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Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: Full Comparison with Specs, Price, Range, And More

Hey there! If you‘re trying to decide between Tesla‘s ultra-popular Model 3 sedan and their newer Model Y crossover SUV, then you‘ve come to the right place. I‘m going to walk you through a detailed, side-by-side comparison of these two amazing electric vehicles to help you choose the best option for your needs and budget.

Model 3 vs Model Y: At a Glance

First, let‘s quickly summarize the key differences between the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y:

  • The Model 3 is Tesla‘s affordable electric sedan with seating for 5 adults.
  • The Model Y is Tesla‘s electric compact SUV with optional 3rd row seating for up to 7.
  • The Model Y has more cargo capacity, headroom, and ground clearance.
  • The Model 3 is lighter weight with better handling and acceleration.
  • The Model Y starts around $18,000 higher in price than the base Model 3.

As you can see, the Model Y trades the sleeker sedan design of the 3 for more practicality, space, and versatility. But the 3 is lighter, lower, and more agile. Let‘s explore some key differences in more detail.

Size and Styling: Sedan vs SUV

The most obvious difference between these two models is their exterior shape and styling. The Model 3 has a classic midsize 4-door sedan silhouette that maximizes aerodynamic efficiency. It sits lower to the ground, with a total height of 56.8 inches.

In contrast, the Model Y features a taller, boxier SUV shape that provides more headroom and cargo capacity. The Y has a total height of 63.9 inches – over 7 inches taller than the 3. The Y‘s seating position is also higher, making it easier to get in and out of while providing better visibility for drivers.

Dimensions Model 3 Model Y
Wheelbase 113.2 in 113.8 in
Length 184.8 in 187 in
Width 72.8 in 75.6 in
Height 56.8 in 63.9 in

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Model Y‘s larger SUV design pays major dividends when it comes to passenger and cargo space. Here‘s how the two models compare:

  • The Model 3 seats up to 5 adults, while the Model Y can seat 5-7 with its optional 3rd row.
  • The Model 3 trunk holds 15 cubic feet of cargo vs. 68 cubic feet for the Model Y thanks to its hatchback design.
  • With the 2nd row seats folded, the Model Y provides 76 cubic feet of storage. The Model 3 offers 25 cubic feet.
  • The Model Y also offers more front and rear legroom, shoulder room and headroom throughout the cabin.

Clearly, the Model Y offers far more flexibility for passengers and gear. Families or outdoor enthusiasts needing to haul lots of cargo should gravitate towards the Y.

Performance and Handling

In terms of outright performance, the Model 3 generally has an edge over the Model Y. Independent tests by outlets like Car & Driver have clocked the 3 accelerating from 0-60 mph up to a full second faster than the Y in some comparisons. The 3 also posts higher lateral g-forces on the skidpad, benefiting from a lower center of gravity.

Here‘s a look at how some variants stack up:

Model 0-60 mph 1/4 Mile Top Speed
Model 3 Performance 3.1 s 11.8 s 162 mph
Model Y Performance 3.5 s 11.9 s 155 mph

The lower and lighter Model 3 design gives it better dynamics and agility around turns. But make no mistake – both models offer incredible, sports-car like acceleration thanks to instant torque from their electric powertrains.

Battery, Motors, and Range

The Model 3 and Model Y utilize the same lithium-ion battery pack technology, offering capacities of 50-82 kWh depending on the model. Their electric motors are also similar, providing excellent power and immediate response when accelerating. The Performance variants utilize a 3-motor configuration with one motor at the front and two at the rear axle.

When it comes to driving range, the EPA rates the Long Range versions at 358 miles for the Model 3 and 330 miles for the Model Y. However, independent range tests indicate a slight advantage for the Model 3:

  • Model 3 LR: EPA 358 miles; Real-world ~325 miles
  • Model Y LR: EPA 330 miles; Real-world ~300 miles

The Model 3 can eke out a bit more range from a full charge, likely thanks to its sleeker aerodynamics and weight advantage. Still, both deliver impressively long range that far exceeds most other EVs on the market today.

Charging Time and Energy Efficiency

With their identical battery packs, the Model 3 and Model Y recharge at very similar rates. Both can add about 180 miles of range from a 30 minute fast charging session at Supercharger stations. Full recharges take about 10-11 hours from a home outlet or around an hour at higher power Level 2 chargers.

But when it comes to driving efficiency, the numbers give the Model 3 an advantage once again. Here‘s a look at the energy consumption figures from the EPA tests:

  • Model 3 LR: 25 kWh/100 miles
  • Model Y LR: 28 kWh/100 miles

Real-world driving seems to reflect slightly better efficiency and range for the Model 3 over the very similar Model Y SUV. Aerodynamics play a key role here.

Autopilot and Infotainment

Tesla‘s vehicles lead the industry when it comes to advanced driver assistance and technology features. Both the Model 3 and Model Y come equipped with:

  • Autopilot – Provides traffic-aware cruise control and lane centering on most roads.
  • Future Self-Driving Capability – Option to add FSD for automated driving features.
  • Center Touchscreen – Large 15" cinematic display with entertainment, apps, navigation, and vehicle controls.
  • Over-the-Air Updates – Software improvements delivered seamlessly via the internet.

The Model Y does offer a few small tech advantages over the 3. With its added height, the center display can be positioned for better visibility. And as an SUV, the Y provides slightly better ground clearance to utilize Autopilot on rougher roads. But overall, their advanced tech offerrings are remarkably similar.

Cost and Trims: How Pricing Compares

Now for the all-important pricing info. The Model Y does command a significant price premium over the Model 3 – to the tune of around $18,000 more to start. There are fewer trim options for the Y as well currently. Here‘s an overview:

Model 3 Pricing

  • Rear-Wheel Drive: $47,000
  • Long Range AWD: $57,990
  • Performance: $63,990

Model Y Pricing

  • Long Range AWD: $65,990
  • Performance: $69,990

Given the similarities between the two, the Model 3 provides strong value for your dollar, especially considering its driving dynamics advantage. But some buyers may find the extra space, seating, and capabilities of the Y worth the price premium.

Model 3 vs Model Y: Which is Best For You?

So in summary – which of these amazing Tesla EVs is the right pick for you? Here are a few key points to consider:

  • The Model Y is best if you need max cargo room, seating flexibility, or light off-road ability.
  • The Model 3 is ideal for those wanting max range, performance, handling and value.
  • Analyze your budget, seating needs, lifestyle and performance priorities.
  • Take both models on an extended test drive if possible.

You really can‘t go wrong with either Tesla‘s groundbreaking Model 3 sedan or versatile new Model Y SUV. I hope this detailed comparison has helped highlight which model aligns best with your own wants and needs. Feel free to reach out with any other questions!


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