The Tesla Model 3 dominates the EV sedan market, and with good reason. The Model 3 is a performance beast that just so happens to do most other things well. The Model 3 can be equipped to go the distance with configurations prioritizing range and can also be configured to compete with the best performance cars in the market.
Regardless, there are great alternatives to the Model 3 for sale right now. Check out this collection of Model 3 alternatives before you go shopping for a new EV.
1. BMW i4
BMW has always been renowned for its sports sedans; in fact, it can be argued BMW has been the standard-bearer of the sport sedan segment with its M3 and M5 line of vehicles for many years. With the massive proliferation of electric vehicles, BMW is back at it again with the i4 electric sedan.
This sporty sedan is an excellent alternative to the Model 3, especially if you want a vehicle that looks more like a conventional car. The BMW’s styling is very much in line with the conventionally powered 4-series and 3-series sedans, and that’s a good thing because the styling is quite appealing on those models (except for the controversial grille).
The M50 version of the i4 also happens to be a performance EV monster. It features dual electric motors putting out 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque, definitely enough to get your blood pumping during your morning commute. The great 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 recover 97 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes using a DC fast charger, which is great for peace of mind and erasing range anxiety. This is definitely a car that allows you to truly take advantage of getting your home EV ready with an L2 charger. The powerful BMW i4 M50 starts at $67,300. Is it cheap? Absolutely not. Is it a great alternative to a Tesla Model 3 Performance? Yes.
2. Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 starts at $40,900 after the federal tax credit, so this vehicle is aiming squarely at Tesla’s smallest sedan in terms of price. The Polestar also offers unique styling that many might prefer to the melted-candle look of the Model 3. While the Polestar isn’t necessarily pretty in the conventional sense of vehicle styling, it is very different and aggressive.
This unique design approach serves the Polestar well; to be honest, there isn’t anything else like it on the road. According to Polestar, the Polestar 2 can be configured to offer up to 270 miles of range, which is identical to the BMW i4 M50, but very much inferior to what the long-range Model 3 can deliver.
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 can’t compete with the monster range served by the Lucid Air in its peak efficiency configuration. In terms of performance, the Polestar can also be equipped to go somewhat toe-to-toe with some Model 3 configurations.
The Polestar can be configured with the optional Performance Pack, which delivers 476 hp and can scoot to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. These numbers are excellent, especially considering that the extra oomph only sacrifices 10 miles of total range, coming in at 260 miles for the sportier version of the Polestar 2.
The Polestar 2 isn’t a vehicle you might instantly recognize as an EV; for many people, that’s actually a strong selling point. The only drawback is that you can option the Model 3 to go the distance, whereas the Polestar’s range is only adequate.
3. Hyundai IONIQ 5
The IONIQ 5 is probably the most stylish EV on sale; its futuristic lines are reminiscent of a ride from Back To The Future, especially when finished in silver. The entire theme of the IONIQ 5’s styling harkens back to 80’s sci-fi films, and this is an absolutely amazing look that sets it apart from everything else on the road. It’s difficult to say how this nostalgic look will age, but presently it’s definitely a home run.
Especially iconic are the IONIQ 5’s blocky LED taillights, which carry out the retro-futuristic look exceptionally well. In RWD configuration, the IONIQ 5 offers up to 303 miles 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 dual motor variant that puts out 320 hp.
The electric Hyundai also features a hatchback design that makes it appear like an SUV that’s been completely lowered on air suspension. Thanks to this setup, the IONIQ 5 is very practical in terms of storage but also provides the handling benefits of a vehicle that’s 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 an excellent thing. The interior is much more lively and welcoming than the clinical approach to interiors that Tesla usually takes. The only apparent drawback to the IONIQ 5 is the fact that it’s only available in very limited quantities in 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 total EV sales worldwide. Regardless, a new pack of EV competitors has emerged, and they’re all ready to fight Tesla head-on.
The most important thing is that the competition can now provide distinct choices to consumers that might have begun to feel a bit bored with the current offerings from Tesla.
The segment now features many models with a unique blend of attributes (and cons). This range of options provides new EV shoppers with the variety they’ve become accustomed to when shopping for a traditional vehicle. The great news is that many more EV choices in this hyper-competitive segment are on the way.