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Do I buy a second hand model S or new model 3 ?

Hi everyone, I’m looking for some buying advise. I want to buy an electric car and I have my mind set on a Tesla, I just can’t decide between three options.

1. A second hand 1st gen model S, my reasoning for this is price, as it’s half the price of a new and some second hand model 3’s. (I’m aware of the drivetrain issues and MCU upgrades I’ll possibly need to do and the abscense of side cameras for AP.)

2. A brand new model 3 I will most likely go for either a long range or performance model 3. But price is an issue here. Then I don’t need to worry about range or AP incompatibilities, warranty etc.

3. A second hand Long range or performance model 3. This option is more expensive than the 1st gen model S, but is cheaper than the new 2022 models of these cars. The only issue with this option is that I can’t seem to get a clear answer for what year Tesla added the heat pump to the model 3.

I have test drove a model 3 Performance and I do like the performance it gives.

What would you guys do ?
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,969
4,528
Scotland
The only issue with this option is that I can’t seem to get a clear answer for what year Tesla added the heat pump to the model 3.
That's because there isn't a year. They add new features as they become available so date is no guarantee. If this is important to you then you need to ask if buying secondhand ... all the new cars have heat pumps obviously.
 

muster39

Member
Nov 13, 2021
48
29
UK
Hi everyone, I’m looking for some buying advise. I want to buy an electric car and I have my mind set on a Tesla, I just can’t decide between three options.

1. A second hand 1st gen model S, my reasoning for this is price, as it’s half the price of a new and some second hand model 3’s. (I’m aware of the drivetrain issues and MCU upgrades I’ll possibly need to do and the abscense of side cameras for AP.)

2. A brand new model 3 I will most likely go for either a long range or performance model 3. But price is an issue here. Then I don’t need to worry about range or AP incompatibilities, warranty etc.

3. A second hand Long range or performance model 3. This option is more expensive than the 1st gen model S, but is cheaper than the new 2022 models of these cars. The only issue with this option is that I can’t seem to get a clear answer for what year Tesla added the heat pump to the model 3.

I have test drove a model 3 Performance and I do like the performance it gives.

What would you guys do ?
It's a very personal decision. You can compare options until the cows come home so go for what you will enjoy.

I have had a 2020 M3 LR and it was excellent. I didn't particularly like the Model S loan car I got when my M3 was in for some minor warranty work. I have very recently moved to a MY LR and its very similar to the M3 but with more space and a higher ride height.
 
I would go for a new M3 LR and then add Accel Boost (£1500 software upgrade after purchase) if you think it's too sluggish off the line in standard spec, lol.

The Model S is a very different drive and 1st gen models I've driven didn't impress me at all with their interior quality or tech. The facelift S is much nicer, but I would still take a new M3 every time. The M3 has much sharper handling, better build quality (new ones at least) and improved tech. The S is bigger of course and more of a relaxed cruiser.

A used M3 doesn't seem like great value right now with prices where they are. Our Dec 20 M3 LR (2021 spec, US built) has the heat pump and I think that was about when they were first introduced. All 2021 Chinese built cars have the heat pump and most of them will have the heated steering wheel too, which our US M3 doesn't.

You might want to consider a Model Y too, now they are the same price as a Model 3.
 
Driven both extensively. Model 3 is miles better in every single way
Maybe you didn't notice that the S has a bigger and more practical boot space and is quieter and plusher riding on the motorway? I would still take the 3 though overall or even better the Y, which addresses the practical load carrying limitations of the 3.
 
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After 7000 miles in a Model 3 Long Range and 2 days with a loaner Model S 90 I'd buy a Model 3, or nothing. The S is a barge, I really didn't enjoy it.

My April 2021 build Model 3 long range has a heat pump and octa valve HAV system and after a recent software upgrade it is amazingly effective, linking heated seats and hot air. On defrost this morning it heated the car from 1C to 20C in 4 mins.
 
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pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,803
1,605
mid wales
Individual preference and circumstance. Everything from whether you need new shiny paint and contemporary reg number status to cost of electricity to run it and internal space. Those of us of a proper height and stature find the 3 & Y driveable but tiny. I may downgrade to it but it'd be only to run a Tesla in warranty since my S is running out. There is a lot to be said for a car with no sophistication that you just drive, can get fixed by any local garage, no range issues and cheap enough to buy, insure, scratch and scrap if it becomes a bother.
 

Hank42

Legacy Supporter
Sep 30, 2012
587
417
United States - NY
I prefer my S for long trips (The Air ride is niiiiice). but my 3 for zipping around town and eating BMW's for lunch at the light etc...

It's like asking what kind of shoes do you want to wear (for the rest of your life).. Some days a nice loafer beats a running shoe and other days it's the reverse.

TECHNICALLY speaking, for a newbie, I'd lean new over used each time, and in this case, I'd probably tip my had to the 3 if you've never driven a Saloon class before and are expecting exceptional maneuverability.
 
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That's because there isn't a year. They add new features as they become available so date is no guarantee. If this is important to you then you need to ask if buying secondhand ... all the new cars have heat pumps obviously.
Yeah I’m aware of teslas monthly updates, I was just curious if it was 2020 or 2021. But yeah I guess the best option is to ask when buying.
 
An older Model S and a new Model 3 are vehicles of very different character. You need to do some test drives. Most people aim for one or the other based on what they want from a car.
I’ve test driven the model 3 P and loved it, it’s just expensive brand new ( It’s €77k before adding EAP or a white interior). Price was the main reason for entertaining the older model S.
 
I would go for a new M3 LR and then add Accel Boost (£1500 software upgrade after purchase) if you think it's too sluggish off the line in standard spec, lol.

The Model S is a very different drive and 1st gen models I've driven didn't impress me at all with their interior quality or tech. The facelift S is much nicer, but I would still take a new M3 every time. The M3 has much sharper handling, better build quality (new ones at least) and improved tech. The S is bigger of course and more of a relaxed cruiser.

A used M3 doesn't seem like great value right now with prices where they are. Our Dec 20 M3 LR (2021 spec, US built) has the heat pump and I think that was about when they were first introduced. All 2021 Chinese built cars have the heat pump and most of them will have the heated steering wheel too, which our US M3 doesn't.

You might want to consider a Model Y too, now they are the same price as a Model 3.
I don’t know where you live but here in Ireland, I’ve found Two model 3P’s, one from 2019 and the other from 2020, from €63k-€65k, that’s around €12k cheaper than buying a 2022 M3 Performance, the 2019 one has FSD on it already, which means it’s even cheaper again. I don’t have the need for the extra space in the Y. Plus I prefer how the 3 looks and the 3 long range Is €4k cheaper compared to the Y long range.
 
I don’t know where you live but here in Ireland, I’ve found Two model 3P’s, one from 2019 and the other from 2020, from €63k-€65k, that’s around €12k cheaper than buying a 2022 M3 Performance, the 2019 one has FSD on it already, which means it’s even cheaper again. I don’t have the need for the extra space in the Y. Plus I prefer how the 3 looks and the 3 long range Is €4k cheaper compared to the Y long range.
I don’t know where you live but here in Ireland, I’ve found Two model 3P’s, one from 2019 and the other from 2020, from €63k-€65k, that’s around €12k cheaper than buying a 2022 M3 Performance, the 2019 one has FSD on it already, which means it’s even cheaper again. I don’t have the need for the extra space in the Y. Plus I prefer how the 3 looks and the 3 long range Is €4k cheaper compared to the Y long range.
Though I’d like to have the heat pump so I guess 2019 is out of the question.
 
I don’t know where you live but here in Ireland, I’ve found Two model 3P’s, one from 2019 and the other from 2020, from €63k-€65k, that’s around €12k cheaper than buying a 2022 M3 Performance, the 2019 one has FSD on it already, which means it’s even cheaper again. I don’t have the need for the extra space in the Y. Plus I prefer how the 3 looks and the 3 long range Is €4k cheaper compared to the Y long range.
I would take a brand new 3 LR over a 2-3 year old 3P every time. Having had EAP for 4 years in our MX and a month long trial of FSD in our M3 I wouldn't bother with it again.
 
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After 7000 miles in a Model 3 Long Range and 2 days with a loaner Model S 90 I'd buy a Model 3, or nothing. The S is a barge, I really didn't enjoy it.
Pretty much my experience, except I’ve got a 3P. The loaner S felt huge and baggy.
I would take a brand new 3 LR over a 2-3 year old 3P every time.
Not sure why @Peteski says this but I’m assuming it’s pretty much negligible performance difference (particularly.after boost) and massive range difference. The secret shame is the M3P is a real world range of 200 miles max. For some reason some LR owners on here tend not to believe this but there’s a thread here that makes it pretty plain. Confirmed again for me yesterday by getting in at Heathrow yesterday and getting a Nav-predicted 143 miles from 74%.
 
Pretty much my experience, except I’ve got a 3P. The loaner S felt huge and baggy.

Not sure why @Peteski says this but I’m assuming it’s pretty much negligible performance difference (particularly.after boost) and massive range difference. The secret shame is the M3P is a real world range of 200 miles max. For some reason some LR owners on here tend not to believe this but there’s a thread here that makes it pretty plain. Confirmed again for me yesterday by getting in at Heathrow yesterday and getting a Nav-predicted 143 miles from 74%.
That’s about 322km, Tesla claims in the vest conditions you can get 547km out of the performance, that’s seems kinda off.
 

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