVs exist on the market, but the inverse is also true. You can find cheaper electric sedans than the Tesla Model 3.

Charging Stations

Another serious qualm with the Tesla Model 3? Tesla’s overall lack of accessible charging stations for all. While the number of charging stations grows, they’re still conveniently placed nationwide. As of June 2022, Tesla had installed over 36,000 Superchargers globally. However, these chargers were confined to approximately 4,000 stations. With more than three million Teslas on the road, it’s clear there’s a serious lack of charging stations. This lack makes for a significant inconvenience.

Battery Range

While the 2023 Tesla Model 3 offers a decent driving range across all three versions, “decent” doesn’t precisely cut it these days. The base Model 3 offers 272 moles per charge, the Performance model offers 315 miles per charge, and the Long Range offers 358 miles per charge. It all looks good on the surface. When you compare that range to rival EVs on the market, you see it’s not quite impressive. Some competitors (and even other Tesla models) offer as much as 400 miles per charge or more.

Customization Options

Another reason to avoid a Tesla Model 3? The car has limited customization options. You may get some customizations with the base model but not the Long Range and Performance models. Other vehicles (both gas and electric) offer more than just three trims. Take a competing sedan, the Toyota Camry, for example. The 2023 model offers over a dozen different trims, not to mention other hybrid models. Beyond this, the Model 3 has a few features, colors, and interior options.

Facade of a Tesla store at night
The Tesla Model 3 has far fewer customization options than other electric and gas vehicles.

©Robert Way/Shutterstock.com

Flaws and Defects

Tesla has long been plagued by glaring flaws and defects due to supply chain issues that led to manufacturing delays and quality control shortcomings. Some have reported Model 3’s upholstery coming apart at the seams. Others say the doors don’t flush with the rest of the trim. Others lament about the materials on the dash feeling cheap and low-quality. Such glaring flaws and defects should not be present at this price point in a car.

Broken Promises

Critics use two words to describe the Tesla brand and Elon Musk on the whole: “overpromising” and “under-delivering.” Time and time again, Tesla has made promises about its vehicles, only to break them later. It began with the retracted $35,000 MSRP, continued with its failure to produce 500,000 Model 3s by its goal, and persists with the broken promise of a fully autonomous Tesla. Truthfully, this bad business practice and perhaps one of the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3.

Maintenance and Repairs

As an electric vehicle, the Model 3 has unique components and systems that differ tremendously from traditional gas-powered cars. Model 3 requires special maintenance and repairs by qualified Tesla technicians. Depending on your location, accessing special Tesla service centers may be tricky. You can expect far longer wait times for repairs and maintenance. No one wants to experience this inconvenience, especially when they use their cars for daily commutes.

Wrapping Up

While Tesla Model 3 is nimble and quick, its shortcomings can influence your buying decision. These downsides can also impact your driving experience. Take time to research and consider all the downsides before making a final decision.

Summary of Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model 3
Tesla charging stations are still not accessible or convenient to everyone nationwide.
Tesla and Elon Musk made many promises about the Model 3 that still have yet to happen.
Latest model’s range is limited to 272-358 miles per charge, which falls short of other rival EVs
Limited customizations, upgrades, and trims to choose from compared to other cars
The latest model’s range is limited to 272-358 miles per charge, which falls short of other rival EVs
Maintenance and repairs for the Model 3 come with long wait times and high prices.
Maintenance and repairs for the Model 3 come with long wait times and high prices

Similar Vehicles

7 Reasons To Avoid A Tesla Model 3 At All Costs FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do you activate cruise control on a Tesla?

To activate cruise control (also known as autopilot) on a Tesla, first push and hold the gear stalk all the way down until you reach your desired speed. Then, release the stalk to set the cruise control at that speed. You can then adjust your speed via the touchscreen or right-hand scroll on the steering wheel as necessary. Push the stalk up once to cancel cruise control.

How do you turn off a Tesla?

Teslas turn off automatically when you exit the vehicle, remove all key cards and close all doors. This means that if you do not remove all key cards, the car will remain both accessible and drivable. You can also power down the vehicle using the touchscreen interface on the dashboard.

How do you open the trunk of a Tesla?

To open the Tesla’s trunk, you must select the command from the touchscreen interface on the dashboard. Alternatively, you can also push the button above the vehicle’s license plate. You can close the trunk by either pushing it down as you would any other trunk, or pressing the button on the inside of the trunk.

Where can you find Tesla charging stations?

Tesla Supercharger stations (which are the fastest charging options available to Tesla drivers) will appear on your navigation map automatically while driving. To locate other available charging stations, you can select “Charging” from the navigation map’s search bar. You can also use voice controls to locate the nearest charging station. There’s also a map of all available charging stations in the Tesla app.

What is the Tesla Toybox?

The Tesla Toybox refers to games, easter eggs, streaming apps, and other fun activities on the Tesla touchscreen interface. The Tesla Toybox is handy while charging the vehicle, keeping you entertained while waiting for your battery to recharge. To access Toybox, select the “More” icon on the touchscreen interface, then select “Toybox.”

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