New Tesla Model 3 Or Used Tesla Model S – Updated Video

Red Tesla Model 3 at handover event


Now that we have many of  the details surrounding the Tesla Model 3, is it worth waiting for, or should you just go get yourself a used Model S?

Who better than Ben Sullins of Teslanomics to give this question a college try? He’s actually tackled it in the past, but that was before we had all the Model 3 details. It really is a tough question and probably doesn’t have an answer that will suit everyone’s fancy, but it’s not hard to see how the two stack up in the categories that matter most.

Tesla Model 3

Inside the Tesla Model 3

Initially, most people may have said the price would be the biggest differentiating factor. This is not really the case anymore. Ben thinks the vehicles’ overall utility may play the biggest role in your decision.

In regards to price, used Model S’ are selling cheap (as low as ~$40,000) and the current production Model 3 starts at $44,000. However, most Model 3s, once reasonably equipped with what most people want in a Tesla (and what’s already going to be included in the used Model S), could cost $50,000 or even as much as $60,000. If the price is key … unless you want to wait years for a base Model 3 (which will likely not enjoy the federal EV rebate), the used Model S is much more bang for much less buck.

Ben breaks down all of the other categories, as well. Many are going to be pretty obvious for those that understand cars (compact vs. large/entry level vs. flagship, etc.), and especially for those that understand Tesla. The Model S has more range, more power, more cargo space, potentially free unlimited Supercharging, and immediate availability. Ben says the Model 3 may win the “tech” category since it’s new, and he notes that it’s easier to park the smaller car. Aside from that, the Model 3 won’t stand a chance against the Model S, and even Tesla has made a point to repeatedly remind us of this.


Use Model S interior

One category in Ben’s “study” is up for debate. He gives the “looks” win to the Model 3, although he argues for the Model S being “classicly beautiful”. What do you think?

Video Description via Teslanomics by Ben Sullins on YouTube:

Likely the biggest factor when looking at either a new Model 3 or a Used Model S is going to be the utility of the vehicle itself. 

// Range (draw)
Both the Model S and Model 3 have excellent range. The lowest I’ve seen for a used model S is 200, and if you were to go with a new 100D you could get 335mi on a single charge. The model 3 is also well equipped with the standard battery starting at 220mi and the long range going up to 310 miles.

// Supercharging (point – Model S)
All of the used Model S on the site currently come with free supercharging for life whereas the Model 3 is listed as pay per use. So currently, according to the site as of September 2017, to get Free supercharging on a Model S you need to use a referral code. Since we’re comparing a used Model S I’d say it’s safe to say in the near term you’d likely get free supercharging.

// Performance (point – Model S
When it comes to performance, both cars are pretty amazing. The Model S 75 clocks in with 0-60: 4.3sec and a top speed: 140mph. The Model 3 is pretty quick also, but def a step behind the S. The three clocks in with 0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds (long range) and a top speed: 130 mph.

//Availability (point – Model S)
If you order a Used Model S today, depending on your location, you should have it within a month. Even new ones might only take a month or so. Of course, if you order a Model 3 today you could wait upwards of a year or more, which for most people is too long to wait.

// Tech (point – Model 3)
Now my favorite feature about all of Tesla’s models is the tech inside. This is what drew me to them and why I eventually started this channel.

So as for the Tech, the Model 3 has to win this although I’ll say if you don’t have a Tesla now nothing else compares to it in this category, and you’d be satisfied with either choice.

// Price (draw)
Many were surprised when Elon unveiled the price for the different options for the 3. When you compare that to a new model 3, which the average price is going to be around 50K, these two are comparable.

So for the price, I’m going to call it a wash as well since they’re both in the same ballpark depending on what you find on the used inventory.

// Looks (point – Model 3)
Before seeing a Model 3 in person, I was pretty skeptical about the looks of it. I love how my Model S looks and wasn’t excited about some of the angles I saw in spy shots of the 3 online. After seeing it up close and getting to ride in one however, I can attest it’s sporty and sexy. So, in my opinion, the 3 has a better look although the S is a classically beautiful car that has stood the test of time.

// Parking (point – Model 3)
Another advantage of being a slimmer version of the S is that the 3 will fit into parking spaces better. Now for some of you, this might not be a concern, but considering roughly 50% of all Tesla’s live in California we can attest that parking an S in a tight spot can be tough. So the 3 gets a point for being easier to park merely because of the slimmer size

// Storage (point – Model S)
The Model 3 has a slightly below average amount of storage at 14 cu feet, still more than the BMW 3 series, but compared to an S it’s not even close. The Model S has around 30 cubic feet of trunk space, so more than double the 3.

// Overall? (You Decide)
In the end, I think many will decide between the two on these last few factors. Many of the specs are comparable however the utility of the vehicles is the differentiator and for those of us with kids, a must.

Source: Teslanomics

Categories: Tesla, Videos

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36 Comments on "New Tesla Model 3 Or Used Tesla Model S – Updated Video"

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I would be more concerned with out of warranty costs, tire replacement costs and insurance costs. There is a lot than can break on a car beyond the power train and on luxury cars these bits can be very expensive to repair. Hence the saying “there is nothing more expensive than a cheap luxury car”. My bet is the model 3 will fare much better on this front due to no $1000 door handle mechanisms, smaller tires, steel construction reducing collision repairs.
Plus given the price point of the model 3 the parts need to be less expensive.

Tesla won’t sell Parts unless they install them . These Ben Dover tactics better change very soon..Is that dictatorship or what?

Yeah! Such ripoff tactics have never before been seen in the auto industry!

Wait, what?

“I would be more concerned with out of warranty costs…”

That is an excellent reason to buy a used Model S only through Tesla’s own CPO (Certified Previously Owned) program. All Tesla CPO cars come with a limited warranty.

Yes, but cpo model S comes with a new car warranty.

I would still go Brand New Model 3 Hands down!..It’s the right size with more efficient motors, that’s what the majorities want..I for One, Don’t need all that Crazy Speed , the car is faster than need be as is …

And when the CPO warranty runs out… Plus, there is still the matter or tires and insurance both of which will likely be far more for the Model S. Don’t get me wrong, model S out of warranty will probably be much less of a wallet vac than a used 7 series / S class but more than especially a young model 3.

I am seriously considering the used tesla except for one big concern. I have a friend that owns one and his car has been in the shop almost every month so it seems. I never buy used cars. Frankly if tesla were to drop the price on a new s by 5000 I think you would get a lot of buyers.

Steve – This is the main point that Ben seems to have totally skipped over in his video: To buy a used Model S is to buy a used car, with all of the additional potential repairs that come along with a then-much older car once the CPO warranty expires.

So that leaves availability and storage. I don’t need the storage and my Audi lease return isn’t for another year so i’ll wait for Model 3, I suspect it will be well worth the wait.

The reason the price for used Model S’s is so high is because the demand is so high. There is no need for Tesla to drop the price of its CPO cars, because they sell quickly.

It’s too bad your friend apparently got a lemon, but that doesn’t mean it’s at all the norm. According to Consumer Reports, consumer satisfaction among Tesla car owners is higher than that of any other make of car.

Why all the Promo to buy used Model S ?

While 3 is shorter than S by a foot, it’s only 5 inches shorter than Chevy Astro minivan. Parking advantage for 3 is better, but I wouldn’t call it “easy”. To be fair, competitive gassers are also about as long as 3.

Every time I park the car, I’m swayed to keep SparkEV. Then when I pass by home depot, I MUST have Tesla 3 due to promised towing ability. So far, no word about towing from Tesla.

Our Smart ED was 106″ long, ~40″ shorter than Spark EV. Imagine that! It fit in amazingly small spaces. Our Model S is almost twice as long.

SmartED doesn’t have DCFC, and it can’t fit dogs (maybe just one). Without DCFC, it’s just a toy, not a car.

If auto pilot is a must have then the cheapest used S on Tesla’s CPO site is 70-80K$.–M3 wins

Range– M3 wins

charging speed– M3 wins

rear seat room– M3 wins

If you don’t want AP and you don’t need the range then get a used S. (not to mention twice the luggage room and lift back plus air suspension)

GeorgeS – Charging speed on the long range M3 is identical to Model S (in terms of miles per 30 mins) and in fact slower than Model S in the case of the standard battery M3. So i’m not sure how “M3 wins”…

“GeorgeS – Charging speed on the long range M3 is identical to Model S ”

It’s identical the the 100D charging speed.

This article is comparing to used Model S’s in the 50K range or so, not a used 100D.

GeorgeS said:

“If auto pilot is a must have then the cheapest used S on Tesla’s CPO site is 70-80K$.–M3 wins”

Yeah, I find it odd that this article claims you can get a used Model S for only $40k. Can you really get a CPO car for such a low price? If so, I would guess they’re not common. Given the high cost for out-of-warranty repairs, I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a used Model S from any source except Tesla’s CPO program.

“charging speed– M3 wins”

Hmmm, well, we haven’t seen any real-world reports yet of how fast the TM3 charges. I know Tesla does claim the TM3 will charge as fast as the newest and best 100 kWh Model S’s, but that has yet to be verified by any independent reports.

And at best, that applies only to the “Extended Range” TM3. The base model with the smaller battery pack will charge slower.

PMPU said
“Can you really get a CPO car for such a low price?”

The Tesla CPO site is just a click away:)

Salient features of each car are summarized at the bottom (autopilot etc).

I check it for almost on a daily basis. Since I am trying to answer the same question as this article is.|asc

Tesla is pretty cagey about what they put out there. I think they purposely hold back on some configurations on purpose.

…for examle used cars with auto pilot. There were some around 70 a while back but now the cheapest one is 80K

A basic 60 with no autopilot can absolutely be purchased from Tesla in the low $40k… but are rare. We nearly pulled the trigger on one for my wife a few months ago after she took her first Tesla test drive and couldn’t stop talking about it.

But it had about 50k miles on it and almost no additional features. The ACC was her favorite part of the test drive. All autopilot Model Ss were over $70k. Too rich for out blood!

So she decided to wait for the Model 3. A model 3 with autopilot/ACC will be the better value

Model 3 is also much more efficient than Model S so it will use less electricity per mile, which translates to monetary savings which can be significant over the long term.

In terms of form factor Model 3 is about as big a car as I would ever want, my neighbor had a Model S and couldn’t turn it into his garage because of space limitations of our common entryway… I suspect this is not the only account of this type of issue – the reality is that the Model S is a boat and a lot of people don’t want to buy a large sedan for these reasons.

” the reality is that the Model S is a boat”

I’m pretty bored with that expression. Yes it is a large sedan, a boat carries too many negative connotations IMO. Sorry but the M3 will never have the class that the S has any more than a 300 series BMW has the same class as a 700 series.

Yes, and yes. I agree on your points. A substantial advantage in efficiency for the 3 is important.

Operation and maintenance expense for the 3 will be better because of higher efficiency and lower cost of tires. The tires will make a huge difference, depending on which rim/tire combos you are comparing. I’d hate to have to replace a set of the big tires on a Model S, that’s some serious dough.

The size of the 3 fits my needs better because of parking and maneuverability as well.

I’ll watch closely over the next few years to see how the Model 3 performs and ages. If reliability is average or better then I’ll hope to get a used CPO Model 3 in about 3-4 years if finances allow.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I weighed the options of used MS or M3.
The MS is too big of a boat car for me.


sounds like maybe a used SparkEV would be fitting for you.

I know, right? People are talking like 3 is the size of SparkEV, but that isn’t the case at all. 3 is only 12 inches shorter than S. Following are some length comparison in inches

Ford F350 crew cab extended bed : 260
Typical minivan : about 200 to 210
Tesla S : 196
Chevy Astro minivan : 190 (5 inches longer than 3)
Tesla 3 : 185
SparkEV : 147 (38 inches shorter than 3)

It’s very unfortunate Tesla won’t make anything as short as SparkEV with the ability to tow and autopilot.

Another datapoint: 2017 Honda Civic Sedan: 182.3″ vs Model 3’s 185″

Model 3: 72.8″
Civic Sedan: 70.8

So Model is a little bigger than a Civic Sedan, but not a lot. Seems like a good size to me, though obviously will be a lot harder to park than a tiny Spark-sized vehicle.

As far as performance, Model S is not a clear winner. It is very likely the Model 3 will have better handling.

Yep, and especially when the Performance, dual motor version becomes available, it will be blazingly fast … not quite as fast as a P100D but still wicked. I think a lot of people will prefer the smaller car which will be more compact, agile, lighter and better handling while still ridiculously quick – I would.

I picked up a CPO model S about 14 months ago. If I had to do it again today, I might go used NON-CPO. The CPO cars have a pretty hefty price premium on them vs. what I’m seeing in the non-cpo used market. I might put aside $6K for repairs and pick up a non-CPO – would still cost much less. Don’t forget, the drive unit and battery are covered for 8 years regardless. My drive unit was replaced right after I got the car, but ironically, that was still within the original 4 yr/50k warranty so even my “CPO” wasn’t really necessary to cover that. I’ve had door handles replaced, but even that is mostly a non-issue as it is generally just the $15 microswitch that needs to be replaced vs. the whole $800 handle (and you can DIY it). As to the boat aspect of the car, it is SIZED like boat, but other than parking it doesn’t DRIVE like a big car. Indeed, all that weight down low. combined with a firm suspension and torquey motor means it drives a lot smaller. Parking can be a challenge, but if you live in Suburbia (liek me) you… Read more »

The decision was easy for me……I bought a used model S all aluminum body free supercharging unlimited km’s battery drive motor warranty and got it right away. what a dream come true so happy now. I couldn’t stand the wait I ordered on April 01 2016 and wouldn’t get a M3 until late 2018 no real price difference living here in Canada M3 is still a 60K car even after the 14K rebate and that’s not with auto pilot.

Terry – I’m not sure how you’re calculating that the base M3 in Canada will be a 60K car. It has been confirmed that the 6.1% duty that applies to Model S will not apply to M3 and it can therefore be expected that the base M3 in Canada will be around 45K at the current exchange rate (probably even a bit cheaper by late 2018 if the CAD:USD upward trend continues).

So in Ontario that translates to approx 31K+tax after the 14K rebate and in Quebec it translates to approx 37K+tax after the 8K rebate.

ok lets look at this the base model is 35k of course I would want a different paint colour other than black and 19″ wheels and living in Ontario Canada have to have a heated seat so that brings the base model to 42,500 usd after exchange rate and rebate plus 13% tax total amount is $42,675 for a smaller steel body car with limited warranty and paid supercharging and approximately 350km of range ok then look at the long range model with the same configuration equals 51,500 usd after the exchange rate and rebate plus 13% tax total amount is $55,062 so ok not quit 60k but M3 is far from a model S

And I did buy a 2013 model S with 57,000 km’s and factory warranty until the end of November this year for less than 60K plus of course Aluminum body (important for Canada) unlimited free supercharging and 4 more years unlimited battery drive motor warranty.

Model S is way better looking than Model 3 especially in person.