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Considering Used Model S vs New Model 3...

Discussion in 'Model S' started by FutureShock, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. FutureShock

    FutureShock Member

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    Hi, all. New here. Cool forum. :cool:

    Perhaps some of the wiser among you can help me out with my future buying decision. Basically, I made the mistake of riding in my bro-in-law's Model S, and was pretty much insta-smitten... so quiet, so smooth (air suspension), so fast, so sexy in the styling. And this was even after riding in my other bro-in-law's Jaguar F-Type about 40 minutes prior. Really nice car, but not as refined or as cool as the S.

    So, now I want a Tesla. But, I'm a bit of a cheapskate, and I'm willing to wait. I did consider getting a *new* Model S, but, eh. The 100 models seem a bit spendy for what you get, and the 75 models are juuuust barely range-shy enough to activate my range anxiety. I'm sure this is not by chance. IOW, Tesla's marketing/pricing guys are evil. :p

    So okay, *used* Model S vs new Model 3. From comparing and contrasting specs, seems like I personally would want an 85D or 90D (though 90Ds apparently are hard to find). Probably am looking at a late 2014 or a 2015 car, probably one that just came off lease.

    My personal list of pluses and minuses below... tell me if I'm off-base on any of this and/or am missing anything.

    Used Model S

    + Longer, lower, sleeker exterior styling than the 3
    + Has been in production for several years, so should be more reliable than a Model Year 1 car like the 3
    + Has a HUD (the 3's super-minimalist controls worry me a bit)
    + Faster acceleration
    + Could get one with Original Autopilot, which allegedly does basic functions like lane-keeping better than Enhanced AP
    + Heavier car = theoretically safer in a crash
    + Might be able to get one with Air Suspension
    + Could buy one soon
    + Unlimited Supercharging?? (some models, referrals?)
    – Will very likely be more expensive than even a well-appointed 3 (though maybe not by much)
    – Shorter range than the LR (long-range) option'd 3
    – Heavier car = less nimble handling and longer stopping distances, all else equal
    – Big = tougher to park, and fools will be dinging it when they open their car doors in parking lots
    – Won't have all the cool Enhanced Autopilot features
    – As a used/former lease car, perhaps the previous owner took bad care of it and/or beat the hell out of it

    New Model 3

    + A bit cheaper, even with all the trimmings
    + In LR guise, will have significantly longer range than any of the used MSes I'm looking at
    + Enhanced Autopilot has some cool features that Orginal AP won't
    + Lighter car = more agile handling, shorter stopping distances
    + Smaller = easier to park, less likely to be dinged by dumbasses in parking lots
    + Don't have to worry about what the previous owner did to it
    + Probably has some minor doo-dads/refinements that the S doesn't have
    – As a Model Year 1 car, could definitely have some major reliability issues
    – Exterior styling is good, but not 'Model S good'
    – Super-minimalist controls/lack of a HUD seem odd and slightly off-putting to me
    – Slower acceleration (though still quite fast)
    – Lighter car = less safe in a crash than the S (though @3500-3800 lbs, the 3's not a 'light' car, really)
    – Enhanced AP has more features than Original AP but allegedly is not as refined (yet)
    – No shot at getting Unlimited Supercharging?
    – No air suspension option (yet?)
    – No AWD option (though it's coming)
    – 12-18 month wait to buy one


    Does that capture it pretty well?
     
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  2. kmistry1986

    kmistry1986 Member

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    Good comparison. I'm in the same boat and am interested to see what people here have to say.
     
  3. kingjamez

    kingjamez Member

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    I'm in exactly the same boat.

    Your list is pretty much exactly mine. My major deciding factor on the M3 vs. used MS comes down to a few key differences for me.

    1. Longer range for LR M3 vs ~MS 85
    2. Known battery state: I will baby my battery, don't have any way of quantifying what a previous owner did (save for reported range).
    3. Size. The MS is a big car. I park in a parking garage and big cars get eaten by concrete columns.

    -Jim
     
  4. spooky981

    spooky981 Member

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    Tesla isn't a fantastic car manufacturer. They just have a fantastic model - and that's the S. It took some time to become a reliable car but right around 2014/2015 everything clicked and it started winning awards and earning recognition for being more than an ipad on wheels. It culminated with Consumer Reports calling it one of the best cars on the road.

    But it wasn't always that way. The X is only just now turning the corner two years after a rough launch. The Roadster never did become a smart buy. So as you can see Tesla isn't amazing by default, it gets there by trial and error.

    Your decision shouldn't be between a used S or a new 3. It should be a used S today or a model 3 after they've had a couple years to work the kinks out. There will be plenty of people falling over themselves to beta test Tesla's latest vehicle, you don't have to be one of them.
     
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  5. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    No HUD on the Model S ..

    Personally, I'd push you toward a new S with the tax credit and owner referral, that's $8,500 off ... plus if you are watching end of quarter, Tesla sneaks in discounts on inventory cars.
     
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  6. johnster007

    johnster007 Member

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    Once again, Tesla has you thinking about an upgrade for a few dollars more. I hate that. :) I bought my first Model S in March of 2013 and after the first year (door handles, loud ac pump, steering creaking, moisture in the taillights, 2 drive units) it's been incredible. Tesla is very good about making things right and since those initial problems the car has been a champ. Just tires since then and I'm at 75k miles. While it doesn't look that different, the model S today is a completely different car than the one I bought in 2013. More refined and higher tech in countless ways, which is why I ordered a second S last month. I still have a 3 on order and I'm not sure if I'm going to take it. It's a beautiful car but the rear end is a little "Prius like" and when it's sitting in my garage I won't be able to enjoy staring at it like I do my current Model S, Beyoncé. Additionally, I'm not a fan of the "futuristic" interior in the 3. During the reveal we all thought it was a place holder for an unfinished car. But it wasn't and I think it still looks that way IMHO.

    I'd recommend getting an S with AP and all wheel drive and get the benefit of all the fine-tuning that's happened since 2012. Besides life is short and you should get into a Tesla as soon as possible. My 2 cents.
     
  7. FutureShock

    FutureShock Member

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    My bad... by HUD, I meant the customizable screen behind the steering wheel. Which I likey, and wish they'd kept on the 3, despite Elon's tweets to the contrary (aka, "You won't miss it").

    (also, y'know, a true HUD would be pretty boss, wouldn't it? :) )
    .
     
  8. FutureShock

    FutureShock Member

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    This... is a really good point. Unfortunately.

    Though, I guess with the length of the waiting line for the 3, anyone putting in a reservation now would have to wait like 1.5 years anyway, i.e. they should be out of beta test mode by then. Maybe, anyway.... :oops:
    .
     
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  9. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    And ... by the time you configure a Model 3 ... you're pushing high $40k ... and by then, likely NO tax credit.
     
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  10. davinci2017

    davinci2017 Member

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    It really depends on the wait time more than anything else really. If you can honestly wait close to 2 years for a car assuming/hoping everything goes per plan from now onto then, knowing the factors you already know about it, I'd say sure wait for one. Dont get an S.

    But right now the S is a very good car. Sure its probably close to a full on refresh, but I personally dont think Tesla has the time or resources to do a full refresh anytime soon and the car will continue to get incremental updates at least for a few more years.

    If you need a car now, a used/certified S is a solid option and a very good car. without losing out on too much vs the 3.

    Also the range difference between the older 85 and the new 75D is barely anything. I still think the base 75 is the best car out there especially with the new upgraded drive train that can now pull off what was once their top of the line performance numbers. It has rolled in a lot of "upgrades" as standard now and for the current asking price its a really good price since you will still get the credits as well.
     
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  11. Troy

    Troy Active Member

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    #11 Troy, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
    You could buy a used Model S and then order a Model 3. You might still get owner priority. Check out this topic: Will buying a S or X move you up on the list? If you get owner priority, you could get your Model 3 80 this November, in less than 3 months from now because of your location. The $7,500 tax credits are expected to continue until the end of Q2 2018. Then it drops to $3750 for two more quarters. Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you will still get owner priority but there is a chance and you should try to find out more. By the way, here is a comparison between the Model 3 LR and 75 kWh Model S.
    • The Model 3 LR has 24.5% more range than the Model S 75 (310 mi/249 mi - 1= 0.245= 24.5%)
    • The Model 3 LR is 15.4% more efficient than the Model S 75 ([310 mi/78.3 kWh] / [249 mi/72.6 kWh] - 1= 0.154=15.4%)
    • The Model 3 LR has 78.3 kWh usable battery capacity (source: page 6 footer) vs 72.6 kWh in the Model S 75 (source) and 77.5 kWh in the Model S 85 (source).
    • The Model 3 LR battery degradation is 15% slower than the Model S 75 because it requires fewer charge cycles for the same mileage.
    • The Model 3 has 1.5" more headroom in the front and 2.4" more in the rear seats than the Model S.
      Model 3: Front= 40.3”, Rear = 37.7”(source),
      Model S: Front= 38.8", Rear= 35.3" (source)
    • The Model 3 has the newer battery technology
    • The Model 3 has a driver facing camera
    • The Model 3 center console has more storage space and charger docks for two smartphones (Source: See video here)
    • The Model 3 has door pockets
    • The Model 3 is more aerodynamic (0.23 vs 0.24)
    • The Model 3 has a folding rear seat armrest with cup holders. Source
    • The Model 3 LR running cost in terms of charging is 15% cheaper than the Model S 75 because it gets more mileage per kWh
    • The Model 3 insurance will cost less than the Model S
    • The Model 3 LR costs ~$25.5K less than the Model S 75 ($44K vs $69.5K)
    • The Model 3 roof rack can be attached regardless whether you have the glass or metal roof. (source)
    • The Model 3 is future proof but the Model S is not because Tesla will redesign the Model S to make it easier to manufacture. This means weight reduction, improved handling, and slightly better performance. Current Model S cars will become the old and discontinued version. Model S without Autopilot or Model S with the plastic nose cone is not as cool anymore. Current Model S will be like that soon.
    • The Model 3 LR is not about to be discontinued however the Model S 75 is. Tesla has already confirmed this (source). Buying a car that is about to be discontinued is not appealing to many buyers. The Model 3 75D is also likely to be discontinued when sales drop to almost zero soon.
    • The Model 3 production line is more automated. Listen here to Elon confirming this. That means fewer parts are hand assembled compared to the Model S which means fewer manufacturing errors.
    • Model 3 LR resale value is not going to tank soon but the 75 kWh Model S is.
     
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  12. MSDadMich

    MSDadMich Member

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    Guys, food for thought.
    The S is made out of aluminum.. forget rust. There's no engine, just a motor with an infinite mile warranty. etc. etc.
    Most of you are spending 35K or so on a car now if you're similar to the avg middle class citizen. The S starts at 69.5K for the base model, cash. These cars will last a LONG time. If you plan on driving one of these for ten years say, and consider the resale value (perhaps even just the value of the battery) you are not paying much more for an S than the ice cars that most people purchase for 5 years and then trade in. A new S sure would be sweet too.
    By the way, what money you save from the switch to electricity, from gas, will cover the cost of insurance unless you are buying a P100D.
    Whatever way you go, I'm sure you will enjoy your new Tesla! :)
     
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  13. MSDadMich

    MSDadMich Member

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    If you guys change your mind, there are plenty of referral codes that will still get you free supercharging for the life of the vehicle as long as you own it too... and 1K off a new car.
     
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  14. EnjoyingLife

    EnjoyingLife Member

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    I just took delivery of an inventory MS75D. Here is what I'm gonna say. Would I do the same thing (buy the S over my reservation 3) given what I know now? Answer is no (at least now...given enough time might be different)

    Yes, it's nice. It has leather before they switched to vegan. It's flashy fast and turn heads. It''s a bit of a status symbol, conversation starter if people see you have one (kind of like the first iPhone).

    However, I'm used to driving mid sized SUVs and sedans. This thing is bigger than anything I've ever driven less the suburban. So everytime I'm in it, the stress level goes up. With every turn I'm afraid of hitting the curb. Merging takes 2x the effort as I'm so used to seeing right 2 lanes. Then there are other things. Omg is that car gonna hit me? The semi is too close! I better back off I don't want to get chipped. Constantly I'm afraid of getting my baby dinged up. This is not mentioning the parking lot. Since I have the car, I park far away. Yet, I get very uneasy. This led to me rushing my meal instead of enjoying my food.

    Now the auto pilot. It works...however giving the sheer size of the car. There is really No room for error. Meaning you have to watch it like a hawk. Again adding stress. This is where I feel the 3 will be better (for me). It's not as wide, this alone give the car a little bit more wiggle room for errors. Even if a semi is next to you, you won't freak out and try to navigate around it.

    Last point I want to make is,depending on where you live, summer is almost over. It takes tesla 4 weeks to deliver a car from 2 states over for me. For CPO, it's more. It will be oct when your car finally comes. How will that affect your diving?

    So, think about the size of car you are comfortable driving. Would a full size car like a tesla s fit your comfort level? Are you a perfectionist that you would be mad if your car gets a scratch/dent? I'm not saying the 3 won't. But giving its smaller size, it's less likely. Would you be ok with the car driving itself with little room to spare for errors? I know it will improve over time but still a consideration. There is something I should have done but didn't. I test drove the S twice. The 2nd time a much longer drive. What I should have done was pay 500 to rent a tesla for 2 days from a specialty rental place. This will give you plenty of time to evaluate and be less emotional more objective about the whole thing. Either way, you will enjoy the car. It will be unlike anything you've ever driven. Do I regret my decision? Regret isn't the right word...I don't regret it but I would do it a little differently. Good luck!
     
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  15. johnster007

    johnster007 Member

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    What color is it? Want to sell it to me?
     
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  16. Atlantan

    Atlantan Member

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    So you have been in an S, now when you get a chance experience the 3, then throw out your spread-sheets and analysis and listen to your heart...whichever one you are more emotionally attached to, in the long run will keep you happier. Otherwise you will have constant buyer's remorse.

    Don't get me wrong... analysis is great, but for most people satisfaction is based on emotional factors not analytical ones. If it were the later, I would be driving a $1K- 2K basic sedan that also can get me from point A to point B and sometimes C.
     
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  17. Dcr3rd

    Dcr3rd Member

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    Hi, this is my 1st post. Long time follower of the forum and Tesla. Today I pulled the trigger on a 2013 CPO S85. I am also a day one reservation holder for model 3. (The adviser did confirm I would move up to owner status in the que)

    Long story short I just couldn't wait any longer and price wise I got everything I wanted for less than what the 3 is offering. Lifetime supercharging, big battery, etc. I already have been driving a Leaf for almost 2 years and the electric life is the only way to go.

    I am going to hold on to my reservation and when the time comes decide if the 3 would be better for me. Right now I am going to enjoy driving one heck of a car! Once it's delivered.....
     
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  18. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Having owned both a new AP1 S85 RWD (full-sized frunk and microwave w custom luggage) and a new AP2 S90D, with a Day One 10:05AM Model 3 reservation, here's my $0.02:

    Work with a good Owner Advisor to find you a CPO AP1 car (about 10K either side of VIN 65,000 iirc). It'll have a warranty through 100,000 miles, included supercharging, and more cargo space than a BMW X5 SUV. It'll cost between $40K-$48K based upon recent actual sale data.

    Drive it into the ground or until 3 years pass. By that time, CPO and inventory Model 3s will have longer range (at least 310 rated miles) and who knows what else. And they'll start at $20K-$25K, which offsets what you'll pay for supercharging.

    About that - in California the $0.20/kW SC rate means there is absolutely no financial advantage at the pump as it were between a Model 3 in practical real-world use and a decent hybrid. A lot of people will be disappointed but that's how it is.

    So for now and for the next 3 years, a CPO AP1 RWD S85 is your friend.
     
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  19. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    That is an apples to loquats comparison.
     
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  20. FutureShock

    FutureShock Member

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    Thanks. Extremely good idea you have for me to rent one before buying... I just didn't think there were any places that rented Model S's. :oops:
    .
     
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