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Tesla Dilemma – Should You Buy a Brand New Tesla Model 3 or a Used Tesla Model S?

Tesla has come a long way since its inception as a fledgling electric vehicle company. Just 10 years ago, they were just starting out and had yet to make any major waves in the car market.

Fast forward to today, and they are one of the world’s leading carmakers, having ramped up production to become one of the most successful companies in the industry. But there’s an even more impressive feat beneath all this success: their models are not even in vehicle classes that typically have high volume.

It’s easy to look at a shiny new Tesla Model 3 and think you have the perfect car. But what if you could save money by buying a used Tesla Model S instead? In this blog post, we’ll compare the two cars to help you decide which fits your needs best.

New Tesla Model 3 vs Used Tesla Model S
Picture Courtesy: Whatcar

Brand New Tesla Model 3 or Used Tesla Model S?

A brand-new Tesla Model 3 is always in stealth demand across the globe. Why? Certainly because of the impeccable features and price point. However, a used Model S could deliver a dash of luxury at a similar point in price.

It’s definitely going to be a tough decision whether to pick up used Tesla’s luxury flagship model for a steal, or get a more affordable brand-new Tesla Model 3? This isn’t a question people have to ask when it comes to other automobile manufacturers, as their flagship models typically stay above entry-level cars in terms of price.

But with Tesla, you can buy a top-of-the-line vehicle like the Model S for often less than half its original price when buying used. So, which one is right for you? Let’s take a look.

Which One Is Better?

No car of the two can be dubbed as the perfect one from the other simply because they both belong to a different category and have different features.

Tesla Model 3

The newer Tesla Model 3 was released in 2017 and is packed full of more advanced technology than its predecessor. Its battery range clocks in at 250 miles per charge – still pretty good for long trips – and it goes from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds. But what really sets this car apart is all the bells and whistles that come standard with each package – like full autopilot capabilities and several different driving modes to choose from.

Here’s a detailed take on the EV!

Driving Feel

Technology is, indeed, the focal point inside Tesla’s Model 3. Every task requires accessing the large 15-inch centre touchscreen. From setting the climate control to engaging Autopilot and checking the car’s range and charging status — the touchscreen ties all these functions together in one place, making it easy to perform any task without leaving your seat.

Tesla Model 3 is an overwhelmingly celebrated EV among vehicle owners as the massive demand for the vehicle speaks for itself. The minimalistic feel of the cabin gives a future-ready chic feel whenever you will sit inside the car.

Tesla Model 3 is probably one well-deserved model that certainly hits all the right chords with its sleek and attractive design both interiors and exteriors. The drive feels largely includes how the power feels while driving the EV.

Jean-Pierre from Insideevs perfectly sums up the feel. He says from the moment he first stepped on the gas pedal of his Tesla, he was hooked. The raw power and speed that comes with a Tesla are unparalleled, leaving other cars in the dust every time he stops at a traffic light, he said. Having his own Tesla has been an incredibly enjoyable experience and one that will be sure to leave unforgettable memories for many years to come.

Range & Battery

The 2023 Model 3 from Tesla offers three trim levels: Base, Long Range, and Performance. The Base trim is powered by a single electric motor and rear-wheel drive system, while the Long Range and Performance trims are equipped with dual-motor all-wheel drive systems that provide improved stability and power.

All trims offer plenty of range, performance, and features. Whether you’re looking for a daily commuter car or a high-performance vehicle, there’s an option that fits your needs in the Model 3 lineup.

The latest Tesla Model 3 comes in three trims and EPA estimate ranges:

  • Standard Rear-Wheel Drive comes with 272 miles.
  • Long Range AWD comes with 358 miles.
  • Performance AWD comes with 315 miles.

The Tesla Model 3 is the perfect car for anyone looking for an electric vehicle that provides convenience and flexibility when it comes to charging. With options such as Tesla’s network of Superchargers, adapters for DC public-charging stations, 240-volt and 120-volt outlets, and a home-charging station, you will always be able to find a convenient way to charge your vehicle.

All of these charging options are easily accessible and help make owning a Model 3 relatively hassle-free.

Interiors & Exteriors

Technology is, indeed, the focal point inside Tesla’s Model 3. Every task requires accessing the large 15-inch centre touchscreen. From setting the climate control to engaging Autopilot and checking the car’s range and charging status — the touchscreen ties all these functions together in one place, making it easy to perform any task without leaving your seat.

Very minimal, bordering on plain—such is the look and feel of most Tesla Model 3 vehicles. The bright white interior makes for an eye-catching contrast with the all-black upholstery and metallic trim of the steering wheel, seats, dashboard, doors, and ceiling.

Look closely, and you may notice a few distinguishing features such as two controller buttons mounted on the steering wheel and a button to open each door — plus a wide wood panel surrounding the full-length 15-inch touchscreen which sits in front of your eyes as you drive. Such is the experience inside the renowned Tesla Model 3.

The landscape-style 15-inch centre console is the biggest highlight of the Tesla Model 3 enough to keep a subdued feel to the interiors. The glass roof of the EV is one feature that puts the Model 3 a class apart from its league. Tesla calls that the interiors of the Tesla Model 3 to be built around the Tesla driver.

The looks of the Tesla Model 3 may not scream sophisticated luxury, but if you consider the low scoops on the front, it kind of looks like a pretty Porche. The understated exteriors are complimented by the all-glass roof adding a Midas touch.

The boot space including the frunk sums up to give you 425 litres to pack all those travel bags and stuff along on your next trip. Wireless charging, driver’s aid features, and Autopilot features are just tidbits of many more features.


Tesla Model 3 is often dubbed as the cheapest or most affordable Tesla you can buy for your money. When the Tesla Model 3 was released in 2016, it was advertised as being a relatively affordable electric vehicle with a sticker price of $35,000. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is still the case in 2023 – prices have gone up quite substantially, and those looking to buy one may be facing a hefty price tag.

Now the price has changed a lot many times along with many features as now the starting price stands at $42,990 for entry-level rear-wheel drive. Nevertheless, the Model 3’s low running costs and competitive performance still make it an attractive option for many car buyers.

Used Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S was first released in 2012 and has seen some major updates over the years. It comes loaded with features like autopilot and self-parking and has an impressive battery range of up to 315 miles per charge – making it great for long trips. Plus, it accelerates from 0-60 mph in under five seconds, so you can zip around town with ease.

The Tesla Model S has been celebrated as the best electric sedan in the market since its debut. It stands out from other electric vehicles due to its incredible styling, cutting-edge technology, and impressive performance.

Luxury car lovers appreciate the perfect balance between sustainability and luxury that this electric car delivers.

The Tesla Model S has been on the market for years and is one of the most expensive luxury vehicles you can buy. While it can depreciate quickly, you can find used models for around $30,000 or less. On the other hand, the Model 3 has only been available for about three years and there are fewer copies in the used market due to high demand. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for the latest technology at an affordable price.

Driving Feel

Tesla Model S is one hell of a sporty ride that can instantly make you fall in love with it. You are sure to turn some heads while driving a Model S, regardless of the nose cone or later models. However, owning a used Model S would come with its own weaknesses along with being an affordable luxury, Tesla.

In addition to being an affordable option for a luxurious ride, there is much more to appreciate about the Tesla Model S than meets the eye—from its advanced design features to its next-level engineering capabilities. Needless to say, this innovative vehicle has revolutionized the automotive industry, and it is no wonder that it continues to captivate drivers all over the world.

All these impressive features make the Tesla Model S an ultimate choice for luxury car enthusiasts looking for a sustainable ride.

Range & Battery

The Tesla Model S is packed with impressive technical specs and features. It is powered by a 100 kWh battery and has a range of up to 402 miles on a single charge. Moreover, the electric car can reach 0-60 mph in as little as 2.4 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars on the market today.

Not to mention, its lithium-ion battery packs provide more than enough power for regeneration abilities, allowing drivers to make the most of their energy use when traveling long distances. Moreover, the car’s autopilot feature helps drivers navigate safely and efficiently.

Interiors & Exteriors

Even though it is almost a decade old, the interior of the Tesla Model S still gives off a modern and minimalist sci-fi vibe. In the cabin you have two screens; one in front of the steering wheel provides important driving data such as speed and energy usage while Autopilot controls are also present. The other larger touch-screen located at the centre of the dashboard acts as an infotainment centre.

A brand-new Model S interiors and exteriors are another thing but an older model is still fairly decent if you consider the powertrain and other features of the EV. Model S is a massive vehicle and has a strong aggressive presence on the road.

If your Model S was built after March 2018, it is fitted with a more powerful microchip which allows for faster processing and image rendering than prior versions. Though it does not offer smartphone mirroring, you will still find all the features you need in this modern electric car.

Model S has tons of space for your luggage with 894 litres of storage capacity. You can easily fit in some 10-12 travel suitcases inside your Model S.

Comparison of Tesla Model 3 Vs Tesla Model S (Used)

Drive Feel

From the instant power to its incredibly quick handling, driving the Tesla Model 3 will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the future. Unfortunately, the rough ride may take away from the experience for some, but with dual-motor all-wheel drive, it’s possible to enjoy a much smoother journey — and at regular speeds too! No matter how you look at it, a ride in the Model 3 is truly one of a kind.

The Tesla Model 3 has been hailed as one of the safest cars around, with excellent ratings from Euro NCAP for its incredible safety features. The Model S also garnered similarly high praise in 2014, although it should be noted that the testing criteria back then were not nearly as strict as today.

Interiors & Exteriors

The Tesla Model 3 exemplifies a new definition of luxury. Rather than being opulent and ostentatious, its interior is marked by a minimalistic and understated sophistication. Instead of diamond-stitched leather or crystal shift knobs, the simple design, elegant materials, and intuitive tech come together to create an environment that puts a luxury feel to the Model 3 interiors.

Tesla vehicles are renowned for their interior design, which is both flush and minimalistic. Instead of traditional mechanical features, you’ll find many modern and high-tech alternatives throughout the cabin – such as electronic door handles. These are designed to provide an easy and convenient way to open the doors without a traditional handle, however, if needed, a mechanical handle is still there as a backup option.

The touchscreen on the Model 3 is 15.0in wide with a landscape orientation, while the one on the Model S boasts a 17.0edin portrait display. Despite being different in size and orientation, both infotainment systems offer the same features.

Range & Battery

Both the models do well on the account of range and battery. If you’re in the market for a Tesla Model 3, you’ll need to pay each time you charge up. That said, they offer reasonable prices – especially when compared to the costs of older models such as the Model S.

Some earlier and later versions of this car were sold with free lifetime Supercharger access; however, this is no longer standard; if you aren’t sure whether or not it applies to your vehicle, make sure to check the details that are linked to your Tesla account.


Choosing between a Tesla Model S 75D and a Model 3 Performance can seem like a tough decision, but it doesn’t have to be. For not much more money, you can get the 2019 Tesla Model S 75D, which has very low mileage and costs around $71,000. This is only slightly more expensive than the brand-new Model 3 Performance, but the latter is predicted to hold its value better over time so it could end up being more cost-effective in the long run.

If you don’t want to spend that much on a new model, there are older Tesla Model Ss available for as low as $36,999 for 2018 75D, though they tend to have lower mileage, slower charging speed, and come without warranty coverage. Both models come with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty when new, plus an eight-year battery warranty with no mileage limit.

Why Tesla’s Success in the Car Market is So Impressive?

The fact that Tesla is such a young company is remarkable enough, but it only gets better when you consider the fact that they are electric-powered cars – something which was once thought impossible.

But perhaps even more impressive is that despite being a relatively new player in what is already arguably an oversaturated market with traditional ICE cars, Tesla’s vehicles have been met with incredible success. So much so that over 1,369,611 vehicles were produced and 1,313,851 vehicles sold worldwide as of 2022.

That kind of accomplishment simply isn’t seen every day, especially when it comes to relatively new companies taking on long-established car manufacturers. The fact that Tesla was able to scale up production so quickly and efficiently to reach these levels should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Not only did they manage to break into an already crowded industry, but they also successfully managed the challenge of producing electric cars at mass scales – something historically thought impossible – further demonstrating their impact on the auto sector.

It’s fairly clear why Tesla’s success in the automotive industry has been so impressive – they pushed past all odds and managed to achieve great success despite them. It’s no wonder why many people view them as an integral part of the future of transportation!

What’s Better: Brand New Tesla Model 3 or Used Tesla Model S?

The Tesla Model 3 is an electric car that was first revealed to the masses in 2016 and soon after became a super hit. Tesla later announced that they received as many as 325,000 reservation bookings for the vehicle shortly after the unveiling.

So which EV from these popular two Teslas should you choose? Honestly, the decision depends on your individual needs and preferences but here are some things that Model 3 has over Model S:

  • Tesla Model 3 is faster than Old Model S.
  • Full warranty on Model 3 than Old Model S.
  • Facelift UI landscape centre console than Old Model S.
  • Minimalistic interiors than Old Model S.
  • Faster peak charging power than Old Model S (250kW vs 150kW).
  • Most updated tech on-board than Old Model S.
  • Needs more space to park than Old Model S.

The first deliveries of Model 3 came in 2017 and have seen a series of updates since then. It comes with a variety of features, including autopilot and self-parking. The battery range on the Model 3 is 250 miles per charge, making it great for long trips. It also has impressive acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in just over four seconds.

The Tesla Model S is an older model than to Model 3 that was first released in 2012. While it doesn’t have as many features as the newer Model 3, it still offers plenty of perks with its rather sporty appeal.

If you’re looking for a powerful performance vehicle with all the latest bells and whistles, then the brand-new Tesla Model 3 may be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re more budget conscious and don’t need all those extras, then a used Tesla Model S could be more suitable for your needs (and wallet).


Should you buy a used Tesla Model S?

Absolutely! The Tesla Model S is definitely an efficient choice for luxury car enthusiasts who are looking for a sustainable and stylish ride. Its 100-kWh battery provides far greater range than other electric vehicles, and its ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.4 seconds makes it one of the fastest cars on the market today.

Moreover, its lithium-ion battery packs allow drivers to make the most of their energy use when travelling long distances, while its autopilot feature helps them navigate safely and efficiently. The Tesla Model S truly offers an unbeatable combination of sustainability, style, and performance making it an ideal choice for luxury car lovers.

Not just looking for luxury? Get a lush new Model 3 to suit your fancy with all new latest tech on board and a full warranty in check. If you are looking to spoil yourself with all the latest features available, then investing in a brand-new Tesla Model 3 might be your best bet.

No matter which one you choose though, you’ll be getting an amazing electric car that will get you right on track to future-ready tech on earth. So whichever one works best for your lifestyle and budget is sure to give you an unforgettable driving experience!

Purnima Rathi
Purnima Rathi
Purnima has a strong love for EVs. Whether it's classic cars or modern performance vehicles, she likes to write about anything with four wheels, especially if there's a cool story behind it.


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