Tesla Model S vs. Model 3: What exactly sets them apart?

Tesla introduced its first full production electric vehicle with its Model S sedan back in 2012, featuring progressive design, exceptional performance and a host of advanced technical facilities. Over the years, the company has improved its offering and made it one of the best electric cars you can buy. The only problem for some buyers is its very high price.

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Aiming at more budget-conscious EV customers, Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in 2017, boasting a lot of the charm of its bigger brother at an affordable price. With excellent range, performance, technology and a value-for-money proposition, the Model 3 is now the best-selling zero-emissions car in the world, with sales numbers outpacing all other cars in the company’s lineup.

While both cars are exceptional, there are some key differences between them. Here, we make a proper comparison of the Tesla Model S and Model 3 to see which EV might suit you.

performance and power

Model 3 . Specifications

2022 Tesla Model 3. Photos: Tesla

The Model 3 can be accessed in three different variants that offer different range and performance ratings. least expensive Standard Range Plus It comes with an EPA estimated range of 272 miles, can zoom to 60 mph from park in 5.8 seconds, and hit 140 mph.

Intermediate level Long-term It delivers 358 miles between charges and is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 145 mph.

Pioneer performance The Model 3 offers 38 miles less long range, or 315 miles, while providing faster acceleration. You can expect to hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and top speed of 162 mph.

rear wheel drive Long-term performance
includes 272 miles 358 miles 315 miles
shipping 23 cubic feet 23 cubic feet 23 cubic feet
payment system rear wheel drive AWD (Dual Drive) AWD (Dual Drive)
0-60 mph 5.8 seconds 4.2 seconds 3.1 seconds
maximum speed 140 mph 145 mph 162 mph

Model S specification (Manoushe and Manoushe +)

2022 Tesla Model S. Photo: Tesla

Most expensive, entry level Long-term The Model S does better than its little brother. It delivers a 405 mph range with a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. That’s 52 miles more than the Long Range Model 3 and 10 miles per hour faster. If that still wasn’t enough, Tesla got the Plaid.

Manoushe and Manoushe +

In the last quarter of 2020, the American automaker revealed a triple engine manoushe The model boasts 396 miles, 0-60 times of 1.99 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph. Tesla initially planned to offer a Plaid+ version with a range of over 520 miles, but later dropped the idea.

Models Model S Plaid
includes 405 miles 396 miles
shipping 23 cubic feet 23 cubic feet
payment system AWD (Dual Drive) AWD (Three Engines)
0-60 mph 3.1 seconds 1.99 seconds
maximum speed 155 mph 200 mph

Strength is two separate worlds

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus comes with a single rear-wheel drive engine, generating 283 horsepower (211 kW). The long-range four-wheel drive and high-performance all-wheel drive deliver 449 hp and 480 hp, respectively.

Tesla has made sure that the Model S reigns supreme in the power department of its sedans. The twin-engine long-range variant produces 670 hp, while the three-cylinder Plaid engine produces a whopping 1,020 hp, which is better even than most supercars.

Exterior design Interior design

The size is different

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The most obvious difference between the two Tesla sedans is the size. The Model S is larger (196 long vs. 184.8 and 116.5 against 113.2 wheelbase) and heavier than the Model 3, but there isn’t much difference in legroom (34.2/Model 3 vs. 35.4/Model S). The Model 3’s shorter wheelbase makes it easier to maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Furthermore, the S offers 19- or 21-inch performance wheels while the Standard 3 and the Long-Range Model have 18, 19 and 20 on the Performance variant.

Both cars give the option of a stained-glass roof and look stunning, but the slim 2022 S grille is still eye-catching.

Inside the Tesla cabin

The biggest attraction inside the new Tesla Model S is the 17-inch touchscreen in the center, which Tesla also chose for the Model 3 but with a 15-inch size. Besides, the Model 3 has a full steering wheel, which we typically find in other flagships, but the Model S has the notoriously infamous steering we see in Formula 1 cars. Is this steering wheel a good choice for a luxury sedan? Opinions of different people on this matter differ, but most drivers felt adapted to the design in a short time.

Here’s our full take on the interior of the 2022 Tesla Model S.

More importantly, though, you may feel that every detail inside has been improved a bit in the Model 3. While the previous Model S had some build quality issues, new interiors have evolved and complemented the car’s exterior.

Besides having a larger 17-inch horizontal touchscreen, the Model S offers more cargo space — 28 cubic feet compared to just 15 cubic feet in the Model 3. The larger luxury sedan also features a HEPA air-purifying system to thwart viruses, bacteria and pollution. , the smell from entering the interior.

YouTuber, Jon Rettinger, is a popular tech reviewer and does a solid internal review on his 2021 video:


The 2022 Tesla Model S Long Range starts at $94,990 (as of this writing), while the Plaid has a minimum price of $129,990.

The 2022 Model 3 RWD, on the other hand, starts at $44,990, the long-range model costs $50,990, and the performance requires $58,990 and up.

Both cars give you a plethora of accessory options to decorate and outfit your Tesla for an additional price.

The Takeaway: Which Tesla Sedan Should You Buy?

Choosing between these two Teslas is never easy. The old-fashioned S is undoubtedly an excellent choice for a spacious sedan with good cargo space and unparalleled performance, but it’s expensive. The updated model comes with a lot of updates that make the show more lucrative but add extra dough to an already expensive car.

In contrast, the Model 3 is a relatively smaller and slower alternative, offering decent range and performance at a reasonable price. That is why it has become the best-selling electric car in many countries with consistently strong sales.

If we take into account only the price factor, then choosing the Standard Range Plus Model 3 is illogical. For better range and performance, pay a few thousand dollars for dual drive trim levels.

Being a new sedan with a clear idea of ​​what customers expect in the coming years, the Model 3 is rapidly evolving in design and performance. We expect to see more updates in the near future.

Overall, both Tesla cars are equally worth it. It all depends on how much money you can willingly spend. If you’re converting an EV, it’s wise to start with the Model 3. However, if you’re looking for exceptional speed and luxury, go with the Model S. If money isn’t an issue, why not start with the triple-engined Model S Plaid for a supercar-like experience.

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