Autopilot is one of Tesla’s most iconic (and controversial) features. While it’s readily available on the Model S and Model X, is Autopilot also on the cheaper Tesla Model 3? One of the biggest hurdles for buying a Tesla is the high price associated with most models. The Tesla Model S starts at $104,490 and goes up to at least $140,490 for the Plaid model. The Tesla Model X is even more expensive, starting at $120,490 for the baseline model and going up to at least $144,490 for the Plaid version.
That’s what makes the Tesla Model 3 so appealing. While it’s not necessarily ‘cheap,’ the $48,490 starting price is substantially more affordable than the Model S or Model X. Even splurging for the highest-end Model 3 Performance only takes the price up to $62,990 — multiple thousands of dollars cheaper than the cheapest Model S.
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But Tesla didn’t reach the low price of the Model 3 without making a few compromises. Compared to the Model S, the Model 3 has less horsepower, a shorter range, and a lower top speed. One feature that remains the same, however, is Autopilot. Just like all other Tesla vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 does have Autopilot functionality.
Everything You Can Do With Autopilot On The Model 3
The first Autopilot feature you get on the Model 3 is Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. This allows the Model 3 to sense if a vehicle is in front of it and automatically adjust its speed accordingly. The Model 3 also comes with Autosteer. Autosteer is an extension of Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and enables the Model 3 to make steering adjustments on its own. If the Model 3 detects lane markings or other cars/objects, it ‘assists you in steering’ to make sure you stay on course.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer are included for free on every Tesla Model 3. Regardless of which version you purchase or how you customize it, those two features are standard for the vehicle. However, if you want more expansive self-driving features, you’ll need to purchase Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package. This can be purchased as a $12,000 add-on before or after buying the Model 3.
The Full Self-Driving Package takes the standard Autopilot features and cranks them up to 11. A prime example of this is Auto Lane Change. If you’re driving on a highway, Auto Lane Change lets the Model 3 analyze the car in front of you and make a lane change/merge entirely on its own. The Full Self-Driving Package also allows the Model 3 to automatically drive on and off highway ramps, automatically park itself, navigate to you from a parking lot with the Summon feature, and automatically stop/slow down when it detects traffic lights and stop signs.
Is any of that actually worth $12,000? If you do a lot of long road trips and have the cash to burn, the extra functionality of the Full Self-Driving Package is convenient to have. But if not, there’s no reason to rush out and buy it. The Tesla Model 3 is still a perfectly capable vehicle without it — and thanks to standard Autopilot features like Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer — you still get some self-driving smarts without needing to pay extra.