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Long Range Plus 2021 vs Model 3 LR AWD

vladmury

Member
Mar 5, 2019
44
19
Denmark
I own a Model 3 Performance but since we will have our nr 2 kid I am thinking of selling the car and buy a Long Range Plus Model S 2021.

I tried an S several times and loved the comfort on long drives, quieter interior, more space.

Now the Model 3 was just refreshed with heat pump, more range, electric trunk and in doubt if should get that instead since we live in colder climate.

How efficient is Model S compared with 3 at 70-80 mph?
 

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,231
760
Cary, NC
Obviously the 3 is more efficient.
The heat pump is going to be a small improvement in winter and how much that matters is incredibly variable. Automotive heat pumps don't tend to be great in significantly cold weather. For me personally, I park in a garage overnight that is always acceptably warm. I work parked outside and usually the sun makes it acceptably warm. When either of those things are not good enough, it is usually too cold to use the heat pump.
But if you require 70 degrees at all times, a heat pump will help at the margins.
The S does scavenge some drivetrain heat on longer drives (at least I recall that).
I find the S does relatively better at 80mph than a 3. The 3 is still more efficient but just not as much.

Overall, the heat pump is minor. The Model 3 variants will always be more efficient. Non Performance always more efficient. If you really are concerned about efficiency, check your tire size and type and your rims.

Good job Americans - showing that we either don't understand efficiency or don't care.
 

umair239

Member
Mar 22, 2018
553
1,280
Louisville Kentucky
Calling Model 3 more efficient is dead wrong. Model 3 is a smaller and lighter vehicle and gives very good mileage for only carrying a 74kwh battery, however, it also sounds like a trash can with wheels when you're driving at highway speeds. I'm saying this after owning two of them since 2018. Extremely noisy and will give you a headache after long drives. Not to mention my weekly one way trip of 235 miles was too much for my Model 3 to handle and I would reach my destination with only 5-15 miles remaining. One time it even dropped to 0 miles. That does not happen in a. Model S because it's more efficient.

Model S is simply a better car-it gives more miles due to it having a bigger battery, however, it is extremely efficient and in fact way more efficient at highway speeds than my awd and performance model 3s ever were. I got a model S and make weekly drives of 235 miles one way so basically 470 miles total and I cannot emphasize on how comfortable and smooth the ride always is in a Model S. Model 3 or Y can't even come close to it.
My average wh/mile usage in 3 was around 290-320 per trip.
For Model S - it's 215-265 wh/mile on the same trip and doing 71mph at an interstate highway.

Get a 3 or Y only if you can't afford a S or X. Just because more people buy a 3 it doesn't make them better vehicles. After owning both I would never go back to a 3 or even a Y. You got kids so get something comfortable, get something that doesn't give you a headache or tinnitus due to terrible road noise. Give em the smooth comfortable and efficient ride of a S or X
 

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
934
513
Memphis, TN
Calling Model 3 more efficient is dead wrong. Model 3 is a smaller and lighter vehicle and gives very good mileage for only carrying a 74kwh battery, however, it also sounds like a trash can with wheels when you're driving at highway speeds. I'm saying this after owning two of them since 2018. Extremely noisy and will give you a headache after long drives. Not to mention my weekly one way trip of 235 miles was too much for my Model 3 to handle and I would reach my destination with only 5-15 miles remaining. One time it even dropped to 0 miles. That does not happen in a. Model S because it's more efficient.

Model S is simply a better car-it gives more miles due to it having a bigger battery, however, it is extremely efficient and in fact way more efficient at highway speeds than my awd and performance model 3s ever were. I got a model S and make weekly drives of 235 miles one way so basically 470 miles total and I cannot emphasize on how comfortable and smooth the ride always is in a Model S. Model 3 or Y can't even come close to it.
My average wh/mile usage in 3 was around 290-320 per trip.
For Model S - it's 215-265 wh/mile on the same trip and doing 71mph at an interstate highway.

Get a 3 or Y only if you can't afford a S or X. Just because more people buy a 3 it doesn't make them better vehicles. After owning both I would never go back to a 3 or even a Y. You got kids so get something comfortable, get something that doesn't give you a headache or tinnitus due to terrible road noise. Give em the smooth comfortable and efficient ride of a S or X
Your definition of efficient, I believe, deviates from most. You mean the best total package, most comfortable etc? Most effective purchase, perhaps?
 

umair239

Member
Mar 22, 2018
553
1,280
Louisville Kentucky
Your definition of efficient, I believe, deviates from most. You mean the best total package, most comfortable etc? Most effective purchase, perhaps?

Yes, I do mean a Model S is a best total package compared to a 3.
But I don't know how most people are defining efficient. When I say efficient, I mean exactly that. Model S simply is giving much closer to the suggested range than a Model 3 for me. Okay, hear me out:

I've had Model 3 performance and awd for two years with p3d as my main vehicle. I got a job in another city which is 235 miles away and I thought well I'd be cool because my car is supposed to give me 299 of total range (310 when I got it in 2018) so if I drive it like a sane person and coast along at speed limit I'd be okay. Nope! My M3 struggled so much every time I made the drive and I'd end up with 5-15 miles remaining with the car asking me to drive below 65 to reach my destination halfway through my trip which was frustrating. It struggled so much so that I even had 1 mile remaining one time last month and it was 78 degrees that day. Not to mention I got constant headaches due to road noise due to long drives in interstate highways in M3. I desperately needed more range but I also didn't want to lose the performance (stupid, I know!)

I am in Kentucky and temperatures have a crazy swing. My model 3 struggles so much in Temps below 60 but that's not the case with S.

Got a Model S performance on October 9th and have made the same trip 3 times by now. Each time I have reached my destination with over 100 miles remaining, not to mention it's now colder outside, it was 56 degrees in this trip and after driving 235 miles I still had 108 miles, 103 miles and 105 miles remaining respectively. According to Tesla's website the difference in range between P3D and a Model S performance is only 48 miles (for the older G battery that didn't get the range update) but as you can see it's not the case in my experience.

In my experience, model s is way more efficient than model 3 and I assure you I've been driving both cars exactly the same way. I've not had Model S nag me to slow down and drive below 60 miles on an interstate highway with 70 speed limit which was common for M3 to do during this trip.

In short, MODEL S is more "efficient" when it comes to offering a range closer to the rated range. I mean what other explanation is there? I doubt at this point anyone can convince me otherwise since it's my personal experience and the difference between the two cars is very significant. Model S is a better car overall.

Check out the pics as my proof and also I made the same 235 miles trip in Model S today in severe thunderstorm that lasted at least 80 miles and it rained heavily for rest of the trip. I reached my destination with 92 miles remaining. I know it's strange and it caught me by surprise but I'm a believer in S and it's not changing anytime soon.

People will come up all sorts of reasons to justify their purchases.
 

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David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,231
760
Cary, NC
So in my mind, efficient means more miles per kwh. Full stop. Getting closer to EPA rating isn't a measure of efficiency.

Sure the S is bigger and if you used some metric like cubic foot per mile per kwh, then bigger car will generally win.

Now real world in certain circumstances will change things and I do think the S does a bit better than rated compared to a 3 at higher speeds (ie what you are noting). But it still doesn't win.
I have a 70D (one of the most efficient S's pre-refresh) and a M3LR - RWD (not sold anymore - but more efficient than AWD).
Each variant is different and comparing performance models might lead to a different conclusion.
In my car's case, in my driving, the 3 is 20% more efficient. But I am also comparing to an old S and newer S's are more efficient.
 

umair239

Member
Mar 22, 2018
553
1,280
Louisville Kentucky
So in my mind, efficient means more miles per kwh. Full stop. Getting closer to EPA rating isn't a measure of efficiency.

Sure the S is bigger and if you used some metric like cubic foot per mile per kwh, then bigger car will generally win.

Now real world in certain circumstances will change things and I do think the S does a bit better than rated compared to a 3 at higher speeds (ie what you are noting). But it still doesn't win.
I have a 70D (one of the most efficient S's pre-refresh) and a M3LR - RWD (not sold anymore - but more efficient than AWD).
Each variant is different and comparing performance models might lead to a different conclusion.
In my car's case, in my driving, the 3 is 20% more efficient. But I am also comparing to an old S and newer S's are more efficient.

Well, you can use any definition of efficient you want and the Model S still wins. Everyone knows that in order for electric cars to give closer to epa range things have to be perfect and getting closer to the epa range on a day to day basis is a big deal for any electric car. And getting closer to epa range is the same as getting more miles per kwh at the same speed on the same route which one of the cars does.

I have explained the reasons for my opinion. I've done unbiased testing on both cars on the same route and under similar conditions and even using your definition of efficient Model S wins hands down. To add more to my previous comment, Model 3 was incapable of making the 235 miles trip back to my home in one go on a full charge of 298 miles and I had to stop at a supercharger every single time and had to top off the car to 270 miles (only 15 minutes stop so it wasn't bad) to finish the rest of the 195 miles. In spite of that I'd still not have more than 20 miles remaining once I would reach my home.

With Model S I start at 330 miles and finish the same 235 miles trip with over 100 miles remaining. So tell me which one sounds more efficient to you? It's ridiculous to compare the two cars at this point. One is better than the other period.

Also you're comparing pre-raven model s with a model 3. There's no comparison there and it isn't what OP asked about. Everyone now knows that pre-raven Model S was laughably less efficient than Model 3 but post raven Model S is a different animal. I've test driven Model S pre-raven and used to laugh at the idea of buying a S and would bask in the glory of my better judgment of buying a 3. Then I got a Raven, just to get more miles, and am now convinced it is leaps and bounds better than a 3. Test drive a raven S if you haven't, compare with your S and you'll see what I'm talking about.

When my Model S says it has 330 miles remaining and if I drive at the speed limit it gives me way closer to that number but when my Model 3 says I have 298 miles remaining I know it's actual range is about 210 miles. That's the biggest difference.

This is simply my experience and yours might be different and it's okay.
 
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David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,231
760
Cary, NC
Agreed - different cars, different experience.
But I still don't buy that an S is more efficient than a 3.
The EPA has its issues but it is meant as a comparison between vehicles. The base S is 111 and the base 3 AWD is 121.

A plausible explanation for you is that your 3 had an issue that hurt its efficiency. Perhaps the alignment was off. Perhaps a stuck caliper. Perhaps your tires were particularly poor rolling resistance.
 

VikH

Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
1,045
920
Midwest, USA
The 3/Y are more efficient than the S/X. Although the new H pack puts the S/X closer.

The main reason why I will likely replace my X with a Y is the level of attention (innovation) Tesla is giving the S and X. Meaning little to no attention. Why has the S and X not been given heat pump? New battery pack design? Or even chrome delete? Laminated glass? Why are the S taillights still matrix LED and not the updated tails of X, 3, Y? Some of these are really easy to implement.
 
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umair239

Member
Mar 22, 2018
553
1,280
Louisville Kentucky
Agreed - different cars, different experience.
But I still don't buy that an S is more efficient than a 3.
The EPA has its issues but it is meant as a comparison between vehicles. The base S is 111 and the base 3 AWD is 121.

A plausible explanation for you is that your 3 had an issue that hurt its efficiency. Perhaps the alignment was off. Perhaps a stuck caliper. Perhaps your tires were particularly poor rolling resistance.

You not buying a clear unbiased experience doesn't change facts or my stance. Then again it's my personal experience and you don't have to agree with it.
You can keep your 3 or Y and I'll keep both knowing full well that one is better than the other. I agree with the other user about Tesla not giving attention to S/X which is very upsetting. Tesla is already introducing double layered glass in Y and probably 3 and is working on air suspension in both. Now once that happens we're gonna talk but until then there's nothing you can say that can change my opinion.
BTW I had driven and tested two Model 3s on this trip. Mine is a performance 3 and my brother has an awd 3 and I ended up taking awd one week, both did very close but not great on the trip. There wasn't much difference between kwh/mile because my performance had 18 inch wheels and awd had 19 inch wheels. I have done everything to make my 3 light and range loss proof but it still didn't match well with the S. So there's no explanation for Model 3 to be unable to keep up with S other than it being less efficient and moreover it's less of a car than S any way.
 
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Richbot

Member
Oct 16, 2020
340
245
STL
We drove the whole lineup and bought a Model X, went into it thinking I wanted a Y, ended up liking the Model 3 SR+ the best of the lot, but space and silence and range made the X LR+ the best fit for our needs, so, I recommend driving all of them, really using them the way you use a car every day, and letting that guide you. You really can't make a bad decision.

I will say this, I think the Model S rear doors are disappointingly awkward to use with a kid seat. Frameless windows just don't have the nice big hole in the side of the car like a fully framed door. The rear door opening is, IMO, worse to use with a kid seat than my E90 M3's back door, which is a much smaller Model-3 sized car with fully framed doors. Model Y is much better in this regard. Model X obviously a non issue so long as it doesn't hit you in the face, and Model 3 somewhere on par with Model S.
 

umair239

Member
Mar 22, 2018
553
1,280
Louisville Kentucky
We drove the whole lineup and bought a Model X, went into it thinking I wanted a Y, ended up liking the Model 3 SR+ the best of the lot, but space and silence and range made the X LR+ the best fit for our needs, so, I recommend driving all of them, really using them the way you use a car every day, and letting that guide you. You really can't make a bad decision.

I will say this, I think the Model S rear doors are disappointingly awkward to use with a kid seat. Frameless windows just don't have the nice big hole in the side of the car like a fully framed door. The rear door opening is, IMO, worse to use with a kid seat than my E90 M3's back door, which is a much smaller Model-3 sized car with fully framed doors. Model Y is much better in this regard. Model X obviously a non issue so long as it doesn't hit you in the face, and Model 3 somewhere on par with Model S.
I agree with you. Model X is the best Tesla has to offer today when it comes to comfort, ride quality and ease of use. It's the quietest of all the models too.
 

Richbot

Member
Oct 16, 2020
340
245
STL
The other thing is, I'm a luddite at heart. I bought a Tundra in 2014 when it was an 8 year old design specifically *for that reason* - they don't break and toyota doesn't fix what ain't broke. Since 2014, Toyota has added a bigger fuel tank and a few active safety features to Tundra, and still selling the same basic dead-reliable, if a little technologically dated, truck underneath. It's a great way to make a vehicle and a path I wish more manufacturers would take. Stop trying to cram the latest and greatest for the same payment nonsense down the consumer's throat and make the cars you make better. Not as much short-term profit in that obviously, but Toyota is proof this is an effective (quietly, they are the electrification kings despite Tesla's product lead on BEV's) long term strategy. They've built a reputation and when they bring a new product to market to fill a real hole, like the Rav4 Prime, it goes on indefinite national backorder and people fly around the country to get one, for a freakin RAV4.

It's almost impossible to talk about the cars without talking about the company ehind them. While Model 3 is, truly, I think the best sports sedan on sale today, it's not matured into its highest and best form yet, though maturity in Tesla years takes less time, I think we are a couple years from maturing.

To the extent Model X is ever going to be perfected with those stupid, stupid, stupid doors, I think it's pretty close to the best it's going to get without big powertrain changes, so yeah.

Anyway, soapbox dismount. I also am a big fan of Model S. So long as you don't have to buckle kids into the back seat all the time.
 
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