2017 Tesla Model 3 vs Model S differences: Side-by-side comparison

With the Tesla Model 3, the car maker hopes to push into the mainstream. See how different it is to the Model S in this side-by-side comparison gallery.

2017 Tesla Model 3 - front, whiteModel 3
Tesla Model S update (2016) - front, redModel S F/L
The Model 3 and Model S were clearly designed by the same team, but the Model 3 has a flatter nose and more abrupt tail.
2017 Tesla Model 3 - sideModel 3
Tesla Model S update (2016) - side, profileModel S F/L
That's mainly down to its much shorter overall length (down 286mm or 11.1 inches). The Model 3 also has a shorter wheelbase and is less wide, but it is a smidgen taller.
2017 Tesla Model 3 - rear, whiteModel 3
Tesla Model S update (2016) - rear, grayModel S F/L
The Model 3 has a stubbier rear end, and a fully enclosed boot/trunk. The Model S, on the hand, has more flowing lines, and a rear hatch for improved cargo carrying capability.
2017 Tesla Model 3 - interior, dashboardModel 3
2016 Tesla Model facelift - interior, dashboardModel S F/L
The Model S made waves with its large portrait touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, which controlled almost all functions, including infotainment, navigation and climate control. The Model 3 goes a step further. It has a portrait screen in the middle of the dashboard, and no instrument cluster ahead of the driver. Instead, read outs in the top-left corner of the central touchscreen are all the driver has to go on.
2017 Tesla Model 3Model 3
2016 Tesla Model faceliftModel S F/L
The Model S is available in both rear- and all-wheel drive. The Model 3 is only available in rear-wheel drive form, for now.
2017 Tesla Model 3Model 3
2016 Tesla Model facelift - new \"grille\" and front bumperModel S F/L
Both the Model S and Model 3, being electric vehicles, don't have a need for a traditional large grille. That said, they both do feature cooling air intakes in the lower portion of the front bumper.
2017 Tesla Model 3Model 3
Tesla Model SModel S F/L
The Model 3 is significantly shorter than the Model S. As such, the Model 3 only seats five people, whereas the Model S can be equipped with rear-facing jump seats, which allows it carry two extra kids in the rear.
2017 Tesla Model 3Model 3
Tesla Model SModel S F/L
At the time of writing, a fully optioned Model 3 (US$59,500) is cheaper than the most basic Model S 75 (US$69,500). Keep in mind, Tesla is deliberately going light on options and derivatives to start with because it has had problems scaling production up in the past, and it has huuuge plans for the Model 3.
2017 Tesla Model 3Model 3
Tesla Model SModel S F/L
The standard 50kWh Model 3 has a 220mi (354km) EPA range, and the Long Range 75kWh model has a 310mi (499km) range and 5.1s 0-60mph time. The base Model S has a 75kWh battery, 249mi (400km) range, and a 4.3s 0-60mph time.

Dimensions (vs Model S)

Length: 4,690mm (-286mm) | 184.8 inches (-11.1 inches)
Width: 1,930mm (-34mm) | 76.1 inches (-1.2 inches)
Height: 1,440mm (+5mm) | 56.8 inches (+0.3 inches)
Wheelbase: 2,880mm (-80mm) | 113.2 inches (-3.3 inches)


2017 Tesla Model 3



2016-2017 Tesla Model S facelift




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Comparison
Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]