Tesla Model 3 vs Model in-depth comparison

Tesla Model 3 vs Model S Comparison Data – Premium Options, Range, Performance & Price

May 31, 2017 | by Iqtidar Ali

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) recently posted a comparison chart between Model S and Model 3 that highlights main differences between the two vehicles. However Tesla did not mention which specific Model S version they are comparing Model 3 to.

Let’s first compare the base Tesla Model S which is equipped with a 75 kWh battery pack therefore might be the most affected with the Model 3 launch, which is expected to start with a 60 kWh battery pack for the base model.

Price

Variant

Model S

Model 3

Price difference to base Model 3

60* N/A $35,000 N/A
75* $69,500 TBA +$34,500
75D $74,500 TBA +$39,500
90D $87,500 N/A +$52,500
100D $97,500 N/A +$62,500
P100D $140,000 N/A +$105,000

* Tesla Model 3 is speculated to start at 60 kWh battery and a top spec model would be equipped with a 75 kWh pack.

The price difference of base Model S and 3 is $34,500 which basically means that you can buy two Model 3s in the price of one Tesla Model S 75. This might be the reason Tesla did not mention the price comparison on their official comparison page.

Performance is another area that Tesla is focusing while trying to anti-sell Model 3, let’s go through the stats to see the actual numbers and do they even matter for a car that is intended to be a daily runner.

Performance 0 - 60 mph

Variant

Model S

Model 3

Difference to base Model 3

60 N/A 5.6 sec N/A
75 5.5 Sec TBA 0.1 Sec
75D 5.2 Sec TBA 0.4 Sec
90D 4.2 Sec N/A 1.4 Sec
100D 4.2 Sec N/A 1.4 Sec
P100D 2.5 Sec N/A 3.1 Sec
P100D Ludicrous (Motor Trend) 2.3 Sec N/A 3.3 Sec

A measly 0.1 second defines the difference of 0-60 mph of the base models of both cars and that is surely ignore-able. The only difference that really means something is with the P100D but we can buy four Model 3s in the price of one P100D and in a day-to-day life we are not street racing.

So we think performance difference will not be a big issue for most of the masses that this car is made for. Tesla’s comparison chart does not mention the top-speed of Model 3 and that’s not without a reason, the top-speed of Model 3 would be very close to the Model S’s 155 mph, we will know for sure soon in July.

Let’s look at the ‘Range’ comparison of both the electric cars.

Range (EPA)

Variant

Model S

Model 3

Difference to base Model 3

60 208 mi 
335 km
215+ mi
346+ km
-7 mi
-11 km
60D 218 mi
350 km
TBA +3 mi
+4 km
70 230 mi
370 km
N/A +15 mi
+24 km
70D 240 mi
390 km
N/A +25 mi
+44 km
75 249 mi
400 km
TBA +34 mi
+54 km
75D 259 mi
417 km
TBA +44 mi
+71 km
90D 294 mi
473 km
N/A +79 mi
+127 km
100D 335 mi
539 km
N/A +120 mi
+193 km
P100D 315 mi
506 km
N/A +100 mi
+160 km

The historical data for the Model S suggest that a 60 kWh battery gave less range than a Model 3 will have, that’s certainly because of the size and weight difference of both vehicles.

Also Model 3 has one less screen which is the driver display and the center screen is also 2″ smaller in size and looks oddly placed as it’s not integrated into the dashboard.

The All Wheel Drive (AWD)/Dual Motor option on the Model S costs an additional $5,000 and although this option is not expected on the 3 until one year after July it will cost a bit less on the 3 as previously tweeted by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk;

Passenger Capacity

Tesla also highlighted passenger capacity in comparison to Model 3 which is 7 vs 5. The +2 room in Model S is enabled by converting the trunk into seating space only after additional $4,000 upgrade of rear facing seats for kids.

Surely this is an expensive option that gives Model 3 another edge in the cost department over the S.

Tesla Design Studio - Model S Rear Facing Seats
Tesla Design Studio - Model S Rear Facing Seats

Let’s go through the following table to get an idea of the cost of the ‘Features’ mentioned by Tesla on their chart (at the end of the page) and not having some of them on the Model 3 is either inevitable or plain cost effective even for the Model S owners.

Premium Features Comparison

Option

Additional Cost on base Model S

Model 3 Availability

Full Self Driving Capability $8,000 TBA/Expected to be same as Model S
Aluminum Body Stock option Combination of Aluminum & Steel
Smart Air Suspension $2,500 but only available on 90D and above so a $20,500 upgrade in total Not available / Traditional Coil Suspension
Glass Roof Included on all Model S by default Optional but no announcement on cost yet
Panoramic Sun Roof $2,000 Not Available / Solid metal roof expected for XM radio & Roof Rack options
18" Wheels N/A Included
19" Wheels Silver Slipstream Wheels included but Silver Cyclone Wheels are for additional $2,500 Available as an upgrade but no price mentioned until Tesla Design Studio opens for Model 3
21" Wheels $4,500 Not Available
HEPA Filtration System/Bioweapon Defense Mode $3,500 Not Available
Auto Presenting Door Handles Included Not Available

As we can see the features mentioned by Tesla as exclusive to Model S are actually able to hit a dent on the customer’s wallet or even the bank account like the Smart Air Suspension ($20,500) and $4,500 for 21″ wheels.

Tesla is rigorously trying to anti-sell the Model 3 because of low profit margins and time constraints, although they have prepared for accelerated production at the Fremont factory and the Kuka robots are in place on the production lines, still delivering 400,000+ cars is a herculean task.

Below is the comparison chart (updated with premium features) from Tesla Inc. an attempt at anti-selling Model 3. You can also compare Model 3 exterior dimensions with competing sedans like Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and several others here.

Official Tesla Model 3 feature comparison chart with Model S.
Official Tesla Model 3 feature comparison chart with Model S. Updated after premium options revealed by Tesla Inc.

Now it’s up to you to decide in light of the above data if you want a Model 3 or not, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.

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Iqtidar Ali
xautoworld@gmail.com

Iqtidar Ali is a long time web developer and now writing for his childhood passion 'cars' further boosted by the advent of electric vehicles especially Tesla.

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