2021 Tesla Model 3

Research, photos, specs and expertise
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Tesla Model 3 highlights

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  • More battery range for all 2021 models
  • Comfortable, spacious cabin


  • Touchscreen for all secondary controls can be distracting
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ still not offered

263 - 353 miles

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Facing more competition, the Tesla Model 3 is improved for 2021

Tesla has had a huge success with its Model 3, but rival manufacturers are chasing the popular EV, so it has made some changes for 2021. The key revisions relate to the 2021 Model 3's range and efficiency, and Tesla has addressed criticism of interior and exterior trim quality by replacing it. There's also a new standard integrated wireless charger, but your smartphone will only connect to your Model 3 via Bluetooth®. Tesla doesn't offer smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. That’s arguably one of the biggest tech failings in the otherwise tech-laden Model 3.

The Standard Range Plus model now has an EPA-estimated range of 263 miles (up from 250 miles), while both the all-wheel-drive Long Range and Performance models boast estimated ranges in excess of 300 miles. Add the accessibility to Tesla's Supercharger infrastructure, and the Model 3 is ready for a road trip. Every Model 3 is quick and enjoyable to drive, and the cabin is spacious and comfortable. The huge 15-inch touchscreen, meanwhile, bundles everything except the driving controls for a sleek look and relatively simple operation. But it can be a touch distracting to use while you're driving. While there's more competition now from cars like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia Niro, and Volkswagen ID.4, the Tesla Model 3 remains a firm favorite.

All Tesla Model 3 years

What is new for the 2021 Tesla Model 3?

  • The Standard Range trim has been discontinued for 2021.
  • Model 3 trims have been upgraded with Heated Steering Wheel as standard equipment this year.
  • The Standard Range Plus trim now comes with Rear Seat Heaters as standard equipment.

2021 Tesla Model 3 trims

Curious how Tesla Model 3 trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

  • Standard Plus: Includes 18-inch wheels, simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, power trunk lid, panoramic glass roof, 15-inch touchscreen, navigation, four USB ports, wireless device charging, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround-view parking camera.

  • Long Range: Adds all-wheel drive, heated rear seats, immersive sound 15-speaker premium audio system

  • Performance: Adds 20-inch wheels, aluminum-alloy pedals, performance-tuned brakes, carbon fiber rear spoiler, sports suspension, track mode.

Tesla Model 3 photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Tesla Model 3

1. Built around the driver

2021 Tesla Model 3: Dashboard | CarMax

At the heart of the 2021 Model 3's interior is a huge 15-inch touch screen. It's from here you can control most of the vehicle's features, keep an eye on your range, and find convenient charging stops. The software running the screen is designed to be continually updated, meaning you'll have access to the latest updates and new features without having to lift a finger. The rest of the cockpit is just as well thought out with a panoramic glass roof to let in lots of light and a zen-like minimalist interior that's a pleasure to spend time in.

2. Lots of electric miles

2021 Tesla Model 3: Front of car | CarMax

Electric vehicles have come a long way in the last five years and the 2021 Tesla Model 3 is no exception. With an EPA-estimated range of 263 miles on Standard Range Plus models (when fully charged), daily errands and trips out for work are covered.

If that's not quite enough, look out for the Long Range model, which gets an EPA-estimated 353 miles on a full charger—road trip, anyone?

3. All-wheel drive

2021 Tesla Model 3: Side of car | CarMax

Now with the option of a second motor powering the rear wheels, Tesla Model 3 owners can get all-wheel drive as standard on Long Range and Performance models. This dual-motor setup means superior grip when cornering or when tackling inclement weather. This is particularly useful on the Performance model when you're taking advantage of its sport suspension and incredible acceleration (3.1 seconds to 60 mph, according to the manufacturer, when new).

4. Cargo space all around

2021 Tesla Model 3: Storage under hood | CarMax

Not only do you get 15 cu-ft of trunk that is ready to swallow up all your stuff—you also get a 'frunk'. This front trunk gives you additional storage space in the area where your engine would normally go. If that's not enough, you can fold the rear seats for more useable space and could even use the 2021 Model 3 for car camping if that's your style.

5. Clever tech

2021 Tesla Model 3: Touchscreen | CarMax

All Teslas are classed as software-defined vehicles. This means the 2021 Model 3 is built with tech in mind — and it shows. The optional self-driving abilities are just one example of this but you'll love clever features such as the built-in dashcam and Sentry Mode — when enabled, this uses the cameras all around the vehicle to record while it's parked. You'll also get parallel and perpendicular park assist as standard but you can upgrade this to allow the car to park itself.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Tesla Model 3, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Kia Niro Electric

With a 64-kWh battery and a 201-hp electric motor, the 2019–2021 Kia Niro EV is a great small electric SUV. On a full charge, you'll get an EPA-estimated 239 miles of range, which is plenty for life's little adventures.

There are also plenty of appealing features that come as standard to enhance the driving experience and the appeal of this vehicle.

The 2019–2021 Kia Niro EV EX base trim features as standard:

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay® connectivity

  • Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot detection

  • Touchscreen infotainment system

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

Tesla Model 3 features and specs

Standard Range Plus 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Automated Parking
Battery details


55.4 kWh

Range when new (EPA estimate)

315 miles

Estimated range today

Powered by Recurrent

The stated battery range data is from Recurrent, who develops vehicle battery range estimates based upon observed range data from thousands of EV owners. Actual battery range will vary depending on a number of factors, including the use, age, condition, trim level, wheel/tire size, and maintenance of the vehicle.
Recurrent estimates are provided by Recurrent and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. Estimates based on Recurrent data as of July 3, 2023. Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings.  Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings

284 - 304 miles

Est. range in 3 years

Powered by Recurrent

The stated battery range data is from Recurrent, who develops vehicle battery range estimates based upon observed range data from thousands of EV owners. Actual battery range will vary depending on a number of factors, including the use, age, condition, trim level, wheel/tire size, and maintenance of the vehicle.
Recurrent estimates are provided by Recurrent and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. Estimates based on Recurrent data as of July 3, 2023. Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings.  Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings

276 - 296 miles

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Other specifications

Drive Wheels

Rear Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size


Engine type




Overall length






Leg room

F 42.7"/R 35.2"

Head room

F 40.3"/R 37.7"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2021 Tesla Model 3 FAQ

More about the 2021 Tesla Model 3

Color options

2021 Tesla Model 3: Color options | CarMax

Exterior colors:

  • Deep Blue Metallic

  • Midnight Silver Metalic

  • Pearl White Multi-coat

  • Red Multi-Coat

  • Solid Black

Interior colors:

  • Black

  • Black/White

Interior details

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 doesn't look like anything else out there. The cutting-edge interior is minimalist with a focus on driving. The entire roof is made of glass, which brings you that much closer to nature and lets plenty of light into the cabin. All tasks are controlled through the center touchscreen, which also includes satellite navigation and other handy features.

Child seat details

The Model 3 has two full sets of LATCH anchors for the second-row outboard seats, with a further upper tether only for the slim middle seat. The exact location of each lower anchor is identified by a child safety seat identification button. While easy to identify, the bars are set quite deeply between the seat cushion and backrest. The upper tether points are on the rear shelf and easily identified. The outboard seats can accommodate convertible, booster, and infant seats.


As with all electric vehicles, the 2021 Model 3 offers quick zero-to-60 times, even from the base model. The Standard 2021 Tesla Model 3 will do the sprint in 5.3 seconds; the Long Range model in 4.2 seconds; and the top-of-the-line performance in just 3.1 seconds (all according to the manufacturer, when new).

If top performance is your goal, it's the Performance model you should look out for as it has all-wheel drive for increased grip, sports suspension, and a track driving mode. This model gets an EPA-estimated 315 miles of range on a full charge.

If maximum range is more important to you, the Long Range model is the right choice. It still has all-wheel drive but will go an EPA-estimated 353 miles on a full charge.

Year comparisons

2017–Present Tesla Model 3 (First Generation)

Tesla doesn't distinguish its vehicles by model year in the way many other manufacturers do. This is because it regularly offers over-the-air software updates, which can add new features, upgrade current ones, or unlock dormant components.

Notable hardware and trim changes do happen of course, including the introduction of the Standard Plus trim in 2019 and a boost to range figures in 2020. The most significant updates are noted for the 2021 model include a style refresh for the interior and exterior, further range increases, and a new noise-reducing window design.

For 2022, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is renamed to Rear-Wheel Drive. Heated rear seating also becomes standard.

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