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Year 2018: Buy a base Model S or a (somewhat) loaded Model 3?

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by Rogue23, Nov 8, 2016.


It's 2018 and you have $70k to spend on a Tesla. Do you buy:

  1. A base Model S

    11 vote(s)
  2. A $35k Model 3 with $35k in options

    13 vote(s)
  1. Rogue23

    Rogue23 Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Melbourne, FL
    I reserved my Model 3 before the reveal, but as the months have ticket by since then, I've had the opportunity to test drive both the Model S and X, and absolutely love them (at 6'5", I prefer the windshield in the Model X but literally everything else about the Model S). I've considered buying a lower-end Model S, but can't bring myself to do so given the price difference between it and where I expect my Model 3 to come in, even after all the upgrades I plan to throw at it.

    I've wondered if the price for Model S and X will come down once the gigafactory is at full production and other production efficiencies are realized (see this announcement from today: Formation of Tesla Advanced Automation Germany)... but as others have pointed out, Tesla will probably follow the Apple pricing model and keep prices for those models about the same as they are today, while adding more and more new features to them: Future Model S Pricing

    So that brings me to my question. It's the year 2018 and you are ready to buy a Tesla. Pick whatever price point you want, but for the simplest comparison, let's say we go with $70k or whatever it takes to get a bare bones Model S. Can you really justify making that purchase over buying a $35k Model 3 and adding $35k worth of options to it? Granted, that might not even be fully loaded, but I am thinking that would be a pretty great car at that price point and would have far more features and would outperform the base Model S for the same price in a side by side comparison.

    Sure, the mostly-loaded Model 3 is a little bit smaller, but it would almost surely be much higher performance, have a longer range, and all kinds of additional bells and whistles that the base Model S wouldn't have. So given all of that, why would someone chose to buy a base Model S instead?

    IMO, the base Model S is going need to either have quite a few additional standard features or it's going to need to come down in price in order to compete with the Model 3. And either way, that means I should probably be patient and make my decision in 2018 rather than overspending for a Model S today.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
  2. wesley888

    wesley888 Member

    Oct 22, 2016
    Huntington Station, NY
    Model S 60 is a great buy since it's actually a 75 in disguise. More importantly, do you want unlimited super charging for life? If so, you must buy one before year end and get delivered before April 2017.
  3. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2016
    Palmdale, CA
    The Model S is a much larger car with a hatchback. That will be a decision point for some folks in 2018. It will be interesting to see the options available on the 3. Until we know that, it will be hard to really compare the two cars.

    If you are looking for an early Tesla fix, you could buy a CPO like I am in the process of doing now. You get to enjoy a Model S at a much reduced price and with a bonus: it will still have unlimited supercharging if you order before January. (Not sure about CPOs bought after that).
    • Like x 1
  4. Rogue23

    Rogue23 Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Melbourne, FL
    Side note: I don't care about free superchargers, but I do care about being able to fit 2 large dogs (Weimaraners) in the car comfortably somehow. I have seen that they would fit in the hatch of a Model S, but in the Model 3, I assume I'd need to give them the back seats.

    I'm very much looking forward to physically getting into a Model 3 someday and seeing if it is big enough for me.

    But I was more posting this from an economical perspective anyway. To me, the loaded Model 3 seems like a much better value than a base Model S.
  5. brkaus

    brkaus Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    Austin, TX
    The question applies to all brands.

    Do you buy a loaded 3-series or a base 5/7 series?

    Do you buy a loaded touring Civic or a base Accord?

    They are different cars. Different sizes & styles.

    Plus, everyone has different priorities as far a gadgetry and performance.

    Everyone values things differently.

    Myself, I'm looking for a family travel vehicle so it would be an S.
  6. RacerX

    RacerX 3x F1 World Champion #44

    Feb 25, 2013
    Columbus/CLE/Cincinnati/Mason, OH. /Detroit USA
    I marked the model 3 ... But it always depends on the final product.
  7. YBT

    YBT Member

    May 28, 2015
    Dogs being able to fit in the trunk would be a big thing for me.

    Like the Bible says, "Thou shalt separate thine Canine's muddy paws from the fine Textiles I have given ye"
  8. dhcp

    dhcp Member

    Oct 15, 2016
    San Mateo, CA
    Like brkaus said, Mercedes keeps selling the S-Class even thought the C-Class is pretty decent and the AMG version mighty fast.

    I also think of it as freaking everyone is going to have a model 3, the S is going to more unique.

    If the delivery date on the Model 3 slips, you could be several years from getting your car.

    You could also think of buying a used one for a deal where most of initial depreciation has hit, drive it for a few years, sell it and get that Model 3.

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