Choosing the right electric vehicle depends on your preferred specs, range, size, affordability, and more. Ensure the vehicle you choose aligns with your driving needs when you feel ready to transition from a gas-powered car to an electric-powered one. As such, many drivers go with a Tesla due to their driving capabilities and innovative technological features.
However, narrowing down which Tesla model you’ll go with can feel overwhelming. So, which is better for you—the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y? Let’s review their various features, price points, range, and size comparisons. The last thing you want to do is to get swept up in the details and not feel satisfied with your choice. Owning a Tesla can improve your driving experience.
Histories of Tesla Models 3 and Y
After the Tesla Model S and Model X came to fruition, Tesla’s next goal was to create a vehicle primarily focused on delivering an affordable electric vehicle market, allowing more consumers to drive a high-quality electric car. As such, Tesla accomplished their goal by releasing the Tesla Model 3 in 2016, debuting its third-generation platform. It became Tesla’s most affordable model, becoming one of the best-selling electric vehicles in the world.
The Tesla company started teasing early concepts of the model even before the Model 3 debuted. After spending years enticing the public and building excitement, Tesla announced their newest electric vehicle in 2019—the Tesla Model Y. By March 2020, the first production of Model Ys made it to the public. Sharing a similar appearance to the Tesla Model 3, it became well-received globally.
Tesla Model 3 vs. Model Y
So, what are some significant differences between the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y? Let’s review each vehicle, its performance capabilities, technological features, sizes, and more. The more you know about each model, the easier it will be to decide which car fits your needs.
Both variations of the luxury electric vehicle offer a relatively affordable price point for drivers who want to stick to a budget. However, if you need to penny-pinch, the Model 3 has a $40,000-$53,000 price tag, while the Model Y sits between $47,000-$54,500. Depending on your budget, the Model 3 offers a lower price tag even with a Performance model upgrade.
Many electric vehicle drivers have one thing in common—they want to have optimal driving range capabilities. They tend to pick vehicles with the longest available EV range that fits their budget. While the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 have impressive range capabilities, the Model 3 has a slight edge over the well-regarded Model Y. This advantage is a result of having a lower drag and weight, as the Tesla Model 3 RWD setting can travel upwards of 300 miles on a full battery charge.
Furthermore, Tesla Model 3’s Long Range mode allows for a staggering 374-mile distance, while the Performance feature reaches upwards of 340 miles on a fully charged battery. As for the Tesla Model Y, RWD goes roughly 280 miles, while Performance and Long-Range AWD reach 331 and 319 miles, respectively. Another factor is Tesla’s wheel size, as bigger wheels require more power to spin properly. So, if you want a vehicle with long-distance reliability, the Tesla Model 3 has a small lead in range performance compared to the Model Y.
While the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 share relatively similar size dimensions, some subtle differences exist. Firstly, the Model Y has a slightly larger size—seven inches longer, seven inches taller, and 2.8 inches wider than the Tesla Model 3 to be exact. Furthermore, it has higher ground clearance and a longer wheelbase than the Model 3. The main functional and aesthetic difference is the Model Y’s trunk, which provides a powered liftgate instead of a sedan lid.
The difference between the Model Y translates more toward the vehicle’s interior, particularly with the cargo and rear passenger space. The Model Y adds five inches of additional rear legroom in a five-seat configuration, more than the Model 3. It also offers more shoulder, hip, and headroom for both rows of passenger seats. While the Model 3 provides plenty of room and comfort for four people, there might be minor room complaints for taller passengers, especially during long road trips. So, if you habitually carry more cargo and always act as the designated driver for friends and family, the Model Y might suit you better.
Tesla Feature Comparison
Each Tesla offers high-quality technological features that help them stand out from other electric vehicles. They both provide 15-inch touchscreens with minimalist designs that offer entertainment, navigation, vehicle settings, and other unique features. However, the Tesla Model Y has more to offer than the Model 3 with its non-motor-powered trunk, powered liftgate automatic opening and closing with the key fob, and more.
This minute difference the Tesla Model Y has over the Model 3 makes it appealing to drivers who want an effortless, automated vehicle with as little inconvenience as possible.
Many modern Tesla vehicles offer reliable handling and exceptional acceleration capabilities. But which model has better speed performance? Both models can easily put traditional sports cars in their place due to their impeccable instant torque capabilities. However, the Tesla Model 3 has a faster, more agile lead between the two. Due to its lower center of gravity and light weight, even the single-motor variation of the Model 3 can easily go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds.
Furthermore, the Performance model can go from zero to 60 in three seconds with 162 miles per hour top speeds. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model Y barely lags, going from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds, while the Performance model goes from zero to 60 mph in three and a half seconds.
Which One Is Right for You?
So, which Tesla is right for you? The Model Y is right for you if you want a vehicle with more room for passengers and cargo and impressive advanced features. However, the Model 3 is right up your alley if you have a smaller budget and want better range and speed.
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