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Tesla Model 3 vs. Model Y

A collage of Tesla model 3 and model Y.

With cars seemingly all going electric, Wifey and I thought it was time to call it quits with gasoline-guzzling vehicles and go electric. While we were both agreed we were no longer in the market for gas but rather an electric vehicle, disagreement eventually arose over Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 and Model Y EVs.

While I liked the sound of  Model 3, (my lucky number being three), Wifey preferred Model Y-she had always had great friendships with people whose names started with the letter “Y”.

As on a few occasions during our marriage, we were deadlocked. She wouldn’t budge and neither would I. We stopped talking.

Anyway, that is until our eldest daughter Cells intervened.

“Why don’t you two just stop acting like children, research the car you each prefer, and decide based on the specs!”

Our eldest was right, we did exactly as Cells advised and comparatively researched both the Model 3 and Model Y, in turn as well as simultaneously. Below are our findings.  

What is Model  3? 

The Tesla Model 3 is described as “a compact executive, fastback and sedan which is battery powered and produced by Tesla.” With the Model 3, you never have to visit a gas station ever again.

That is because the model is fully electric (as opposed to hybrid-gas and electric).  An overnight charge ensures a full battery every morning. It can be recharged at any public station or with the Tesla charging network.

This model comes with THREE primary options, Performance Dual Motor, Long Range All Wheel Drive (AWD) and Rear Wheel Drive, ideal for instant traction and torque control in all weather conditions.

Related to: Tesla Model 3 vs Model S 15 Cars similar to the Tesla Model 3

What is Model  Y?

A white Tesla Model Y in the city.

Similar to Model 3, Model Y comprises 75% of the former’s parts. It is, therefore, based on the Model 3 platform and a battery electric compact crossover. It, too, was also designed by Tesla Inc., with the utmost safety in mind. Both cars hold  5-Star Ratings and IIHS Top Safety achievements.

However, unlike Model 3, Model Y is considered to provide maximum versatility. It only comes in the All Wheel Drive (AWD) Dual Motor option.

What this essentially means is that Model Y has two ultra-responsive, independent motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels for far better handling, traction and stability control. Similar to Model 3, Model Y is equally capable in rain, snow, mud and off-road.

Akin to Model 3, the interior of Model Y is a dream come true. It is simple and clean. Like the Model 3, it too has a 15-inch touch screen while its elevated sitting positing position and low dashboard ensure that the driver has a commanding view of the road ahead.

Similar to Model 3, Model Y also has an expansive all-glass roof that creates extra headroom.

Nevertheless, unlike Model 3, Model Y’s interior also boasts an immersive  sound system. In addition,  each second-row seat folds flat to create flexible storage for your skis, furniture and luggage. Moreover, Model Y’s liftgate opens to a low trunk floor making loading and unloading easy and quick.  

Related to: 6 Cars Similar to the Jaguar I-Pace


A blue shining tesla model y car on the road.


Critical to an EV is its battery. Model 3’s battery is long-range. It has a model-dependent charge range of between 315km-to-358km, and an onboard charger with a maximum capacity of 11.5kW/48A. Model Y, on the other hand, has a range on a charge of 303 miles and can be recharged to 162 miles in 15minutes. The charge for both is the same at 250KW.

Cost Range

The cost of an EV at times says it all. In the case of Model 3, the 2022 model retails at between $44, 000 and $46, 440. Conversely,  a 2022 Model Y retails between $60, 446 and 70,000.


A inside view of tesla model y white seats.

While Model 3 comfortably seats five adults and a cargo capacity of 23 cubic feet, Model Y on the other hand seats seven passengers and has a cargo-carrying capacity of  76 cubic feet.  Wow, Model Y surely has a place for everything you could wish to take with you.


Contrary to popular belief that EVs are slower than gasoline cars, Tesla has very fast take-off and speed times. The acceleration is smoother on a Tesla than most other vehicle types on the market. Faster than a rabbit, the Model 3 has a take-off speed of 0-to-60mph in 3.1 seconds.

Improved handling and aerodynamics allow for a top speed of 162mph. The Model 3’s carbon fiber spoiler improves stability at high speeds and features 20″ Uberturbine wheels and performance brakes for total control in all weather conditions.

Model Y, on the other hand, has slightly slower acceleration (with rollout subtracted) 3.5 seconds from 0-60 mph, with a top speed of 155 mph.21″ Uberturbine wheels and performance brakes ensure total control in all weather conditions.


Tesla takes safety very seriously. As such, both Model 3 and Model Y was built to exceed safety standards. These EVs’ safety-first design ensures that they have ultra-high-strength steel and a low solid center of gravity. Their rigid structure comes from a material mix of aluminum and steel to achieve structural rigidity and increased occupant safety.

In both, impact protection is derived from impact-absorbing rails, and center pillar reinforcements. The strength and support of their rigid battery pack provide protection from every side.  

Design Features

Side view look of grey tesla model y electric car on the road.

Both the exteriors and interiors of  Model 3 and Model Y are impressive, to say the least. As far as Model 3 goes, exterior features to highlight include an all-glass roof that extends from the front to the back of this EV, thus creating headroom, openness, and protecting its occupants from harmful Ultra-Violet light.

Rear side and forward-facing cameras provide maximum visibility powerful processing up to a range of 250m. In keeping with Tesla’s safety consciousness, 12 Ultra sensors detect nearby cars, prevent potential collisions, while other autopilots advanced safety and convenience features assist with parking. With such features, Model 3 is considered the future of driving.

The interior of Model 3 is unlike any other. Gone are the days of car keys to access your automobile. With Model 3, this can be done using your smartphone. Where is the dashboard? In Model 3, all driver controls can be accessed via a high-tech 15-inch touch screen.

In line with Ev’s space-age technology, over-the-air software updates introduce new features, functionality, and performance.


A white tesla car moving on the road front view.

Built for safety, both Models 3 and Y have very low rollover. That’s a result of the position and weight of the floor-mounted battery pack, which provides a very low centre of gravity. As such, they have a warranty of four years or 50,000miles, whichever comes first.

Cost Differences

Priced at between $45,000 and $50,000, Model 3 is cheaper by between $15, 000 to $20, 000 than Model Y, whose price ranges from $60, 000 and 70,000.

Benefits of Each

In terms of features, Model Y has a more spacious interior design that brings a slightly more comfortable feel than Model 3. The seats are a little higher than  Model 3. Getting in and out of the car is also easier on Model Y than on Model 3.

However, depending on the model Model 3, Model 3 is generally faster than Model Y. Although Model Y is wider and deeper in terms of storage space, it is only two inches wider and also longer than a general Model 3. Height-wise, it is also seven inches taller.

Overall, Model Y has a few extra features than Model 3. For instance, the heated steering wheel for countries that have extremely cold winters, foldable flat rear seats, LED fog lamps, a massive audio system that can include up to 14 speakers, two amps, and a sub-woofer.

Model 3 is lower than Model Y in terms of height and also when you sit. Model 3 seats and one has to be cautious with deep-colored clothes like blue jeans because the dye will transfer to the seats and it is extremely difficult to remove or clean.

Nonetheless, Model Y is slightly shorter, length-wise, than Model 3. Model Y has more height storage in the trunk or the boot.

Brief History of Each

A white tesla model 3 facing at the cliff with a mountain view.

Limited production of Model 3 began in 2017. The first production vehicle rolled off the assembly line on July 7, 2017. The first 30 vehicles were officially launched and delivered on July 28, 2017. Since early 2020, the Model 3 has been the world’s best-selling electric car.

Unveiled in March 2019, production of Model Y started at Tesla Inc’s Fremont plant in January of 2020. Deliveries began March 13, 2020. Although there initially were four powertrain configurations of Model Y, only the Performance (Dual Motor AWD) and Long Range AWD are available.  


Model 3 has more of a sports car or race car outlook than Model Y. Model Y is more spacious inside which can be an advantage for one with a big family. The Tesla Model 3 is a sedan, while the Model Y is a hatchback SUV.

Models 3 and Y have similar features of an Auto-pilot, Sentry mode, App-controlled, wireless charger, and tinted glass roof. Both have different colors to choose from. The most popular for both Model 3 and Y being the white exterior with a dark or black sunroof.

Unknown to most is just how heavy EVs are. Model 3 weighs a whopping 448lbs, while Model Y weighs in at 4,398lbs!

The Model Y can have a modified interior and fit 7 people inside, though for an extra price of 1000USD.


Both the Model 3 and Model Y are undoubtedly prestigious eco-friendly EVs. Luxurious with astonishing trendy exterior and interior finishing, their technology, safety,  and performance are highly recommended.

Nonetheless, based on their specifications and the fact that my family comprises six members, Wifey and I finally settled on Model Y. In spite of its cost and weight, its variable occupancy and cargo, charge range and 15-minute recharge turnaround suited us and our needs best.

Besides, as they say, “Happy wife, happy life!”