Should I get the Tesla Model S 75D or the Model 3 Performance?
Upon first glance at the stats of the performance Model 3, it seems like it handily beats the Model S 75D in terms of speed and range, and they cost almost exactly the same (~$75,000 without AutoPilot).
Other answers are very good. Not too much to add, so I will distill it for simplicity.
Model S 75D
You can get it now
Twice the cubic volume for luggage (30 cuft vs. 15 cuft, roughly)
Optional opening pano roof
Optional air suspension - smoother ride
Arguably plusher interior
2 screens and slightly more ergonomic hand controls
It's the flagship sedan
Model 3 PLRD (or P70D, technically)
The wait will be 3 months if you are a the top of the list, otherwise ???
More of a driver's car
Firmer suspension - more connected to the road
Quicker off the line and to 60 (likely will beat specs)
Newer battery and motor technology
Longer range on a full charge
Easier to park and maneuver in urban settings.
It comes down to, do you want a bigger, more prestegious body or do you want more performance and handling.
Same choice of BMW 7 series basic vs. BMW M3 loaded.
I drive a Model S 75 (not D) and have a Model 3 on order.
The fact that the question says "performance" somewhat disqualifies me from answering since I am not a performance driver. The 4.5 second 0–60 mph acceleration of my S 75 is more performance that I've ever needed. The Model 3 Performance model is supposed to do that in 3.5.
So let me throw out a few random things to think about:
- If you buy the Model S, you will get free supercharging for as long as you own the car (requires buying with a customer referral which any owner will gleefully give you).
- The Model S is a big car. Depending on your garage, it might be a little too big. Think of narrow streets and tight parking places.
- The Model S has roughly twice as much cargo space as the Model 3. The Model S is a hatchback that allows taller items to be carried.
- The long-range version of the Model 3 has a range of 310 miles while the Model S 75D is about 249. More range is always better.
- You can get a Model S now, but you will have a long wait for the Model 3 Performance, maybe a year or more.
Questions that come to mind:
- How much of a performance nut are you?
- How big is your budget, really?
- How big a car do you really want?
- Is seating 5 something you're going to do often?
I've been a "enthusiast", and had commuter cars. I ruled out the S as too freaking big and expensive, period, and waited for the 3. In April, I had to decide whether to get the "commuter" 3 (last week) or wait until July or August for a D or P, I decided I didn't want to afford the 10–20k extra.
The 3 seats 4 quite comfortably. If you don't really need 5, I can't think of a reason to get an S.
For me, I think the decision would pivot on size and handling. The Model S is a much larger car, which can cut both ways-might need the space or might be more can than you need or can fit in your garage. The other is handling. While the S has remarkable handling, its still a 6000 lbs car and is still bound by the laws of physics. I would imagine near-S levels of performance in a much smaller and lighter car would be a blast to drive.
Model S with referral gets you free supercharging while you own the car
More storage in the model S
Model S has the bugs worked out (presently Tesla has acknowledged braking improvements coming on model 3)
Model S better finishing touches
Model S offers panoramic sunroof option
Model 3 quicker performance
Model 3 longer range (310 vs 259)
Model 3 uses newer battery technology