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Dec. 4, 2021, 9:46 a.m. EST

Thinking of a Tesla? Here are answers to some questions about the popular Model 3

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By Roberto Baldwin

This is the Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/lastsale TSLA +6.24% for the masses — as long as they can afford a vehicle that costs more than $40,000. Initially promised as a $35,000 EV, the Tesla Model 3 ended up being more expensive as the automaker realized that building a cheap EV was easier said than done. Still, the Model 3 is the best-selling Tesla and it continues to do very well for the company.

How much is a Tesla Model 3?

The least expensive Tesla Model 3 is the rear-wheel-drive Standard Range Plus Model 3. This car has 262 miles of range and starts at $43,990. Although that price could change at any moment. Tesla has a habit of raising and lowering the price of the Model 3 and Model Y without warning. The last price increase of $2,000 across the board was on Oct. 24, 2021.

For those looking for all-wheel drive and more range, there’s the Long Range Model 3. It offers 353 miles of range and starts at $49,990. The Performance variant will empty your bank account to the tune of $57,990. It has a range of 315 miles, but it’ll do 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds.

Also see: Elon Musk sells another $1 billion of Tesla stock; nearly $10 billion sold this month

How to turn off the Tesla Model 3

Tesla introduced a cool little trick with its vehicles. When you get out of the vehicle, it turns itself off. When you re-enter the vehicle, it turns itself back on. After driving a Tesla Model 3 for a few weeks, you may find yourself a bit frustrated that other vehicles have to be manually switched on and off.

If you need to turn off the vehicle while sitting it in, place it in Park and set the brake, and via the infotainment touchscreen navigate to Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off to turn the Model 3 off.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model 3?

Charging speed depends on a variety of factors. If the vehicle is connected to one of Tesla’s Supercharger stations, Tesla says the station will add 175 miles of range in 15 minutes. As with most automakers, these charging speeds are typically based on charging up to 80% in moderate weather. Anything past that, and charging slows down due to the physics of batteries.

See: Tesla still dominates the EV market in the U.S., but these rivals are catching up

A more robust answer is that the Long Range and Performance trims can charge at 250 kW via a compatible Supercharger station. The Standard Range Plus version charges a bit slower at 175 kW via a compatible Supercharger station.

Via slower AC charging, (typically how a vehicle is charged at home) the Long Range and Performance editions support up to 11.5 kW, while the Standard Range Plus version tops off at 7.5 kW.

How fast is a Tesla Model 3?

With three variants, the speeds vary depending on how much money you want to spend. That’s similar to traditional gas-powered vehicles. If you want speed, get ready to pay more.

The Standard Range Plus Model 3 will do 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Nothing to sneeze at, but the Long Range Model 3 undercuts it by over a second with a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds. Meanwhile, for those looking to impress their friends and get from red light to red light as quickly as possible, the Performance version will hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.

Read : Tesla Model 3 loses Consumer Reports’ ‘top pick’ after safety-feature switch

How is the sound system in the Tesla Model 3?

While the Standard Range Plus Model 3 has received kudos from owners on its sound system, the Long Range and Performance Model 3 variants get an upgraded setup with 14 speakers, one subwoofer, and two amps. The result is an impressive audio experience from the EV.

The system supports Bluetooth streaming from Android and Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.56% devices but does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Fortunately, Spotify /zigman2/quotes/207488629/composite SPOT +2.13% is available as a native app within the Tesla infotainment system so drivers can just log into their accounts in the car.

Why is the Tesla Model 3 so cheap?

A vehicle starting at roughly $44,000 definitely doesn’t sound cheap, but in the EV world, with the range and features the Model 3 ships with, its starting price doesn’t seem out of place. How Tesla is able to sell a vehicle with an impressive range and the latest tech is a combination of a couple of different things.

First, Tesla’s engineering and battery technology are some of the best, if not the best in the business. By continually working to fine-tune the efficiency of the motors and batteries, the company is able to deliver more range from smaller packs. Smaller packs cost less money.

Second, the interior is sparse and most hardware buttons have been replaced with features in the infotainment system. Less hardware means less overhead. The Model 3 only has a single display in the center of the dash and does not ship with a traditional dash cluster behind the steering wheel.

Read next: Your complete guide to MPGe, the electric equivalent of miles per gallon

Finally, Tesla has a head start on everyone else in the industry. While other automakers were building compliance cars to appease regulators, Tesla has been committed to the EV for over a decade and that gives them years of experience ahead of traditional OEMs. 

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