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Advice Wanted: Used Early VIN LR RWD vs New LR AWD

ZumZee

Member
Aug 23, 2019
18
3
San Diego
I have pending orders with Tesla for a used very early VIN (14xx) LR RWD and a new LR AWD (ordered 8/27). The new order is still pending, and I found the used one this week while waiting impatiently. Both cars are a week or more out from delivery, and I'm willing to be patient (as hard as that is).

I'm completely undecided on which is the better option / better deal. If they still made the LR RWD for a little less $ than the LR AWD, I would buy that new.

The USED LR RWD is a very early VIN (14XX), with only 2000 miles, purchased 1/2018, traded in 9/2018. I have no idea what Tesla did with it for nearly a year. There is a scrape on the passenger rear that Tesla is fixing. I can't tell whether there is damage to the roof or if it's dirt in the photos Photos: 2017 Tesla Model 3 5YJ3E1EAXHF001482 | False, Fa | Tesla I haven't been able to see it in person since the only way to see it is to buy the car and go to the delivery appointment.

Benefits of the USED LR AWD:
  • $41,800
  • Net savings after tax rebates, etc is $3500 to $6000 (depends on whether CA adds funds to the CVRP, so that's a total unknown).
  • Slightly better efficiency / range
Downsides of the USED LR AWD
  • Early VIN - build quality may be suspect, but this was before they really started ramping. How much can I tell from seeing it in person? What should I look for? How much better is a new build now that Tesla are making more 3s per week than they had made in total when this was built?
  • Battery sat for about a year unused, and I have no info on how it was handled at Tesla. They do know how to store it properly, but how much do they care about preserving a used car? When I go to the delivery appt, how can I tell whether the battery was stored properly or if it is degraded?
  • AP 2.0 vs AP 3.0, but I'm not going to pony up for the FSD now since it's still not a reality. AP 2.0 hardware is slightly inferior in the sensors (not upgradable), so it's less future proof than a new one. I'm not sure there's any real value difference here.
  • Other early build differences.
I'm in fair climate, so the AWD doesn't matter to me. AWD is a bit faster but both are exceptionally fast. The SR+ RWD doesn't feel nearly as peppy to me as the LR AWD, and I understand the LR RWD is about in the middle. The LR RWD has the bigger battery, so it can dump the same power into the motors that the AWD can at higher speeds (unless limited by other factors). I like that the RWD has a little better range, so that's a draw.

The major differences in the early builds are known. The ones I think might matter to me or others:
  1. Suspension stiffness - not worried and Tesla should change the springs if it's a problem (per talking with a Service Adviser)
  2. Rear seats - original is flatter and slightly less comfortable but the seats fold down closer to flat - it's a wash.
  3. Wind noise from windshield gaps - fixable with a rubber gasket
  4. The early one may have an Alcatara headliner, so maybe a small benefit.
  5. Body panel assembly / paint quality - this does seem to be an ongoing issue.
Basically it comes down to whether it's wise to buy a very early build used vehicle for a discount over the new AWD. Am I missing any other differences or concerns about early build?

Open to any and all advice. Thank you!
 

Nunaguna

New Member
Aug 5, 2019
3
0
California
Regarding the paint quality, looking forward to the upcoming 2020 model year color options:
ln3bznO
 

Uncle Don

Member
May 21, 2019
111
167
California
Go for the new one if you can afford it. To many questions about the used one. Why was it returned quickly with only 2000 miles on it? Why did it sit for a year? How did it sit for that year?

I love my LR AWD. Buy new.
 
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Spuzzz

Member
Apr 20, 2016
77
65
Columbus, OH
I think the awd will have an improved suspension vs the early vin. I also have an early vin RWD and it is a rough ride on beat up roads. On smooth roads it makes little difference. I wish I had waited for the awd stealth performance. Too late for me not for you.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,619
10,852
Riverside Co. CA
I think the awd will have an improved suspension vs the early vin. I also have an early vin RWD and it is a rough ride on beat up roads. On smooth roads it makes little difference. I wish I had waited for the awd stealth performance. Too late for me not for you.

Its probably too late for the OP now as well, since the post is from august of 2019 and your post is the first one in the thread since that time.
 

CameraJim

Member
Jan 29, 2021
49
100
West Chester, PA
I have an early LR RWD and really love it, but that one sounds like it has too many questions. I got mine for just over $35K, with 45K miles and EAP. I don't mind high mileage cars. Warranty problems usually shake out in the first couple of years and, besides, Tesla warrantees the drive train and battery for 120,000 miles.
 

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