For many people who are considering going electric or upgrading to another EV, the Tesla Model 3 is probably the first model that comes to mind, and for good reason.
It’s the right size, very efficient, a Tesla, and relatively affordable. But deciding you want to buy a Tesla Model 3 is just part one of the story because you’ll then have to pick one of the three versions on sale today: the Model 3 RWD, the Model 3 Long Range, or the Model 3 Performance.
To help you decide, the folks from the UK-based RSymons RSEV YouTube channel got hold of all these models and performed a series of real-world range and charging tests in identical conditions.
After the first leg of their trip done in freezing conditions (0 degrees Celsius/32 Fahrenheit) and before preheating the batteries for supercharging, the most efficient car proved to be the Model 3 RWD, which averaged 16.1 kWh/100 km or 3.9 miles/kWh. Of course, having the smallest wheels (18-inch Aero Michelin) helped, but what is remarkable is that the Long Range is only marginally less efficient with 16.4 kWh/100 km or 3.8 miles/kwh)—despite riding on 19-inch Sport Hankook wheels.
Having covered 168 miles (270 km) in freezing cold conditions, the Model 3 RWD had used 85% of its 60-kWh battery, which would result in a real-world range of 198 miles (318 km) from 100% to 0% SoC. The Model 3 Long Range used 75% of its 75-kWh battery, giving it a 224-mile (360 km) real-world range, while the Model 3 Performance used 77% of its 82-kWh battery for a real-world range of 218 miles (350 km).
Admit it, the range difference between the Model 3 RWD with LFP battery chemistry and the other two Model 3s is smaller than you expected, isn’t it?
The difference in charging times is even smaller, with the base model needing 10 minutes to add 100 miles (161 km), while the Long Range and Performance needed 9 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively. To add 150 miles of range, the Model 3 RWD needs 21 minutes, while the other two need 19 minutes each.
The video above has many more interesting stats, but the main takeaway here is that the Model 3 RWD is the one to have if value for money matters the most for you.