Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Cross-Shopping Loaded Perf Model Y vs Base Model S

I feel like these cars aren't meant to be cross-shopped, but it seems fairly close. I've owned a Model 3 and currently own a Model Y my wife will be taking.

Both vehicles would be White with included wheels and interior.

2021 Model Y Performance w/ FSD: $70,990
  • Nicer Wheels, Calipers, Brakes
  • Has FSD, I like some of these features, but don't feel like I use it enough on my current Tesla. I realize I could remove this and make the difference larger though.
  • $9,000 Less, $19,000 with a more apples to apples comparison removing FSD
  • Sits higher and has more cargo space
2021 Model S: $79,990
  • 412 Mile Range (+109 Miles from Model Y)
  • 3.1s 0-60 (0.4s faster than Model Y)
  • Longer Base with Lower stance for better driving dynamics
  • Bigger Screen, Screen in Back, Instrument Display
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Adaptive Air Suspension
Am I crazy to compare these, or what am I missing? I've never really been in a Model S, but they do seem significantly nicer with some of the items I mentioned above. I feel like I'd be willing to trade FSD and reduced cargo space (still with a hatchback and fold down seats) for all the luxury style features, speed, and range. Thoughts?
Just wrote the following on a different thread. Was comparison of a 3 to and S. Other than the S / Y size differences, the rest of the below applies to the Y just the same as it does to the Model 3. For only a $19,000 difference, Model S would be a no brainer for me.

Far superior car. After owning several Model S cars, I finally decided to give the MUCH CHEAPER Model 3 a try. Pretty much hated it from day one! Not to put anyone off of the Model 3. If you haven't owned a Model S, then you won't know the difference and the Model 3 will likely be great for most coming from other types of cars. However, for me, I was spoiled with the Model S. I gave it an honest try with the Model 3 for about 8 months. Finally ordered a new S. My first "Raven" version and WOW. 5 miles in, I was instantly at peace, relaxed and said "I'm home". It was worth every penny to upgrade back to the S, for me at least.

The Model S is just a far superior built car. Aside from it's obvious size difference, the quality level is clearly apparent.

Interior MUCH quieter on the S.
Seats far more comfortable.
Air Suspension produces a gazillion times better ride than the stiffer Model 3. (many will prefer the sportier ride of the Model 3). Personal preference. With Air Suspension though, I have a choice for a nice cushy ride if I want it, especially appreciated on long trips. Or, I can stiffen it up for a sportier ride too. I love having the option.

My Model 3 didn't have key fobs, was a huge deal for me as I hated having my phone as a key. This has since been corrected, but was one of the big reasons the 3 annoyed me so much.
Model 3 also now has an automatic truck, which mine didn't. Although, I prefer the hatchback and added space afforded, not just from the size, but from being a hatchback.

For me, I hated everything being controlled in the center screen. Did not like the Horizonal layout. Much prefer the vertical layout where everything is easily readable. Things on the far right of the Model 3 screen are difficult to see at quick glance while driving. I love having my navigation instructions directly in front of me, especially on the tight winding roads I am commonly on.

Little things, like having a simple glove box button was a big deal for me. Much prefer the additional stalks.

Personal preference, I like the wider stance of the Model S. Hated the headlights on the Model 3. Rest of the car looked OK, but was too narrow for my taste.

I also hated the door handles. My hands are commonly full and I love being able to open the Model S with my pinky (all that I have available without setting things down first). Model 3, had to free up an entire hand to open the door.

And again, just overall build quality. While all Tesla's do not remotely compete in terms of actual "Luxury" with the high-end brands, the superior build quaity of the Model S drives more competitively with the higher-end brands. Just a more solid feel in general. The Model S feels like an $80,000 car. The Model 3 feels like a $40,000 car.

Again, most are simply just my personal preferences in a car and what's important to ME. The Model 3 certainly has a technological marvel and really isn't missing much in comparison to the 3, which is what appeals to most seeking to enter the Tesla world. So in that respect, you won't be disappointed with a Model 3. But, if you're coming from a Model S, and any of the above is important to you, or if you love the quality of a larger Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc, then the Model 3 could disappoint. Just sharing my firsthand comparisons for those that might have similar preferences and tastes to my own.

Eugene Ash

Supporting Member
Dec 8, 2015
Redmond, WA
For the ones who face the same question. We have both a new y lr, ans 2016.5 s 75d on coil suspension. I prefer s, as i dislike driving position in y, especially on twisty roads. Somehow A pillar is always blocking the view of the turn ahead in Y. I feel confident going through turns 10mph faster than in Y.
Space-wise, very comparable.
  • Like
Reactions: baldwin

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.