This entry-level car is the most popular in the range for a very good reason. Despite offering an outstanding driving range and well above par features and performance, the Model 3 RWD wears an MSRP of $65,500.
That makes it one of the most affordable EVs you can buy in Australia, although the final price-tag will vary depending on where the car is delivered. In NSW where we tested the Model 3, the final price comes to just $66,776 thanks to a stamp duty exemption (-$2540) and a $3000 rebate currently in place.
The Rear Wheel Drive has been updated this year with a new battery with an alternate LFP chemistry, which has increased the WLTP-certified driving range to 491km on a single charge. It’s a lot of range, and one of the Tesla’s key advantages over its most direct rivals at this price.
Its most prime rival is the newcomer from Sweden via China, the Polestar 2, which mimics the Tesla’s pricing strategy. The base Polestar 2 is a front-wheel drive offering also from $63,900, but to get close to matching the equipment level of our Tesla here, it requires the optional Pilot safety pack, adding a further $5000 to the price.
The biggest threat to the Model 3’s dominance comes from within the brand’s own ranks, with the Model Y shooting to the top of buyers lists wherever it launches. Read our launch review of the Model Y here.
Standard stuff for the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive includes a massive 15-inch multimedia touchscreen with always-online connectivity, built-in navigation, a comprehensive host of apps which many rivals don’t have, LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic hubcaps, ‘vegan’ leather interior trim, power adjust front seats, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats all-round.
The app for this car deserves a special mention. It is one of the best executions of an automotive phone app on the market, offering you the ability to control many of the car’s functions remotely, as well as offering in-depth information on charging. More on this later.
Ironically, for a car with such a great software suite, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. Tesla is betting you’ll use built-in versions of key apps like Spotify, and use your phone with the more basic Bluetooth functions. Tough luck I guess if you often rely on your favourite iOS app, built-in music apps, or an app that the Tesla doesn’t support.