Tesla has proven to be the leading powerhouse in the electric car industry but has recently decided to add trucks to their vehicle lineup. From fashion to function, Tesla’s Model 3 and Cybertruck have shown that they can provide more than what you need, and at an affordable price. But which one is the better buy?
Whether the Tesla Model 3 or Cybertruck is the better buy for you will depend on your preferences and daily vehicle needs. If you need to haul and tow, the Cybertruck is better. On the other hand, the Model 3 has a more affordable price range with a charge that lasts you hundreds of miles.
Are you frequently hauling or towing, or simply enjoy driving trucks? Do you prefer a smaller vehicle, live in a city, or prefer a sleeker design? The Model 3 and Cybertruck each have unique functions and capabilities, along with vastly different styles. Continue reading to see their similarities and differences to help you determine which is the better buy.
About the Tesla Model 3
An electric vehicle built for safety, performance, and with a slick design, the Tesla Model 3 is going to attract attention on the road.
Throughout this article, you will read about the pricing and speed of the different Model 3 packages. However, below are a few key components that are consistent across every Model 3:
- 360 Degree View: Rear, side, and forward-facing cameras to give you a full-encompassed view of what’s going on around you and your Tesla
- Forward-Facing Radar: Long-range view of up to 160m (525 feet) of distant objects
- 12 Ultrasonic Sensors: Detects nearby vehicles to prevent collisions and assist with your parking
Outside of flying (not yet, at least), there’s not much that your Tesla Model 3 won’t be able to do for you.
About the Tesla Cybertruck
One of the newest roll-outs by Tesla, the Cybertruck, is giving the pickup truck market a whole new look and energy. However, because it’s new, many drivers question its unique towing and hauling feature compared to traditional pickups.
Towing and Hauling Feature
Generally, some may still doubt the towing and hauling capability of an electric truck, as it’s still a newer concept that, regardless of how quickly the EV (electric vehicle) market is growing. Not only is this more than a trend, but it could be a newer way to approach the environment with everyday living.
Though it may not look like a traditional pickup truck, don’t let that fool you into thinking it can’t keep up with your everyday trucks. Below are just a few specifications and functions that the Cybertruck has to offer:
|Model of Cybertruck||Storage||Vault (Bed) Length||Towing Capacity|
|Single Motor RWD||100 cu. ft.||6.5 ft.||7500+ lbs.|
|Dual-Motor AWD||100 cu. ft.||6.5 ft.||10,000+ lbs.|
|Tri-Motor AWD||100 cu. ft.||6.5 ft.||14,000+ lbs.|
Overall, the changes that could determine how a truck owner might buy his or her next pickup are how much can you store, pack, and tow? The Cybertruck is consistent with its storage and bed length across all models, but the towing capacity is where you see drastic changes.
If the electric part about this truck throws any doubt into potential buyers’ minds, it shouldn’t. Unless you need a longer bed or a little extra storage, the Tesla Cybertruck is more than capable of taking care of your towing capacity needs.
Comparing the Tesla Model 3 vs. Cybertruck
Tesla has found a working formula to stay at the top of the EV market. Although they have varying styles and models, Tesla applies its fundamental pillars within all of its vehicles.
With that said, the following are a few places where the Tesla Model 3 and Cybertruck will differ:
One of the biggest roadblocks people have with electric vehicles is that charging stations are not as common as gas stations, so you have to plan your long road trips a little more than usual. The Model 3 has a pretty set distance on how far it can travel before needing to be charged, but the Cybertruck offers a few different options.
|Model 3 Standard Plus||263 miles|
|Model 3 Performance||315 miles|
|Model 3 Long Range AWD||353 miles|
|Cybertruck Single Motor RWD||250+ miles|
|Cybertruck Dual-Motor AWD||300+ miles|
|Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD||500+ miles|
If you don’t care about anything other than miles, and you want to be able to go the furthest you can before having to recharge, then the Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD is the winner. If you don’t need quite that many miles and want a lower profile vehicle, your needs will be met with the Model 3.
Is it Worth Buying a Model with Less Mileage?
Yes, it may seem cumbersome to plan your longer trips a bit more in-depth, but the money you save on gas might be worth the hassle. With the volatility of gas prices, then the occasional oil changes, you might be able to have some decent savings by going electric and, in particular, Tesla.
According to Investopedia, there is the potential that you might cut down gas costs by almost half on an annual basis by switching to a Tesla. An electric car would cost on average $.12/kWh, and 34kWh is roughly 100 mpg. Fifteen thousand miles per year is a well-rounded number for the average driver, which would put the annual cost of driving a Tesla just over $600.
For example, take the Toyota Camry, as it has a very reasonable 30 mpg. With the cost of gas being about $2.40—and using the same number of miles of 15,000 per year—you’re looking at an easy $1200 in gas alone. That’s being a bit conservative with miles, but most people will easily hit those numbers.
If this still doesn’t seem worth it, or like it’s that big of a jump, think long term. How long do most people have their cars? Many drive their cars until they barely run anymore because it’s pretty nice when you finally make that last car payment! If you have your Toyota for ten years, that’s $12,000 just in gas (assuming it doesn’t go up). Couldn’t you use an extra $600/year or $6,000 over ten years for something else beneficial for your livelihood?
Whether you’re driving on tracks, the Autobahn, or simply feel “the need for speed,” Tesla does not take the ability to go fast lightly. Don’t think for a second that just because there’s a truck involved that it can’t get up to a respectable speed.
Depending on additional packages and the number of motors between each model, acceleration speeds vary significantly between the Model 3 and Cybertruck. For top speeds, the Model 3 maxes out at 162mph, while the Cybertruck can hit up to 130mph. But if you want to be the fastest off the line, the chart below shows the different 0-60mph speeds for each version of the Model 3 and Cybertruck.
|MODEL||Speed to Go 0-60 MPH|
|Model 3 Standard Plus||5.3s|
|Model 3 Performance||3.1s|
|Model 3 Long Range AWD||4.2s|
|Cybertruck Single Motor RWD||6.5s|
|Cybertruck Dual-Motor AWD||4.5s|
|Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD||2.9s|
If you’re quite the speed demon, get somewhat of a “led foot,” and happen to also enjoy driving trucks, the Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD is the way to go. It might be surprising to many people that a truck can have the acceleration of going 0-60mph in under 3 seconds, but it’s no surprise that if a company were to achieve it, it would be Tesla.
Although Tesla has proven its worth and ability to create reliable, capable, and revolutionary vehicles, the Cybertruck has set a record number of pre-orders. The Model 3 has undoubtedly grown in popularity, and buyers have shown that to be the case, but with Tesla entering the pickup truck market, the demand for the Cybertruck has also soared.
According to Inverse, the Cybertruck has set record numbers of pre-orders. After its first unveiling in 2016, there were 232,000. In 2017, that number topped 518,000 reservations. And as of today, the number of pre-orders for the Cybertruck is over 900,000. With this number of pre-orders, there has to be a lot more use to this truck than its speed potential.
A few years ago, when the Model 3 came out, The Verge reported that Tesla had received 325,000 pre-orders for the newly rolled out electric vehicle. This isn’t a number to shy away from, but this is about ⅓ of the number of pre-orders that Tesla has seen with the Cybertruck.
We can potentially attribute time and newness with regard to the Model 3 only doing about ⅓ the number of pre-orders that has been seen from the Cybertruck. People probably weren’t sure how this new electric vehicle would pan out. Would it be as great as it was hyped up to be? And as with anything new to the market, only time will tell. People know what they’re getting with Tesla; they’ve seen demos of the Cybertruck, the hype is real, and truck buyers are confident in Elon Musk.
Driving a Tesla makes a statement. They look cool, go fast, have technology far beyond any other electric vehicle on the market, but will they do all that and protect you at the same time? Any car can look cool and do awesome things, but at the end of the day, you need to know you and/or your loved ones are going to be safe inside it. Surely these vehicles can’t check every single box…
Model 3 Safety Specifications
The Model 3 might be the size of a traditional sedan, but it’s not going to go quietly if it gets into an accident. Being low to the ground adds to its safety, its sleek design is reinforced by more than fast acceleration, and its 5-star safety rating is something to write home about.
Model 3 safety features include:
- Rigid Structure: Mix of aluminum and steel for a rigid structure to increase safety
- Impact Protection: Impact absorbing rails and center pillar reinforcements
- Low Rollover Risk: Floor-mounted battery pack provides a low center of gravity, reducing rollover risk
With the amount of unpredictability we experience on the road, you can rest assured that the Tesla Model 3 is one of the safest and most protected vehicles on the road. The 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helps demonstrate that.
Cybertruck Safety Specifications
It looks like the future, drives like an exotic car, hauls like a traditional pickup, and is built like it’s about to go into a war zone. The Cybertruck’s rigid structure and “exoskeleton” definitely look the part, delivering a level of safety comparable to an armored vehicle.
The Cybertruck’s safety features include:
- Exoskeleton: Exterior shell for ultimate durability, built for superior strength and endurance
- Ultra-Hard 30x Cold-Rolled Stainless Steel: Nearly impenetrable, eliminate dents and long term corrosion, and a smooth monochrome finish
- Tesla Armor Glass: Ultra-strong glass with polymer-layered composite to improve absorption as well as redirect force to reduce damage
After a live demonstration of the Cybertruck and its impenetrable exterior shell, Top Speed published an article showing the difference between a traditional truck’s damage absorption versus Tesla’s.
The Chief Designer for Tesla, Franz von Holzhausen, took a sledgehammer and took it to the side of a traditional pickup truck. As it was designed to do, the regular pickup absorbed the blow but taking the damage that we’d all expect it to.
Franz then took the same sledgehammer and slammed it against the side of the Cybertruck. He followed up with a second swing and a third just for good measure. Obviously, we would expect to see at least some type of damage, but there was none—no dents, dings, and not even a scuff to be seen.
With the Cybertruck, the question isn’t if it’s going to keep you safe. As long as you don’t get out during the crash, you and the truck will be as safe as an armored vehicle. From severe crashes to accidentally hitting the vehicle next to you in a parking lot with your door, the Cybertruck is going to do much more damage than it’s going to suffer.
The specs are impressive; Tesla knows how to manufacture top-of-the-line electric vehicles. But the question that can still deter anyone from buying is this: how much does it cost?
As with most Tesla vehicles, there are several options and packages that you can choose from, each varying in capabilities but also varying in price.
|Model 3 Standard Range Plus||$30,190|
|Model 3 Long Range||$39,190|
|Model 3 Performance||$47,190|
|Cybertruck Single Motor RWD||$39,900|
|Cybertruck Dual-Motor AWD||$49,900|
|Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD||$69,900|
For some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the market, Tesla’s price ranges are quite reasonable. It’s not just raising the price for you to pay for the name or their marketing, but giving you a quality product at an affordable price.
Is the Model 3 or Cybertruck the Better Buy?
If the price is really no object and you’re into trucks, then you’ll want to have the Cybertruck Tri-Motor AWD and everything that comes with it. This is a more significant jump in price than the other models Tesla offers, but it will be worth it for the extra towing capacity and the speed. If you want an advanced electric truck but aren’t ready to drop the extra cash, the Single Motor RWD still starts right under $40,000.
Whether you’re just indifferent about trucks or are trying to “ball on a budget,” the Model 3 packages and prices can still accommodate you. With the lowest one starting at almost $10,000 less than the cheapest Cybertruck, the Model 3 Standard Plus would be the best bang for your buck.
If you happen to travel on the road a lot for work or love your road trips, the Model 3 Long Range comes in at just under $40,000 and will help you see countless parts of the country in style.
If you want to be pushed back into your seat as soon as you hit the gas and can spare a little extra change, the Model 3 Performance model is worth a test drive. Be warned, though, one go, and you’re going to be hooked. You can feel 3.1s of the most advanced speed and torque for almost ⅓ less than the most expensive Cybertruck package.
Tesla simply does not know how to make a bad vehicle and continues to do so while staying 100% electric. If you’re deciding which the better buy is between the Tesla Model 3 and the Cybertruck, it truly depends on your needs and preferences.
If you like the sedan style, have no need for trailering, and are indifferent to trucks, the Model 3 is your car. If you have a hauling need, love trucks, or want to have the next closest thing to an armored truck, then the Cybertruck is your new go-to.
Either way, you will not be disappointed and will have endless features to rant and rave about.