Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: An In-Depth Comparison Guide

As one of the automotive world‘s fastest rising brands, Tesla has earned its status as a leader in electric vehicle technology. With instantly recognizable looks and standout performance, Tesla‘s luxury EVs make a statement while providing an eco-friendly driving experience. Two of its most popular and affordable offerings are the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV. Let‘s examine how these sister vehicles stack up across critical categories for savvy car shoppers.

What Are the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y?

The Tesla Model 3 first arrived in 2017 as a lower-priced extension of the maker‘s lineup, which also includes the S, X, and Roadster models. Offered as either a 5-seat sedan or performance-focused variant, the Model 3 combines sports car acceleration and handling with ample range and high-tech features starting under $50,000.

Debuting for the 2020 model year, the Model Y crossover SUV delivers more room for passengers and gear while carrying over the powertrain specs and tech found in the 3. Available 5-seat and 7-seat layouts cater to smaller families or those needing extra hauling versatility. Despite its larger footprint, the Model Y maintains brisk performance. Prices start around $65,000.

As Tesla‘s two most affordable EVs available nationwide, the Model 3 and Model Y aim to make the brand‘s unique blend of prestige, innovation and eco-savings accessible to mainstream buyers. Let‘s explore how dimensions, cargo capacities, range estimates and other key factors differentiate these two landmark vehicles.

Pricing and Production Numbers

Over 1.5 million Model 3 vehicles have been produced globally since 2017, making it Tesla‘s current sales leader. The newer Model Y is steadily ramping up production to match demand. Here is how base prices and production volumes have trended for both models:

ModelBase MSRPTotal Units Sold
Model 3$46,990Over 1,500,000
Model Y$65,990Over 250,000

Those numbers illustrate the market‘s welcoming response, especially for the Model 3. Cost-wise, expect around a $10,000 gap between dual motor, long range versions of both EVs when including destination charges. Available federal tax incentives of $7,500 help offset that initial price difference.

Range and Performance Specs

Both models deliver expendable range for daily commuting or road trips via cutting-edge lithium-ion battery packs mated to supremely efficient electric motors. The long range, dual motor variants see extremely minor performance separation based on the Model Y‘s slightly heavier curb weight.

SpecsModel 3 AWD Long RangeModel Y AWD Long Range
Battery (kWh)8283.9
Range (mi)358330
0-60 mph (sec)4.24.8
Top Speed (mph)145135
Curb Weight (lbs)4,4164,751
Torque (lb-ft)377376

In the range department, the Model 3 holds a slight 28 mile advantage over the Model Y thanks to lighter weight. However, both deliver ample mileage for lengthy road trips between charging stops. When it comes to acceleration, the Model 3‘s 4.2 second 0-60 mph run beats the Model Y‘s still quick 4.8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. Top speeds see a smaller 10 mph delta between them.

Dimensions and Cargo Room

Being an SUV, the Model Y offers enhanced passenger and cargo volume. Front and middle seat occupants enjoy similar head and legroom, but rear passengers gain an extra 1.3 inches of head clearance and 1.7 inches of leg space. The Model Y‘s flat-folding second and third row seats also enable a total of 76 cubic feet of storage behind the front seats.

SpecsModel 3Model Y
Wheelbase (in)113.2113.8
Length (in)184.8187
Height (in)56.863.9
Headroom – Front (in)39.441.0
Headroom – Rear (in)37.739.4
Cargo Space (cu ft)1576 max

This expanded capacity will be valued by buyers needing to handle bulkier cargo like camping gear, golf club bags, pet supplies or home improvement materials.

Ordering, Upgrades and Incentives

Tesla sells directly to consumers instead of through independent dealerships. Shoppers configure their desired model online and can modify details like:

  • Exterior color
  • Wheel size and design
  • Extra range via battery upgrades
  • Interior décor and seating
  • Autopilot driving assistance features
  • Tow hitch receivers and mounts

Adding some options can quickly increase the final price. But both cars also qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit along with state or utility rebates in many regions. This helps offset both the purchase price and lower lifetime fueling costs over gas-powered alternatives.

Ride Quality and Handling

The Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV share suspension components and the same rear-wheel biased weight distribution. This imbues both EVs with sports car-like handling. Optional performance packages with 21-inch wheels, high-performance brakes and lowered suspensions further elevate cornering abilities, at the expense of slightly rougher rides.

Inside, generous sound-insulating materials like acoustic glass, felted wheel wells and tri-layer flooring keep outside noise to a minimum. This combines with the near silent EV motors for hushed highway cruising. Suspension tuning differs slightly between them, with the Model Y biased more towards overall passenger comfort than all-out performance. But abundant power, traction and stability controls keep it confident through evasive maneuvers.

Owner Satisfaction and Reliability Ratings

According to Consumer Reports, over 90% of surveyed Model 3 owners express satisfaction with their vehicles across areas like ride comfort, acceleration, fit and finish and electronics. High owner loyalty numbers for both models indicate buyers are extremely happy with their Teslas.

For predicted new model reliability, CR gives the Model 3 an "Average" rating, reflecting some early production hiccups that the automaker has addressed with manufacturing refinements. Projected reliability for the newer Model Y is "Below Average." However, Tesla‘s continual over-the-air software enhancements aim to constantly upgrade vehicle performance and extend battery lifecycles. Both cars offer comprehensive 4-year, 50,000 mile warranties for added peace of mind.

Which Model is Right For You?

Prospective Tesla owners choosing between the nimble, sleek-handling Model 3 or versatile, spacious Model Y ultimately can’t make a wrong decision. Both deliver an unmatched blend of eco-friendly performance, cutting-edge features and modern style favored by early adopters.

The Model 3 suits urban commute duty with its athletic moves and smaller footprint. Inside, a minimalist cabin accentuates the glass-covered dashboard touchscreen. Outdoorsy families will appreciate the Model Y’s extra hauling flexibility, optionally toting 7 passengers. Overall, matching intended car use to these models‘ unique strengths ensures owners will enjoy living the electric life in their new Tesla.

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