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The Ground Game: Understanding Tesla Model 3 Clearance

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The Tesla Model 3 is a car that needs no introduction. With its sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and impressive performance, it’s no wonder why the Model 3 has become one of the most popular electric cars on the market. However, one aspect of the Model 3 that often goes overlooked is its ground clearance. While this may not seem like a significant factor to consider, it can have a big impact on the car’s capabilities and suitability for different types of driving conditions. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ground clearance of a Tesla Model 3.

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What is Ground Clearance

Ground clearance refers to the distance between the ground and the lowest part of a vehicle. This measurement is important because it affects the vehicle’s ability to navigate different types of terrain and obstacles. A vehicle with a low ground clearance may struggle to drive over speed bumps, curbs, or rocky terrain without scraping the undercarriage.

Why Does Ground Clearance Matter for a Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is an electric car that’s designed to offer a combination of performance, comfort, and eco-friendliness. However, like any other car, it needs to be able to navigate the world around it. That’s where ground clearance comes into play.

If you live in an area with uneven or poorly maintained roads, you need a car that can handle those challenges. A car with low ground clearance can suffer from underbody damage if it scrapes against the ground while driving over a bump or pothole. This can cause expensive repairs, reduce the lifespan of your car, and compromise your safety.

In addition to being able to handle uneven terrain, a car with good ground clearance can also give you the freedom to explore off-road. Whether you’re driving on a dirt road or through a wooded area, a car with high ground clearance can make it easier to navigate obstacles like fallen branches or rocks.

How Does the Tesla Model 3 Measure Up in Terms of Ground Clearance

The Tesla Model 3 has a ground clearance of 5.5 inches (140 mm) for the standard rear-wheel-drive version and 5.2 inches (133 mm) for the all-wheel-drive version. While this is lower than some SUVs or trucks, it’s in line with many other sedans on the market.

It’s worth noting that Tesla’s Model S and Model X have higher ground clearances, at 6.3 inches (160 mm) and 8.0 inches (203 mm), respectively. However, these models are also larger and heavier than the Model 3.

What are the Pros and Cons of the Tesla Model 3’s Ground Clearance

Like any vehicle, the Tesla Model 3 has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to ground clearance. Here are some things to consider:


  • Good for city driving: It is suitable for city driving, where the roads are generally well-maintained and free of obstacles.
  • Lower center of gravity: The Model 3’s battery is located under the floor, which lowers the center of gravity and improves handling.
  • Improved aerodynamics: The lower ground clearance also improves the car’s aerodynamics, which can improve efficiency and range.


  • Limited off-road capability: The low ground clearance makes the Model 3 less suitable for off-road driving, where obstacles like rocks or roots can cause damage to the undercarriage.
  • Reduced clearance in winter conditions: In areas with heavy snow or ice, the Model 3’s low ground clearance can be a disadvantage, making it harder to navigate through deep snow or navigate over ice-covered roads.
  • Limited towing capacity: The low ground clearance also means that the Model 3 has a limited towing capacity of just 2,000 pounds, which may be a disadvantage for those who need to tow heavy loads.

Despite these limitations, the Tesla Model 3’s ground clearance is generally sufficient for most drivers’ needs. Unless you regularly drive over rough terrain or need to tow heavy loads, the Model 3 should be able to handle your daily driving needs.

Ways to Increase the Ground Clearance of a Tesla Model 3

If you’re looking to increase the ground clearance of your Tesla Model 3, there are a few options available. One popular choice is to install aftermarket coilovers, which can raise the car’s ride height and improve its handling. However, it’s important to note that modifying your car in this way may void your warranty and could potentially cause other issues down the line.

Another option is to install larger wheels and tires, which can also increase the ground clearance of your car. However, this can affect the car’s handling and may lead to other issues like increased road noise or reduced fuel efficiency.

Ultimately, the best way to increasing it is by investing in a different vehicle with higher clearance if you need to navigate rough terrain regularly.

tesla model 3 ground clearance

Photo by Martin Katler on Unsplash


What is the ground clearance of a Tesla Model 3?

The ground clearance of a Tesla Model 3 is approximately 5.5 inches.

Is the ground clearance of a Model 3 suitable for driving on rough terrain?

The ground clearance of a Model 3 is not suitable for driving on rough terrain. It is best suited for regular road use.

Can I increase the ground clearance of my Tesla Model 3?

Yes, you can increase it by installing aftermarket coilovers or larger wheels and tires. However, it is important to note that this may void your warranty and could potentially cause other issues down the line.

Can I tow heavy loads with a Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 has a limited towing capacity of just 2,000 pounds due to its low ground clearance. If you need to tow heavier loads, you may want to consider a vehicle with a higher towing capacity.

Is the low ground clearance of a Tesla Model 3 a safety concern?

It is not a safety concern for regular road use. However, it may be a concern if you need to navigate over rough terrain or drive in areas with heavy snow or ice.

Bottom Line

The ground clearance of a Tesla Model 3 is an important factor to consider when evaluating this popular electric car. While the Model 3’s clearance may not be suitable for off-road adventures or heavy towing, it’s generally sufficient for most drivers’ needs. If you’re considering purchasing a Model 3 and live in an area with rough terrain or heavy snow, you may want to explore ways to increase the car’s clearance or consider other options.

However, for most drivers, it shouldn’t be a significant cause for concern. As electric cars continue to gain popularity, it’s important to consider all aspects of their design and capabilities, including ground clearance, to ensure that you’re making the right choice for your driving needs.

The smart choice is electric mobility. We make it even easier for you to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) by helping you find the best charging experience possible. 

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