Model S

Owners with both a 3 and an S

edited November -1 in Model S
Approaching the time to change my Model S.

I’m considering another S or a 3.

Would be interesting to hear opinions from owners who have both.....


  • edited November -1
    There are plenty of threads about S vs. 3 — if you need help finding them see this:

    We own both, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. They are very different cars, so it depends on your requirements and financial situation.
  • edited November 2019
    We have both, and for just about every reason I prefer the S, my wife prefers the 3 for that very same reason. Main reason I prefer the S is because it is bigger; wife prefers the 3 because it is smaller (sportier) . This is the sole reason she didn't get the S and waited two years for the 3. I like the the way the screen on the S is built into the console; my wife likes the way the screen on the 3 stands alone. I like having some items displayed on the dashboard; my wife now likes not having something extra to look at. I think the ride in the S is more comfortable; wife likes the sporty feel of the ride in the 3 (similar to past cars she bought).

    This one point she does agree with me on, but is it worth making a car decision over.........I like that the S has the auto trunk close button; wife would like it if the 3 had it as well?

    I really do think it comes down to what size car you prefer. Both are great cars! Can't go wrong with either one.

    If I had the money, I would have gone with the 6 passenger X so I could get all three grandchildren in the car at once and still have a little room back there. Love the way the falcon doors (gull doors for us old timers) protect you from the rain while buckling the grandchildren into their car seats.
  • edited November 2019
    I have a P3D. When I was getting a new windshield installed, I was given a MS P90D as a loaner.
    To me the MS seemed like a mushy boat. I much prefer the handling of the 3 and the "premium" interior of the MS seemed unnecessary.
  • edited November 2019
    I prefer to drive my 3 over the S. I come from BMWs. 3 is about the best sedan out there for those seeking a proper sports sedan that doesn’t ride too harsh. Stock tires on my LR RWD are not sticky, and detract a bit from very enthusiastic driving, but the P3D should be better.

    That said, the S is quieter, more luxurious, and has lots more room. It drives very good too, and can be sporty when driven enthusiastically.
  • edited November 2019
    Both, is the answer.

    Our 2012 S doesn't have any sensors, but our 3 has the full package.

    Free Supercharging on the S, pay as you go on the 3.
  • edited November 2019
    Thank you everybody.
  • edited November 2019
    @mcmack15: +1
  • edited November -1
    We own both too. 2018 Model S 100D and 2018 Model 3 Dual Motor. Mine is the Model S and I like the better ride and convenience features such as heated steering wheel, auto trunk, adjustable suspension (useful when it snows and I need more clearance), easier access and larger trunk, etc.
    Unlimited Supercharging is great too, and we take the Model S for longer road trips.

    My wife drives the Model 3 and it's useful for city driving and parking in the downtown Seattle area where parking is tight.
  • edited November 2019
    I have an 85D a P85+ and a P3D-. It depends on the usage, having driven both my P85 and P3D on long cross country road trips this Summer I much prefer the P85 for that. Roomier, more stable, dash display for nav in unfamiliar areas. I've driven the S in downtown core areas, Vancouver BC, SanFrancisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and I dont find it overly large or difficult to park.
  • edited November 2019
    I have a 2018 P3D and a 2019 Performance Model S (Raven). I agree with others that have commented that they are both great cars but they are very different. The P3D is nimble and very quick. It is more fun to drive and the horizontal display is an order of magnitude better than the older vertical display in the Model S. I've watched a Netflix movie in the Model 3 and the experience is fantastic......better than my expensive home surround sound system.
    The Model S Performance is just a brutally fast accelerating car. The new Raven series suspension is also a big upgrade from the previous generation air suspension. It is definitely a smoother and quieter ride than the P3D.
    The Model S also has about a 10% longer range if that is important to you.
    Both fantastic cars. Go to a Tesla showroom and drive them both and then make your decision.
  • edited November 2019
    "horizontal display is an order of magnitude better than the older vertical display in the Model S"

    I've agreed with everything else people have said about the three, this however I heartily disagree with. For everything but Netflix I find the S display far superior. It was the first thing I positively noticed when getting back into my S after driving my 3 for 8700 miles for two solid weeks.
  • edited November -1
    “jimglas | November 27, 2019
    To me the MS seemed like a mushy boat“

    Careful, you may lose your spot in the fanboy clubhouse! I mean, I haven’t said anything nearly that critical of Model S handling and I’m accused of working for Porsche. Oh, well, just shows how hypocritical and without any credibility you guys are.
  • edited November 2019
    One feels like a luxury, silent sedan (that happens to be a hatchback).
    The other feels like a go-kart, loves the twisties and does have a lot more "road feel" (cabin noise).
  • edited November 2019
    @nuke "and I’m accused of working for Porsche"

    No that is your buddy Darth. Though more likely Big Oil from everything I've seen. $5 billion in subsidies goes a long way.

    You've been labeled as un-factual poster. You've said the Taycan has better handling, and you've not driven it. You've claimed, along with Darth that test Taycan handles better at a few hundreds pounds than current test Model S's.

    Without evidence.

    That is pretty much the end of the story.

    Go bash Tesla on other forums. Those who have been driving these cars for 6 years or more disagree. It is pretty simple.
  • edited November 2019
    Another M3 and S owner.
    3 turned into commuter car. S weekend and road trip.
    All good points about both. Which one do I like most?
    Depends on type of driving I'm going to be doing.
    Drove the S this past weekend and had nothing but smiles
    the whole trip. Lucky me, keeping both.
  • edited November 2019
    Having owned and driven several Model S's as my daily driver since 2013, when the lease was up on my last car, decided to try the Model 3.

    All depends on what you're looking for out of a car, what's important to you, how much the cost savings matters. Technology of both cars are relatively similar, hence the M3 gets all of the Tesla known tech features, AP, arcade, navigation, streaming radio, etc, etc.

    That's where the similarities end. You get the "Tesla" experience with either car. Tesla does not and never has built "luxury" cars. They do not compare to true luxury brands. They're value is in the tech. But, the Model S is a far more solid built car with far superior build quality. To me, the Model 3 felt like a bucket of bolts in comparison to the Model S. Far more wind noise. Stiff suspension.
  • edited November 2019

    After about a month in the M3, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. I kept it for 8 months and went back to the Model S and have been in heaven ever since. The biggest things for me, for my use....

    1. Adaptive Air Suspension, MS rides so damn smooth
    2. Range, 370 miles in range and in real world driving, pretty close to the same wh/mi of my M3.
    3. Can hear a pin drop in the Model S. Model 3, tough to hear phone calls around all the noise.
    4. While Tesla isn't a luxury car, the MS drives more comparably to a luxury car. The solid feel of the thing overall is night and day superior to the Model 3. The Model 3 is nearly half the price. There's a reason for that. For me, those reasons were very important and the extra money for the MS was well worth it.
    5. User friendliness. The Model 3 was designed to be a driverless car. It was not designed around the driver. The Model S is built around the driver. Considering we're still years away from true Full Self Driving, the MS is just so much easier in terms of using features. Simple things like a glove box button, windshield wiper stalk, AP distance knob, two extra buttons on the wheel. It's still a minimalist car by comparison to all other brands, but the Model 3 literally has nothing inside other than a screen. I personally hated having to use the screen for EVERYTHING.
  • edited November 2019

    6. Hated the M3 door handles. LOVE the autopresent door handles of the MS. Love the auto open/close hatch.
    7. Air suspension, again for my use, I have to raise the car quite often. This aside from the far better ride quality with the adaptive suspension.
    8. Many seem to like the wide screen of the M3. I personally prefer the vertical screen in the MS. Always struggled to see info at the far right of the M3 screen. MS screen, easy to see everything at a quick glance.
    9. Dash gauge cluster. Many don't car, I do. I love having my driver info directly in front of me, as well as NAV instructions, which are huge for me. Also, I don't lose 1/3rd of my center screen to driver info, nor have all the info I want the center screen for, pushed further away from me to the right since the drive info is locked into the left 1/3rd of the screen. The M3 was absolutely more distracting to drive than the MS is.
  • edited November 2019
    And the finish.... (website only allows limited replies...

    10. Seats a far more comfortable in the MS than the M3
    11. The M3 did something to annoy me on an almost daily basis (phone key didn't work, would have to tap the key to start the car if I waited a couple of minutes before taking off. Car stayed on if you left your foot on the brake when opening the door to get out. Door handles were a pain when hands are full. Not a fan of the gold/bronze glass roof when it gets wet. 7 years in the MS and 4 months back in the MS after the failed M3 experiment and not once have I been annoyed by any of my Model S cars. The M3, I wanted to push that thing over a cliff several times!

    90% of the above is based on my needs out of a car. i work in my car, am in and out of it all day. It's my second office. So user friendliness is huge to me, comfort is huge, peace and quiet is huge. Just have to decide if any of the above is important to you or not and if so, is it worth the extra money. Both cars get you the Tesla experience. One does it with the build quality of a cheaper Dodge/Chevy/Ford, the other drives and feels more like a high end premium car.

    Best of luck in your decision.
  • edited November 2019
    2015P90DI Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

    You address many of my concerns and queries.
  • edited November 2019
    Very interesting read, thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all!
  • edited November 2019
    M3 is better if you want to be able to park in a city center. Also much better handling.

    But my sentimental favorite is the Model S. My first car love.
  • edited November 2019
    The city center parking/driving scenario is a pretty big one in an S vs 3 comparison. The MS is great in a suburban environment.
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