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2016.5 Model S vs new Model 3

Jburke873

New Member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
New Jersey
All,

I’m hoping for some input. A family friend is selling their model s 75d with 18k miles to get the new model s. Tesla offered them 40k for trade in so he offered for me to buy it instead for 40k if I wanted since he knows I was considering a model 3. However I’m concerned about the car being out of warranty. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,158
1,394
Pennsylvania, USA
Battery and drive units will retain their 8-year warranty. The bumper-to-bumper will have expired last year, but you might want to look into X-Care for an extended warranty if you MUST have a warranty. (I have no affiliation with X-Care, others on the forums have had positive experiences with them.)
 

Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
147
342
Central PA
Couple of thoughts. First of all, what is your threshold for problems? I faced the same choice and purchased a pre owned 2015 S90D. Yes I’m concerned on being out of warranty, but the more I researched, it appears that shy of the battery crapping after 8 years, nothing is that expensive. But you need to access your tolerance to exposure

Now, placing a 75 vs. a M3. You’re going to have less range. In my case I need a minimum of 220 miles for my commute. Why I looked for a 90D.

Driving experience. The S is a huge car (think 7 series BMW). It’s comfortable. If you’re road tripping, much nicer than a M3. The hatch gives it exceptional luggage capability. However, come parking, it’s a huge car!
If the car is really a 2016.5, assuming Tesla has not had possession of the car since it was sold new, you should have free unlimited supercharging and free premium connectivity. Both are very nice features.
Good luck
 

Jburke873

New Member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
New Jersey
Couple of thoughts. First of all, what is your threshold for problems? I faced the same choice and purchased a pre owned 2015 S90D. Yes I’m concerned on being out of warranty, but the more I researched, it appears that shy of the battery crapping after 8 years, nothing is that expensive. But you need to access your tolerance to exposure

Now, placing a 75 vs. a M3. You’re going to have less range. In my case I need a minimum of 220 miles for my commute. Why I looked for a 90D.

Driving experience. The S is a huge car (think 7 series BMW). It’s comfortable. If you’re road tripping, much nicer than a M3. The hatch gives it exceptional luggage capability. However, come parking, it’s a huge car!
If the car is really a 2016.5, assuming Tesla has not had possession of the car since it was sold new, you should have free unlimited supercharging and free premium connectivity. Both are very nice features.
Good luck
Thank you so much for this! Yes the free supercharging and premium connection were big factors for me but also new vs used seemed like a big consideration. Do you find the model s quiet on the highway? I found the model 3 to be loud in my test drive!
 

Jburke873

New Member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
New Jersey
T
I have a 16.5 Model S 75D and a Model 3. Unless you just need the extra cargo space of the Model S, I would go with a new Model 3.
Thank you! If you have time do you mind explaining why? My only concern with the model 3 was the highway road noise. Is it any different in the s? Also do the windows go all the way down in the s?
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,526
831
Ontario
T

Thank you! If you have time do you mind explaining why? My only concern with the model 3 was the highway road noise. Is it any different in the s? Also do the windows go all the way down in the s?
Model s is so much more quieter on the road. Both less wind and road noise. Yes windows down all the way
 
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Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
147
342
Central PA
Thank you so much for this! Yes the free supercharging and premium connection were big factors for me but also new vs used seemed like a big consideration. Do you find the model s quiet on the highway? I found the model 3 to be loud in my test drive!
I think ‘road noise’ is very subjective, and will depend on tires used. I have Dunlop A/S. Car is quite quiet. You will hear motor ‘whine’. This is function of inverter and the gearbox. Playing music, you don’t hear it.

sounds like the 75D you have access to is quite low miles. My largest concern for you would be range. I drive 180 miles once a week each way to NY. I arrive at work with 14% battery. (Chargers at work ). Coming home with the uphill, I’ve never quite had the nerve to go non-stop. But then again never spend more than 15 min at the supercharger. The last 80 miles there are no supercharger, so I like to have some buffer. Going to work there are numerous opportunities to charge, so I guess I’m ok running closer to the edge.

just keep in mind Tesla is very optimistic on range.
 

namikun

Member
Apr 29, 2019
64
47
CT
I own both a 2016.5 Model S 75 and a 2019 LR RWD Model 3. I purchased the Model S used from Tesla last year and I am relieved it came with a manufacturer’s limited warranty since we have already experienced a bunch of issues that had to be fixed. Looking ahead and based on what I’ve read here, there is a good chance that door handles and LED light strips will fail. Moreover, while Tesla now covers replacement of the Tegra daughterboard if it starts failing, it can take a while for them to agree to the repair or even to have the replacement parts available according to some folks here (in my case, they replaced it right away without any back and forth). Note though that even with the new daughter board, MCU 1 feels frustratingly sluggish compared to the MCU in the Model 3 (but perhaps my impression is clouded by the fact that I can compare both cars side by side).

In terms of noise level, road noise in the Model S seems quieter (not by a great deal) on some roads but the wind noise seems slightly louder than in the Model 3. Due to the larger wheelbase and softer springs/air suspension (depending on the setup), the Model S rides smoother compared to the sportier Model 3. I personally prefer driving the Model 3 when I am by myself (and can drive more aggressively) and the Model S when my family is in the car (since my kids tend to get car sick in the Model 3 with my more spirited driving). The hatch and larger cargo space in the Model S is important to us as we can easily take our dog when we travel. Unfortunately, range is worse for the Model S (249 rated vs 325 rated for the Model 3) and it’s charging rate is slower which means it’s less ideal for longer trips (300 miles+).

I think in the end it comes down to what’s more important to you, updated technology, sportier driving, and 4 year warranty or more comfortable suspension, larger cabin and cargo space, and a more luxurious overall feel (although admittedly it’s getting a bit long in the tooth). If you end up buying the Model S, I highly recommend spending $1,500 + tax to upgrade the MCU to save you a lot of frustration.
 

henderrj

Member
Jun 16, 2014
944
765
Graham, WA, United States
I own an older S and love it. Have over 230,000 miles on it. Yes, I've spent some money on various things including suspensions parts with that many miles. but even if it's 10 grand, over all the years (I don't think it is), is that as much as the price difference between this and the model 3? I like the ride of the S better, I have a number of friends with 3s. Still, it's a private decision for every person. I also like the bigger smoother feel of the s. Considered strongly going to a 3, decided to wait for the pickup as my next vehicle.

Oh, I think you have an unlimited mile battery warranty on that year of model S I know I do, and I'm looking forward to having my battery replaced before December of 2022!
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18.2
Mar 8, 2015
9,687
8,964
Colorado
As others have mentioned, the 2016.5 S would have MCU1. Ask your friend if the car has AP1 or AP2 hardware. If it's AP2, it can be upgraded to AP3 if you purchase the MCU upgrade or FSD. If it's only AP1, I would probably skip it and look for a 2016 or 2017 S with AP2 or just get a new 3.

The free supercharging for life is a nice extra if you do a lot of road trips. Private sale 2016s and some early 2017s would have free transferrable supercharging.

We have owned all Tesla models and I still prefer the S to the 3, especially since we've upgraded from MCU1/AP2 to MCU2/AP3.
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,724
6,713
Chicago, IL
I'm keeping my 2016.5 S with FSD. Eventually we might get FSD and I get good range from mine. Will be nice to complement the tri motor cybertruck next year.
 

20165MS

Member
Jan 29, 2021
29
25
North Jersey
Yes, you buy used you incur the repair costs but so do you on the backend of the new car depreciation. This really shouldn't come down to that....

the two cars are very different. VERY different. That's not to say one is worse than the other. The S is definitely more practical and roomier. The S is more "conventional" and a bit less spartan inside. However, the S is definitely a runner, but, the 3 is way more playful and nimble. The 3 is more future proof vs. the refresh S for sure, but, that's really only in the Autopilot hardware. Range is not all that different if you compare at the same price points (SR+ M3). Speed is for bragging rights IMHO but the 75D is quicker than SR+ or same as LR). The S is a very long running car so don't worry about it becoming an old clunker. In fact, I'd wager to say the S is built with less obsolescence.

In the end, dollar wise they both will cost similar money. However, once your ass is in the seat which one makes you happier? Hint: that can't be answered here. ;-)
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,719
6,034
Greenville, SC
T

Thank you! If you have time do you mind explaining why? My only concern with the model 3 was the highway road noise. Is it any different in the s? Also do the windows go all the way down in the s?
Just about everything is improved in the 3. Don't get me wrong, my Model S is a great car but the Model 3 is about a 10 year newer design and it shows. The interior materials are better, the computer systems are better, the Autopilot system is better, the charging is faster and all of that makes it a better all around car. There are other things that are subjective like the sizes of the cars and the steering and handling feel (the 3 is more nimble) but if I were in the market right now, I would pick a new 3 over a used S. Road noise really has more to do with the tires than anything so it's hard to judge. I actually have the same model of tires on both cars and the road noise is virtually the same. The rear windows don't go all the way down in the S.

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FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
757
608
California
Between the two, I would get the Model 3. The M3 is pretty roomy for its size and the recent 3 has an updated rear seat bench that is thicker and more comfortable than 2018 Model 3.

The following are items against the a 2016.5 S:

06/2016 - introduced rear cup holders and rear USB ports. The 2016.5 S may have this included too.

07/2017 - new Premium Seat design introduced

09/2017 - Sentry Mode introduced with HW 2.5

03/2018 - MCU2 introduced on S and supports Theater Mode for watching Netflix, Hulu, etc.

You have to decide for yourself if free Supercharging trumps the above features. In practice, I use free Supercharging a lot less than I thought. Yes, you have to pay for Supercharging for a Model 3 but look at it as paying for faster charging and time savings. New warranty on the 3 and longer range is also peace of mind.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,719
6,034
Greenville, SC
I have never heard anyone say that the materials in a 3 are better than an S. We're all entitled to our own opinions but definitely a first for me.
Virtually every surface in the S is hard plastic with a bit of leather or polyurethane glued to it. Almost all the interior panels on the 3 has some kind of padding to it to improve the feel of them.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18.2
Mar 8, 2015
9,687
8,964
Colorado
The following are items against the a 2016.5 S:

06/2016 - introduced rear cup holders and rear USB ports. The 2016.5 S may have this included too.

07/2017 - new Premium Seat design introduced

09/2017 - Sentry Mode introduced with HW 2.5

03/2018 - MCU2 introduced on S and supports Theater Mode for watching Netflix, Hulu, etc.
  • My late 2016 S had cupholders and rear USB.
  • Premium seats came out in late 2016. The rear seat was upgraded in mid-2017 but can be installed in a 2016.
  • With MCU2 hardware upgrade for $1500, the 2016.5 can have 4 camera Sentry mode and all Tesla Arcade and Tesla theater functionality. These upgrades give it the same MCU computing functionality as a late 2020 Model S.
Source: We've owned two 2016 Model S and two 2017 Model S.

Virtually every surface in the S is hard plastic with a bit of leather or polyurethane glued to it.
The S had an alcantara dash in 2016 and early 2017
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
66
27
Boston Ma
I own both a 2016.5 Model S 75 and a 2019 LR RWD Model 3. I personally prefer driving the Model 3 when I am by myself (and can drive more aggressively) and the Model S when my family is in the car (since my kids tend to get car sick in the Model 3 with my more spirited driving)

Just bought a preowned S for this reason. Love driving the 3, but my daughter gets carsick. We are also getting a dog, so the hatch will be key.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,287
6,828
Canyon Lake,CA
Bonus for the S is free unlimited Supercharging and data. Even bigger issues is the much smoother/quieter ride plus the amazing amount of stuff you can fit in the sleek hatchback design.

You could always get the S and try it out. If it works for you, there are lots of great miles left in it. If it gives you lots of trouble you can sell it for close to what you paid and then get an even newer Model Y.
 
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