How to Tell If a Standard Range Model 3 Is a $35,000 Base Model or an (unofficial) Standard Range Plus

Feb 13, 2020   

Tesla produces two variants of the Standard Range Model 3: Standard Range and Standard Range Plus. There are various ways to check which configuration the vehicle is, regardless of what’s listed on the “About My Tesla” page.

Both vehicles come equipped with a vegan leather “partial premium interior.” Although Tesla had originally intended for the Standard Range model to have a more basic cloth interior with manual seats, their plans had changed so the interior is identical on both. Tesla even added front heated seats back to the Standard Range model. In terms of appearance, there are no obvious differences.

Tangible differences come down to two factors: range and features. The Standard Range Plus model should reflect about 240 miles of range at 100% battery, while the Standard Range model will reflect roughly 220 miles of range. (Range estimates are based on driving habits and efficiency, among other factors.) Fog lights are included standard on the Standard Range Plus model, and are omitted on the Standard Range. A key way to check which configuration is active is to enable Immersive Sound on the touchscreen under audio settings, as this can only be enabled on the Standard Range Plus configuration.

It should be noted that either configuration can have Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability, although Autopilot wasn’t always standard on the Standard Range Plus as it is today when purchased new. (That configuration was originally $37,000 without Autopilot.) It is possible to add Autopilot to the Standard Range model for $3,000.

What can become confusing for some prospective used buyers is that Tesla had originally delivered Standard Range Plus models with all features and range enabled to Standard Range buyers. These features were intended to be disabled over time with a software update, but some buyers during this period have reported that Tesla has yet to deactivate them and essentially “downgrade” their Model 3 to a Standard Range.

This presents a potentially good value for buyers looking at a used Standard Range model, but keep in mind that it isn’t unprecedented for Tesla to remove features that weren’t paid for even months after delivery. Tesla had recently conducted an audit on Autopilot/Full Self-Driving Capability users with vehicles that had those features enabled even though nobody had actually paid for them, and updated their vehicles accordingly over-the-air to remove them. It is a possibility that that could occur here at any time. Keep in mind that a Standard Range Model 3 can be officially upgraded to a Standard Range Plus at a cost of $2,000. (If Standard Range Plus is listed on the “About My Tesla” page, then the car is already an official Standard Range Plus model.)

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