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Used Model S (2016-2017) or new Model 3?

EESP

Member
Jun 4, 2016
34
33
Norway
Hard to decide, trying to sum up some points here, and would like some comments.
I don't drive a lot, but when I do, it's mostly longer trips. No commute and almost no city driving.
Had a 2014 Model S, and have several friends with Model 3, so I am not new to Teslas at all.
A gearhead and electrical engineer by profession, and do as much work as possible on my car(s) myself when out of warranty,
No interest in FSD, as it will be more or less useless here in Europe for years and years to come.

Option 1:
Used Model S, 2016-2017 model, must be facelift/refresh version, preferably 90D, might consider 75D. Mileage will usually be 80000-150000 km.
+ Aluminium body, not as rust-prone
+ Hatchback with very convenient loading
+ A bit more premium interior, with alcantara headliner, two screens etc.
+ More extras
+ Better sound deadening
+ Worst depreciation is already done
+ Free supercharging (unless the car has been resold by Tesla)
+ Sunroof possible (love having it open on nice days)
+ AP1 which works quite well
- AP1 which will not see any more updates
- Older tech
- Older battery tech
- Used car will have worn wear parts
- Expensive repairs
- Very bad support from Tesla, with exorbitant parts prices
- Slow supercharging

Option 2:
New or almost new (MY 2021) Model 3 LR AWD.
+ Modern up-to-date tech
+ More convenient size
+ New car warranty - if anything fails, not my problem
+ Everything is new and not worn by anyone
+ Fast supercharging
+ Trailer hitch (I am in Europe)
+ Long range
- Steel body with very mediocre rustproofing and paint quality
- Inconvenient trunk with tiny opening
- Not particularly "premium" feel - it feels sort of cheap inside
- High road noise
- High depreciation on a new car
- Build quality is very up and down, many cars look like they've been thrown together in a hurry


Any opinions? I am sort of conflicted - I see pros and cons of both. I do like the driving feel of the Model S better, but at the same time I fear potential high maintenance and repair costs.
 
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PCMc

Member
Jul 1, 2016
320
286
Columbus, IN
One comment on your option 1 ... if it's a 2017, then it will be AP2, not AP1, and also may not have free unlimited supercharging that will transfer to new owner. The cut-off for AP2 is mid-Oct 2016 product. The cut-off for transferable free supercharging is harder to tie down by production date. Car had to be ordered by Jan 15, 2017 and delivered by April 1, 2017. There can be cars produced in March 2017 that will transfer, but others built say in Feb-Mar 2017 that will not as it comes down to when the car was ordered (production isn't in a direct FIFO basis as owners could order for a delayed delivery date).

Bottom line, it all comes down to your personal preference. S and 3 are very different cars; size, ride, hatchback, etc. I prefer my S due to size factor, hatchback, and being more a touring car that fits my preferences these days. 15-20 years ago I would likely have preferred the more nimble, but harsher ride of the Model 3 as evidenced my prior 'toy' being a Honda S2000 that you could throw into turns with it glued to the road. Neither is right or wrong, just a matter of personal preference.

For reference, my current toy is a mid-2016 MS90D, AP1, with pano sunroof and free unlimited supercharging. 63,000 miles which I've put on it since owning it new. My only out of warranty repairs to date have been rebuild of one door handle ($300). Yes, I'll need to get the eMMC chip recall done (or spring to upgrade to MCU2) as some point, but otherwise, no major out of warranty repairs. I do have one headlight where the DRL brow is yellowing. Have already had 3 assemblies of those replaced under warranty. That's about a $1800ish replacement per side. Not sure I'll bother as it's more cosmetic and not functional.

I did have a rear drive unit replaced under warranty, but that was relatively early. The first time was diagnosed by engineering as 'rare software bug'. After second time and having it for engineering investigation for about 4 days they ended up replacing the rear drive unit what seemed to be a borderline limit of spec part triggering an electric system fault.
 
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johnnyS

Member
Sep 8, 2011
586
200
I have a December 2016 model S 90D and it has been solid. I plan on keeping it another year or two, but have not decided beyond that.
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
79
37
Boston Ma
I’ve had both - currently have a 2016 90d AP1 and previously had a 2018 Model 3 RWD with base autopilot. The S is much nicer for highway/road trips. The 3 is more fun and nimble on back roads and easier to maneuver in the city. Current AP also works better on more roads than AP1, but AP1 works well on the highway and I don’t miss the updates frankly.

From your description, it sounds like the S might be a better fit. Good luck.
 

Ross1

Member
Sep 30, 2015
86
23
Australia
Mine, made in China 30 April 21.
Quality is excellent everywhere, but range is appalling


The Long Range we bought was good for 673 or 657? km.
Tesla changed this to 580 the week after we bought it, also reduced the price by 10k.
100% charge shows 540 km on the screen, but in reality is 450 ish.
Take off 20% at top and bottom, and you are charging everywhere you see a station.
Prehistoric pub crawling.

Software is patchy, speed signs miss say 10-20%, so if you are in cruise control at 80 and the speed limit changes to 100 it doesn't play nicely. And vice versa.
Autopilot is absolutely unsafe as it can cut off at any time as in a corner and you could be a tree hugger real soon.
The alarm went off inside for no reason damaging my wife's ears,
I think Tesla should concentrate on fixing what they have rather than putting out new games.
I am not recommending them any more but was a busy participant on the other forum for 6 years, and a shareholder.
 

mba83

Member
Jan 10, 2019
128
59
South Carolina
Sounds like you like the S more…. I personally like S also but would buy a 3 over the S due to simpler design, newer tech, lower maintenance. I would only consider a refresh 2021 model S over model 3.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
6,101
11,675
Springfield, VA
If all of your road trip stuff (people, belongings, etc.) fits in the Model 3, I would choose it over the S due to the 3’s superior charging speed.
 
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Sajad

New Member
Oct 26, 2021
3
0
NJ
Hard to decide, trying to sum up some points here, and would like some comments.
I don't drive a lot, but when I do, it's mostly longer trips. No commute and almost no city driving.
Had a 2014 Model S, and have several friends with Model 3, so I am not new to Teslas at all.
A gearhead and electrical engineer by profession, and do as much work as possible on my car(s) myself when out of warranty,
No interest in FSD, as it will be more or less useless here in Europe for years and years to come.

Option 1:
Used Model S, 2016-2017 model, must be facelift/refresh version, preferably 90D, might consider 75D. Mileage will usually be 80000-150000 km.
+ Aluminium body, not as rust-prone
+ Hatchback with very convenient loading
+ A bit more premium interior, with alcantara headliner, two screens etc.
+ More extras
+ Better sound deadening
+ Worst depreciation is already done
+ Free supercharging (unless the car has been resold by Tesla)
+ Sunroof possible (love having it open on nice days)
+ AP1 which works quite well
- AP1 which will not see any more updates
- Older tech
- Older battery tech
- Used car will have worn wear parts
- Expensive repairs
- Very bad support from Tesla, with exorbitant parts prices
- Slow supercharging

Option 2:
New or almost new (MY 2021) Model 3 LR AWD.
+ Modern up-to-date tech
+ More convenient size
+ New car warranty - if anything fails, not my problem
+ Everything is new and not worn by anyone
+ Fast supercharging
+ Trailer hitch (I am in Europe)
+ Long range
- Steel body with very mediocre rustproofing and paint quality
- Inconvenient trunk with tiny opening
- Not particularly "premium" feel - it feels sort of cheap inside
- High road noise
- High depreciation on a new car
- Build quality is very up and down, many cars look like they've been thrown together in a hurry


Any opinions? I am sort of conflicted - I see pros and cons of both. I do like the driving feel of the Model S better, but at the same time I fear potential high maintenance and repair costs.
 

Sajad

New Member
Oct 26, 2021
3
0
NJ
If you get the Latest Model Y LR , it’s has superior sound deadening with dual layer glass, more ridgid frame with single cast front and rear (so less torsion), state of the art supercharging power electronics, HW3/MCU/Cameras, now “steel” body is galvanised steel and painted. It’s should never rust, you get interior room comparable to a Model X, and can get with tow hitch. There is no downside except less premium interior.
 

N8Howell33

Member
Jan 22, 2018
287
206
Salem, OR
I’ve owned a 2018 Model 3 for almost 3 years and I have had my model S 2017 AP 3.0. I would say I like the S look and drive better but the 3 is more nimble and easier to park. I would go for the AP 2.0 or above if you go for the S, otherwise the 3 and Y are better choices. Feel free to ask my anything as I have decent experience with both.
 

pepsundar

Member
Nov 8, 2021
37
29
Newark CA
Hard to decide, trying to sum up some points here, and would like some comments.
I don't drive a lot, but when I do, it's mostly longer trips. No commute and almost no city driving.
Had a 2014 Model S, and have several friends with Model 3, so I am not new to Teslas at all.
A gearhead and electrical engineer by profession, and do as much work as possible on my car(s) myself when out of warranty,
No interest in FSD, as it will be more or less useless here in Europe for years and years to come.

Option 1:
Used Model S, 2016-2017 model, must be facelift/refresh version, preferably 90D, might consider 75D. Mileage will usually be 80000-150000 km.
+ Aluminium body, not as rust-prone
+ Hatchback with very convenient loading
+ A bit more premium interior, with alcantara headliner, two screens etc.
+ More extras
+ Better sound deadening
+ Worst depreciation is already done
+ Free supercharging (unless the car has been resold by Tesla)
+ Sunroof possible (love having it open on nice days)
+ AP1 which works quite well
- AP1 which will not see any more updates
- Older tech
- Older battery tech
- Used car will have worn wear parts
- Expensive repairs
- Very bad support from Tesla, with exorbitant parts prices
- Slow supercharging

Option 2:
New or almost new (MY 2021) Model 3 LR AWD.
+ Modern up-to-date tech
+ More convenient size
+ New car warranty - if anything fails, not my problem
+ Everything is new and not worn by anyone
+ Fast supercharging
+ Trailer hitch (I am in Europe)
+ Long range
- Steel body with very mediocre rustproofing and paint quality
- Inconvenient trunk with tiny opening
- Not particularly "premium" feel - it feels sort of cheap inside
- High road noise
- High depreciation on a new car
- Build quality is very up and down, many cars look like they've been thrown together in a hurry


Any opinions? I am sort of conflicted - I see pros and cons of both. I do like the driving feel of the Model S better, but at the same time I fear potential high maintenance and repair costs.
If you buy a 2016 Model S, please know that the battery/DU warranty will expire in 2024, meaning you will have just 3 years warranty left. It's an expensive replacement. I'm just going through it though I have only put in 50k miles on my Model S. I was caught off guard not knowing the original 'month' of sale of my car when I bought it as a CPO from Tesla. So, please ask which month/year it was first sold, and add 8 years exact to it to calculate when the batter/DU warranty would expire. For peace of mind, I would go with a car that has the max warranty available to me. Performance, power, features, comfort don't matter anymore as the car could stop running abruptly without any warnings anytime. Tesla won't fix DU/Battery, but would just replace, no matter how small the problem is and how low the mileage is. If you put cost in the bottom of the list and everything else is important to you, go for the used Model S. Otherwise new Model 3.
 

pepsundar

Member
Nov 8, 2021
37
29
Newark CA
If you buy a 2016 Model S, please know that the battery/DU warranty will expire in 2024, meaning you will have just 3 years warranty left. It's an expensive replacement. I'm just going through it though I have only put in 50k miles on my Model S. I was caught off guard not knowing the original 'month' of sale of my car when I bought it as a CPO from Tesla. So, please ask which month/year it was first sold, and add 8 years exact to it to calculate when the batter/DU warranty would expire. For peace of mind, I would go with a car that has the max warranty available to me. Performance, power, features, comfort don't matter anymore as the car could stop running abruptly without any warnings anytime. Tesla won't fix DU/Battery, but would just replace, no matter how small the problem is and how low the mileage is. If you put cost in the bottom of the list and everything else is important to you, go for the used Model S. Otherwise new Model 3.
If you don't ask the sales person won't tell you how much warranty is left and will just focus on the 4years/50k miles warranty for CPO. It's safe to assume that if you buy a used one from Tesla as CPO, the max warranty you have is 4 years and 50k miles including battery pack/drive unit unless you're buying a 1-2 years old car which would have a little extra warranty left on battery/DU.
 

EESP

Member
Jun 4, 2016
34
33
Norway
Ended up getting a 12/2016 Model S 90D with 170kkm. So far so good. 8 year will expire 12/2024, so hope for things to fail before that. ;)
Just got the front clevis mount and driveshafts replaced for free.

Suspension is tight, but the car needs new brakes soon (still has the originals), which I will do myself in the spring. Other than that no other issues except the typical stuff: Condensation in one of the inner taillights, half the LED strip on one headlight out. The rest, all good.
 
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