2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance Review

The affordable 2018 Tesla Model 3 is fun to drive and offers more range than most of its competitors.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 14, 2022
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable used electric vehicle, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 is a fun-to-drive option that offers more range than most of its competitors. 
If you think Tesla offers exclusively ultra-expensive, futuristic-looking vehicles, think again! The 2018 Tesla Model 3 is the brand’s relatively affordable and normal-looking sedan. But don’t worry—it still offers a satisfying performance thanks to adequate acceleration, quick steering, and an impressive ability to stop on a dime.
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2018 Tesla Model 3 performance review

Everyone expects big things from Tesla’s more expensive luxury models, but the 2018 Tesla Model 3 is equally quick, fun to drive, and offers a top-of-the-line driving range—all for a starting MSRP of a reasonable $47,200.
If you’re looking for an entry-level Tesla, the Mid-Range trim level is perfect for you—offering 346 horsepower and 220 miles of all-electric driving range. But if you’re a driving enthusiast, fear not! Other trims with upgraded powertrains are out there, offering more horses and a longer range—but more on that later.
No matter which Model 3 you pick, you’ll find that the vehicle is poised with quick steering, sharp turn-in, and a flat cornering attitude. The only hold-up? The Model 3’s suspension is a tad bit unrefined, meaning you might hear and feel the bumpier roads. 

Powertrain options and handling

One of the best things about the 2018 Tesla Model 3 is that you have quite a few options. The entry-level Mid-Range is equipped with a rear-mounted electric motor (that’s right—you’ll get Tesla’s iconic “frunk”) that pairs with an 80.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to send 258 horsepower to the vehicle’s rear wheels.
The next step up is the Long Range—it uses the same 80.5-kWh battery, but adds an extra front motor to produce 346 horsepower with all-wheel drive. Models with the optional Ludicrous Mode equipped maximize speed by quickly heating the battery to its optimal temperature.
Those with a need for speed should look for the top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Performance upgrade with an impressive output of 450 horses

Acceleration, 0 to 60, and top speed

In terms of performance, the standard Model 3 can go from 0-to-60 mph in a very respectable 5.6 seconds, while reaching top speeds of 130 mph. The Long Range Model 3 sprints to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds—plus a top speed of 140 mph
But it’s the Performance Model 3 that really blows us away. Not only will you reach top speeds of 153 mph, but you’ll go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds—enough to rival much more expensive luxury vehicles.
How do these speeds stack up? Let’s consider one of the Model 3’s top competitors: the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid sedan. It takes 6 whole seconds to go from 0 to 60, meaning the Model 3 Performance is almost twice as fast

Fuel economy and range 

The best thing about the Model 3 is that it has one of the
longest driving ranges
in its class. The 2018 Mid-Range manages 220 miles per charge, while the appropriately named Long-Range can go 310 miles in total—longer than any other non-Tesla EV made that model year.
Either version takes about 10 hours to recharge using a standard 250-volt outlet, but if you have access to a Tesla Supercharger, you’ll get a full charge in less than two hours and just around an hour if you’re able to settle for a charge of 80-90%. 

Tech

The 2018 Model 3 gets Tesla’s iconic touchscreen 15.0-inch display which serves as the contact point for pretty much all of the car’s functionalities. That’s right—nobs, buttons, and dials are almost nowhere to be found, save a couple of power window switches and some simple buttons on the steering wheel.
If you’re looking for something that feels futuristic in terms of technology, look no further. There’s plenty of standard infotainment-focused equipment, including onboard navigation, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, and voice controls.
What’s more? The 2018 Model 3 earns a 5/5 star safety rating from the NHTSA, thanks to a long list of standard safety features, including:
  • Anti-lock brakes 
  • Stability control
  • Front-, side-, overhead, and knee-impact airbags
  • Seatbelt pretensioners
  • Security system
You can also look for a used Tesla that’s equipped with the Autopilot package upgrade, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, active lane control, and automatic headlights.

How to save on Tesla Model 3 insurance

Unfortunately, even the most affordable used Tesla can be a little bit expensive to insure. Fortunately, the car insurance super app
Jerry
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It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to getjerry.com. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request. 
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is an amazing app. Thanks to it, I saved a lot of money for my Tesla Model 3’s insurance. I’m so glad I downloaded the app!” —Erza S.
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