Tesla cheat sheet: Model 3 vs Model Y vs Model X vs Model S

Tesla Model 3
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re planning on buying a Tesla, there is one key thing you should know before you hand over your money. Despite there being only four Tesla cars available for sale, you get a serious amount of choice. 

Our Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y vs Model X vs Model S comparison shows that there are plenty of options and tiers. And these packages aren't just about premium extras; they change what you can expect from a Tesla car’s range, performance, price and delivery time. So here’s a rundown of the different Tesla configurations you can get, and how that changes things.

Tesla Model 3 vs Model Y vs Model X vs Model S: Prices

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Lowest PriceHighest Pricew/Full Self Driving
Tesla Model 3$46,990$51,490$63,490
Tesla Model 3 Long Range$57,990$61,990$73,990
Tesla Model 3 Performance$61,990$64,990$76,990
Tesla Model Y Long Range$65,990$74,990$86,990
Tesla Model Y Performance$69,990$73,990$85,990
Tesla Model X$120,990$137,490$149,490
Tesla Model X Plaid$138,990$148,990$160,990
Tesla Model S$104,990$113,990$125,990
Tesla Model S Plaid$135,990$144,990$156,990

Tesla Model 3

Tesla model 3 vs model y: power

(Image credit: Tesla)

The standard rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest car Tesla currently sells, with a starting price of $46,990. The Long Range Model 3 costs $57,490 and the Performance Model 3 is the most expensive at $61,990. All these prices rely on you having the car with 18-inch wheels, white or dark gray paintwork and an all-black interior.

It is possible to get the Model 3 in blue, black or multi-coat red, though these options cost an additional $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000, respectively. Changing the interior to black and white is also an option, but costs an additional $1,000.

Finally, Tesla will let you upgrade those 18-inch rims to 19-inch ‘Sport Wheels’ on the Standard and Long Range models. The Performance Model comes with 20-inch wheels as standard, with no option to change them.

Swapping to 19-inch wheels costs $1,500 on both models, but it will impact your range. The standard Model 3 drops from 272 miles to 267 miles with larger wheels, while the Long Range Model 3 suffers an even steeper drop — falling from 358 miles to 334 miles.

That may not seem like a great reason to drop the cash, though past studies have shown that larger wheels do also have better handling. Some people like how they look, too.

Tesla Model Y

tesla model y

(Image credit: Tesla)

Buying a Model Y is for the people who want a more affordable Tesla, but would prefer to have all the extra space and benefits a crossover SUV affords. The cheapest model is the Long Range Model Y, which starts at $65,990, while the performance Model Y can be had from $69,990.

Like the Model 3 this pricing relies on you having the car in white or dark gray, as well as taking the standard-sized wheels — which are 19-inch this time. Blue, Black and multi-coat red are available again, costing the same $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000 as the Model 3. Likewise, the black and white interior is also $1,000.

The Long Range Model Y can be bought with 20-inch wheels for an extra $2,000, though this will drop the range from 330 miles to 318 miles. Meanwhile, the Performance Model Y is only available with 21-inch Überturbine Wheels.

But being a crossover SUV means there’s more on offer. For starters, you have an optional tow hitch capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds for an additional $1,000. The Long Range model also has a seven seat layout option available for an extra $3,000. This will also reduce range from 330 to 326 miles with the 19-inch wheels, or 318 to 314 miles if you have 20-inch rims.

Tesla Model X

tesla model x plaid

(Image credit: Tesla)

If you’re looking for the premium Tesla SUV experience, or just want more room than the Model Y can offer, then there’s the Model X. It’s a gargantuan-sized car that starts at $120,990, provided you buy it in white, take the stock 20-inch wheels, and stick with a five-seat all-black interior. Meanwhile the Model X Plaid starts at $138,990

The color can be changed to black, dark gray or blue, each of which cost an additional $1,500, while multi-coat red is $2,500. You can also upgrade the interior to black and white or cream for $2,000. If you want larger wheels, you’ll end up paying $5,500 for 22-inch Turbine Wheels, which lower the range of the standard Model X from 351 miles to 332 and the range of the Plaid from 335 miles to 313.

The standard Model X has the option to expand seating to six or seven seat layouts. The Plaid is only available with a standard six seat layout, with no option to have it any other way.

Seven seats is the cheapest extra, costing an additional $3,500 and dropping range on 20-inch wheels to 347 miles. Six seats is significantly more expensive, costing an extra $6,500, and lowers the overall range on 20-inch wheels to 348 miles.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid

(Image credit: Tesla)

The Model S is currently Tesla's flagship, and one of the most expensive cars it makes. Prices start at $104,990 for the standard model and $135,990 for the Model S Plaid — again this is reliant on buying the car in white, with the smallest available wheels, and with an all-black interior.

Like the Model X, only white is a free color option, with black, dark gray and blue each costing an extra $1,500. Multi-coat red is also here, with a $2,500 price tag attached. As for wheels you get 19-inch wheels as standard on both, with the option to switch to 21-inch “Arachnid Wheels” for $4,500.

However as ever, the larger wheels cause a decrease in range. On the Model S opting for 21-inch wheels lowers your range from 405 miles to 375. On the Model S Plaid that drops from 396 miles to 348. 

The only other way to change the price tag is to change the color of the interior. All-black comes as standard, but black & white or cream options are available for an additional $2,000.

Also, all Model S units made from 2014 onward have been recalled due to a faulty front-trunk latch which may become undone suddenly.

'Full Self Driving' Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

(Image credit: Tesla)

The one constant among Tesla optional extras is the availability of the ‘Full Self Driving’ Autopilot add-on. This $12,000 extra is available on all Tesla cars, including the still-unreleased Cybertruck you can’t actually buy at the moment. 

Tesla Model S and Model X owners in the U.S. can also opt for the Full Self Driving subscription, which costs $200 a month, has no contract obligations, and can be found in the Tesla app.

Full Self Driving is still a Level 2 autonomous driving system that requires driver attention at all times, and isn’t actual autonomy. But it’s still one step closer than what Basic Autopilot, which is featured on all Tesla cars as standard, can offer.

With Full Self Driving you gain the ability to Autopark your car, summon it from its parking space, automatically change lanes on the highway, as well as something Tesla calls ‘Navigate on Autopilot’. That essentially allows your Tesla to drive by itself on the highway, from on-ramp to off-ramp. There’s also traffic light and stop sign control, with the car able to detect and respond to both even when cruise control or autosteer are engaged.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.