Tesla Model 3 vs used Tesla Model S – DrivingElectric



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The Tesla Model 3 is a brilliant car. So brilliant in fact that it has no direct rivals. But what if you were to pitch up against a used Model S of a similar price? Vicky Parrott does exactly that to find out which offers the best deal…

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28 Replies to “Tesla Model 3 vs used Tesla Model S – DrivingElectric”

  1. Todd Jean

    I went with a used Model S. It's been a dream of mine to own once since they came out and I just don't really like the way the Model 3 looks. Something about the shape and the proportions are just all wrong for me. Same goes for the Model X. I also have children and the extra space will be nice for weekend trips. I might even get a hitch for my bike rack. To anyone out there that hasn't driven a Tesla. Once you do, you might buy one immediately. They are amazing to drive. The other thing that was a big decision maker was the screens. I really love the screens on the Model S. The fact that navigation shows in the instrument cluster area is just so awesome. I really enjoy the album art on there too. And the 17" screen is just nuts. I really love it. I will most likely splurge for the MCU2 at some point for the 4G and responsiveness but I'll see how it goes with the MCU1 for a while. It's really cool that stuff like that is up-gradable. My decision was admittedly not as practical but I fell in love with a car and that was the end of it. Better to buy what you like than settle on what you don't.

  2. agentjrb

    For me the front angle of the M3 is the worst part. There’s something “off” with the windshield design that gives it a bulbous-pod type look. I preferred the look of the prototype to the production model.

  3. Rick9482

    Thx for this particular comparison as I'm kinda turned off by the continuing paint and panel alignment issues in currently produced cars and, frankly, that front end design on the 3 just rubs me the wrong way.
    I think I would be more pleased with a used model S as it's got that little upmarket buzz.
    I've seen prices that I consider reasonable with relatively low millage.

  4. Free

    The Model S looks just soo much better I like the wide stands of the S. I don't like the "Mazda 3" look of the model 3 🙁
    I wish it had the similar Model S look in a little smaller package.

  5. Andrew Blake

    I’m not sure comparing the SR+ vs a Model S (even used) is quite right, ones a luxurious executive car the others an entry level Tesla with ‘partial’ premium interior. Should have used a LR Model 3 🙁

  6. Leo Kadic v2

    There are so many things wrong with this video.
    1. The Model S only had paid supercharging for, I think, the 2018 model year. Before that, it was free, and since 2019 it's been free.
    2. The build quality of the Model 3 is pretty far behind the Model S. The Model S has an alcantara headliner and leather everywhere. All the buttons are either rigid plastic or metal. The Model 3 buttons are quite scratchy and cheap, and everything feels a bit more flimsy. IMO in terms of quality the Model 3 compares with a Mercedes C-Class and the Model S compares with an E-Class (although it's a lot bigger, especially its boot).
    3. The ride quality of the Model 3 is also rougher than the Model S. Maybe the Model S she drove didn't have air suspension, but the new ones have air suspension that is now adaptive. The Model 3 uses regular coil suspension (which is still great, don't get me wrong).
    4. You get charging adapters for free in the Model S. So yes, you can use public chargers. Which even a road-tripping Model S driver would use about once a year, if that.
    5. The rear headroom is similar in both cars, maybe the Model 3 even gets the edge. But the Model S has much more comfortable seats and the rear legroom is like a standard wheelbase S-Class. (The Model 3 is above its rivals, such as the Mercedes C-Class, in this respect too.)
    Both are great cars so it's a shame that so many things are incorrect and misleading. The Model S is above the Model 3 in all objective respects, but that's to be expected since it's 50% more expensive even when fully equipped.

  7. Mark Chinery

    I'm not sure these facts have been checked. The headroom is better in the 3 by quite a bit & the battery degradation is not linear (there are people with over 100000 on the clock and less than 3% loss with the model 3)

  8. AK

    I was confused on which one to go for I knew model 3 has more warranty while model s has got lifetime FREE SUPERCHARGING I live near a supercharging station therefore I would be driving the car for literally FRRR therefore I went for an old Model s as I hate the interior of model 3. I don't know about others but I just don't like a single screen so called minimalistic interior. Plus I don't think there will be a problem fixing it for me as I have worked on these things and know about tech.

  9. Chris Drye

    Really great review, but I would also be very interested in the total cost of ownership over say three or four years for these two options if bought today (ie used S and new TM3) and how that compares. It’s hard to predict the residual values of a used electric car, but perhaps they are fairly strong which means the total cost is a good comparison.

  10. Chad Harris

    Great review; a question I have been debating for a year. I have to say though that if I’m honest with myself, I have to go with the used Model S. Here’s why: appearance of a Model S is significantly more professional, and just plain sexier. The room inside the cabin feels spacious and definitely has an “I made it” feel vs the Model 3 that feels more cramped youthful and more claustrophobic. The trunk in the model S is far more useful especially considering the hatchback. I could actually transport a decent size OLED Tv home from Best Buy in the Model S, and there is just no way of transporting the same size tv in a Model 3. In parallel to that, The Model S might actually be able to transport some camping equipment and small furniture, or perhaps a canopy for the beach or soccer games. I think my mind is made up, Model S it is when my Mercedes C300 lease is up in three weeks.

  11. N7eptune

    I prefer the Model S as there is little difference in price between a low spec Model S and a high spec Model 3 but for me the big difference is that lift back boot entry in the Model S which somehow you avoided showing.

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