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Any Model S & 3 owners who still prefer their Model S...or vice versa?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by cab, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. cab

    cab Member

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    So we've seen a lot of Model S owners who have purchased a Model 3 and either still own both or who have transitioned from the S to the 3. Like a lot of folks, we have an older (2013 P85+) Model S and have been invited to configure (way back in January), but have held off for a while. I'm still on the fence about trading the S for a 3. I have sat in one at the local gallery of course, but no test drive as of yet. I may rent one on Turo before it is all said and done.

    I know the basics of course. The 3 is newer, single screen vs. dual, lighter, sportier, slower, firmer riding, smaller, etc. I also find the interior a bit more low rent and frankly, while it looks OK, it isn't the stunning looker the S is.

    When I read reviews from Model 3 owners who have never owned an S before, some of that is colored by the "first cool electric car" situation. It is different if you have already experienced that and are now looking at the deltas.

    Anyway, now that the "it's the cool new thing!" factor may have simmered down for some of you, do you find yourself gravitating more to one car vs. the other? Anyone wish they had just gotten a newer Model S or "held out" for an "S" re-design (or perhaps you would like to have, but just can't justify the cost differential)?

    A long test drive would likely answer my questions of course, but this post is cheaper. ;>
     
  2. ivolodin

    ivolodin Member

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    I'm not replacing my S with 3, but I got 3 for my wife. I drive both regularly, and my preferences change depending on the day. S is more luxurious and spacious, it also has higher acceleration rate. Two screens also helps, and I prefer S interfaces to that of a 3. But 3 is a lot more nimble and fun to drive, it feels a lot more sporty. 3 still has software quirks that need to be fixed (slow bluetooth connection, phone as a key issue, no wifi yet, at least in my car). But I think after novelty of driving 3 wares of a bit, I would still prefer my S. It's just more versatile compare to 3.
    Even after 3 month of owning Model 3, I still can't find a comfortable seats position, not sure if that's just in my mind... But both cars are great, that's for sure.
     
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  3. Willy3988

    Willy3988 Member

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    On longer trips I take the X just for the comfort and free Supercharging. I save the 3 for trips under 300 miles round trip.
     
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  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn M3 Silver, M3 Midnight Silver

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    I have been driving Tesla's for 8 years. Roadster, S, X and now 3. RWD, AWD, you name it.
    I have owned the 3 over 4 months now. After driving it on and off for a week my wife placed her order and traded in her X for a 3.
    The 3, IMO, is worth to cost of the Roadster.

    Now, part of this is personal preferences, such as:
    I prefer a smaller vehicle. I got smaller, more nimble, better handling.
    I like a clean, contemporary look. I got an extremely clean look with no clutter, yet far more storage than any of the others have had in terms of pockets, coat hangers and other 'hidden' convenience items. It does not feel 'low rent' to me, but it is a subjective judgement.
    I also have a more reliable, easy to maintain car, which I value. And efficiency that was unheard of before with the S or X.

    Car buying is a very personal decision, so go with your gut.
    For me, the 3 delivers in every area that is important to me, and some that aren't.
    Or in other words,
    You can take my 3 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands :D;)
     
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  5. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

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    This is my concern. In an S currently, always assumed I would replace with awd model 3.

    Drove model 3 for the first time a couple weeks ago and my immediate first impression was "wow these seats are not as comfortable." I played with the adjustments some - got the lumbar positioning reasonably OK but not great - but no matter what i did the thigh support and overall flatness/firmness of the seats was never that great.

    Really don't want to pay $30k for the model S over the 3, as it's really just a commuter vehicle for me, but not sure if I will regret the seat comfort.
     
  6. ivolodin

    ivolodin Member

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    I wouldn't say Model 3 seats are not comfortable. I just can't seem to find the right position for them. Something always feels off. But I've driven Model 3 from Boston to Hartford and back, and the seats are almost as comfortable as they are in Model S.
     
  7. tomas

    tomas Only partially psycho

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    I’ve had S for almost 6 years. Beautiful car. But prefer the 3. I like the size,,handling, and visibility.
     
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  8. Msjulie

    Msjulie Member

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    I've only ever had loaner S's (a fair amount) but I found the 3 seats really comfortable. Mine are pre-widen-phase FWIW.. I think it's the overall seating position, wheel location, etc..
     
  9. novox77

    novox77 1.21 Gigawatts

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    Wife has the S and I have the 3. It's the perfect arrangement. I much prefer to drive the 3 because of its light, sporty characteristic. She likes the S because it's a larger car and she perceives it to be safer. On the weekends, I drive the family around in the 3. Unless we're going to the nursery or Home Depot, where the hatch of the S makes it easier to store larger stuff.
     
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  10. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Today, I prefer the S as a touring car, and it's not close. More versatile rear area, included supercharging, much more cargo space if one has or had the RWD variant.

    With that said, I've probably bought my last new S. No interest in the X. I anticipate after the next 2-3 years (I hope to be back into an AP1 S by year's end), my next Tesla will be either a Model 3 or potentially a Model Y. Unless the S gets a complete revamp... TBD.

    My impression of the Model 3, while largely favorable, is that it's not close to being done yet both in terms of UI and of course features. I have had a reservation since lining up in the pre-dawn hours of Day One, and am in nooooo rush.

    It's tempting to go all in for a Roadster 2.0 if for no other reason than the range, but the storage space and access would have to be brilliant (similar to how much room was available in the early Corvette ragtops (late 60s/early 70s models for starters). Presumably supercharging would be included with the new Roadster. Heh.

    With all of the above having been said, the ultimate touring machine would have to be a Tesla Semi with that interesting $0.07/kW commercial rate and a stellar customized RV as a 53' trailer. That's 53' x 8' x 9.5' plus roof and undercarriage access. I could do a lot with that.

    WIll be interesting to see how it all works out in 3-5 years.
     
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  11. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    It's funny how subjective seats are. I've driven many different model year S's (only sat in an X, but never taken one on the road). If the price and range were equal, I'd much prefer the S over the 3.

    But the seats isn't one of the reasons. Overall, I think the 3 seat is more comfortable. Nowhere as sporty, but I drive a lot of long distance trips and for that, I find the 3 seat better. I do have an issue with lumbar support, but not a lot of manufacturers make seats that have enough lumbar support for me.
     
  12. cab

    cab Member

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    Good feedback so far. Anyone else? The ride quality and noise levels are particularly interesting to me..
     
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  13. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I came from a coil 2013 P85 to my RWD Model 3. We also have a 2015 P85D. Before getting the 3, I was getting a bit jealous of the AP features in my husbands S. TACC was especially nice.

    Picking up the 3, I gained all those cool new AP features, which was huge. They were very rough around the edges initially, but are getting much closer to the 2015 every update and exceed AP 1 in some situations. If I still had the 2013 around, I am sorry to say she would be gathering dust.

    The 3 feels almost as sprightly off the line as the P85, and the coil suspensions feel very similar after I had the 3 suspension TSB done (prior to that, the 3 was as stiff as our early P85D with the plus suspension). The TSB was only for early cars, BTW. The smaller 3 is way more fun to drive around, and I much prefer its size over our S.

    Noise levels, they are pretty equal. Our 2015 has the 21” wheels and isn’t exactly the quietest at highway speeds. The 3 gets some wind noise under cross wind conditions which can be loud. My 2013 was louder than both at freeway speeds, as it also had the 21” wheels.

    We also like the extra range on the 3. It makes it the default road trip car, even though supercharging is not free. Trunk space is surprisingly useable. Got 3 suitcases back there plus our carryons for our recent trip. The Lincoln Continental boat we ended up with as a rental at the other end couldn’t manage that.

    The S is spacious on the inside, and has lots of cargo space. My husband still likes his, but he does concede that an AWD 3 might be in his future over a 100D S.
     
  14. turtlesz

    turtlesz Member

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    Not answering your exact question but I have a X and a 3 at home. I prefer the 3 over the X overall. I find the 3 more similar to my BMW 435i coupe which I absolutely love to drive. The 3 has easier to use interface then the X, better stereo, cool air vents, range and is just easier to manage compared to the X. The X has great cargo space and the FWD are good for passengers to get in easily to the car. I have been in S extensively and was about to buy a base S right before ordering the 3 and glad I waited. Seats in both the X and 3 are comfortable to me. Can't go wrong with any Tesla, but I'd pick a 3 over any older non AP or AP 1 Tesla.
     
  15. MarkS22

    MarkS22 Member

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    #15 MarkS22, Jun 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    I've owned a Model S P85D for over three years and a Model 3 for six months.

    In my opinion, the Model 3 is a superior car in almost every way. If it weren't for the hatch and a couple extra inches, it could very well be the refreshed Model S. And I say this after six months, so I don't think it's a halo. I felt it from day one and still feel it today. (To be fair, I think the exterior proportions of the Model S are more pleasing. It's a stunning car.)

    The interior design of the Model 3 feels more cohesive. I know it's totally subjective, but I love it. The single vent going across the cabin without bumps or vents. The complete darkness in front of you when driving at night without an instrument cluster. It just feels better. The center console on the Model 3 is perfectly curved up toward the screen at a 90 degree angle. The phone holders are in a better location. It has keyfob-less entry (which works perfectly for me). It has better headlights and a better sound system. As everyone mentions, it's more fun and sporty to drive. And, with the Performance Model 3 coming out, it'll be faster than every new Model S except the P100D for twice the price.

    The Model S interior feels like what it is: a great interior that has been upgraded incrementally over six years. The console itself was an afterthought and kinda feels like it, especially next to the Model 3.

    If you absolutely need the utility of a hatch with large stuff in the trunk, you'll need an S or X. But, if you're looking for a commuter car, the Model 3 is excellent. It charges faster (less energy per mile), has better range, the size is easier to park, it has an extra interior "selfie" camera for potential future use, and has newer technology under the hood. For example, it uses solid state MOSFETS instead of traditional fuses and it has more wiring redundancy to places like the power steering.

    I happen to find the Model 3 seats to be more comfortable. I'm sure it depends on body type and size. The Model 3 easily fits my two kids in car seats in the back. The Model S can comfortably fit a small adult in the back with two car seats. The Model 3 can squeeze a third adult in uncomfortably for a short trip. (The difference is a couple inches, but it makes a difference.)

    I absolutely love the Model S. The P85D was, by far, my favorite car ever... until the Model 3. The P85D is a beast with "insane" acceleration. It feels like a tank that's magnetized to the road. It'll always be a special car to me. The first Tesla with Autopilot. The first Tesla with Dual Motors. And, well, my first Tesla. But the Model 3 feels like they took 6 years of learning and distilled it. Not to make only a cheaper car, but a better one. I expected the Model 3 to feel more "economy" but when I picked it up, I was surprised at how beautiful it is.

    I'm now in a position where I have to pick between a new Model S and the Performance Model 3. If there's no refresh in the near future, it's highly likely I'll go with the Model 3. But, damn, I'll miss the hatch and the self-closing trunk. And two inches of width in the rear seats. It seems like the Model Y (which looks to be substantially like a Model 3 with a hatch) might be the perfect car for me in the end.

    Also note: I have spent time with a 2018 P100D, so I'm aware of the improvements to the Model S in the past few years. Personally, I just don't think they go far enough and I'd like to see the Model S take the technology and luxury crown back from the Model 3. It's clear Tesla has a new design language when you look at the Model 3 and 2020 Roadster. It's time for the Model S to take those cues and add some cutting edge features.
     
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  16. cab

    cab Member

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    Great responses guys. Much appreciated.
     
  17. SoCalMom

    SoCalMom Member

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    I'm not qualified at all to answer OPs question since I've never owned a Model S. However I was in a loaner 2014 P85D for about a week and I agree totally with every.single.thing. @MarkS22 just said.
     
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  18. CFrolander

    CFrolander Member

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    So one thing I worry about still is the lack of the second screen. I remember not caring for it when I first saw a central instrument cluster on an old scion, and I still don’t care for it when I see it on newer cars like the Prius. I’ve never driven these cars, but it just seems unnatural. I love the behind the wheel display on my X.

    Now I’ve got a P3D ordered and that’s my one concern, but I really don’t see anyone complaining about it. Anyone care to touch on the lack of a display behind the wheel, relying on only the center screen?
     
  19. ivolodin

    ivolodin Member

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    Lack of center screen is a problem for about 20 minutes. After that you get used to it and don't even notice it. I switch between S and 3 all the time, the only problem that I have is when I switch to S after having driven 3 for a little while, I look at the center screen to see my speed for the first 5 minutes of the drive. Out of all potential problem that 3 might have, lack of center screen is the smallest, from my perspective.
     
  20. DanH

    DanH Member

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    I don’t miss the regular center screen at all. The steering was always in the way. The 3’s screen is perfect for me. The only issue is the button to change type of music. It’s all the way to the right which required an extra reach if you want to switch to listen from your phone for example. I hope they’ll move that icon to left a bit.

    The S looks a bit nicer externally, but I prefer the 3’s interiors. It’s more functional and feels more open. The 3’s size is perfect for CA, especially when if you live in a dense area.
     
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