10 More Affordable Alternatives To The Tesla Model 3 - SUV VEHICLE

10 More Affordable Alternatives To The Tesla Model 3

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Tesla has emerged as a major player in the electric vehicle (EV) market, capturing a significant share of sales in recent years. If you’re thinking about buying an EV, Tesla is an excellent choice as they offer impressive specifications, including a good range and speed that may meet your needs. Additionally, Tesla has made significant strides in their infrastructure, making it quicker and easier to charge your vehicle than its competitors. However, some people have raised concerns about Tesla’s build quality.




The Tesla Model 3 is a cheaper sedan that still provides the latest technology and a decent range for its standard version. However, its appearance is simple, and you may prefer a vehicle with more personality. Several manufacturers are now introducing their own EVs to compete with Tesla. With several manufacturers now looking to build a whole new range of vehicles that are solely EVs, American automakers and manufacturers using American parts may qualify for a Federal Tax Credit of either $7,500 or $3,750, depending on the vehicle’s eligibility. This can be a significant benefit when looking to purchase a new car.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including the IRS. The models below have been ranked based on their starting MSRP.


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1 Nissan Leaf S – Starting MSRP: $28,140

Price Including Federal Tax Credit ($3,750): $24,390

White 2024 Nissan Leaf driving
Nissan 

The Nissan Leaf has been a popular electric vehicle for quite some time now. The latest version is equipped with the latest Nissan technology and has an overall nice feel for being a relatively affordable EV. However, when compared to the Tesla Model 3, the Leaf falls short in terms of power and range.

Performance Specifications

Leaf S

Leaf SV Plus

Horsepower

147 hp

214 hp

Torque

236 lb-ft

250 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

FWD

0-60 MPH

N/A

N/A

Top Speed

N/A

N/A

Range

149 miles

212 miles


(Data was collected from Nissan)

The Leaf is available in two different trims: the S and the SV Plus. The S is considerably cheaper, costing almost $8,000 less than the SV Plus. Although the SV Plus comes with added range and horsepower, it still falls short when compared to other electric cars like the Model 3. However, the Leaf is a good and affordable option for an electric car, and it also qualifies for a partial Federal Tax Credit, making it an even cheaper option.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Good Cargo Space For Size
  • Should Be Reliable

Cons

  • Slower Charge Times
  • Lacking On Power
  • Not Great Looking

2 Fiat 500e – Starting MSRP: $32,500

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

2025 Fiat 500e Launch Program Miami


The Fiat 500, a beloved small Italian car, has been transformed with the introduction of an electric version. The 500 is known for its cute looks, but has had a reputation for being unreliable in the past, with the Fiat name being a Fix-It-Another-Time. However, the 500e has proven to be a reliable car since its launch.

Performance Specifications

Engine

70 kW

Horsepower

95 hp

Torque

N/A

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

9.5 seconds

Top Speed

84 mph

Range

199 miles

(Data was collected from Fiat)


The 500e features a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Although it is a plucky little car that would be good for nipping around town, its range may not be sufficient for longer journeys. It is a quirky little car with decent technology. If you are concerned about reliability, Fiat offers battery coverage for up to eight years.

Pros

  • Good Looks
  • Battery Warranty
  • Co-Pilot Tech

Cons

  • Not Much Cargo Space
  • Lacking Power
  • Range Could Be Better

3 Hyundai Kona SE – Starting MSRP: $32,675

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric front
Hyundai

The Hyundai Kona EV is an SUV that boasts a boxy design and offers great value for money. Hyundai is known for producing budget-friendly and high-quality cars, and the Kona is no exception. The car features a regenerative braking system that helps to recharge the battery when the brake is applied.


Performance Specifications

Kona Advance 48 kWh

Engine

128 kW

Horsepower

133 hp

Torque

188 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-62 MPH

8.8 seconds

Top Speed

101 mph

Range

319 Miles

(Data was collected from Hyundai)

The Kona can recharge up to 100 miles in just 15 minutes, which is quite impressive. However, it falls short of the Tesla Model 3, which can recharge up to 175 miles in the same amount of time. The standard Kona comes with a front-wheel-drive system, but if you prefer an AWD version, it will cost you extra. The Kona also has an impressive range, more than the Model 3.


Pros

  • Good Battery Range
  • Cheap For What You Get
  • Efficient Car

Cons

  • Not Best Design
  • No App Connectivity
  • Loud Road Noise

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4 Volvo EX30 – Starting MSRP: $34,950

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

Volvo EX30
Volvo

The Swedish car maker, Volvo, has entered the world of electric vehicles with its EX30 model. Despite appearing like an SUV, it is actually a hatchback that allows you to fold down the rear seats to provide more cargo space. It also offers additional storage space in the hood and a hidden compartment under the load floor.


Performance Specifications

Horsepower

268 hp

Torque

253 lb-ft

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.1 seconds

Top Speed

N/A

Range

230 miles

(Data was collected from Volvo)

The interior of the vehicle is quite plain and simple, with the 12.3-inch touchscreen being the main highlight. The EX30 boasts a range of advanced technologies, including pilot parking, which enables the car to park itself, and pilot assist, which allows the vehicle to change lanes and adjust its speed to match that of other cars on the road. However, it is not as sophisticated as the Tesla Model 3 system.

Pros

  • Lots Of Cargo Space Versatility
  • Pilot Assist
  • Faster Trim Option

Cons

  • Bland Interior
  • Too Much On Touchscreen
  • Slower Charging Ability


5 Chevrolet Equinox EV 1LT – Starting MSRP: $34,995

Price Including Federal Tax Credit ($7,500): $27,495

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 3RS Front view parked on a city street at night
Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Equinox EV is a new electric vehicle offered by Chevrolet. It has a starting price of $34,995 for the standard trim, which will be available later in 2024. The Chevy 1LT model comes equipped with a 17.7-inch diagonal touchscreen display, 19-inch wheels, and a front-wheel-drive setup. This EV qualifies for the full Federal Tax Credit, meaning you can receive a $7,500 discount off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) at the time of purchase.


Performance Specifications

Horsepower

210 hp

Torque

N/A

Driveline

FWD or eAWD

0-60 MPH

5.9 seconds (eAWD)

Top Speed

N/A

Range

319 miles

Towing Capacity

1,500 lbs

(Data was collected from Chevrolet)

The Equinox is a stylish and modern Chevrolet with several features, such as the cool animation on the back strip of lights. It offers a total range of 319 miles, which is pretty good, and it actually has a better range than the Tesla Model 3. Additionally, the Equinox can charge up to 70 miles in just 10 minutes.

Pros

  • Federal Tax Credit
  • Spacious
  • Good Range

Cons

  • Other Trims More Expensive
  • Not Released Yet
  • All Tech Not Available For Standard Trim


6 Mini Electric Hardtop – Starting MSRP: $30,900

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

Blue 2024 Mini Cooper SE parked on street
Mini

Mini has recently launched their latest addition to their range – the Electric model, which boasts the same exterior design as its predecessors. Although Mini was known for making fun rally cars back in the 60s, the question remains whether they can penetrate the EV market. This fun little car is ideal for city driving, but it does come with a few drawbacks.

Performance Specifications

Horsepower

181 hp

Torque

199 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

6.9 seconds

Top Speed

N/A

Range

114 miles


(Data was collected from Mini)

The Mini Electric takes around 36 minutes to charge up to 80-percent, but is not very ideal when considering its relatively low battery range. In comparison, the Model 3 can travel up to 175 miles in only 15 minutes, making the Mini Electric’s charging time quite poor. Additionally, the Mini Electric has a range of only 114 miles which is quite low when compared to other cars in its class. However, if you only plan to drive in the city, the Mini Electric could be a suitable option for you.

Pros

  • Fun car
  • Good Looks
  • Roadside Assistance for First 4 Years

Cons

  • Range
  • Charging Time
  • Could Be Better Priced

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7 Kia Niro EV – Starting MSRP: $39,600

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

2024 Kia Niro EV
Kia


Kia, a South Korean car manufacturer, now offers an electric vehicle option for its Niro model. The Niro boasts a wide panoramic display and a comfortable interior, featuring wireless phone charging and voice recognition. Unlike other electric cars that use a lot of battery power to run air conditioning, the Niro has heated and ventilated seats that do not drain as much battery.

Performance Specifications

Horsepower

201 hp

Torque

188 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

7.1 seconds

Top Speed

N/A

Range

253 miles

(Data was collected from KIA)


The Niro offers a spacious cargo area of 1,803 liters, with a power-assisted rear tailgate, making it a great option for those who require ample storage space. The car also boasts a roomy interior, making it ideal for people who value size. While the Kia Niro has a decent range, it does disappoint in terms of power.

Pros

  • Modern Interior
  • 10-year Warranty
  • Battery Saving Tech

Cons

  • Slower Charging Times
  • Could Be Faster
  • Better Cars For Same Price

8 Fisker Ocean – Starting MSRP: $38,999

Not Eligible For Federal Tax Credit

2024 Fisker Ocean
Fisker


Fisker is an American automotive company that offers Federal Tax Credit to its customers. The Ocean is the brand’s first-ever automobile for resale, but the company has faced some financial difficulties in the past. However, Fisker is now on the road to recovery and hopefully, it will sell more cars soon. To sweeten the deal, Fisker announced some massive discounts, which meant the base trim could be had for as low as $24,999. The price cuts were not permanent, which is why we didn’t list this price in the heading.

Performance Specifications

Horsepower

234 hp

Torque

257 lb-ft

Driveline

4WD

0-60 MPH

6.9 second

Top Speed

N/A

Range

231 miles

(Data was collected from Fisker)


The Fisker Ocean has a solar panel that runs through the entire roof of the car, which helps charge the battery while driving. However, this feature is only available in the Fisker Ocean Extreme trim, which costs around $12,000 more than the standard version. The Fisker Sport is the cheapest trim, but it has the lowest range and speed. Simply put, to get a better package, you need to pay more.

Pros

  • Good Range
  • 4WD
  • Lots Of Trim Options

Cons

  • Other Add-ons Very Expensive
  • Good Range And Power On Expensive Trims
  • New Manufacturer Problems

9 Volkswagen ID.4 – Starting MSRP: $39,735

Price Including Federal Tax Credit ($7,500): $32,235

Yellow 2023 Volkswagen ID.4
Volkswagen

Volkswagen has committed to designing a new range of electric cars, which may lead to the discontinuation of their beloved Golf model. The ID.4 is a slightly larger electric vehicle than the Golf, but it still has the familiar Volkswagen feel inside. While the interior is nice, it cannot be considered luxurious.


Performance Specifications

Horsepower

201 hp

Torque

229 lb-ft

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

N/A

Top Speed

N/A

Range

209 miles

(Data was collected from Volkswagen)

Other trims are available for the ID.4, which offer more horsepower however these trims cost considerably more than the standard version. The Model 3 outperforms the Volkswagen in terms of range and charging time, and it is available at a similar price. On the other hand, the Volkswagen boasts better build quality and a sleek design, although it is a quirky car.


Pros

  • Long Battery Warranty
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Great NHTSA Safety Rating

Cons

  • Range Could Be Better
  • Other Trims Too Expensive
  • Lacking In Power

Related
Best Small Electric Cars For 2024 And 2025

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10 Tesla Model Y – Starting MSRP: $44,990

Price Including Federal Tax Credit ($7,500): $37,490

Red 2023 Tesla Model Y Performance
Tesla

If you’re not interested in purchasing the Tesla Model 3, you can consider the Tesla Model Y as an alternative. The Model Y is a hatchback SUV, which means you can fold down the back seats for extra space in the trunk. For the standard trim, you get RWD and a decent range, but you can get even better specs if you pay for the upgraded package. However, it’s worth noting that there have been some reliability concerns with these vehicles.


Performance Specifications

Model Y

Model 3

Horsepower

N/A

N/A

Torque

N/A

N/A

Driveline

RWD

RWD

0-60 MPH

6.6 seconds

5.8 seconds

Top Speed

N/A

N/A

Range (est)

260 miles

272 miles

(Data was collected from Tesla)

While the Model 3 has better speed and range than the Model Y, the latter offers more space and could be a better option for those who prioritize comfort over speed and range. The bottom line is that with Tesla, you know what you’re going to get: good performance and a comfortable ride inside the cabin.

Pros

  • Federal Tax Credit
  • Tesla Technology
  • Fast Charging


Cons

  • Less Range
  • Slower
  • Build Quality Concerns Compared To Other Cars

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