7 Reasons To Avoid A Tesla Model 3 At All Costs

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From the day it was unveiled, theTeslaModel 3 has held the attention of car and tech enthusiasts worldwide. From its sleek style to its innovative features, it s not hard to believe that the TeslaModel 3is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. However, when you look beyond its iconic reputation, you ll see a less-than-perfect picture that is all too often overlooked. Let s delve into the less-discussed aspects of the vehicle namely, the reasons why it might be a good idea to avoid a Tesla Model 3 altogether. Here s what you need to know.

Tesla Model 3 Specs: 2023

Model 3 Model 3 Long Range Model 3 Performance
MSRP $40,240 $47,240 $53,240
Powertrain Single-motor RWD Dual-motor AWD Dual-motor AWD
EPA-Est. Range 272 miles per charge 358 miles per charge 315 miles per charge
0-60 MPH 5.8 seconds 4.2 seconds 3.1 seconds
Top Speed 140 MPH 145 MPH 162 MPH
City/Highway 138/126 MPGe 134/126 MPGe 118/107 MPGe
Battery Warranty 8 years/100,000 miles 8 years/120,000 miles 8 years/120,000 miles
Tax Credit Eligible? Yes Yes Yes

5 Must-Know Facts About the Tesla Model 3

  1. Tesla has a dedicated Model 3 mobile app that lets owners have remote control over their vehicles. 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 (not unlike those used in hospitals). This system effectively removes fine particulate matter, pollen, bacteria, and even some viruses from the air inside the vehicle, creating a cleaner and healthier driving environment.
  3. Tesla batteries are notorious for spontaneously combusting. As a protective measure, Tesla battery modules are encased in reinforced steel to help 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 a combination of 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 true capabilities of their cars. A recent recall of all Full Self Driving Beta-equipped Model 3s proves this to be true. These particular Model 3s were found to speed over the limit through intersections and stop signs.

The History of the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 s path to becoming the most popular electric vehicle of all time is one paved with numerous bad decisions, shortcomings, and disappointments. It all began back 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 with ease. Naturally, this announcement got people excited. (Especially following the launch of the Model S two years prior in 2012.) Unfortunately, it seems 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 (not to mention this relatively reasonable price), the Model 3 was poised to be a massive success. Pre-orders and media attention both 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, which resulted in delays, which in turn led to quality control issues.

With this, the company and Musk faced some well-deserved criticism. Simply put, consumers and investors felt that Tesla had overpromised and underdelivered. This is a complaint that 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 its fewer-than-expected features, the Tesla Model 3 stands as a significant milestone in the electric vehicle industry and Tesla s history alike.

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


Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model 3

Now that you understand the history and basic makeup of the Tesla Model 3 and its variants, let s explore the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3 at all costs. It s a tough pill to swallow for some, especially considering the popularity of the Model 3. Nevertheless, this information needs to be said. It s not a matter of opinion: these are all fact-based reasons why consumers might want to look past the hype and pursue another EV over the Model 3. From pricing to charging, from manufacturing flaws to maintenance issues, these are the seven reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3.

The Price

First and foremost, let s talk price. The Tesla Model 3 was introduced as an affordable, cost-effective electric sedan that would begin at an MSRP of $35,000. However, in 2023, the Tesla Model 3 has a much higher MSRP than that. The base Model 3 goes for more than $40,000, while Long Range and Performance models are priced as high as $47,000 to $53,000 or more. It s far from the affordable electric sedan it was initially marketed as. Sure, there are more expensive EVson the market, but the inverse is also true. There are 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 more and more charging stations are showing up on the regular, they re still conveniently placed enough for all people 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 major inconvenience.

Battery Range

While the 2023 Tesla Model 3 offers a decent driving range across all three versions, decent doesn t exactly cut it these days. The base Model 3 offers 272 moles per charge, while the Performance model offers 315 miles per charge and the Long Range offers 358 miles per charge. It all looks good on the surface. But, compare that range torivalEVs on the market, and you see that it s not exactly as impressive as it seems at first glance. 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 limited customization options offered by the manufacturer. While it might seem like plenty of options are available with the base model, the Long Range model, and the Performance model, other vehicles (both gas and electric) tend to offer many 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 different hybrid models. Beyond this, the Model 3 also has a small number of features, colors, and interior options to pick from.

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

Robert Way/Shutterstock.com

Flaws and Defects

Given the supply chain issues that led to manufacturing delays and quality control shortcomings during the production of the Model 3s, it s no surprise that this particular Tesla has long been plagued by glaring flaws and defects in its build. Some have reported upholstery coming apart at the seams. Others have encountered doors not closing flush with the rest of the trim. Certain owners have even complained about the materials on the dash feeling cheap and low-quality. All in all, these types of flaws and defects should not be present in a car at this price point.

Broken Promises

According to Tesla critics, there are two words that sum up the Tesla brand and Elon Musk on the whole: overpromising and under-delivering. We ve already mentioned them above, but they re worth emphasizing again. Time and time again, Tesla makes promises about its vehicles only to break those promises later. It began with the retracted $35,000 MSRP, continued with its failure to produce 500,000 Model 3s by its goal, and still persists with the broken promise of a fully autonomous Tesla. Truthfully, this bad business practice is one of the most pressing 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. As such, the Model 3 requires special maintenance and repairs done by qualified Tesla technicians. Depending on your particular location, access to these special Tesla service centers may be much too limited to actually be practical. This could result in far longer wait times for repairs and maintenance. Most can t afford this kind of inconvenience especially those who depend on their vehicle for their daily commute.

Summary: Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model 3

Remember, none of these points are meant to discourage you from considering a Tesla altogether. Our goal is to inform you of all the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model 3 so that you can make a better, more informed decision. By highlighting some of the most troubling aspects of this Tesla model, you and other individuals on the market can be empowered to make the smartest choice. After all, it s never a bad idea to research and consider all the downsides before making a final decision about any car purchase. (Especially one as expensive as a Tesla.)

Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model 3
Prices range from $40,000 to more than $53,000 a hefty fee for a four-dour sedan
Tesla charging stations are still not accessible or convenient to everyone nationwide
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 Tesla Model 3 has been plagued by braking issues and build defects for much of its life
Tesla and Elon Musk made many promises about the Model 3 that still have yet to happen
Maintenance and repairs for the Model 3 come with long wait times and high prices

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