Ben Sullins compares the Tesla Model 3 against its class competitors.
As we've been reiterating all along, though the Model 3 is an all-electric car, it doesn't really have much similar competition in that category. Sure, there's the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan LEAF, but neither is anything close to a luxury sports sedan, and neither have the naming cache of the Tesla brand either.
When comparing specifics like size, styling, interior quality, horsepower, acceleration, and cargo capacity, the Model 3 is much more at home with cars like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4.
A look at a Tesla Model 3 delivery in Austin, Texas
With that being said, exactly how does the Model 3 stack up to these quintessential entry-level German luxury sedans?
Ben does a nice job of clarifying each category in the video, and the information below lays out the categories in the form of a list. The current Long Range Model 3 costs more than all three rivals (though it's less expensive if you factor in the U.S. federal EV rebate). The Model 3 has more passenger space, cargo capacity, horsepower, and acceleration (0-60). While Sullins gives them all a 5-Star Safety Rating, we won't have details like safety and reliability for the Model 3 for some time.
The Model 3 is surely designed like a luxury vehicle, however, it doesn't boast the interior quality or standard features of most European luxury cars. However, Tesla offers unique features that you can't get in competing models (Autopilot, eventual Full Self-Driving Capability, Over-the-Air updates, etc. ... oh, and it's 100-percent electric, meaning no gas, zero tailpipe emissions, very little maintenance, and a lot less money out of your pocket over its lifespan).
Video Description via Teslanomics by Ben Sullins on YouTube:
The Tesla Model 3 has been called a mass-market vehicle, but honestly, that’s not true. It’s really an entry-level luxury sedan that does pretty well compared to its peers.
Today we’re going to take a look at how the Tesla Model 3 stacks up against the BMW 3 Series, and MB C-class. When it comes to the entry-level luxury or compact executive cars, you’re talking about sedans’ under 50K that offer a great driving experience. The class leader for a long time has been the BMW 3 series, and for a good reason. The BMW 3 Series offers a classic look with premium finishes and high acceleration. The 2017 3 Series offers loads of options that can make it work for nearly any budget. For many, this car is a timeless classic.
In 2017 BMW has revised their naming of the various trim levels and revised exterior trim, interior color options, with the Sport and Luxury lines being wrapped up int into separate packages
The sedan version of the 3 Series is BMW’s bread and butter; they also offer a sport wagon and Gran Turismo body style. Another class-leader is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The C-Class is no longer Mercedes only option in the entry-level luxury category offers loads of powertrain options and body styles. They have three high-performance AMG models to choose from, and as you might expect, the interior finishes are second to none in this category.
In 2017 Mercedes added the rearview camera as standard equipment and put out some new colors for you to choose from. To round it out we have the Audi A4.
The Audi A4 is another compact sedan introduced in the US in the late 90’s. It has a timeless design similar to BMW and offers decent acceleration with some cool tech inside. The new 2017 Audi A4 has a “virtual cockpit” with a 12.3” screen that replaces the traditional gauges and buttons.
So we know who the leaders are, now let’s see how the Model 3 fares ...
The Tesla Model 3, released just this past July, is making major waves in the affordable luxury segment. While it’s been called a mass-market car with a base price of 35K, we know that the options you’ll want quickly add up to push it into the 50K range.
The interior is completely free of buttons and controlled by a 15” center console that Tesla placed flawlessly for both driver and passenger use. Every Model 3 comes with the hardware to one day become fully self-driving and already offers Enhanced Auto-PIlot making those hours spent in traffic a little more bearable. Because Tesla mounted the motor underneath the rear seat, the Model 3 includes a sizable trunk as well as a small trunk for storing additional items.
// Price Details Model 3 - 44K C-Class - 39.5K 3-Series - 38.7K A4 - 37.3K
// MPG Details Model 3 - 126 (MPGe) C-Class - 29 3-Series - 29.5 A4 - 29
// Horsepower Details Model 3 - 258 C-Class - 241 3-Series - 248 A4 - 252
// 0-60 times Model 3 - 5.6sec (5.1sec for the Long Range Model 3) C-Class - 6sec 3-Series - 7.1sec A4 - 6.7sec
// Seating Model 3 - 5 (most room) C-Class - 5 3-Series - 5 A4 - 5
// Cargo Model 3 - 14 C-Class - 12.6 3-Series - 13 A4 - 13
// Safety Model 3 - 5 Star C-Class - 5 Star 3-Series - 5 Star A4 - 5 Star
So there you have it, a comparison of the top features between the leaders in the affordable-luxury category. I’d love to know what you think? Are any of these cars in your future? If so which one and why?