Are you hyped to buy the electric car of your dreams finally? Tesla is the car of the future. It’s consistently breaking performance records and setting the new standard other brands struggle to follow.
While each model is immaculate in its own way, which one is the right one for you? Let’s compare the Tesla Model 3 vs. Model S, which is beyond ludicrous. Together they form the first half of the “S3XY” lineup.
Straight off the bat, a performance-based Model 3 is nearly half the price of a Model S. Before the Model 3 came out, people thought it was going to be more advanced than the Model S. Elon Quickly corrected the miss conception with a tweet saying that the Model S is more advanced and the Model 3 is a smaller version of it.
So what makes it so cheap? When Tesla came out with their roadster, they established that the brand always intended to make luxury cars. Basically, Tesla took many cost-cutting strategies to make it this cheap.
The body of the Model 3 is 20% smaller than the Model S and is partial aluminum instead of fully aluminum. It has one screen while the Model S has two. There is a significantly smaller battery.
Overall, the Model 3 performs less in speed, range, and acceleration while still providing the Tesla experience.
The Model 3 is the car for Tesla enthusiasts on a budget. They came out with this model to cater to most people who cannot afford a hundred-thousand-dollar car.
Tesla does intend to dominate each category of the car market. That includes your ordinary family sedans and hatchbacks and your high-performance sports cars. We can safely say that the Model 3 comes into the former category while the Model S performs like a sports car.
Click here: How To Afford a Tesla Electric Car
The Model 3 has three modes of dual motor all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive options. There are the RWD, long-range, and performance packages. Each has its own stats.
Tesla Model 3 RWD
This version of the Model 3 has a 60kWh battery-powered, 283 horsepower engine that provides the rear wheels with 302 lb-ft of torque.
It has a top speed of 140 mph and goes from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. This option has a combined city and highway range of 272 miles.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range
This AWD option is powered by an 80kWh battery with a 346 horsepower engine. The engine provides 389 lb-ft of torque. This car has a top speed of 145 mph and can go from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The long-range version lives up to its name by providing 358 miles of combined city and highway range.
Tesla Model 3 Performance
This enhanced performance version of the Model 3 has an 82kW battery-powered engine with x horsepower. It produces 473 lb-ft torque. It has a top speed of 162mph and can get from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds. This version can get you 325 miles of combined city and highway range on a full battery.
Regarding the Tesla Model S and S Plaid, we are talking about a completely different animal. The carbon fiber-coated motors in the Model S are revolutionary technology. They can produce stronger electromagnetic fields and break records while remaining lightweight.
The Model S has two motors, one in the front and one in the back. At the same time, the Model S Plaid has three motors. Two in the back and one in the front. You’d think that Tesla would stop at three, but their upcoming Cybertruck will have four engines, one for each wheel.
A 100kW lithium-ion battery powers the Tesla Model S. The silent AWD beast can go from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds. This version has a 670 horsepower engine rivaling the McLaren Artura plug-in hybrid supercar.
This version is not hyper-focused on performance, and yet it can reach top speeds of 155mph. You can get an unprecedented 405 miles of range from a single battery charge.
Model S Plaid
The Three motor version of the Model S is currently the fastest production car in the world. It has an incredible 1020 horsepower engine can go up to 200mph while producing 1,050 lb-ft or torque.
These stats are unparalleled by all the cars around it. It has a 396 miles range. The range is slightly less than the simple Model S as this one values speed more.
This performance-centered monster can beat a Lamborghini Aventador in a drag race while being a five-seat sedan. The quintessential American dream family car.
Spacious and comfortable enough for the mom and the kids during the week but cool enough for dad and his friends to cruise in during the weekend.
Tesla is proud to have an interior like no other. You can start the cars with your phone and enjoy the largest in-car screens on the market. While some car manufacturers avoid adding large screens, Tesla understands their necessity.
The Model 3 has an entirely minimalist dashboard with no visible instruments. You get all driving-related information from the portrait 15-inch touchscreen display.
You have the option between black and white leatherette upholstery. The doors are electronically opened with buttons. The Model 3 still has a traditional three-spoked steering wheel.
The car can comfortably seat five people and has options for adding a child safety seat. There are cup holders in the front and optional cup holders and armrests in the back. There are dedicated air vents for the back as well.
Like the Model 3, the Model S can seat five people and is equipped with attachments for a child safety seat. It has a new yoke steering wheel to match Tesla’s space cruiser aesthetic. The Yoke steering also provides an unobstructed view of the driver instruments on a small separate screen, unlike in the Model 3.
It has two touchscreen displays. There is an impressive 17-inch portrait swivel screen in the front capable of console-level gaming with external controllers.
You can enjoy a complete cinematic experience with this screen combined with their 22 speakers 960 Watts sound system. The rear has an 8-inch screen with climate controls that can host movies and games.
The Tesla app lets you select which individual seats you want to heat. So if someone feels hot while someone else is cold, you have no problems.
Also, read: How to Reboot and Restart a Tesla Electric Vehicle’s Screen?
The Tesla Model 3 has the standard smooth, low, and wide lines attributed to Teslas. It has LED headlights and is equipped with Fog Lights and parking sensors.
Some will say it looks better than the Model Y in the front due to its more even proportions. It has an entirely closed-off front without grilles. That makes sense since no gasoline engine requires oxygen to flow. That creates a unique look on a car.
The Door handles are integrated into the doors to preserve aerodynamics. The wheel designs are also mostly closed off to help reduce the car’s drag coefficient. The Model 3 has many practical additions, including a front trunk with a rear trunk. There is also additional storage space under the floor of the back trunk.
The hips of the car are wider in the back, which is pleasing to the eyes. There is a carbon fiber spoiler and parking sensors in the back. The car’s rear has distinctive lights that can help it be recognized easily.
The Tesla Model S has sleeker, sharper, and more aggressive lines than the Model 3. Indeed, it does put the “S” in the “S3XY” lineup. All the Accents in the Model S are done in black instead of chrome. The Model S has many automatic features missing from the Model 3.
For example, the door handles automatically protrude from the doors, or the charging port opens and closes electrically. The windows of the Tesla Model S come tinted. The headlights feature Matrix LED technology.
That means each bulb in the arrays of the car can be powered on or off individually. You can use that feature to write words, but it has a practical driving safety-related purpose. The lights can sense other vehicles and turn off the bulbs which would cause glairing and decrease visibility.
Battery and Charging
The Model 3 has battery options between 50kW to 80kW, depending on your version. The standard battery pack comprises 2,976 cells grouped into bricks of 31 cells. The long-range battery pack consists of 4416 cells in 46 cell bricks.
The Model S has a 100kW battery with 16 modules of 516 cells for a total of 8,256 cells in the battery pack. The Model 3 has smaller bricks or modules than the Model S and larger cells to make the battery cheaper.
Tesla took even more steps to make the battery of the Model 3 cheaper since it accounts for the bulk of its production price.
The Model 3’s battery pack cannot be easily swapped out. You must remove bolts and trim to access it. Similar to a smartphone, the Model S has a convenient removable battery while the Model 3 doesn’t.
There is no external battery heater in the Model 3.
The batteries are heated using heat from the powertrain at all times, even when the car is at rest. The software turns on the power train to heat the battery when required.
Tesla went above and beyond to make an affordable electric hatchback. Replacing the battery pack heater with software takes guts and ingenuity.
If you charge your Model 3 with a Tesla supercharger, you can charge for up to 175 miles in fifteen minutes. In contrast, it takes seven hours to charge it at home. If you leave it to charge overnight, you will always have a full battery.
You can charge the Tesla Model in thirty minutes while stopping at a tesla supercharger. It takes ten to twelve hours to charge it fully from zero at home. The range offered by the Tesla Model S makes up for the longer charging time.
Check out: How Much Does It Take to Replace a Tesla Battery?
The 2022 Tesla Model 3 comes in the following colors:
- Deep Blue Metallic
- Midnight Silver Metallic
- Pearl White Multi-Coat
- Red Multi-Coat
- Solid Black
You have the options for standard all-black or black and white vegan leather interiors.
The 2022 Tesla Model S comes in these colors:
- Deep Blue Metallic
- Midnight Silver Metallic
- Pearl White Multi-Coat
- Red Multi-Coat
- Solid Black
You can choose between all black, black and white, and cream vegan leather interiors.
To wrap up the comparison of Tesla Model 3 vs. Model S, let’s highlight their main differences
- The Model 3 performs less in speed, acceleration, and range than the Model S
- The Model 3 is smaller than the Model S
- The Model S has dual motors or triple motors, while the model 3 is a single or dual-motor car
- Both Cars seat five people with child safety seat options
- The Model 3 has one screen while the Model S has two
- The Model 3 has no separate driver instrument display like the Model S
- The Model 3 has the traditional steering wheel, while the Model S has the new yoke steering.
- The Model S has a more robust 100kW battery, while the Model 3 has anywhere between 50kW to 80kW based on the version
- The Maximum speed offered by a Model 3 Performance is 162mph, while the Maximum speed of the performance monster Model S Plaid is 200mph
- Both cars offer extensive cargo space in the front, rear, and inside the car
The Tesla Model S is the better car, but the Model 3 is comfortable and does the job. If you are on a budget or don’t want a car that costs over a hundred thousand dollars, you should choose the Model 3. It will serve you well.
However, if you crave supercar speeds with the convenience of a sedan, you need the Tesla Model S in your life. It is the perfect combination of innovation and luxury, setting the bar higher than ever before.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.