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Model S advantages over Model 3


Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
No worries, you don't have to justify it. Just buy the 3 if it is better fit for you; it will be for most people. But here are things some prefer about the S:

Considerably quicker in any trim; and P100D available (upcoming 3 P model may match it, but will change the cost comparison)
AWD (also coming for the 3, although it will narrow the price difference)
Better warranty
Twice the cargo space
A large hatch to access that space, and it's powered
More screen space, and one of them in front of the driver
Adjustable air suspension
Better ride
Better looks
More range in any trim
Includes a key fob
Center console even with the base model
Dynamic turning lights
Free supercharging generally available
CHAdeMO adapter available
Bioweapon defense mode available
Pano roof available
Rear-facing seats available

And, I suppose, quicker availability.
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I had a reservation for a Model 3 but cancelled it after viewing the back hatch on the initial reveal. Due to the glass roof, the opening into the back hatch is restricted in the Model 3, making placement of large items like golf clubs problematic. In contrast, the hatchback on the Model S is wonderful and allows easy placement and removal of large items.

Although many folks quote a 40K price difference between the Model S and Model 3, the actual price difference will be much less when equipped in a similar fashion. A decked out all wheel drive Model 3 with 275-300 mile range most likely will be pushing 70K and will be a smaller car without unlimited supercharging. I agree the Model S price was stiff, but I never regret the day I used the refund from my Model 3 reservation to help fund my purchase of a 90D Model S. Plus I got the tax refund, a windfall that most likely will not be available when the AWD Model 3 begins delivery.


Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
Houston, TX
S over 3:
  • Acceleration / quickness / torque -- induction motors are much better for this than PMSR motor in the 3
  • Performance model available now
  • AWD standard
  • Twice as much cargo space
  • Instrument cluster screen + central screen
  • Heated steering wheel with cold weather package
  • Powered liftgate, and is hatchback-style vs trunk-style
  • Air suspension, with better ride, and ride-height adjustability
  • More range if ordered with 100 kWh battery
  • Cornering lights
  • Pano roof available
  • 21" wheels available
  • Rear-facing seats available
  • Sirius/XM available with pano roof
  • Larger, more comfortable for 4/5 adults
  • Includes keyfob
  • Option for free supercharging with referral
  • Available now with selection of inventory model, or available within a few weeks if custom-ordered, guarantees $7500 tax credit in US
  • Interior color and trim options available now
  • HEPA filter and Bioweapon defense mode available

3 over S:
  • Better built vehicle in my opinion
  • High efficiency - more miles per kWh
  • Much less expensive
  • Superior audio system
  • Minimalist interior has an appeal to some
  • Superior handling and cornering
  • Electronic-control A/C vent system
  • Highest supercharging speed of any Tesla vehicle in terms of miles added per hour
  • Drive train is suitable for track use (motor does not overheat with extended high-power operation) [Caveat: Upgraded brakes required]

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