Jay Leno Thinks The New Model 3 Is A Great Deal For Under $40,000

Tesla just gave its entry-level car its first refresh ever. And while we here at InsideEVs haven’t gotten behind the wheel of the 2024 Model 3 “Highland” yet—we’re working on it!—certified car freak Jay Leno has. 

In a new video on his Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube channel, Leno drives the Model 3, chats with Tesla’s top designer and engineer and offers up his thoughts on one of Tesla’s most important new cars. 

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Tesla’s refreshed Model 3

Tesla recently kicked off sales of its redesigned Model 3 sedan. The carmaker’s entry-level sedan is one of its top sellers but hasn’t been updated since it launched in 2017. Most car companies refresh their vehicles much more frequently. 

According to Leno, the new Model 3’s quality, performance and sub-$40,000 price tag make it a screaming deal. It starts at $38,990 for the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive variant with 272 miles of EPA-estimated range. 

“The most impressive thing is it’s under $40,000. It really is everything my Model S is,” Leno said. “Just not as fast. Not as as big. But that’s OK.” 

To be sure, the dual-motor Model 3 Long Range that Leno tested doesn’t actually cost under $40,000. Sporting increased performance and range over the base model, that version will run you $47,740 before any state or local incentives. (After a rule change that went into effect this year, the Model 3 doesn’t qualify for the federal EV tax credit, which is worth up to $7,500.)

Leno repeatedly compared the Model 3 to his Model S, Tesla’s larger and pricier sedan. He said it’s just as quiet and doesn’t feel like a big downgrade. 

“It still feels like quality, it doesn’t feel like a cheaper version of a big car.” “This doesn’t feel lesser, it just feels smaller.”

Tesla gave the Model 3, one of its best sellers, a much-needed redesign last year. That includes refreshed styling, a new interior and efficiency upgrades. Before the update (internally named “Highland”), the Model 3 had been essentially unchanged since it launched in 2017. 

Learn more about the car and Jay Leno’s thoughts here: