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Brand new 2021 model 3 or 2017 Tesla Model S 75D?

Kese

New Member
Oct 31, 2021
1
0
Las vegas
Brand new model 3 or 2017 Tesla Model S 75D?

I already have the model 3 SR+ on order and should be delivered by mid December but lately been thinking about getting a used S instead of the M3. The used model S that I’m considering getting has a little over 50k miles. Don’t know much about the older model S Tesla’s but hopefully someone can give me some advice on what I should do.
 

PrGrPa

Member
Aug 12, 2017
331
164
Manchester
We have both a 2017 Model S 75D and a 2019 model 3 SR+. Both have some great features in comparison. Both have similar stated range.

Long journeys, we usually use the Model S. it is quieter and smoother in its ride than the 3. I find the separate cruise control on the S more familiar than using the gear lever in the 3.

Storage. Being a hatchback, the S is more versatile and can jam in a whole lot more stuff than the 3.

Size. The 3 is easier to drive around city and country roads even though there’s not that much difference in size.

Handling. The 3 feels sportier. The low dash and more open layout together with the non-air suspension make it feel nippier on country roads. Though it is slower in acceleration.

Navigation and infotainment. The 3’s newer chips are more responsive than the S. for most things this makes little difference but for voice recognition and snappiness the 3 wins. The 2 displays in the S vs 1 in the 3 isn’t much of a problem.

Build quality and repairs. Not much in it really. Both have had glitches. All fixed under warranty. The S has had more: 3-way valve being the most severe. Other than that, a door handle, headlamp (dim daylight running light), infotainment freeze. The 3 had: abraded washer hose, jammed frunk release.

Both are great cars. I’ll be saying goodbye to my S next February. It’ll likely have ~30,000 miles done by then.
 

PCMc

Member
Jul 1, 2016
411
410
Columbus, IN
Navigation and infotainment. The 3’s newer chips are more responsive than the S. for most things this makes little difference but for voice recognition and snappiness the 3 wins. The 2 displays in the S vs 1 in the 3 isn’t much of a problem.

You can upgrade the 2017 MS from MCU1 to MCU2 and I believe this will address the display response issue.

I want a bigger, comfier car. I want a smaller, sportier car. Which is it?

I agree this is the crux of the decision. They are different cars. MS more a touring sedan with functionality of the rear hatch. M3 is more nimble, sportier, but doesn't have the utility of the hatchback although easier to get around in tighter spaces.

If you've not drive both, you need to. That will likely heavily influence which best suits your preferences.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,359
11,118
MI
You can upgrade the 2017 MS from MCU1 to MCU2 and I believe this will address the display response issue.

yes. I upgraded my 2017 S90D to MCU2 and feels like a much newer car. Display, voice commands, everything is snappy. Albeit not as snappy as the brand new Model S with a more upgraded processor. I’m not giving my S up for a 3. I enjoy the air suspension for long road trips (and free supercharging).

I agree. It is two quite different cars. Want touring or small and sporty?
 

r3nd3r

Member
Aug 12, 2021
85
144
Los Angeles
personally for me it all comes down to build quality and technology rather than having a higher model tesla...

i own a refresh model S, but was recently given a 2017 model X as a loaner from the service center. my first impression of the X was wow, this car is squeaky as hell. my 2021 S feels so solid and i would assume a 2021 3 would as well.

the infotainment system is also embarrassingly laggy... here I am under the impression Tesla software is quick and smooth, but not at all on this X compared to my S. the sound system is also subpar and most likely not the premium option on the 2017 X. i believe the 3 comes standard with an amazing sound system.

I would say you are giving up some things on the S that the 3 doesnt have, but I'm not sure if those options such as air suspension would trump over having a 3 with much newer technology. you really have to keep in mind Teslas are constantly changing and so much has changed on the inside since 2017.

I'd go with the 3.
 
I would get the Model 3. Newer tech. Newer battery, and more real world range. O and did I mentioned it is a NEW car? Yes you give up on space, but the Model 3 is not that bad. Every car would be a compromise and it is up to you on what you are willing to pay for what you are going to get.

Also one thing to note, the Model S is notorious for high maintenance cost after the warranty is out. Model 3 might be more manageable. So I would add Model S75D will be more costly to keep running long term compared to the Model 3 SR+.
 

Greg63

Member
Jan 10, 2021
49
46
NC
I have a 2013 Model S that doesn't have any features compared to newer Teslas. It's just a lux electric car. No AP or even parking sensors. I have upgraded the MCU and I get free supercharging along with free LTE. I've driven the X, 3 and Y. The 3 and Y are just fast cars. They have some nice features that I wish mine had but I wouldn't trade my S for anything other than another S. I'll take my model S with 158k miles over any 3 or Y. I wanted to like the Y but I can't give up the ride of the S or the 2 screens.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,714
15,003
California
Also one thing to note, the Model S is notorious for high maintenance cost after the warranty is out.
I don't find this particularly true for more recent cars like the 2017+ OP is looking at. Many of the high dollar common part failures are addressed on newer cars and the cost of repairs even if they do break have come down significantly (example: door handles used to be $800, now they're ~$300).

Late 2016 Model S with 130,000 miles my out of warranty maintenance costs so far have amounted to tires, alignments, and wiper blades.

Out of warranty repairs? ~$350 for a trunk cinch actuator and latch.

That's it.
 

Grassright

Member
Oct 7, 2017
270
493
Bay Area
I don't find this particularly true for more recent cars like the 2017+ OP is looking at. Many of the high dollar common part failures are addressed on newer cars and the cost of repairs even if they do break have come down significantly (example: door handles used to be $800, now they're ~$300).

Exactly. I had a late 2017 S and it's super reliable. (2017 MX is a different story) Just upgrade MCU2 if it's not already. Overall it's much better than SR+3 (faster, air suspension, roomier). Not sure if you can get factory extended warranty for used MS though, but there are 3rd providers if you want worry-free.
 
I’m a potential Tesla newbie in the UK and have a similar dilemma. I have been offered a September 2017 S model 75D with 19,000 miles on the clock. However, the dealer I’m buying from knows nothing about Tesla’s and I’m reading negative comments about buying out of warranty. I am planning to drive across Spain and, again. am concerned about reliability and charging anxiety. Totally confused about MCU updates etc!! Prefer the S as it looks superb and has the hatchback. Any advice gratefully received!
 

Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,117
2,316
Intermountain US
…I’m reading negative comments about buying out of warranty. I am planning to drive across Spain and, again. am concerned about reliability and charging anxiety. Totally confused about MCU updates etc!! Prefer the S as it looks superb and has the hatchback…
Get the S. Drivetrain and battery warranty are good for another 4 years. I have 90,000 miles on mine and besides MCU1 replacement (which Tesla will repair with eMMC upgrade at their expense) I have only had a random charge port replacement.

Set aside $1500 for misc repairs. Maybe another $1000 for CCS2 upgrade and adapter if your car doesn’t have it. If you have no problems by the time you save another $2000, then save it for a treat for yourself for the MCU2 upgrade, less if you don’t use the radio.

Prices are in dollars obviously but pounds are about their equivalent cost.

Bonus points if roads are salted where you live since S is mostly aluminum where 3 is steel. If you get the S, double check that the car is performance uncorked. A few rare cars won’t have been done. Double bonus points if it comes with air suspension and you plan to keep your S for a long time, as third parties can more easily replace your battery with the heavier 90/100 that way. Triple bonus points if your car comes with the experimental BTX8 85kWh battery that never appeared in the US, although nobody knows what happens if you put a replacement 100kWh battery into that car software locked to 75kWh.

Don’t use timed charging while road tripping before you upgrade to MCU2 since you can still drive, charge and use the instrument cluster if MCU1 fails, but if you have timed charging set and MCU1 fails you can’t charge.

Also, I understand there are professional Tesla thief rings in Europe. Setting PIN to drive might defeat some, but similarly, if you have a PIN set and MCU1 fails then you are calling for a tow to a service center.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,714
15,003
California
I agree with @Krash. People greatly exaggerate the "no warranty" risk on later production cars. The 8 year infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty is a nice benefit on the S that you won't get with a 3. As I said above, my 2016 S75 has cost me $350 in post-warranty repairs.
 

Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,117
2,316
Intermountain US
…I have the previous user’s code so will the car reveal what has been updated and/or what needs to be done?
Not sure what you mean by code.

Even with the username and password to login to the app and corporate site you don’t get those details.

MCU2 upgrade is unlikely to be already done but you can browse to a website for within the car to verify.

Also unlikely that the car has full self driving (FSD) but it may have autopilot (AP) or enhanced autopilot (EAP) already if that matters. You can verify that in the app or online with owner’s credentials or from the car. But in the US we have a problem where the cars sold from Tesla (auction/leases/tradein) to dealer often show those settings even though they have been flagged for removal and on your first over the air update those features would disappear and have to be repurchased.

Free Unlimited Supercharging was a thing in the US but ended early in 2017. Unlikely that your car had it and in the rare case it did, Tesla here removes it with a dealer transfer.

Also, you can look in the door panel for the build date. Drive units and maybe inverters were mysteriously upgraded in mid June 2017, camera colors to full color and then an interior facing camera were added later in the year.
 
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