Unlike more conventional automakers, Tesla changes its vehicle pricing frequently. Prices can rise to meet demand or lower to stoke demand when sales figures start slowing. However, when it comes to finding the cheapest Tesla you can buy, the answer remains pretty static. And at least as of this writing, it’s not just the most affordable Tesla but one of the cheapest EVs you can buy, period. 

Gallery: 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range

What is the cheapest Tesla?

The cheapest Tesla is the Model 3 sedan. The Model 3 can start at as much as $54,990, but the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive is the most affordable trim starting at $38,990. That’s more than $8,000 less than the average new car purchase in America. When you factor in inflation, the Model 3 more than meets its initial $35,000 target from when it launched in 2016. 

The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive does not qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, though other versions of the Model 3 can do so with a price tag under $55,000. 

How much does the cheapest Tesla cost per month? 

Current offers on Tesla’s site show you can lease a Model 3 RWD for $299/month with $2,999 down on a 36-month lease. Tesla shows financing on a Model 3 RWD for $610/month for 72 months with $3,999 down. 

How does the cheapest Tesla perform?

The Tesla Model 3 RWD offers an EPA-estimated 272 miles of range. Unlike other vehicles, Tesla recommends charging a Model 3 RWD to 100 percent at least once per week. The Model 3 RWD can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 125 mph. 

What options does the cheapest Tesla give you?

The $38,990 Tesla Model 3 RWD is not a chimera. But to get there, you have to go spartan with the appearance options. Stealth Grey is the only paint option; any other color adds at least $1,000 to the price tag. The cheapest Tesla sticks with the base black interior and the base 18-inch wheels, though that will deliver significantly better range. The cheapest Tesla would not have Full Self-Driving Capability (an additional $8,000), home charging equipment, or OEM-offered accessories like a roof rack. 

Tesla Model 2 Rendering

Tesla Model 2 Rendering

Doesn’t Tesla have an even cheaper car than the Model 3 coming?

Yes, purportedly. Tesla has been hyping a more affordable model, colloquially called the Model 2. It may be a slimmed-down Model Y. It’s expected to be available for $25,000. We don’t know when or even whether that model will come yet. 

Reuters reported that Tesla had killed off plans for the $25,000 model. Elon Musk disputed that report. Musk later noted on an earnings call that Tesla was “accelerating” the launch of new models including more affordable ones that had been due to arrive in the second half of 2025.

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