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

The S for me is still the best looking and most timeless EV made. Its the car that's got Tesla to where they are now, and even now a 2014 car still matches many brand new EVs for range and performance. Through in the MCU2 retrofit and CCS adaptor, it's still a very very good car.

Full aluminium chassis, air suspension, class leading utility, cheap on going ownership costs, its a car that you can happly own/run for decades. The only reason I can see NOT to get one is the uncertainty around if Tesla will actually sell you a 'new' battery pack versus just a 'refurbished' one when the time comes.
As much as I admire the S and its historical significance, every time I've driven a Gen 1 loaner I've cringed at the interior quality and archaic display. If I was going to buy an S it would absolutely have to be a facelift model, probably an uncorked 2018 75D with premium interior option. Would also require MCU2 upgrade and CCS charge port.

But I still think the 3 is a much better "drivers" car as long as you can live without the hatch back. It's not a small car in its own right either, just smaller than an S. A facelift S feels a little more premium and refined to drive, but the tech feels like the generation behind that it is. Let's be honest a Gen 1 S with the open centre storage "bin", low quality plastic trims, lo-res display and crap seats doesn't cut it against any of the newer Tesla options.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
6,915
3,662
Suffolk, UK
I still think the 3 is a much better "drivers" car as long as you can live without the hatch back.

I agree, very "tight" to drive. I find the Y less so, and the S, as is often said, "like a barge". But I much prefer the S on long journeys. Dunno why, maybe more spacious, or maybe sitting lower down is more comfortable for long periods perhaps?
 
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I agree, very "tight" to drive. I find the Y less so, and the S, as is often said, "like a barge". But I much prefer the S on long journeys. Dunno why, maybe more spacious, or maybe sitting lower down is more comfortable for long periods perhaps?
I think the S just wafts along with a little less cabin noise than the 3/Y or even the X. The ride is a lot more floaty too. The S is a great long distance cruiser, but I would still choose the 3 over it for all the other reasons discussed.
 
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have you considered total-cost-of-ownership? Assuming coming from ICE (rather than another EV) then saving on fuel is £100 per month for every 10,000 Miles driven p.a. Putting £100 a month onto the finance buys quite a lot more car, and for anyone doing 30K miles p.a. another £300 a month on finance buys a lot more car :) If you [have off-street parking / charging and] are able to get a particularly good over-night rate, and can charge exclusively using that, then the amount may be closer to £150 per month. Can you charge at work? for free maybe?



Not sure I would buy an old one ... but I much prefer driving Model-S on long trips; Model-3 around bendy country roads; and Model-Y to pick up anything big. 2nd hand price of Tesla (maybe all EVs?) is strong. Not sure you'd get a good enough price on one to make it worth buying [if you can stretch to a new e.g. M3]



Personally I think the P is a waste of money. My first Model-S was performance (about 3s 0-60 back then IIRC). Stunning away from the lights, and showing off to my drooling mates ... all of whom had been "suitably impressed" within the first month or two of ownership ... after that I rarely used P-mode, and definitely never when I had passengers 'coz unless they were concentrating (like a co-driver would) me suddenly jumping out onto a roundabout into a tight gap ... "because I could" ... was just plain uncomfortable for them.

My current (all non-P) Model-S and Model-3 have identical 40-90 time / distance, and Model-Y gets to 86 over the same distance. On paper the 0-60 of those has quite a lot of difference. I so rarely do / need launch, whereas overtaking from 40-ish is common. The Performance Boost is almost all in the 0-40, and will make no discernible difference to 40-90 (and I doubt the P will make enough difference that you will be glad you paid for it).

Perhaps the P has bigger brakes and superior handling which might count for something (and top-speed / track-mode, if you would ever use it). One thing I can say about my old MSP was that getting the power down was flawless (never driven M3P so dunno if it is as good). All the non-P models I have driven scrabble a bit under launch (and the MY needs some concentration). Never, not ever, had that with the MSP. Launch worked with zero drama in all occasions - even when at the lights on a roundabout and taking the first (90-degree left) exit ... in the wet. But that's launch ... even though it never got old I didn't actually do that often, and the mythical alongside-a-supercar only happened a couple of times. And of course this is 2022 ... so all those Ferrari owners already know that even the cooking-version of a Tesla is going to give them some trouble ...
I am coming from a golf, so Yes it’s petrol, I have been putting €80 of petrol into it every week to a week and a half 😭. The cheapest new model 3 here is €61k, where as the cheapest secondhand model S is like €45k, this can get me a 2014 model S with 83,000km of mileage or for €47k I can get a 2016 facelift with 113,000km of mileage. I’m also discovering all the after car purchase costs of installing chargers and stuff. But I can get a 2019 model 3 SR for €45k second hand, but then it won’t have the performance of either the LR or the P and it won’t have the heat pump or electric boot (forget the technical name for it) or the usb C ports inside. Heated steering wheel isn’t a big deal for me.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
6,915
3,662
Suffolk, UK
I’m also discovering all the after car purchase costs of installing chargers

You've got that cost coming when you change to EV ... whenever that is. Its a one off cost (until you move house ...)

But, yeah, its a big chunk-of-change. Do you get any government help with that (in Ireland)?

and stuff

Such as? (I'm not thinking of, or overlooking, anything else). Arranging a cheap overnight tariff would be worthwhile

But I can get a 2019 model 3 SR for €45k second hand, but then it won’t have the performance of either the LR or the P

Not sure there's a lot in it. The SR is lighter. From 40-80 they are all about the same. You'll lose a race away from the lights though!

it won’t have the heat pump

I'm not convinced that makes a lot of difference. Nice-to-have, for sure, but also a bit sim-of-this and half-a-dozen of that. Others will correct me if they disagree.

electric boot (forget the technical name for it)

Not sure that has a lot of benefit on a boot. I'd miss it on a hatchback, and my (short) wifee would never be able to reach to close a hatchback. I found the (manual) boot on the M3 quite light - no weight of glass etc. that a hatchback has. Others may disagree on that too? :)

the usb C ports inside

Is there a significant benefit to that? (I work in IT and I hate most of it ("Rushed to market"), so I'm a dinosaur as a user)

Heated steering wheel isn’t a big deal for me

Nor me. However! On the one hand I hate it when the car has preconditioned, I've come out of a warm house, into a warm car, and the steering wheel is red hot.

But on the other hand I have poor circulation, and when I am cold and I get into the car then turning on heated steering wheel gets some feeling back into my hands. Saves me having to drive with them thrust into my crutch ...
 
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gangzoom

Active Member
May 22, 2014
1,564
1,436
Uk
the cheapest secondhand model S is like €45k, ..... But I can get a 2019 model 3 SR for €45k second hand,

There are now more 3s on Autotrader than Ss, and soon there will be more 3s than S+Xs combined.

S/X used prices are now pretty much static, you still need £30k to get into half OK 8 year old S and £50k into a 5 year old X. The 3 is simply far more common, and prices of older cars are now dropping as you would expect.

Don't forget in Europe we are also essentially getting no new S/Xs till next year, infact in the last 18 months there has been pretty much zero new stock.

Not everyone wants a S/X but supply and demands is what drives prices, a limited supple will maintain price. A used 3 however has ample supply but also good demand.

These are all very very good cars/EVs. The biggest decision is if want a car the size of the S versus the 3. Think of it more like would you want 5 or 3 series BMW. Rather than I want a BMW so which one is the cheapest.....which would be neither, rather a 1 series :).
 
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Nope, a white RWD with aero wheels is €52972 here at the moment.
No that’s not the true price, it’s €61,091, change it to cash. Then it’ll tell you the proper price, also for some reason the fish website goes back and forth between including the SEAI grant and not including it. So I go with the price that doesn’t include it.
D90EC76B-F3A4-4AA7-B770-47DFA3040F03.jpeg
 

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