Posted on March 13, 2018 by Charles Morris
Many a would-be Tesla owner is pondering the big question: Should I wait who knows how long for a new Model 3, or get into a pre-owned Model S right now?
Above: Model 3 parked next to its big brother, Model S (Image: Green Car Reports)
Of course, there are pros and cons on each side and, in the end, it’s a question every buyer will have to answer for themselves. However, Teslanomics creator Ben Sullins, who owns both a 2013 Model S and a brand-new Model 3, has concluded that, if he were in the market for a car today, he’d choose a used Model S.
By the way, Elon Musk also thinks you should buy a Model S, unless you “really want a smaller sedan.” But of course he would say that, sitting on a backlog of hundreds of thousands of orders for Model 3.
Above: Ben Sullins considers the unique advantages of each Tesla sedan to help decide which is right for you (Youtube:
Unlike other EV models, Teslas have been holding their resale value quite well - you’ll find plenty of used Model S out there for less than $60,000, but not much less. So the price difference between the S and the entry-level 3 is still quite significant. However, this is complicated by the fact that Tesla is delivering the more expensive variants first. If you’re hoping to get a $35,000 Model 3, it’s anybody’s guess how long you’ll have to wait.
If you don’t want to delay going electric, and you don’t mind paying more, Model S is the obvious choice. As Tesla is keen to remind us, it’s the higher-end vehicle, superior in several ways. With the S, you can get free Supercharging (in many cases), which is a huge plus if you often take long trips. When it comes to cargo capacity, the S is the clear winner - not only does it have double the actual space, but its wide hatchback makes loading large objects much easier, and it has a bigger frunk. The S comes out on top in performance as well - there are some who just have to get to 60 mph a second or two quicker.
Above: In most cases, the Model S outperforms the Model 3 (Image: Electrek)
Personal preferences also come into play. Ben prefers the interior layout of Model S - it has two screens instead of one, as well as something more like a traditional instrument cluster. Model 3’s minimalist interior is discussed at length in almost every review that’s come out so far - some love it, Ben apparently doesn’t.
So get out a clean sheet of paper, list the pros and cons of each option, consider your budget and your timeline, and decide which Tesla is right for you. Whether you choose the rising star or the old favorite, there’s one thing we’re quite confident of: you’ll never go back to gasoline.