The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 Is Finally Here

Tesla Model 3 - BlueMy car is about hit 15 years of age. The cost of maintenance is at the tipping point. Eventually, it becomes cheaper to buy a new car than to maintain an old one. There’s also additional stress involved. An older car tends to be of questionable reliability. Will it start? Will it get me home? I’ve been looking for a new electric car, but I had given up on Tesla. Today, they surprised me. The long wait is over. The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 is finally here.

Tesla Model 3 – Black

After a $3,750 tax credit, the car is $31,250. New York State also has a $2000 rebate, but there are some strings attached to that money, such as a three-year NY residency requirement.

To get to the $35,000 price point, Tesla had to implement some cost savings. Specifically, the “Standard Interior” lacks some of the luxury of the “Premium Interior” features.

Standard Interior Includes:

  • Manual seat and steering adjustment
  • Cloth seats and base trim
  • Basic audio
  • Standard maps and navigation
  • Center console with storage and 4 USB ports

Oh, no… basic audio… how will I ever survive without the 14 speakers of the “Premium Audio” package? That’s total sarcasm, if you didn’t notice. A quick comparison of options reveals the fluff that was delaying the $35,000 promised price. Years of waiting… for what… a web browser?! It’s a car. I don’t need a web browser in my car. I have plenty of other gadgets to accomplish that task.

Going down the list, I was shocked at how little value “Premium” adds to the Tesla Model 3. Power adjustment seats? Bah, that’s a frivolous feature. I’d rather just move them myself. Fog lamps?! Really? Am I in London?

I thought we were supposed to be saving the world here. Are you telling me that humanity’s survival was delayed by the seat material?! 12 years… I was told we have 12 years to save mankind… ahhhhhh… panic. (That’s more sarcasm.)

It is kind of a bad joke. The Model 3 was announced almost three years ago. That’s a lot of waiting for a car. This is especially odd, considering that I didn’t like some of the design choices. The faceless front bumper and buttonless dashboard is extreme minimalism. But more importantly, the availability of the tax credit was questionable. I put down a $1,000 reservation deposit, only to take it back.

Up until recently, my preference was to wait for the new electric cars arriving in 2020. Perhaps the Mustang inspired all-electric SUV is what I’ve been waiting for. But unfortunately, I don’t know if I can keep waiting. By waiting too long, I missed out on the Ford Focus Electric. More waiting might be a poor strategy. I don’t even know what this mystery Ford vehicle will look like. It could look like a fat Mustang. Waiting could mean missing out on the remaining tax credit for the Tesla Model 3. Spring is almost here, but Winter is coming yet again. Will my current car survive another harsh season? I don’t know.

I find myself, once again, considering the purchase of a Tesla Model 3.