In 2021, Tesla outsold every premium brand in America except for BMW, and the Tesla Model 3 is one reason why.
A compact electric sedan with seating for five people, the Model 3 is the most affordable Tesla model. Since it debuted for the 2017 model year, it has contributed more to Tesla's success than any other electric vehicle (EV) in the automaker's lineup.
Furthermore, the Model 3 is no longer just for EV early adopters. As the entire auto industry shifts to electrification and consumers increasingly realize that EVs are the future, Tesla sold three times the number of Model 3 sedans in 2021 than BMW did the second-best-selling BMW 3 Series sedan. Think about that.
What's New for the 2022 Tesla Model 3?
Tesla doesn't conduct its business the way other automakers do. Instead, the company performs an over-the-air (OTA) software update when new features are ready, and owners can access them. Aside from meeting regulatory requirements, Tesla doesn't adhere to traditional model-year changeovers.
This year is an exception. The 2022 Tesla Model 3 gets minor styling tweaks inside and out, plus new wheel designs and a power-operated trunk lid. Inside the Model 3's minimalist cabin, a new center console design debuts with wireless charging pads for two smartphones. Range estimates for the base and Long Range AWD models increase, too, now supplying 272 miles and 358 miles, respectively.
2022 Tesla Model 3 Price and Configurations
Tesla also raises and lowers Model 3 prices seemingly at a whim, making them volatile. As this Tesla Model 3 review is written, they range from a starting price in the mid $40,000s to the low $60,000s for the top variant, including the $1,200 destination charge.
For the 2022 model year, the Tesla Model 3 is available with single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive electric drivetrains offering between 267 miles and 358 miles of driving range on a single charge. Three versions of the electric car are on sale.
Tesla Model 3 — The base Model 3 has a single electric drive motor and the standard battery pack, providing up to 272 miles of driving range with the 18-inch alloy wheel design. In addition, every Model 3 has a panoramic glass roof, automatic climate control, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Both front seats offer power adjustment.
A 15-inch touchscreen resides in the middle of the dashboard, providing access to nearly all vehicle controls and displays, including the infotainment system. Tesla keeps the software current via over-the-air updates. In addition, the Model 3 comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a navigation system, internet radio access, four USB ports, and two wireless smartphone charging pads.
Tesla offers two connected services plans for the entry-level Model 3. One is called Standard Connectivity, and it delivers navigation capability via Wi-Fi. The other is called Premium Connectivity, and Tesla offers a complimentary 30-day trial to services through its cellular connection. Premium Connectivity includes live traffic, satellite imagery, internet browsing, music streaming, and other functions. After the trial period ends, this feature costs about $10 per month.
Tesla installs numerous sensors and cameras to support the car's driving assistance and collision avoidance technologies. They include an Autopilot semi-autonomous driver-assist feature with adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance. The driver's hands must remain on the steering wheel to use Autopilot.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD — The Model 3 Long Range AWD has dual electric motors to create a standard all-wheel-drive system, plus a larger battery pack for added range. The Long Range model travels an estimated 358 miles on a full battery, and Tesla says it can recoup 175 miles of range in 15 minutes using a charger in the Tesla Supercharger network. Acceleration improves, too, taking a claimed 4.2 seconds to rush to 60 mph. That's a full 1.6 seconds faster than the base model.
Tesla Model 3 Performance — You want the Model 3 Performance for maximum acceleration and handling. According to Tesla, the Performance model screams to 60 mph in a claimed 3.1 seconds and can hit 162 mph. Additional upgrades include 20-inch alloy wheels, Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires, performance brakes, carbon fiber rear spoiler, aluminum pedals, and Track driving mode.
Is the 2022 Tesla Model 3 Worth It?
A Tesla Model 3 costs about $3,500 more than a BMW 330i without options. When you're spending more than $40,000 on a new car, that's not a giant leap in terms of your budget. Furthermore, a Model 3 Performance costs just $2,200 more than a BMW M340i xDrive, and it delivers acceleration that utterly spanks the even more expensive BMW M3.
So yes, it appears the Model 3 is worth it, even if Teslas are no longer eligible for the federal electric vehicle income tax credit.
Tesla Model 3 Competitors for 2022
Most EVs come in five-door hatchback or crossover SUV body styles, which means the 2022 Tesla Model 3 remains one of the only electric sedans available in America.
Among premium-brand competitors, the Model 3's closest rival is the new BMW i4, which has a more practical five-door sportback body style and offers more standard driving range than the Tesla. The BMW doesn't cost much more, either, after factoring in the i4's electric car federal income tax credit of $7,500.
Similar models include the Audi E-tron Sportback and the Polestar 2, but these are also considered rivals to the Tesla Model Y. If you're willing to shop for non-premium-brand alternatives, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6 are worthy of consideration.
Tesla Model 3 Features
In most ways, the Tesla Model 3 remains a yardstick against which other EVs are measured. In addition to the details above, the Model 3 has a 23 cu. ft. trunk, which is huge for a sedan. Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Model 3 a Top Safety Pick+ crash-test rating.
2022 Tesla Model 3 Safety Features
- Autopilot — Standard semi-autonomous driving technology for use on limited-access highways. Drivers must remain in the driver's seat with their hands on the steering wheel
- Full Self Driving — Available feature offering hands-free semi-autonomous driving on limited-access highways. Drivers must remain in the driver's seat and be prepared to take complete control at any time
- Smart Summon — Available feature allowing an owner to request that the Model 3 remotely leave its parking space and travel no more than 20 feet to their location
- Autopark — Available feature allowing the Model 3 to park itself in a parallel or perpendicular parking space
- Autosteer — Available upcoming feature that brings Full Self Driving capability to travel on city streets
2022 Tesla Model 3 Technology
- Infotainment system — Standard 15-inch touchscreen display
- Connected services — Standard Wi-Fi and available cellular-based connected services
- Navigation system — Standard feature
- Wireless charging — Standard for two smartphones
- Digital key — Standard feature turns your smartphone into the Model 3's key
2022 Tesla Model 3 Specs
- Model 3 — Rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor, standard-range battery, and 272 miles of range*
- Long Range AWD — All-wheel drive with two electric motors, a long-range battery, and 358 miles of range*
- Performance — All-wheel drive with two electric motors, a long-range battery, and 315 miles of range*
- EPA rating — 132 MPGe (RWD); 132 MPGe (AWD); 113 MPGe (Performance)
2022 Tesla Model 3 Interior
- Simulated leather — Standard feature
- Heated front and rear seats — Standard feature
- Heated steering wheel — Standard feature
- Panoramic glass roof — Standard feature
- Premium sound system — Available feature with 14 speakers
*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections