Skip to main content

The best Tesla Model 3 alternatives

Going electric doesn’t require a vehicle from Tesla. While the folks at Tesla offer an impressive set of features in the Model 3, including a range of up to 353 miles, the near $38,000 starting price can be quite intimidating. Beyond the sticker price itself, some consumers may be concerned about repeated Tesla quality control concerns or are simply not fans of the company’s more minimalist interior and exterior design. We’ve compiled a list of alternative vehicles that you can check out when you’re ready to hit the road in a new electric vehicle but don’t want Elon Musk as your copilot.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric 2020

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Beyond Tesla, manufacturers of electric vehicles seem to have little interest in producing sedan offerings. However, if you’re dead-set on selecting a vehicle that looks somewhat like a sedan, even though it’s technically a hatchback, take a look at the Ioniq Electric from Hyundai. Starting at around $33,000, the Ioniq Electric has a range of up to 170-miles. The higher-end Limited trim offers a healthy selection of technology-focused features, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster, and Highway Drive Assist. While the Hyundai doesn’t get quite the mileage that the Tesla Model 3 can achieve, the Ioniq Electric still offers enough range for short and medium-range trips — long-range adventures will need some extra charging stops.

Chevy Bolt EV 2020

best electric cars Chevy Bolt vs. Nissan Leaf
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you don’t want to sacrifice range, then Chevrolet’s Bolt EV could be a strong contender. This fast little hatchback offers up to 200 horsepower and a range of 259 miles on a single charge. We also believe that tech-lovers will adore the inside of this vehicle with its optional two-tone leather seats and modern dashboard styling. The optional Driver Confidence II package includes automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, front pedestrian braking, and automatic high beam headlamps. The Chevy Bolt EV hasn’t stood out as the coolest car on the block, but it’s available in various colors and offers a decent range, making the starting price of around $36,000 worth considering. And, of course, it offers a large 10.2-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as standard.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you don’t mind a larger vehicle, turn your attention to the Kona Electric by Hyundai; this all-electric SUV starts at around $37,000 and offers a range of up to 258 miles. The Kona is a superb choice for families looking to do a bit of traveling or those who simply want extra room for shopping and loading in new furniture. The Hyundai Kona Electric offers several tech features we expect, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, and a slew of smart driving features — forward collision-avoidance, lane-keeping assist, smart stop-and-go cruise control, and high beam assist. One feature that we can’t help but nerd out over is the built-in head-up display with speed and navigation information.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf 2020

If you merely want to get on the road in an electric vehicle but don’t want to break the bank, consider the Nissan Leaf. Nissan’s Leaf is one of the cars credited with re-sparking the public’s interest in going electric. The 2020 model starts at around $32,000 (the most affordable on our list) and achieves a range of up to 226 miles if you’re willing to stretch your budget. If you’re looking to step into the world of advanced assisted driving technology, the Leaf even offers Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system, which combines stop-and-go smart cruise control with intelligent lane centering. One important note is that the starting price includes the smaller 40kWh battery with a 149-mile range; you’ll need to spend at least $38,000 for the large 62kWh battery with a 226-mile range.

Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
Tesla faces new rival as a tech giant launches its first EV
Xiaomi's first electric car, the SU7.



Read more
The R3 is Rivian’s surprise electric crossover
Rivian R3

Rivian didn't just announce the R2 platform at its latest launch event -- in a surprise twist, it also announced the R3 crossover. The R3 is Rivian's smallest car yet, offering a size much closer to the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 than the SUVs that came before it.

Of course, not only is the Rivian R3 smaller, but presumably, it's also cheaper. Rivian didn't reveal actual pricing for the car, but it did say that it would be less than the R2's $45,000 price. Also, it may be some time before we start seeing the R3 on the road -- the car will follow the R2, which isn't set to be available until the first half of 2026.

Read more
Here’s how Ford will give EV customers Tesla Supercharger access
Ford EVs at a Tesla Supercharger station.

Ford announced last year that it would adopt the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS) for EV fast charging, granting Ford drivers access to the Tesla Supercharger network. Now, the automaker is providing a little more detail on exactly how that will work.

In the original May 2023 announcement, Ford said owners of existing EVs — which use the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) instead of NACS — would be able to charge at Supercharger stations via an adapter. Today, the automaker announced that the adapter developed by Tesla is now available to order. EV owners can order one free adapter per vehicle through Ford's website between now and June 30. The adapter will otherwise retail for $230. Ford plans to begin building new vehicles with NACS connectors in the near future.

Read more