You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The "$35,000" Tesla Model 3 Is No More, and It Seems That It Never Was

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 4/12/2019 Joey Capparella
a close up of a car: The Tesla Model 3 is getting updates already, with the long-promised "$35,000" Standard Range now no longer available and the new least expensive version now available only by special order.© Tesla The Tesla Model 3 is getting updates already, with the long-promised "$35,000" Standard Range now no longer available and the new least expensive version now available only by special order.
  • Tesla has changed around the Model 3 lineup, raising prices due to newly standard Autopilot and removing the least expensive Standard Range model from its online ordering
  • The Standard Range car, which will now cost more than the originally promised $35,000 base price ($36,200 with destination), will now only be available by special order.
  • Tesla says that the first deliveries of the Standard Range and Standard Range Plus vehicles will begin this weekend.

Just eight weeks after Tesla finally announced the long-promised “$35,000” version of the Model 3, it is rejiggering the lineup and removing the least expensive Standard Range model from its online ordering. Tesla says the Standard Range car is now only available by special order either over the phone or at a physical Tesla store. Its base price will also increase because all Model 3s now come standard with Autopilot driver-assist functionality, previously a $3000 option. Tesla isn't saying how much more the base SR car will cost, but we're guessing it will now be $38,200 given the $2000 price increase Tesla bestowed upon the Standard Range Plus model to reflect the newly standard equipment. We reached out to Tesla for clarification and did not receive a response.

Research

This Standard Range Plus Model 3 is now the least expensive version available to order online and it now costs $40,700. It comes with what Tesla calls a "Partial Premium interior," which includes power front seats, leatherette upholstery, an upgraded audio system, and navigation.

This calls into question whether Tesla actually built or delivered any of the originally announced Standard Range Model 3 vehicles to customers. We're not sure if these stripped-out vehicles with cloth interiors ever existed in the first place, as Tesla says the special-order Standard Range cars will now be Standard Range Plus cars with a software-limited battery that provides a bit less range.

We reported a few weeks ago about Model 3 buyers who were complaining about delayed deliveries of their vehicles after Tesla initially promised that the Standard Range cars would ship within 2 to 4 weeks. Tesla now says that the first Standard Range cars will deliver to customers this weekend, but it's unclear if this shipment will include any of the cloth-interior cars, as we found many examples of customers who ordered these base cars getting calls from Tesla attempting to persuade them into opting for the Standard Range Plus model.

The other models now available online include the Long Range and the Performance, both of which now come standard with all-wheel drive. Tesla says the rear-wheel-drive Long Range model is also now special-order-only.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Car and Driver

Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon