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Model 3 Performance vs Model S 75D

SK360

Member
Aug 20, 2019
528
865
Pittsburgh, PA
Had a S75D as a loaner last week. The S has always been my goal since I first drove one in 2013, however going from my P3D to the S felt like stepping back in time. The vertical screen and instrument cluster felt extremely dated. The car is massive and feels every bit of it when tossing it around on back roads.

Had some coworkers ride with me to drop it off and pickup my car and they both commented they felt like they gave up nothing in leg room and the 3 felt more comfortable overall.

S is desperately in need of a refresh
 
On Labor Day weekend I intended to walk into the Tesla Showroom and splurge for an S.
I sat in the S and for fun I sat in the 3. If I was blindly put in each vehicle it would take me a bit to tell the difference. I know there ARE differences, but not even close to $30-$40k worth. Not even close.
That day I put down my deposit on the 3 and picked it up the next weekend.
 
Is everybody a Model 3 owner here? The 3 feels like a corolla compared to any S

I've owned both. There are things I like in both. I never thought I would think I like the 3 more than the S on many items, but I do.
Model S:
1. I like having two screens, I actually like the vertical screen (so I can have camera view and map view together at all times)
2. I love the hatch (and miss is dearly on my 3)
3. The door handles - yes, they may have issues down the road but I prefer that, as most people can't seem to figure out the Model 3 ones

Model 3:
1. I like the smaller size...I still am shocked that it's only 1.5 in narrower but I feel like it's a lot easier to park even in tighter parking spaces
2. The suspension feels SO much better than spring or air suspension on the S
3. Interior design - I feel it's so much more superior and better design than the S. Like others mentioned, the S needs a refresh in/out
 
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The fact that we lay out the pros and cons and that they may lean slightly toward the S makes the decision to buy the 3 a very simple one. I didn't have any interest in the 3, test drove both of them, and laughed all the way to the bank over how much money I saved. The creature comforts on the S aren't worth tens of thousands of dollars.
 

Apprunner

Member
Jul 2, 2019
583
690
So-cal
The fact that we lay out the pros and cons and that they may lean slightly toward the S makes the decision to buy the 3 a very simple one. I didn't have any interest in the 3, test drove both of them, and laughed all the way to the bank over how much money I saved. The creature comforts on the S aren't worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Yeah...the handling on the S is bad. Not very precise and the car feels dated. The only advantage the S has is the hatch for some. The 3 is by far the better drivers car.
 

clostridium

Member
Mar 6, 2017
316
297
NE Ohio
The fact that we lay out the pros and cons and that they may lean slightly toward the S makes the decision to buy the 3 a very simple one. I didn't have any interest in the 3, test drove both of them, and laughed all the way to the bank over how much money I saved. The creature comforts on the S aren't worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Agreed. I owned an AP2 S75D (late 2016, coil suspension) for 15 months and have owned a P3D for 12 months. Unless you really don't care about the cost of the car, there are only a few compelling reasons to pick the S over the 3 and honestly to me only the first REALLY matters:
If you really need that much greater cargo volume of the S
If you greatly prize riding comfort above handling
If you can't survive without an opening sunroof

But you have to spend a lot more money to achieve those advantages. Thus why I think that only the first one is really enough to push you towards the S. And honestly even if cost were removed as a factor I really still would want my Model 3. I loved my Model S. But I love my 3 even more. Just bring the stuff you need to haul in your car with you (luggage, children, etc.) and test drive the cars and make a decision. The only reason to listen to any of us is to allow you to focus your observations during a test drive experience.
 
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Thank you for this information. I need as much information as possible to help me decide between a Model 3 or a used 2016 75D Model S. I may be a little more confused now. I was considering Model S to have more space because I have children. I hear multiple opinions in these previous posts. o_O
Also consider the battery tech. Model 3 has the new cells with lower colbalt composition and the pack has better thermal management (continuously maintaining higher performance on demand).
 
I agree the 3 backseat is bigger than a lot of other cars. I should have been more specific as we have booster seats that make it harder to do 3 across. More work to buckle. Still do able though.
The main thing I don't like about the back seats on the 3 is the angle which makes you sit so upright. I noticed this right away coming from a 2016 Civic. I've never been in a model S, but the backseat angle of the 3 makes it feel like I'm sitting straight up; not sure I could take it for long trips. Non-issue for me luckily since I'm always in the front.
 

RangerMac

Member
Nov 11, 2019
236
109
Tacoma
Thank you for this information. I need as much information as possible to help me decide between a Model 3 or a used 2016 75D Model S. I may be a little more confused now. I was considering Model S to have more space because I have children. I hear multiple opinions in these previous posts. o_O
I went to pickup my S and just test drove a 3 that day and immediately canceled the S even though I had to wait a few more weeks on a new order. The 3 is just better.
 

RangerMac

Member
Nov 11, 2019
236
109
Tacoma
Is everybody a Model 3 owner here? The 3 feels like a corolla compared to any S
I was in the same opinion but that was before I sat in or drove a 3. The S is so dated, floaty, and awkward. The performance 3 is better in almost every way. Now all of these are opinions, but I am glad a test drove the three on whim an hour before taking home the S. The S should have been refreshed more before the 3 launched. It is a great car; however, if you enjoy driving the 3 is better in every way.
 

Mike75d

Member
Jul 2, 2017
155
144
Australia
I was in the same opinion but that was before I sat in or drove a 3. The S is so dated, floaty, and awkward. The performance 3 is better in almost every way. Now all of these are opinions, but I am glad a test drove the three on whim an hour before taking home the S. The S should have been refreshed more before the 3 launched. It is a great car; however, if you enjoy driving the 3 is better in every way.
Is this a joke? I have both cars btw, Performance Model 3 (fully optioned) and Model S75Du mcu2
 

Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,420
1,186
Florida
Ludicrous is nice, but in reality you'll find you won't use it too often. There's a "process" to engage it, so it's not as if it's always on and ready to use. At the end of the day nobody can really make the decision for you, but I'd suggest going to drive a Performance Model 3 if you like the speeds. That said, if ride comfort is a major concern, the Model S Raven will have this in SPADES by comparison to the 3. The 3 is a firm ride no matter what trim you buy, and even more so shod in full Performance 20s.

Go drive both - bring a bunch of kiddie crap with you, too, so you can test trunk space etc etc. That's the only way you'll ever know for sure.
I have a new Performance S and new P3+, Ludicrous has absolutely no process to engage, my new Performance S has been in Ludicrous since the day it was purchased. Launch control has a small process and the Ludicrous Plus mode requires battery preheating for maximum power. The power is not even close to the Performance S in everyday Ludicrous mode, especially off the line. You really need to compare P to P to make a valid comparison. I love our P3+ and drive it daily but when I need to carry a large objects or just feel the need for speed I’ll take the S. It’s funny because the S steering wheel never felt huge before I got the 3 but after getting used to the 3 the S steering wheel and whole interior feels enormous in comparison. We have white interiors in both so it is easy to directly compare size rather than just the white interiors brighter more "airy" feeling. I have always said for the money the P3+ is a great car but the Performance S is clearly a much better one IMO, but when it comes down to money I don’t think the Performance S is worth the big difference in price.
 
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Vapormat

Member
Dec 19, 2019
28
24
England
Having both the model S and Model 3 and switch between both regular I can say that the model 3 is more nibble, and goes around corners much better at speed. for ride comfort the S is much better, also it has much more space in the rear for passengers, especially if you are a tall driver or front seat passenger, move the 3 front seats back and leg room is greatly reduced. the boot space or trunk which ever you call it is far superior in the S. As for the S dash layout its fine as I don't drive like manipulating the big screen controls while driving. wiper control much better on the S at the top of indicator stalk. as is the cruise and autopilot, distance to car infront in wet conditions easily controlled on that 1 stalk.

sound proofing is better in the S also, unlike the first post I have no whine from the S from the motors at any speed. the model S is a breeze to drive long distance and after doing 97k miles in mine it would still be my first choice for that. it was always meant to be a luxury car replacement EV. the model 3 feels a sporty smaller version, which is fun and handles well, its minimalistic interior design is nice to see but I wish I had the winscreen wiper control on the end of the stalk like the S. I take nothing away from the 3 its a great car and I love driving it but the model S is no dog of a car. both for different markets but also both great to drive.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,637
6,574
Seattle, WA
I have a new Performance S and new P3+, Ludicrous has absolutely no process to engage, my new Performance S has been in Ludicrous since the day it was purchased. Launch control has a small process and the Ludicrous Plus mode requires battery preheating for maximum power. The power is not even close to the Performance S in everyday Ludicrous mode, especially off the line. You really need to compare P to P to make a valid comparison. I love our P3+ and drive it daily but when I need to carry a large objects or just feel the need for speed I’ll take the S. It’s funny because the S steering wheel never felt huge before I got the 3 but after getting used to the 3 the S steering wheel and whole interior feels enormous in comparison. We have white interiors in both so it is easy to directly compare size rather than just the white interiors brighter more "airy" feeling. I have always said for the money the P3+ is a great car but the Performance S is clearly a much better one IMO, but when it comes down to money I don’t think the Performance S is worth the big difference in price.

That's... what I was talking about...

Plus I was just making a comparison about the general S for the most part versus the 3. The S isn't in the same league of driving enjoyment or interior ergonomics (my opinion, of course).

In everyday Ludicrous mode what is 0-60? I'm guessing it has to be pretty darn close to the 3P, which is at ~3.0 seconds with 1-ft rollout these days.
 
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Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,420
1,186
Florida
That's... what I was talking about...
Ludicrous is nice, but in reality you'll find you won't use it too often. There's a "process" to engage it, so it's not as if it's always on and ready to use
In everyday Ludicrous mode what is 0-60? I'm guessing it has to be pretty darn close to the 3P, which is at ~3.0 seconds with 1-ft rollout these days.

I thought when you said Ludicrous mode had a "process" to engage it you were talking about Ludicrous or Ludicrous plus. I really like my P3 but you would be guessing wrong about the Performance 3 being "pretty darn close", close is a relative term but really it isn’t close. The Performance Model S and X Ludicrous mode, Ludicrous Plus and Plus in Launch are all pretty close to each other and they get small incremental increases as the battery gets warmer. The battery doesn’t have to be warmed up to use Ludicrous Plus but what Plus does do is automatically warm the battery and then tell you when it is fully warmed up for maximum performance. Launch control requires the car be in Plus mode, but battery doesn’t have to be warmed up for Launch control to work. Some of the YouTube Tesla drag race guys don’t even use Launch control but I use it when I give rides to friends who want to see what a Tesla can do. The Performance 3 like any other 3 will also get faster as the battery warms up but the 3’s don’t have a plus mode to automatically warm the battery to allow for maximum battery performance. I have lined up several times with me in my P3+ and my wife in our new Performance S ("Florida" cold battery, not "Plus" so no Launch Control), and our S still runs away from the Performance 3. The Performance S really makes other cars feel slow after you drive it.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,637
6,574
Seattle, WA
I thought when you said Ludicrous mode had a "process" to engage it you were talking about Ludicrous or Ludicrous plus. I really like my P3 but you would be guessing wrong about the Performance 3 being "pretty darn close", close is a relative term but really it isn’t close. The Performance Model S and X Ludicrous mode, Ludicrous Plus and Plus in Launch are all pretty close to each other and they get small incremental increases as the battery gets warmer. The battery doesn’t have to be warmed up to use Ludicrous Plus but what Plus does do is automatically warm the battery and then tell you when it is fully warmed up for maximum performance. Launch control requires the car be in Plus mode, but battery doesn’t have to be warmed up for Launch control to work. Some of the YouTube Tesla drag race guys don’t even use Launch control but I use it when I give rides to friends who want to see what a Tesla can do. The Performance 3 like any other 3 will also get faster as the battery warms up but the 3’s don’t have a plus mode to automatically warm the battery to allow for maximum battery performance. I have lined up several times with me in my P3+ and my wife in our new Performance S ("Florida" cold battery, not "Plus" so no Launch Control), and our S still runs away from the Performance 3. The Performance S really makes other cars feel slow after you drive it.

No I understand that the S Performance is another leap in power, but in regular Ludicrous with no launch control - what is the 0-60 and 0-100? I can’t find the data online.
 

Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,420
1,186
Florida
No I understand that the S Performance is another leap in power, but in regular Ludicrous with no launch control - what is the 0-60 and 0-100? I can’t find the data online.
I don’t think they have that number published but it’s probably a tenth of a second slower without launch, all other things, charge and temperature being equal. Launch control adds a very small difference, the Performance S is a beast off the line without it, the launch just adds an extra cool factor. I have a Draggy race timer, I will check it one of these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love my P3, it’s just that the difference, especially off the line is very significant and absolutely unmistakable. I wouldn’t care much about getting launch control in my P3 because it wouldn’t get used much but the off the line acceleration could use a big boost and then it could be a contender against the S. The S under full throttle actually leaves AWD black rubber on the road from the incredible power off the line. There isn’t any noticeable difference between Ludicrous and Ludicrous Plus, in fact you would need an electronic timer to tell the difference if there is one. The Ludicrous Plus is about preheating the battery up to operating temperature without driving the car and wasting the power driving. I don’t keep the car in Ludicrous Plus because even on a 1 minute drive the car would be trying to heat the battery up for max Performance. I’d be interested in lining up my P3 against a Long range S, that would be a very interesting race because the new Raven Long range S runs in the low 3’s and I believe that is without the 1 ft rollout.
 
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