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By the end of 2022, the Tesla Model Y may be on its way to becoming the world’s best-selling car. That’s not just best-selling in the EV market, either. The honor goes for both electric and gas-powered cars alike. It’s a remarkable feat, and one that Tesla will have earned by offering multiple trims of the Model Y. These trims are the Model Y Long Range and the Model Y Performance. But, when it comes to the Long Range vs Performance, what differentiates the two?

Looking beyond the obvious difference in names, it’s worth outlining the distinguishing factors between these two Model Y trims. How do the two stack up against each other in a full comparison? What about a side-by-side analysis of their respective specs? Are there pros and cons to each trim consumers should know about? Let’s break this down in greater detail below, beginning with a full comparison of the Long Range vs Performance.

Side by Side Comparison: Long Range vs Performance

Model Y Long RangeModel Y Performance
ReleasedMarch 2020March 2020
Range326 mi.303 mi.
Base Price$60,190$65,190
0-60 mph4.2 seconds3.5 seconds
Top Speed135 mph155 mph
Combined Horsepower384 hp456 hp

Model Y Long Range vs Performance: Key Differences

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y has a 15″ Center Touchscreen with tempered glass and anti-scratch screen protection.

©Yauhen_D/Shutterstock.com

While both the Model Y Long Range and the Model Y Performance started shipping in March of 2020, they are very much not the same. These two trims are distinct, and not just in name only.

Range

Beyond this, though, the differences between the two start to stack up. The Model Y Long Range — as you might have guessed — has the longer range between charges. On the other hand, the Model Y Performance has the faster acceleration and higher top speed. What’s more, the Model Y Performance has a higher combined horsepower between its dual engines and a higher base price to boot.

Capacity

Looking beyond the details pertaining to the cars’ respective speeds, there are a few other distinguishing features to note. For one, the Long Range has space for seating up to seven. The Performance, by comparison, only has enough room for seating of up to five. The Performance is slightly heavier than the Long Range. It also requires larger tires compared to the Long Range: 21″ instead of 19″-20″.

Long Range Vs Performance: What are the Similarities

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y Performance is a bit faster off the block than its sibling the Long Range AWD.

©iStock.com/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto

While both are distinct brands, that’s not to say the two don’t share some similarities, however. For instance, both trounce the range of the standard range Model Y. Additionally, both come with the same display, the same amount of storage space, and the same seats and color schemes on the interior.

Long Range Vs Performance: 5 Must-know Facts

  • A Standard Range Model Y exists, but it’s only available in a small fraction of Tesla’s markets compared to the Long Range and the Performance trims.
  • The Model Y is the latest in Tesla’s wide range of offerings, including the Model S, the Model 3, and the Model X.
  • Tesla’s Model Y borrows many elements from the Tesla Model 3, inducing its interior design and powertrain.
  • Resting comfortably between the smaller Model 3 and the larger Model X, the Tesla Model Y is marketed as a compact crossover.
  • The Long Range and Performance trims debuted on the same date in March of 2020. The Standard Range later became available in January of the following year.

The History of the Tesla Model Y

When Tesla unveiled the Model Y in March of 2019, the original plan was to have four trims. These are the Standard Range, the Long Range with Rear-Wheel Drive, the Long Range with All-Wheel Drive, and the Performance. However, at various stages of development, both the Standard Range and the Long Range RWD were curbed in favor of the Long Range AWD and the Performance. These two trims came out in March of 2020. The Standard Range later returned in January of 2021 but is not as widely available as the Long Range and the Performance.

While Model Y officially didn’t arrive until 2020, Elon Musk had been prepping it since 2013, when the model’s trademark was filed. Musk publicly teased the Y in 2015, 2017, and 2018 ahead of the official announcement in 2019. Luckily for all those in attendance at the presentation, test drives were immediately available after the event. The road to the Y might have been long and peppered with changes of plan, but it all paid off on that March day in 2019.

Model Y production is at the Tesla’s Fremont plant in California. Additionally, the Ys became the first Tesla model to be manufactured in Europe once the Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany, began operations in March of 2022. These Model Ys are equipped with the Tesla 2170 battery, which can also be found in the Model 3. Conversely, Model Ys coming out of theirTexas Gigafactory will be equipped with the new-and-improved 4680 Tesla battery.

The Success of the Model Y

Despite the debate over the Long Range vs Performance, the Model Y at large is still hugely successful. While Elon Musk is notorious for making promises and predictions that don’t always come true, his foresight with the Model Y was certainly impressive. As far back as 2016, Musk predicted that demand for Model Ys would surpass the demand for Model 3s. (The numbers he threw out were between 500,000 and one million units a year.) While some scoffed at Musk’s big estimate, all these years later, he might not be that far off.

“Might” is the key word here, as Tesla has not revealed any substantial sales figures for the Model Y yet. However, on a call with investors and shareholders, Musk claimed that the Model Y was well on its way to being the highest-selling vehicle in America. That distinction is currently held by the Toyota Corolla, averaging around 1.15 million units sold annually. If Musk is to be believed, then the Model Y must be somewhere not far behind the Corolla’s numbers.

We also know that the Model Y’s sales have surpassed the Model 3’s. Moreover, we know that the Model 3 sells around 250,000-300,000 vehicles a quarter. That puts the Model Y above those numbers while remaining markedly less than the Corolla’s 1.15 million a year. There’s no doubt Tesla can handle it, either. With the combined power of the Gigafactories in Texas, Germany, California, and Shanghai, Tesla can manufacture a million Model Ys a year.

Pros and Cons of the Model Y Long Range vs Performance

Long Range

ProsCons
The Long Range offers a longer mileage between chargesTop speeds of the Long Range are markedly less than the Performance
The base price of the Long Range is lower than that of the PerformanceThe Long Range’s 0-60 mph is almost a second slower than the Performance
Long Range Model Ys are readily available nationwideLong Range Model Ys have less horsepower than the Performance trim
The Long Range is slightly lighter than the PerformanceThe interior of the Long Range is nearly indistinguishable from the Performance and the Model 3 alike

Performance

ProsCons
The Model Y Performance trim has a higher top speed than the Long RangePerformance costs $5,000 more than the Long Range
The Performance has a much faster 0-60 mph acceleration than the Long RangeThe Performance offers less mileage between charges than the Long Range
The combined horsepower of the Performance far exceeds the Long Range’sThe Long Range has room for seven, while the Performance only has room for five
Gives you all the interior specs of the Long Range with all the benefits of the PerformanceThe Performance is marginally heavier than the Long Range trim

Tesla Model Y Long Range vs Performance: Which Version Is Superior?

Even with these details, the Long Range vs Performance debate is still a tough call. How can you possibly pick between two solid and dependable trims for an equally solid and dependable EV? Both are bestsellers, have a similar interior, and came out the same day. Sure, the Performance trim has the higher top speed and faster acceleration. Not to mention, the Performance trim has the larger horsepower. But, when all is said and done, the Long Range offers several features that are just flat-out better. Better range, cheaper price, more seating, smaller tires, lighter overall weight. Ultimately, you just have to hand it to the Long Range Model Y.

Tesla Model Y Long Range vs Performance: What’s The Difference? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many different trims does the Model Y have?

The short answer? Two: the Long-Range and the Performance. The more complicated answer? There were initially four, then three, then two, and now three again. (The Long Range AWD and the Performance have always been available, while the Long-Range RWD was canceled and the Standard Range has come and gone.)

Which Model Y trim is cheaper?

The Long Range trim is at least $5,000 cheaper than the Performance.

Which Model Y trim came first, the Long Range or the Performance?

The Long Range and the Performance trim both hit the streets on the same day in March of 2020.

What is the newest Tesla model?

The Model Y is currently the latest Tesla model (at least until the Cybertruck debuts and the Roadster returns).

Is the Model Y the best-selling car in America?

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the country, but the Model Y is reportedly not far behind.

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