Is a Model 3 a Luxury Car? Yes, but you should know this!

When we think of luxury cars, we think of high performance, plush interiors, and price tags. And we ask, is a Model 3 in this category? Read on to find out.

A Model 3 is considered a luxury car because of its high performance, but other elements are lackluster compared to their counterparts.

In this article, we’ll examine why the Model 3 is a luxury car and how it compares to others in its class.


What is a luxury car?

For many, a luxury car is one of high performance, all the latest technology onboard, and generally a hefty price tag. Looking at the Tesla Model 3, we can say that it has most of the attributes of a luxury car, but sometimes the finished build can be less than expected.

Let’s look at what you can expect when owning a Model 3.

  • High Performance
  • Technology
  • Price tag

High Performance

The Model 3 is definitely in the high-performance category. With a 0-60 in 5.6 seconds for the Model 3 Standard and 3.2 seconds for the Model 3 Performance, it outclasses the majority of its competition, hands down. The high torque of the Model 3 and most EVs have a much quicker off-the-mark pace than their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) counterparts.

If speed and performance are what you are looking for in a luxury car, then the Model 3 is certainly one to be considered.

Latest Technology

Teslas are known for their high technical specification. Mr. Musk prides himself on offering a car that is ultimately a computer on wheels.

The ability to control your car through your Smartphone app, from opening it to summoning it if parked in a pinch, to experience autopilot and, although not currently available – self-driving in the future – the capability is there.

Still, the NHSTA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is not fully convinced. You can also access any streaming services, including Netflix, Hula, or Spotify.

These are beyond our expectations for a driving experience, placing the Model 3 in the luxury category. The ultimate bonus for the Tesla tech is the OTA (Over the Air) updates, meaning you always have the most up-to-date software available for your Model. Even the early Models continue to be updated.

Tesla Tech Features in More Depth

  • Autopilot and Self Driving
  • Tesla Air Suspension
  • Navigation and Live Traffic
  • HEPA filters
  • Streaming of Entertainment
  • Gaming while parked
  • Sentry Mode
  • Supercharger Network
  • Easter Egg Surprise

If high technology and entertainment spell out luxury, then the Model 3 has it in spades.

Cost of the Model 3

When a car is expensive or above the average price tag, we consider it a luxury car. The Model 3 is the least expensive of the Tesla range and is not necessarily in the luxury price category. The entry price for a Model 3 is $46990 and ranges upwards to $62000 for the Performance Model.

When compared to other EVs in its class, such as the Mercedes EQS priced at $104000 – $147000, or the Lucid Air with an entry point of $77000, the Model 3 is a quality purchase for a much lower ticket price, but still not a price tag to be sneezed at.

Model 3 vs. Mercedes EQS

When comparing Model 3 to the Mercedes EQS, we could say their only similarity is that they are both EVs.

The Mercedes EQS is relatively new to the EV market, and Tesla has the notable tag of the best-selling EV worldwide since 2020 and in the US since 2019. Tesla has had the experience and the knowledge of time and longevity in the EV market since 2012.

The Mercedes is automatically perceived as a luxury vehicle because of their name and history. The German engineering, the manufacturing style, luxury, and the high specification finish.

When you compare the Mercedes to the Model 3, the Tesla, unfortunately, comes second best as an expensive mid-range luxury family car. Yes, the Tesla 3 is a luxury car, but you should know that the finish is not up to the same grade as the Mercedes or many other EV brands in the same class.

Even though Tesla has time and experience behind it, Mercedes have outranked the Model 3 in range distance. The Model 3 has a full range of approximately 285 miles, with the Mercedes at a much higher 395 miles.

But the Model 3 is still very much in the luxury category. Although not as comfy or stylish as the Mercedes, the Model 3 has a firm and fast following of buyers.

Sales globally for 2021 were just under one million and control just under 55% of the EV market. Most Model 3 owners (83%) are young males – under 34 years old – coming from households with income exceeding $80k.

The Mercedes demographic is older buyers. The price tag alone will exclude most purchasers, which is why the Tesla Model 3 makes more sense for most. You can have your luxury car, do your bit for the planet and spend a third of the price compared to a Mercedes.

I understand that many luxury car buyers don’t want to see a version of their car parked in every bay. One of the appeals of owning a luxury car is that you can stand out with your exclusivity. But although the number of Model 3’s sold is enormous, there is quite the wait from order to delivery.

If you are willing to dream for a couple of months (sometimes longer) for delivery of your Model 3, then that exclusivity alone is enough to deem the Model 3 a luxury car.

Why You Should Choose a Model 3

The Model 3 is an excellent choice as a luxury car. As I said, the technology is top-class, the price is reasonable, and the EV knowledge is streets ahead of other EV manufacturers, even if this will be short-lived. But the best selling point of the Model 3 is the charging infrastructure.

Tesla is the world leader in the charging network. Of course, this will also change over time with more and more other EV charge companies coming on stream, but currently, the Tesla Supercharger network is over 35,000 charge points nationwide. This is a fantastic achievement and a real selling point.

The other EV companies are very much playing catch up to Tesla Superchargers. Non-Tesla can’t avail of the Supercharger network, and when you roll into an Electrify America station or similar many are either full or out of order. This will improve as more EVs (non-Tesla) are sold.

Range anxiety is one of Tesla and EV owners’ biggest concerns. When purchasing an EV, most will still opt for the Tesla over other luxury EVs simply because of the charging network guarantee across the USA.

Here are a few common questions folks ask about Teslas:

I’ve written a ton on common Tesla issues, which hopefully you won’t ever experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:

Check out the Tesla category page for a list of popular Tesla posts.

Check out the Tesla troubleshooting page for problem Teslas.

Check out the Tesla charging page for common Tesla charging problems.

If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category.

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is a technical writer here at He's a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. He's worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers.

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