The Tesla Model 3 is hotly anticipated as a potential long-range and affordable electric car that will be accessible to millions of customers, but how does it hold up when compared the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S?
Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: Different Markets
The first thing worth nothing is that the cars are engineered to appeal to different markets. The Tesla Model S is a luxury vehicle, seating 5 with an optional 2 seat option for a total capacity of 7 people. It’s the ultimate in luxury when it comes to electric vehicles, so it’s a little bit unfair to compare the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S.
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Still, with the Model 3 looking so far away, it’s worth taking a look at the S and seeing if it’s worth springing for luxury due to the uncertain future of the more affordable vehicles.
It’s important, however, to take this comparison of the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S with a grain of salt, as the Model S is a high-end car while the goal of the Model 3 is mass production.
Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: Size
One of the most obvious differences when comparing the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S is the difference in size. The Model S is around 196” x 77” x 57” while the Model 3 is 185” x 73” x 67”. This means the Model S is around a foot longer, and that extra foot translates to more space in the car as well as more space taken up.
Whether the extra length and width is a good thing depends on your needs. If you’re parking in the city, the Tesla Model 3 might be your best bet. If leg room and spaciousness is your main concern the Tesla Model S has it in the bag.
The Tesla Model S also has more room in the trunk, making it the winner when it comes to hauling gear.
Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: Weight
While weight might not seem like an important factor when comparing the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S, it has a marked effect on the efficiency of the vehicles.
The Model 3 is around 1000 pounds lighter than the Model S, which translates to more efficiency and, likely, a longer range. The Model S has a lot of advantages, but it’s definitely less efficient than its more affordable brother which may make it more expensive to charge as well.
All in all, if price is a concern the Model 3 is the better buy in more ways than one.
Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: Handling
Another notable difference between the two cars is the handling. The Model 3 feels like a tiny sports car, handling curves easily and accelerating rapidly which makes it a joy to drive.
The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, is a little bit sluggish in comparison. It still performs admirably in testing, but the extra 1000 pounds of weight and much larger size makes it a little less powerful.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury, the Model S is your best bet. If havino the handling of a sports car is more important, the Model 3 is the clear winner.
Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: Price
The main reason that many pre ordered the Tesla Model 3 versus springing for the Model S was the fact that it’s significantly less expensive. At around $35000 for the base model, the car is around half as expensive as the base model of the Tesla Model S which starts at nearly $70000.
The Model S offers a more luxurious experience, there’s no doubt about it, but you’ll be paying for that luxury to the order of around 100% more than you’d pay with the Model 3.
With that said, those who have tested the Model 3 insist that it isn’t necessarily the lesser car. When it comes to actual “car behavior”, the Model 3 may come out on top with better efficiency and handling. You trade luxury for efficiency and control, and for many that may actually outweigh the extra perks that the Tesla Model S has to offer.
All in all, it’s difficult to declare a clear “winner” in this comparison of the Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S. Considering that the Tesla Model S is actually available versus the uncertain future of the Tesla Model 3, however, you may be best served by buying the S.
With that said, if you’re willing to wait, you’ll likely be able to save a significant amount of money while still enjoying a sporty and capable car that will save you thousands in gas costs over the course of your ownership.