Model 3

Long Range or Performance Model????

I am going to be ordering my Tesla model 3 in the next couple months, and am trying to decide between both. I have driven the long range with 19's and the Performance model. I love the power in the performance model, and can really tell the difference in how it drives. It's like they map the motor different, which changes the driving dynamic completely. My reservations our, large wheels with low profile tires, and brakes I will never use. I currently drive a 2018 Audi Sq5 with 21's. The ride is terrible and the tires were rocks after 20k miles on them. I like the look of the long range with the new 19's, but I also like the performance looks, and more power. I live in Southern CA, I don't take road trips, and I wont take it to a race track. My thought is that I would not regret getting either, and would be happy. The costs of the car is not a factor for me either way. Please help me make my decision. =) Thank You


  • Sounds like you would prefer the extra miles. So long range would be my suggestion. Never driven a P myself but the LR dual motor is plenty fast for me.
  • The low profile tires have a lower amount of sidewall flex when driving high speeds (80 mph or more) through fast turns, such as you'd do on a track, or winding mountain roads. My first M3 (Jan 2019) was a AWD Long Range with 18" aero wheels. My next M3 will be a Performance. I really like the looks of the 20" uberturbines it comes with, but I've also got a set of 18" Martian wheels on order. They fit over the Performance brake calipers. I'm not sure which set of wheels I'm going to like best right now. You can see a really good YouTube review of the Martian wheels over here: Video by Kyle on the Out of Spec Motoring channel.
  • At the time I ordered my LR M3 the price difference between the LR and performance was much steeper than it is now, plus I had some fear that insurance would be higher on the performance (perhaps a data record of more aggressive deivers?). But now the price difference is more modest, especially accounting for it already coming with non-standard wheels. To be truthful, after you have your Tesla - you start to notice other Teslas with much more scrutiny. There is some vanity involved when you see one 'nicer' than what you have. All things considered, not getting the performance is now a regret of mine. Since you noted money is not a big factor, I think you would be happier with the performance.

    My two cents.
  • Thank you. That was very helpful. I agree, the price difference is not that much. I think the insurance will be almost the same as well.
  • Get the regular LR and then pay the $2k for performance boost. Will give you the speed you want without the extra stuff you don’t need and better resale because ultimately range is king on an electric vehicle and the 3/10 of a second difference between performance and acceleration boost won’t matter
  • LR for sure. Extra miles are very helpful.
  • I just ordered my M3 LR with the 19” sport wheels, precisely because I was done with the 20” wheels I had on my old Chrysler 300. They were beautiful wheels, and looked great on the car, but the rims were easily scratched when you pulled up too close to curbs. The tires were big, so the ride wasn’t an issue. The stock 18” wheels on the M3 would probably provide a smoother ride, but I think the wheels are ugly.
  • I mildly regretted not buying Performance versions back in 2018, until the Acceleration Boost was offered for the LR AWD version that we bought at the end of 2019. As an aside, our first Model 3 (September 2018) would have come with free lifetime Supercharging if it were a Performance version, but we installed a home charger, so Supercharging would have been limited to road trips. I paid less than $500 thus far for Supercharging for that Model 3, so again, not much regret. The LR AWD with Acceleration Boost is plenty fast.
  • I posted the same question here before I ordered my M3. I ended up going with the long range because I really liked how the 19" wheels looked with the bright trim and also the suggestion to add the performance boost afterward.

    When I took delivery there was a M3P (blue with black interior) parked next to my M3 LR (blue with white interior) so I was able to compare the option choices I made in person.

    I am very very happy I went with the LR. Oh, and I haven't added the performance boost either. No need to.
  • Since you mention you don’t road trip (extra range isn’t an issue), and the price differential doesn’t matter, the Performance looks like a no-brained for you.

    I ordered and took delivery of the Performance back in late 2018, and I never looked back. I know I’d be still kicking myself if I hadn’t.

    You related your experience with the larger wheels on your Audi, so you may want to opt for the “stealth” Performance model that doesn’t come with the 20s, performance suspension, larger brake calipers, etc. But I will say my own experience has been that there is little difference in ride comfort over even the 18s on these cars. But again, that’s going to be a personal thing.

    I wouldn’t change one iota of the complete experience of the Performance Model 3, all in.
  • I am on my 3rd Tesla - 2012 Model S P85, 2018 Model 3 LR RWD and now 2020 Model 3 LR Dual Motor with Power Boost. I think this car has the perfect balance of power and range. The bigger wheels look nicer but the stock 18" have a much better ride especially with the 3rd world roads of Northern CA.
  • If I were to do it over, I'd have purchased FSD on an LR rather than the performance upgrade. At the time, they were equivalently priced.
  • M3P hands down. You liked the handling and could tell the difference. It also hangs closer to the ground (about 1/2" - you don't get that with software performance boost on LR AWD). No issues with low profile tires here, almost 30k miles, SoCal. The brakes do look awesome, much appreciated in emergency braking, you will get to use them from time to time.
    Let us know what you decide, see you around!
  • Went from an 18 long range with 19" wheels to a 20 M3P with 20" wheels, really enjoy the better handling and acceleration. Tar strips are a little more noticable, but not enough to make me regret my decision. Did give up about 20 miles of range though.
  • I appreciate all the feedback here. Very mixed, but valid responses. I will definitely keep you updated. I am sure I will become a long time forum member. 😁
  • Don’t they sell the stealth M3 anymore? That was the Performance model with 18” wheels. The stealth M3, if available as an off menu option, would fit the needs of the OP perfectly. I understand Magic bought a stealth M3 and seems to be happy with it. Its worth a phone call or visit to the Tesla showroom to inquire about the availability of a 2021 stealth.
  • Do M3P models come with A/S or summer tires? I have no use for summer tires, so hopefully the former. I just bought a 2021 M3 LR for my wife, and I'm considering either an S LR or M3P for myself, but need to drive both first. I'm in Austin now, but no S models at all, so it'll take time before I can even decide on which model. I want (ultra high performance) A/S tires, so hopefully the 20s on the M3P are that. The new wheels on the S LR are awful, but don't want the huge 21s, especially for what Tesla is asking ($4,500, I think). Don't like messing with my cars in that regard, and neither having to change tires and get the wheels messed up, so factory wheels and tires are an important decision for me.
  • @elptxjc - M3P comes with summer tires.
  • Just for some of you that brought up the old "stealth" model that used to be available. It has been a while since they offered that option. I would definitely consider it, if it was still available.
  • I went with the AWD M3, mainly do to the larger range, but I also didn't want to deal with the potential issues with the larger wheels on the performance model. Plus, at the time the performance model was quite a bit more expensive and I was more interested in FSD. For me, the perfect option would have been a stealth with 19" wheels, but I didn't know that was an option when I bought mine.
  • Yes, the 19 inch option on the stealth Performance would be a perfect compromise for those concerned about the tires. You’d still get some of the “look” and handling of the standard Performance, with at least a little bit more tire sidewall.
  • edited January 18
    I have a stealth with 19" sport wheels. :)

    I can say it has been an awesome car as a daily driver and tapping the accel pedal when I need/want it. I also wanted the clearance and the bit softer ride.

    I thought about removing the red line and the trunk emblem to be truly stealth but vanity won't let me. lol
  • Have a late 2019 P with 20" wheels. Love how it looks and drives. That's all...
  • Question about the M3 LR Performance boost option... I have a 2021 LR, and love it. The P-boost might be fun, although it is plenty quick as is. The M3 Performance advertised range is 316 mi vs 353 for the LR. Does anyone know if the P-boost option reduces potential range, and if so, by how much?
  • The performance boost shouldn't have any effect on range. The range difference in the Performance version is due to wheels and tires, the performance boost doesn't change those. All it does is allow you to draw more power from the battery. It will only effect your range if you drive the car like a maniac.
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