How to Choose the Best Tesla Model in 2023: Comparing Models S, 3, X, and Y Ranges
A man like Elon Musk must have many guiding principles. For this automotive brand Tesla, he seems to ride on the truth that a good product markets itself. With that in mind, he pours money into giving Tesla owners the ride of their lives every time they get in the driver's seat of a Tesla model.
There's some cherry on the pie, too, for 2023. Tesla's been slashing prices by up to 20% to increase sales and qualify certain models for an additional $7,500 federal tax credit.
If you're on the hunt for a Tesla this year, this guide compares four Teslas to help you settle on the one that meets your needs.
Tesla Model Y Long Range
First things first.
The European New Car Assessment Programme awarded the Tesla Y Long Range a solid 5-star rating. This makes it the best in safety in history. This rating guarantees you premium protection on the road. Not just for you as you drive, but also for other road users, pedestrians, and bikers.
The advanced safety features that earned it the 5-star badge include features that kick in with emergency braking, collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and more.
There's more to write home about –like having a top speed of 135 mph and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Also, it comes with an incredible range of 330 miles.
Have a family or carpool a lot? You can choose between the five and the seven-seater options. Both options qualify you for the $7,500 tax credit.
The basic autopilot feature allows you to enjoy automatic steering, acceleration, and braking within a lane. This model also brings the comfort of over-the-air updates that add new features, entertainment, better range, and improved safety over time. You can pimp your ride with additional features like full self-driving at an additional cost of $15,000.
Tesla Model 3
Folks who carry lots of luggage will enjoy the 23 ft³ cargo space available in the front and the trunk of this car. The price tag makes it the most affordable on this list, yet with a stellar performance powered by a range of 272 miles, a top speed of 140 mph, and an acceleration record of 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
The Tesla Model 3 also scores high on being green –getting a 5-star rating from Green NCAP, the highest score of all Green NCAP-tested vehicles on the highway test.
The resale value also makes a strong case for people who want a good return on their investment. Get this: buying a recent, used version of a Model 3 costs more than purchasing a new one. This means it appreciates instead of depreciates like most vehicles. Experts say the Model 3 increased 12% in resale value from March to April 2022.
You also get the usual, yet a mile better than most car brands, the Tesla autopilot package. That affords you automatic steering, acceleration, and braking for other cars and pedestrians within the car's lane and advanced safety features. However, it lacks most luxury features found in a Tesla.
Tesla Model S Plaid
This one was created for the speed junkies, complete with a tri-motor all-wheel-drive electric powertrain with 1,020 horsepower –enabling it to accelerate from 0-60 in less than two seconds. Pair that with a drag of 0.208 Cd, and you have a powerful and enduring machine.
Another unique feature is an adaptive suspension. The car accommodates road conditions and driver actions to provide a top-experience ride. You can also automatically change the ride height and maximize range.
It earns extra points on interior comfort with foldable back seats so that you can pack some luggage or groceries. The top speed is 200 mph –but you only get this with additional upgrades.
Tesla Model X Plaid
Speaking of comfort, this Tesla is the most luxurious on this list. It has three displays: a 12.3-inch display for the driver, one tilting 17-inch display for entertainment or games, and an 8-inch second-row screen for rear passengers.
It gets better. The 17-inch display comes with 10 teraflops of processing power and compatibility with wireless controllers. This makes it an excellent way to game during a ride through the Tesla Arcade.
You can choose from three interior colors, and you can choose between a yoke steering wheel and a regular one without topping up.
Away from comfort and luxury, The Model X Plaid is a six-seater –the only option available -but can comfortably clock a 333-mile range. It's also good for speed lovers -going from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
For space, you have 92 ft³ of room to play with. The car's front trunk can fit a full-size carry-on suitcase, and the rear seats are foldable by pressing a button. Talk about the best car for a trip!
Tesla Model X
Let's talk about seating options. This Tesla SUV allows you to change the seating layout to five, six, or seven seats, depending on need. Besides having more people, the cargo space is 92 ft³ big.
The driving range is 348 miles per full charge, surpassing the Model X Plaid. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.8 sec –not as impressive as the rest on this list, but just enough time it takes the average person to blink once.
Some downsides are the interiors having less comfort than most latest Tesla models. But if you're comparing it to other car brands, the interior is comfortable enough. This car doesn't qualify for the tax credit.
While not without flaws, Tesla tends to deliver a decent experience for its customers. The question with Tesla cars is never whether the car is good, it's whether it works for you.
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