New Tesla Model Y vs Tesla Model 3: costs

Elon Musk’s Tesla has given us two hugely desirable electric cars in the Model 3 saloon and new Model Y SUV. Let’s see how they differ and which one you should choose...

Tesla Model Y 2022 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

There’s barely anything between our contenders if you’re taking out a PCP finance agreement. Put down a £6000 deposit and, assuming a limit of 10,000 miles per year, you’ll pay £813 a month for the Tesla Model 3 and £821 for the Tesla Model Y. The difference is only slightly greater (£12 a month) for those choosing to lease.

For company car drivers paying benefit-in-kind tax, our contenders are again neck and neck. Anyone in the 40% tax bracket who chooses the Model Y over the Model 3 will spend just £11 extra in total salary sacrifices between now and April 2025.

Tesla Model 3 2022 side

If you’re a cash buyer, the Model Y is actually likely to work out cheaper in the long run. That’s because it’s only £500 more expensive to start with and is predicted to depreciate at a slower rate. Expect to spend a little over £5000 more to own the Model 3 if you buy now and sell in three years’ time.

The Model Y gets 19in alloys as standard – a £1500 option on the Model 3. Other advantages include a fixed panoramic roof that’s a single piece of glass, rather than two pieces separated by a bar in the middle (as on the Model 3), and a darker-tinted rear screen and side windows. The tint is so dark that you can’t see through it – one of the reasons why there’s no need for a parcel shelf.

You get the same Autopilot lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control features with both. On motorways, this does a great job of maintaining a set distance from the car in front, as well keeping you in the centre of your lane.

Tesla Model Y vs Tesla Model 3 costs

You can upgrade to Enhanced Autopilot, which brings a self-parking function and allows the car to make automatic lane changes on the motorway, or Full Self-Driving Capability. The latter goes further, allowing your Tesla to stop automatically at traffic lights and then pull away again, plus you’ll get additional features, including automatic steering in city driving, over the air as soon as they’re released. Just bear in mind that these shouldn’t be considered self-driving systems, despite what the names might suggest.

The Model 3 has been awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, with excellent scores for its ability to protect adult and child occupants. Given its similarities, we’ve no reason to expect that the Model Y won’t prove similarly safe, although a Euro NCAP appraisal has yet to be published.

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