New Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S: which electric car is best?

Tesla's new Model 3 is the cheapest model the firm has yet made, but how does it compare with its larger sibling, the Model S? Our guide reveals all...

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model S rear seats

Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S  – space and practicality

Front-seat passengers are unlikely to complain in either the Model 3 or Model S, no matter how tall they are. Both cars also provide plenty of space for your odds and ends, including in the large door bins, the centre console or the space beneath the central armrest.

Both cars also put in a good showing when it comes to rear space, not least because there's no awkward tunnel for the middle passenger to straddle. In either car, a six-footer should be able to sit behind a driver of similar height – although the fact that the Model S is a longer car will likely make it more comfortable for a long trip. You used to be able to specify two rear-facing extra seats in the Model S, turning it into a seven-seater, but this option is no longer available.

The Model S has a big boot with a wide opening; it dwarfs what you'll find in the Porsche Panamera or Jaguar I-Pace. The Model 3 isn't as impressive in this regard, because its saloon shape means its boot doesn't open so far. There's still more space inside than in the I-Pace, however, thanks partly to the huge well under the boot floor. What's more, both Teslas have an additional space that's large enough for a couple of soft bags beneath the bonnet.

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model S charging ports

Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model S  – costs

There's no getting away from the fact that the Model S and Model 3 are expensive. If you order right now, the Model S will cost you £72,850 in Standard Range form, £76,850 in Long Range form and £84,150 if you opt for the Ludicrous Performance. But Tesla has just announced that it will raise the prices of its cars by around 3% worldwide from 18 March, pushing the starting price of the Model S to around £75,000.

On a PCP finance deal, the cheapest Model S will currently cost you £765 per month, rising to £923 per month for a range-topping model.

UK prices haven't been revealed yet for the Model 3, but they're expected to start from around £50,000 for the Dual Motor Long Range and £60,000 for the Performance. Of course, as electric cars, both the Model 3 and Model S qualify for a £3500 grant from the Government.

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