The Tesla Model 3 dominates the EV sedan market, and for good reason. The Model 3 is a performance beast that just happens to get most other things right. The Model 3 can be outfitted to go the long way with range-priority configurations and can also be configured to compete with the best-performing cars on the market.
Anyway, there are great alternatives to the Model 3 on sale right now. Before you shop for a new EV, check out this collection of Model 3 alternatives.
1. BMW i4
BMW has always been known for its sports sedans; it could even be argued that BMW has been the standard-bearer of the sports sedan segment for many years with its M3 and M5 line of vehicles. With the mass proliferation of electric vehicles, BMW is back again with the i4 electric sedan.
This sporty sedan is an excellent alternative to the Model 3, especially if you want a vehicle that is more like a conventional car. The BMW’s styling is very much in line with the conventionally powered 4 Series and 3 Series sedans, which is a good thing, as the styling is quite attractive on those models (except for the controversial grille).
The M50 version of the i4 also happens to be a performance EV monster. It features twin electric motors rated at 536 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque, sure enough to get your blood pumping on your commute. The good news is that the i4 M50 is also very efficient; it can travel up to 270 miles on a single charge.
These are great numbers for a vehicle this powerful. The i4 M50 can also restore 147 miles of range in about 10 minutes using a DC fast charger, which is great for peace of mind and erasing range anxiety. This is definitely a car you can really take advantage of getting your home EV ready with an L2 charger. The high-performance BMW i4 M50 starts at $67,300. It’s cheap? Absolutely not. Is it a great alternative to a Tesla Model 3 Performance? Yes.
2. Pole Star 2
The Polestar 2 starts at $40,900 after the federal tax credit, so this vehicle focuses entirely on Tesla’s smallest sedan in terms of price. The Polestar also offers unique styling that many may prefer over the melted candle look of the Model 3. While the Polestar isn’t necessarily pretty in the conventional sense of vehicle styling, it’s very different and aggressive.
This unique design approach serves the Polestar well; to be honest there is nothing else like it on the road. According to Polestar, the Polestar 2 can be configured to offer a range of up to 270 miles, which is identical to the BMW i4 M50 but far inferior to what the long-range Model 3 can offer.
This is still an area where Tesla dominates the market; most of their vehicles offer class-leading range, except for the Model S, which simply cannot compete with the monster range served by the Lucid Air in its maximum efficiency configuration. In terms of performance, the Polestar can also be outfitted to go a little head-to-toe with some Model 3 configurations.
The Polestar can be configured with the optional Performance Pack, which delivers 476 hp and accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. These numbers are excellent, especially considering that the extra oomph only sacrifices 10 miles in total range, which adds up to 260 miles for the sportier version of the Polestar 2.
The Polestar 2 isn’t a vehicle you’d instantly recognize as an EV; for many people, that’s actually a strong selling point. The only downside is that you can choose the Model 3 to cover the distance, while the Polestar’s range alone is sufficient.
3.Hyundai IONIQ 5
The IONIQ 5 is probably the most stylish EV on the market; the futuristic lines are reminiscent of a ride from Back To The Future, especially when finished in silver. The whole theme of the IONIQ 5’s styling harks back to 80s sci-fi movies, and this is an absolutely awesome look that sets it apart from everything else on the road. It’s hard to say how this nostalgic look will age, but right now it’s definitely a home run.
Particularly iconic are the IONIQ 5’s checkered LED rear lights, which express the retro-futuristic look extremely well. In RWD configuration, the IONIQ offers 5 to 500 km of range from its all-electric powertrain, which is more than enough for the average daily commute. The IONIQ 5 can also be configured to be more on the sporty side with a twin engine variant that delivers 320 horsepower.
The electric Hyundai also has a hatchback design that makes it resemble an SUV fully lowered on air suspension. Thanks to this arrangement, the IONIQ 5 is very practical in terms of storage, but also offers the driving characteristics of a vehicle lower to the ground. Inside, the IONIQ 5 is reminiscent of a Model 3, but uniquely Korean.
The IONIQ 5 borrows a bit from Tesla’s interior design language, but doesn’t go the ultra-minimalist route, which is a great thing. The interior is much more vibrant and welcoming than Tesla’s usual clinical approach to interiors. The only obvious downside to the IONIQ 5 is the fact that it is only available in very limited quantities at select dealers across the country.
Much more variety to come
The Tesla Model 3 is a fantastic vehicle and it has catapulted Tesla into the stratosphere in terms of overall EV sales worldwide. Either way, a new pack of EV competitors has emerged, and they’re all set to take on Tesla head-on.
Most importantly, the competition can now offer clear choices to consumers who may be a little bored with Tesla’s current offerings.
The segment now features many models with a unique mix of attributes (and drawbacks). This range of options offers new EV buyers the variety they have come to expect from buying a traditional vehicle. The good news is that many more EV choices in this hyper-competitive segment are on the way.