By on March 18, 2019

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

First, it faded from the automaker’s ordering page — a disappearance noted on Sunday. Introduced last October as a cheaper stepping stone to the Model 3 lifestyle (and a sort-of apology for the then-undelivered $35,000 Standard Range), Tesla’s Mid Range variant offered 260 miles of driving range, compared to the 310 miles available to Model 3 Long Range drivers.

With the Standard Range now available to order, the Mid Range apparently serves no purpose in the Tesla stable.

Available only with black paint in base trim, the $35,000 Standard Range’s delivery date was recently pushed back from two to four weeks to perhaps eight. For those who longed for the model since the Model 3’s debut three years ago, what’s another few weeks of waiting?

Anyway, the Standard Range version offers a 220-mile driving radius, and the addition of a Standard Range Plus (240 miles) for an extra $2,000 makes the Mid Range model redundant. There’s some debate as to whether the cheapest Tesla is, in fact, profitable. Certainly, there was a clear financial reason for the lengthy delay in getting the model to consumers, not to mention the earlier release of a much pricier performance version of the dual motor model.

The quiet execution of the Model 3 Mid Range comes on the heels of last week’s strangely unenthusiastic launch of the Model Y — a Model 3-based compact crossover designed to mine customers in the juicy $40-$50k SUV segment. That model arrives late next year in two flavors: a Standard Range model with 230 miles of driving range, stickering for $39,000 (before destination), and a $47,000 Long Range model with 300 miles of driving distance packed into its battery.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said buyers of the cheaper version should expect their vehicles “sometime in 2021.”

Due to an abortive attempt to shutter its retail stores, Tesla plans to raise the recently dropped prices of all vehicles — sans Model 3 Standard Range — later this week by an average of 3 percent.

[Image: Tesla]

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29 Comments on “Tesla Model 3 Mid Range Fades From View...”


  • avatar
    Asdf

    Tesla has seriously messed up its marketing. What Tesla calls the “Standard Range” edition is actually the “Short Range” edition, and what it calls the “Long Range” edition is actually the “Mid Range” edition. It is therefore the “Long Range” edition that has vanished.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      See the Starbucks sizing strategy; all sizes are “large” in some way or another. There’s nothing new about how Tesla names their range sizes.

      Edit: how do you figure the longest range available ought to be called midrange?

      • 0 avatar
        Asdf

        Obviously because the longest range available, 300 miles, is not at all long, in fact it’s quite average at best for a car of this size. The range obviously needs to be significantly above average for the designation “Long range” not to constitute false advertising.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          Please point me to where i can find the official guidelines of vehicle range classification. Your argument is just as nonsensical as calling a medium coffee “grande”.

          Tesla had 3 different ranges, the base was standard, the first upgrade (ignoring the “standard plus”) is mid range, and the second upgrade, to their longest range, is long range. I think Tesla has done a lot of screwy things lately, but this ain’t one.

          • 0 avatar
            Asdf

            “Official guidelines of vehicle range classification”?! Now you’re being obtuse. The fact is, consumer expectations of range have been established by decades of vehicles with approximately the same size as the Tesla Model 3. To market a brand new vehicle as “Long range” suggests that this vehicle has a range *significantly* exceeding what has been normal for quite some time, whereas 300 miles of range is merely average, so the “Long range” designation is false marketing. (It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a BEV or an ICE-powered car, as obviously we cannot hold them to different standard since both types of vehicles are made to perform the same task.)

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a BEV or an ICE-powered car, as obviously we cannot hold them to different standard since both types of vehicles are made to perform the same task”

            Clever of you to point out what’s wrong with your argument, then dismiss it because you don’t want to acknowledge the different technologies do in fact achieve different outcomes, in spite of having the same basic goal. Sure, an EV and an ICE vehicle are both transportation. But ICE has been developed for over a century. EV’s have only been legitimately on the market for about 20 years now.

            In 10 years, sure 300 miles will be a basic, likely lower range for EV’s. Right now, it’s pretty much the longest range. Tesla could probably get away with calling their long range models the longest range available. They might want to point out that it’s the longest range EV available, but it doesn’t change the reality.

            If you don’t like EV tech, just say “i think EV’s are dumb and not ready for mainstream”. Half of that statement is correct. EV tech still has a long way to go before a meaningful amount of the market jumps on board. I’m interested in EV’s, but I’m not about to but one yet myself. I’d sooner get a hybrid right now. But all that doesn’t change the reality of what’s available and how it compares to competitors.

            And what i think you really want to say is “i hate Tesla”, which you should just do and move along. I don’t understand the consternation over something as silly as what an automaker regrets to their trim/vehicle range levels.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Ignore Asdf. He is a troll, to put it generously. Why the mods don’t just ban creeps who add zero value to the discussion, I will never understand.

          • 0 avatar
            Asdf

            @SlowMyke: I preemptively dismissed that argument because I know there are some fools who resort to that asinine line of reasoning. It seems I was right in suspecting that you would turn out to be one of those fools.

            While you’re busy demonstrating to the world why you call yourself SLOW Myke, the fact remains that 300 miles of range is quite modest for a car of the Model 3’s size in 2019, and that claiming otherwise is disingenuous, no matter how long different types of technologies have been in development for.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @asdf

            I never said i was impressed with 300 miles of range, and i also said it’s not something I’m interested in buying. But you’re nitpicking something so blatantly stupid – what’s the point other than to show how much contempt you have for Tesla as a company? It’s silly.

            As for the personal attacks, grow up dude. The internet doesn’t need more petty bullshit thrown about.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            I never said i was impressed with 300 miles of range, and i also said it’s not something I’m interested in buying. But you’re nitpicking something so blatantly stupid – what’s the point other than to show how much contempt you have for Tesla as a company? It’s silly.

            As for the personal attacks, grow up dude. The internet doesn’t need more petty bull**** thrown about.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      What was never there to begin with cannot vanish.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Hey Asdf,

      You might want to be careful about locking yourself into specific numbers with your criticisms – like 300 miles or 8.5 minutes or whatever. Because someday the technological leap might outpace your speed in moving the goalposts.

      Possibly relevant real-life example: My laptop was having issues – I ‘replaced’ it (for most purposes) with a refurbished Chromebook. If I unplug it right now, it shows over 12 hours remaining – i.e. my ‘computing device range anxiety’ is gone.

      • 0 avatar
        Asdf

        I see your point there. The problem with BEVs is that they move the goalposts in the wrong direction, and TTAC has a herd of brainwashed BEV apologists claiming that this is perfectly fine.

  • avatar
    wooootles

    With Tesla changing trims and prices every week it seems like, I wonder if that’s more migraine-inducing to a buyer than simply haggling below invoice on other cars with a dealership model…

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    I checked out a top-line Model 3 at Cars & Coffee this weekend. Panel fits and paint quality were actually better than I expected, if still not really any challenge to what you’d find on a Kia Rio.

    The owner – quite happy to tell how he spent “$70,000” for his entry-level Tesla, and whose general demeanor matched well to the brand stereotype – added he’d sat in a “Standard Range” Model 3, and that “you can really tell where they cut costs” over his car.

    “Jesus,” said another bystander. “That must be really miserable, then.”

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Hee hee hee! Yayup. How was the finish compared to your average John Deere riding mower?

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        My $$$ is on the Deere, and a colleague of mine who’s a enthusiast of that kind of stuff says they’ve seriously regressed from where they once were.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        In my neck of the woods, John Deere sells self driving combines for more than the cost of Ferraris.

        The combines earn their keep, and nobody says they’re uncomfortable.

        I guess John Deere makes residential scale mowing equipment, too. But the combines are where you’ll find the luxury, because farmers run those things 24 hours a day during harvest time.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      More recently, if you get it in black, skip the Autopilot HAL9000 stuff, and can take advantage of the remaining federal tax credit (most people in this price range can), then a Model 3 “Performance” is a $55,450 car.

      I think that is quite good for something with 4-doors that goes 0-60 in 3.5, does a 12.1 quarter and 2.0 50-70. That’s pretty much what a C63S manages. A well-driven Hellcat Charger will get you, but those cost over $10K more and their interior isn’t exactly amazing either.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    So when these cars begin to show up on the used car market, how are you going to be able to tell what you are buying? The owners are quick to say that with the OTA updates and the like, that Teslas “just keep getting better”, and that’s why there are no no model-year assignments, and that’s a good thing.

    I’d be hard-pressed to figure out what type of motherboard is in there, was the battery pack software unlocked to provide extra range, does this one have the revamped back seat, check for fog lights, etc?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve wondered that, too. Starting with the Model 3, Tesla no longer badges the car with the battery capacity.

      Other mfrs don’t, either, but they also don’t change battery capacities like their socks.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        You can get the battery size and other information from the “About Your Tesla” page on the center screen, at least according to several owner videos.

        I expect a savvy owner will post a pic of that screen in the for sale ad, when the time comes to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the down side with no real “model years” is it’s going to make service parts supply a pain especially with how often they change things. Unless they’re very careful to make sure updates supersede the old design. Not sure I fully trust them to do that.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Based on Tweater chatter, the remaining Tesla stores appear to have a lot of freedom to offer discounts on in-stock cars as they approach the end of the first quarter.

  • avatar
    Christopher Coulter

    With t̶h̶e̶ ̶S̶t̶a̶n̶d̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶R̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶w̶ many other more affordable and higher quality EV options already or soon available t̶o̶ ̶o̶r̶d̶e̶r̶, the M̶i̶d̶ ̶R̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶a̶r̶e̶n̶t̶l̶y̶ entire line-up of Tesla vehicles serves no purpose i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶T̶e̶s̶l̶a̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶b̶l̶e̶.

    FIFY

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Sure, if anyone can actually build and sell EVs in volume. Concepts and vaporware are easy.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        well, to be fair we have yet to see if there is actual volume to chase. we’ve no idea how large the market is for BEVs outside of the “I gotta have a Tesla!” crowd.

        if there is one at all.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Yep. So far we have CARB compliance cars, and cars that cost as much as a Tesla but aren’t even remotely as desirable. Lots of talk from the established manufacturers, still jack to show at the dealer.

  • avatar
    SharkDiver

    Think I’ll just hang on to my heavily modified ’06 Vette and lifted ’99 Tahoe.

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