There are few car brands, let alone EV (electric vehicle) makers, that are as famous as Tesla. Although Tesla’s firebrand CEO brings it enough attention all by himself, the car company is built on its lineup of best-selling cars. Currently, Tesla sells four models, including the S, 3, X, and Y (apparently, the acronym was intentional), with more to come. Today, we are going to be comparing two of the most popular models, the Model 3 and the Model Y. By the end, you should know exactly what makes these models different, as well as have some insight as to which one works best for your lifestyle. Let’s get started.

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: Side by Side Comparison

Model 3Model Y
PriceStarts at $46,990Starts at $65,990
Range358 miles330 miles
Size5-passenger sedan. 7-passenger SUV.
Top Speed162 mph135-155 mph
Bonus featuresAutopilot, sentry mode, app control, premium interior. Autopilot, sentry mode, app control, premium interior.
Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y
Tesla Model Y offers a very advanced Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system feature as standard.

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: What’s the difference?

The Model 3 and Y are both consumer-facing models that Tesla has produced with the intention of rolling out EVs to the masses. The 3 is the company’s take on an eclectic sedan, while the Y is styled after an SUV. Both models are similar in many regards and are marketed towards the same consumer price range (when compared to the Roadster, S, or X) as one another. Still, there are still some differences that are worth knowing.

Size

When it comes to size, the Model Y is quite a bit larger. This should come as no surprise since it is the brand’s SUV model, while the 3 is the sedan. As listed on their website, the 3 has 23 cubic feet of cargo space and seating for five adults. The Y has 76 cubic feet of cargo space and seating for five but offers an upgraded third-row option, bringing the available seating to seven if needed.

From a visual perspective, both cars are extremely similar. Still, it’s clear that the Y is a bit bigger, notably in height. The Y rides higher and has some more clearance, perfect for doing things you normally do with an SUV. The 3 has a lower profile and is more suited to city driving, although both are smaller when compared to other SUVs on the market.

In addition to trunk and seating space, both cars feature a “frunk” that allows for storage where the engine would normally be.

Price

Both the 3 and Y are expensive enough to be considered luxury cars. Still, these models aren’t unreasonably expensive when compared to even stock models of other foreign car brands, electric or not. There are a few options available for each, and all have various prices associated with them. Here are the current options:

Model 3Price
Rear-Wheel Drive$46,990
Long Range AWD$57,990
Performance$62,990
Model YPrice
Long Range AWD$65,990
Performance$69,990

Overall, the Model Y is a bit more expensive than the Model 3, but you are getting some added size as a result. It’s important to know that there are a few add-ons that can increase the price of any model by quite a bit.

Important specifications

Both the Model 3 and the Model Y use the same motors, but the configuration of those motors will impact the overall specifications. For example, the rear-wheel drive Model 3 will have different 0-60 times and different top speeds when compared to the long-range and performance models.

Model 3RangeTop speed0-60
Rear-Wheel Drive272 miles140 mph5.8 seconds
Long Range AWD358 miles145 mph4.2 seconds
Performance315162 mph3.1 seconds
Model YRangeTop speed0-60
Long Range AWD330 miles135 mph4.8 seconds
Performance303 miles155 mph3.5 seconds

Overall, the 3 is a bit faster than the Y, but the range is about even, depending on the model. Regardless, the 0-60 times are incredibly fast, even if they don’t look it from the charts. For comparison, a 2021 Honda Accord has a 0-60 of 7.1 seconds. Additionally, the torque on an electric motor is instant, giving you that roller coaster feeling even when taking off from a stoplight.

Features

When it comes to features, both models are essentially identical. They both have upgrades, options, and features, but neither has anything that the other doesn’t. The standard features include:

  • Autopilot
  • sentry mode
  • app control
  • premium interior (heated front and back seats, glass roof, vegan leather, etc.)
  • central control screen (movies, television, and a lot more)

The only real feature that is different between the two is the option to add an additional row to the Y, bringing the total seating from 5 to 7. This will run extra when creating a custom order, however.

2022 Tesla Model 3
The 2022 Tesla Model 3 boasts a heated steering wheel and all heated seats on all trim levels.

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: 10 Must-know facts

Model 3

  • Three model options
  • $5,000-$10,000 cheaper than the Model Y
  • Between 272 and 358 miles of range
  • Sedan design with five seats
  • 5.5 inches of clearance
  • Autopilot and all other features available for upgrade

Model Y

  • Two model options
  • $5,000-$10,000 more expensive than the Model 3
  • Between 303 and 330 miles of range
  • SUV design with five seats, upgradable to seven
  • 6.6 inches of clearance
  • Autopilot and all other features available for upgrade

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: Summary

Overall, the Model 3 and the Model Y are more similar than they are different. The Model 3 offers a sedan-sized electric vehicle with slightly better performance due to its smaller size. The Model Y offers an SUV-sized electric vehicle with more clearance and storage space at the cost of a little performance.

Aside from size, the major determining factor between the two is the price. On average, you are going to spend more getting Model Y than you are a Model 3, especially if you don’t customize them. This increased price doesn’t come with extra features, just more space and a larger footprint.

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: Which one is best for you?

If you are in the market for a new EV and are deciding between these two cars, you can’t go wrong either way. They are well-tested and have raving consumer reviews. Additionally, Tesla has a history of constantly sending over-the-air updates to their cars, always adding useful (and sometimes silly) features. The determining factor in deciding between these two is your lifestyle.

The Model 3 is great for:

  • the daily commuter
  • the performance seeker
  • the budget conscious Tesla fan
  • the first-time EV owner

The Model Y is great for:

  • the family with kids
  • the traveler
  • the outdoorsy
  • those who always need extra car space

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y: Full Comparison with Specs, Price, Range, And More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Tesla Model Y more expensive than Model 3?

The Model Y is generally more expensive than the base models of the Model 3.

Is the Model 3 better than the Y?

The Model 3 has a better 0-60 time and top speed, but it’s a smaller car. One isn’t better, they are just different.

Can you negotiate the price for Tesla?

You can’t negotiate Tesla prices when buying from Tesla.

How can you tell the difference between a Tesla Model 3 and a Model Y?

Model 3s are lower to the ground, have a flatter top, and are smaller overall. Model Ys are higher up, have a higher domed roof, and are larger overall.

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  • Tom's Guide Available here: https://www.tomsguide.com/news/tesla-model-3-vs-tesla-model-y-whats-the-difference
  • Tesla Model 3 Available here: https://www.tesla.com/model3
  • Tesla Model Y Available here: https://www.tesla.com/modely