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New Tesla Model 3 vs used Tesla Model S: practicality

The Tesla Model S was the car that proved electric cars could be fast and luxurious, but is a used example a better buy than a new Model 3 for the same money?...

Tesla Model 3 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Freed from the need to accommodate an internal combustion engine, both cars are roomy for their size compared with their regular petrol and diesel equivalents. The Tesla Model S has the bigger overall footprint, with a greater distance between the front and rear axles and a wider stance on the road – but the difference this makes to the space inside isn’t as great as you might assume.

Room in the front is actually very similar between the two, and while the Model S has a clear advantage when it comes to accommodating people in the rear, six-footers will still be comfortable enough in the back of the Tesla Model 3. Even three adults sitting side by side won’t grumble too loudly, although they’ll have less need to rub shoulders in the wider Model S.

Tesla Model S rear seats

One quirk in the rear is that the floor in both cars is raised to accommodate the big battery pack that sits underneath. This means the seating position feels a tad unnatural, with your feet and knees higher than they would be in a BMW 3 Series, for example, but you soon get used to it.

Both models have masses of luggage space. We squeezed a total of 10 carry-on suitcases into the Model 3 and 11 in the Model S. For comparison, the 3 Series can take just seven. Tesla’s trick is providing not one but two boots: a big one where you’d expect it and a smaller storage area under the bonnet. Both cars have rear seats that fold down for extra space, too.

Boot space

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 boot

Boot 425 litres Suitcases 10 Length 1065-1870, Width 950-1280, Height 445

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S boot

Boot 894 litres Suitcases 11 Length 1125-1985, Width 975-1655, Height 455-705

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