Forums

Used Model S vs New Model 3?

Used Model S vs New Model 3?

We are currently debating between a used Model S (2015) vs a new Model 3. Can someone talk to me about pros/cons of each? What features might we be missing by getting the Model S and vice versa? Any thoughts/suggestions are much appreciated!

rachel.leigh.marion | 23 janvier 2019

We are currently debating between a used Model S (2015) vs a new Model 3. Can someone talk to me about pros/cons of each? What features might we be missing by getting the Model S and vice versa? Any thoughts/suggestions are much appreciated!

hyestar | 24 janvier 2019

the model S is a bigger car

prbroussard | 24 janvier 2019

We got the used 2015 MS. Advantages are free supercharging, bigger car. My wife likes the display both on the big screen and in the drivers view. Disadvantages, it is an AP 1 car so no advances coming our way for self driving.

CEYA GAS | 24 janvier 2019

We have a December 2014 S with AP1. While there are inherent advantages to a new car, you’ll minimize depreciation with the 2015. Also, while it is strictly my opinion, the S is more comfortable to drive in, offers more room, and has more going for it than the more basic 3...

PhillyGal | 24 janvier 2019

I have a 2014 Model S with AP1 that I thought no car in the world could ever stack up to. It's smooth, quiet, has a luxurious ride, fast, high tech and absolutely gorgeous to look at. I would have recommended it to anyone, anywhere, any time.

I also now have a Model 3 first production (long range) and I can't believe that I actually like it more. It's nimble; a real driver's car and a much more reasonable size for daily driving and city living.

That being said: I still don't know what to tell you. For long trips we always take the S. It fits a lot more plus has free supercharging. For my daily driving I never volunteer to swap with my husband, plus the AP 2.0 hardware is little more future proof.

Farzad328 | 24 janvier 2019

Was faced with same decision back in June when my M3 reservation was called- instead I went with a CPO Dec 2014 MS P85DL with AP1 and can say I am very happy with my decision.

Used MS- Pros:
Bigger
Prettier (IMO)
Air Suspension
AWD
Faster
Less Depreciation
Two Displays instead of 1 (smaller) display
Free Supercharging for life
Paid less than New M3
You could make the argument that the MS built in late 2014/2015 has probably had all/most mfg defects worked out via the previous owner (read about M3 initial delivered quality and time it takes to get them addressed)

Used MS- Cons
No AP updates since all new updated only apply to AP2 and above

GJMF | 24 janvier 2019

Hi Rachel,

At the end of 2018 I bought a lightly-used 2016 Model S directly from Tesla. It's still under warranty for a while longer, includes unlimited Supercharging, had every feature on my requirements list, and had most of the features on my wishlist. I've put about 2,000 miles on it so far, covering a fairly wide range of driving conditions, and I have zero regrets. It's a fantastic vehicle.

I decided on a used S after trying out a close friend's 3, and a relative's S. I just don't like the 3. There's too much dependence on the screen - I don't want unnecessary distractions from watching the road while I'm driving. I'm also not envious of the substantial time my friend has had to spend taking his 3 in for meaningful defect remediation, and waiting for replacement parts. In comparison, on the one occasion I had to take my S in for some minor warranty work, it was done and back to me in less than a day.

The S is the largest passenger vehicle I've ever owned, and once in a while that makes parking a little bit more challenging, but the trade-off is worth it to me. I'm most excited about the fact that I can transport my cargo e-bike and both of my kids at the same time - which means we can go bike-camping in all sorts of new places. When my kids and I drove to Disneyland and to visit family for the holidays, we were able to fit our luggage (and presents for family) entirely in the trunk, my laptop in the frunk for better protection against smash-and-grab, and all of this with zero impact to my visibility as a driver and usable space for the kids in the back seats. With my previous vehicle (2005 Prius) and my friend's 3, this is much more challenging.

My S has older Autopilot hardware (AP1), but it still has the #1 most crucial feature for me - traffic-aware cruise control, AKA adaptive cruise control. The Autopilot functionality is fine, and I use it sometimes to reduce driving stress, but it's not a key feature for me. I've tried the newer AP2.5 autopilot, and it's cool but I wouldn't be willing to pay any extra for it.

In a nutshell, I'm happy about getting a used S and would recommend it.

Graham

kerryglittle | 24 janvier 2019

If you need a bigger car for the roominess, luxury,smooth ride, constant stares by other people because they are jealous buy the S. If you need a smaller car for a grocery getter then the model 3 would suit you best. To me its like choosing between a Lexus or a Corolla. Both will get you to where you are going but what would you like to arrive in? :-)

jordanrichard | 24 janvier 2019

Two different animals.

TranzNDance | 24 janvier 2019

I want to drive in an S and arrive in a 3 (for easier parking). :) Actually, I don't know what it's like to drive a 3 so I can't compare there, but I do wish the car were smaller for parking purposes.

rsingh05 | 24 janvier 2019

The cars have very different personalities. The S is. Grand touring sedan (actually hatch). The 3, particularly in Perromwnce trim is a race car with five seats (see recent motor trend test where it beats a Ferrari on a racetrack).

I ended up getting a maxed out P3. I could have bought a new Model S 75D for that price but didn’t not consider that even for a second. The 3 drives like a Porsche or BMW (super sharp handling, more road feel but never harsh). The S drives like a Lexus (much softer and cushier, loose handling)

Also the S has more trunk room and wider but the 3 has more legroom and headroom. Interior room is actually more in the 3(97 cu ft in the 3 vs 94 in the S).

I would really drive both models and see which one speaks to you. They really are different animals.

nwfan | 25 janvier 2019

I also have both Model S and 3.
Like Phillygal I have early production Model 3 and
2017 Model S100D and it's my 2nd Model S.
Model S is my preferred car to drive.
But costs twice as much.

Good luck with your purchase. We use the Model 3 for city driving and
Model S on road trips. Also have free supercharging with the Model S and
not on the Model 3.

If your going with the used Model S. Make sure 4 yr - 50k miles warranty is included and
starts with mileage at time of purchase.
8 year - unlimited mileage warranty on the battery and drive train.

Both Tesla's are fun to drive. It comes down to which you prefer and how you intend
on using the cars. I would not buy either car without autopilot. Model 3 LR version
has about 70 miles more range than the Model S your looking at.

kerryglittle | 25 janvier 2019

@TranzNDance. Thats a very good point. The one minor thing about the S is its size for parking or pulling out of a narrow garage. I find that the only con with the car. But on the highway it just glides down the road. But how many times have we seen old ladies or barely see them on the roads peeking over the steering wheel of their big Lincoln or Cadillac. I figure if they can get around on their boat I surely can. LOL. I guess comparing the models is like trying on a pair of pants. What fits the best and what is the most comfortable. As others have stated they are two completely different animals. Honestly if my S got wrecked or something I would be considering a Model X.

thranx | 25 janvier 2019

If you periodically load anything larger than a bag of groceries, you will appreciate the hatchback of the model S. Or wait for the model Y.

Icepucks | 28 janvier 2019

I was faced with the he same decision. I cancelled my M3 order and purchased 2015 S70 with only 13,800 miles from Tesla. I wanted the smaller car always thinking however the Ms has more room. I should have done more research on that. I’m coming from a BMW 428 and like the smaller sportier M3. My wife thought we needed bigger and the back seat has more room. Actually the M3 has more room in the back seat. Since I’m not sitting back there I didn’t care. I have never had a car this big. Oh well, too late to have buyers remorse. I pick up the car tomorrow having never even driven or seen it. I just wanted a Tesla!

Vegan | 29 janvier 2019

Husband and I were both reservation holders for Model 3. We ended up buying a used Model S instead. And we canceled both Model 3 reservations.

Husband is keeping his ICE for now but is on the EV train and says his next car will be an EV, just probably not a Tesla what with all the problems we've had with the company. Don't get me wrong, the cars are great. But the company is a total shhh-show. And I say this as a stock-holder too. I want Tesla to work, but they just keep making so many bad decisions! They hire inexperienced, uneducated people because they're cheap, but the problem is that it takes them months to do BASIC paperwork that would get done in a week from a regular dealer. There are SOOO many issues.

Pros of buying a CPO Model S:
- more storage room for road trips etc
- higher prestige (seriously, just the door handles mean that everyone oohhs and ahhs over it but not the Model 3)
- buying used means you benefit from depreciation
- if you buy old enough then you can get Free Supercharging for Life
- drives like a comfy lux car

Cons of CPO Model S:
- cannot test drive it before buying
- might have to transport it yourself
- it's going to take forever to get the title (but I've heard that's also an issue with some new owners too)
- takes up more room (can be a serious issue for some people)
- some features not available (fewer cameras, more limited AP, fewer Teslatari games etc)

Pros of new Model 3:
- new and custom exactly to what you want
- possible true self driving features in future (pipe dream IMO)
- can probably still get partial tax credit
- higher range/ more efficient vehicle
- drives like a sports car

Cons of new Model 3:
- you lost out on the $7500 tax credit
- lower prestige (everyone knows the car is supposed to be $35k so people don't look at it like it's an $80k car)
- you're gonna pay way more than $35k on it and take a hit from instant depreciation
- less storage (what good is long range if you don't have room for your travel gear?)

Keep in mind that the Nissan LEAF Plus is coming out later this year. The range is comparable to many CPO Model S cars and it will have nice features like Apple Car and Android Auto. And in 2020 there will be many more other new electric cars available too. All those new cars should still get the full federal tax credit.

I've very happy with my used Model S - the car. It's so comfy and lux feeling. And I just adore that I don't use gas anymore.

vb2309 | 7 novembre 2019

Which version of Model S had Auto Pilot that is still being upgraded over the air, please?

I have to decide between Model 3, costing me £ 48,000 as I include the Full Self Driving Pack, versus a used Model 3.

For me autopilot upgrade is essential, even if it is a pipe dream, I believe it provides safety.

I would appreciate advice from you learned close-knit TESLA owners.

vb2309 | 7 novembre 2019

Which version of Model S had Auto Pilot that is still being upgraded over the air, please?

I have to decide between Model 3, costing me £ 48,000 as I include the Full Self Driving Pack, versus a used Model 3.

For me autopilot upgrade is essential, even if it is a pipe dream, I believe it provides safety.

I would appreciate advice from you learned close-knit TESLA owners.

vb2309 | 7 novembre 2019

Which version of Model S had Auto Pilot that is still being upgraded over the air, please?
I have to decide between Model 3, costing me £ 48,000 as I include the Full Self Driving Pack, versus a used Model 3.
For me autopilot upgrade is essential, even if it is a pipe dream, I believe it provides safety.

I would appreciate advice from you learned close-knit TESLA owners.

TSLC | 7 novembre 2019

I think that depending on who you ask and whether the group is biased toward the S or 3 will result in different answers. I would listen closely to the advice of those who have had or currently own both cars as they are likely to have a more balanced perspective.

For me, if I was purchasing today, I might not buy either one and certainly not before the truck reveal.

The Y is a more practical car and likely a better value than either, but does not and will never offer the prestige and curb appeal of an S. A 3 only makes sense to me at under 40K, because cars above that price point need to balance all the required aspects of more premium cars, which for me are performance, practicality and prestige.

The only vehicle that perfectly balances all three in Tesla's line up for me is an S. If the S is too old however, it becomes too light on features, with possibility higher maintenance concerns then the balance shifts toward newer offerings. There are substantial benefits to owning a new car with the latest features that should not be taken lightly at the same price point.

The question is simply what aspects of Tesla ownership are most important to you?

TeslaTap.com | 7 novembre 2019

@vb2309 - This guide has all the dates of various Model S variants: https://teslatap.com/articles/autopilot-processors-and-hardware-mcu-hw-d...

Both AP1 and AP2 are still being updated. To get FSD, you'll need AP2. You can buy FSD if the HW2.x car doesn't have it, and buying FSD will get a future new AP processor, likely in the next 6 months or so.

OurTesla | 7 novembre 2019

My '14 is pre-AP and what I don't have I don't miss. I'm a driver so I don't need AP anyway. My S has a "P" in front of the 85 and it drives, corners and accelerates better than any BMW I've had in 25 years of BMW(s) ownership.

I'm amazed (and amused) about the OTA updates showing up every couple weeks - some good some meh. The fact my car actually updates to 2019 standards for key updates is what driving these cars is all about to me. Except the cost to drive it. No wait - the random looks I get (not used to that...). Or could it be the curiosity people have just about everywhere I go? Quick answer YES to all.

Loco_Nomad | 7 novembre 2019

I had a chance to buy M3 RWD but decided to go with classic S85 RWD, reasons:
1. Hatchback
2. Huge frunk
3. Huge trunk
4. Dash screen
5. A little bit bigger interior
6. Air suspension
7. Sunroof

Disadvantages :
1. Older model
2. Older MCU
3. Lack of autopilot

That is it, those "disadvantages" weren't a deal breaker since I don't really care about AP or MCU2 games... I needed a car that still has warranty, has low milage and big enough for a family of 4. And SC replaced all the small defects including new motor, new door handles, new windshield, new MCU, new MCU screen, got free LTE upgrade and small things here and there all under warranty and now I have pretty much new car LOL so yeah, getting used MS vs new M3 was 100000% worth it.

Wilber | 7 novembre 2019

I have a 2014 MS and a 2019 LR AWD M3. A couple PROS for the M3 that i didnt see mentioned above:
1. Much better sound system
2. Refresh rate for map on the screen is MUCH faster in the M3.
3. Driver seat is more comfortable in the M3.

Scoopok | 8 novembre 2019

I have a 2015 P85D with 72,000 miles and it will be 5 years old in March. It has been a great car! the only issue has been the door handles which have been repaired at no charge. Bought my wife a Model 3 a year ago and we take it around town to events for ease of parking. I like the S better but she prefers the 3. Sound system and seats are better in M3. I also enjoy AP2 in M3.
I rarely travel distances so rarely use the free SC available in my S.

That all said I am now considering selling my S and buying and X because in my older age the S is getting more difficult for friends and me to get in and out of all seats.

I am very concerned about how much I will get for a 125,000 car that I've had 5 years with 72k miles. any thoughts appreciated.

Bighorn | 8 novembre 2019

@Scoopak
From Tesla, you are rightly concerned. Probably somewhere in the 20s or low 30s, my WAG. You can get more selling it yourself, if you have it in you. I quickly reconsidered a trade when I was offered 20k for my 2013 P85+, though I had twice as many miles at the time. The free mileage is worth more to me than that. I've driven another 125k miles since.