Model Y Gets Cheaper, You Get a Better Deal? We Find Out

Model Y Gets Cheaper, You Get a Better Deal?

It is not often that a vehicle with the latest in technological features actually gets cheaper, but that is exactly what has happened with the Tesla Model Y. For a variety of reasons, the all-electric crossover SUV made by Tesla is coming down in price on select models. The question becomes whether that makes for a better deal or not. 

Overall, the cheaper Tesla Model Y is not a better deal. The range is less, and there is no all-wheel drive option. While the lower price qualifies it for tax subsidies in some Asian countries, that is not going to be of much benefit to North American customers. The Long Range Model Y is a better deal. 

If you are going to make an investment in an all-electric vehicle that is designed to be a real game-changer, you want to make sure that you are getting the best value possible. That does not always mean the lowest price. Continue reading to learn why the cheaper Model Y, in this case, may not be the better deal.

Pro Tip: Ordering a Tesla? Get 1000 Free Supercharger Miles by using a Tesla referral link from another Tesla owner.

Why Did Tesla Come Out with a Cheaper Model Y?

The idea behind a cheaper Tesla Model Y arose out of a need to combat some negative publicity coming out of China. This was limiting Tesla’s ability to debut its flagship all-electric SUV to such an emerging market. At the same time, the market for electric vehicles in China is surprisingly saturated to the point that Tesla needed to change its pricing structure. 

There is also the issue of a tax subsidy to consider. China is offering a tax subsidy to consumers who purchase certain types of electric vehicles. That subsidy only enters into the picture for electric cars priced under 300,000 yuan, or just under $43,000. This is another reason why Tesla scrambled to create a lower priced version of its Model Y. 

The Details of the Cheaper Model Y

The new Tesla Model Y is called the standard-range version. It sells for $42,600 in China once all of the government subsidies are taken into account. The North American version is also selling at a similar price. The original Model Y, now referred to as the longer-range version, sells for about 20 percent more. 

Why China?

Many people question why the presence of an Asian market would cause Tesla to rethink the overall design of its flagship crossover SUV model. It is largely due to the fact that China has become the world’s leader in the new energy market. This is a market that cannot simply be ignored, so Tesla appears willing to do what it takes to gain a foothold there.

Tesla has set out on a mission to invest heavily in China. It fits in well with their master plan of helping the world to make the move to more sustainable sources. However, entering China required that the Model Y be altered somewhat in order to encourage more consumers to make the switch. 

What Changes with the Cheaper Tesla Model Y?

The one notable difference between the two versions of the Model Y is the price. The standard-range version will cost you about $8,000 less than the longer-range variety. The question is what you will lose by going the cheaper route. The reality appears to be quite a lot, depending on how you look at things. 

The standard-range Model Y has a reduced range of approximately 244 miles. This is compared to the 326 miles that you will get on average with the longer-range version. Beyond that, the cheaper Model Y only comes as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. There is not even an option for all-wheel drive. For many drivers, that will be a limiting factor in their purchasing decision.

It is interesting to note that Tesla almost scrapped the introduction of a standard-range Model Y. This was because it initially came with a range of only 230 miles, and Elon Musk felt that was simply too low. Tesla has long aimed to stay over 250 miles. A compromise appears to have been met when the capacity was increased to 244 miles. 

One caveat with the cheaper version of the Model Y is the introduction of a 7-seat optional feature that is standard with the longer-range version. You will pay $3,000 extra to get this, and the reviews are not all that great. The seventh seat limits the space for all passengers and cuts down on the amount of cargo that you can carry. If you have to pay more for this feature, many drivers will opt for the longer-range version to begin with.

The addition of two more seats over the longer-range version comes courtesy of a third row. This row can be folded down to give you some more cargo storage. This could be a good feature for a larger family, but it makes the cheaper Model Y even more expensive. This will negate the purpose for many people.

What Do You Get with the Longer-Range Version?

To begin, you are going to significantly more range. The Model Y was designed to go an average of 326 miles between charges. This is made possible because of its dual-motor system. It gets impressive performance and makes it as useful as a family vehicle as it is for the daily commute. 

Because of the dual-motor, the longer-range version of the Model Y is an all-wheel drive vehicle. This is the new standard of automobile, with many drivers expressing that they would never want to revert back to a rear-wheel-drive only vehicle.

In order to make the Model Y cheaper, the dual-motor concept was scrapped. This significantly reduces the range, and it does not allow for an all-wheel drive feature to be included. While the price does come down about $8,000 many people will not see that as much of a value given the already high price tag for the vehicle. 

Model Y Features Worth Knowing About

The Tesla Model Y is loaded with features. Many of these come standard with the longer-range version, but some are left out completely with the standard-range version. Others are included as optional features on the cheaper version, which leaves many to question how good of a deal the standard-range version actually is in the first place. 

With the longer-range version, you get a versatile seating arrangement that allows you to seat five or seven people inside the vehicle. This allows you to decide how much cargo space you will have, which is up to an impressive 68 cubic feet. You can even take skis along with you on your winter getaway. 

The dual-motor system included with the longer-range version is also a selling point of the Model Y. These are two independent motors that can control the torque directed to both the front and rear wheels. It does this digitally, so there is nothing that the driver even needs to worry about. 

Because of the dual-motor, the acceleration is also quite respectable. You will be able to go from 0 to 60 in only 3.5 seconds. Combine that with its excellent handling in virtually any weather condition, and it is easy to see why many people will still prefer the longer-range version when it comes to the Tesla Model Y. 


Now that you know more about the cheaper version of the Model Y, you will be able to decide which version is best for you. There are certainly situations where the standard range version is going to work just fine. However, many people will find that the long range Model Y is going to be a better fit and deal overall. 

Pro Tip: Ordering a Tesla? Get 1000 Free Supercharger Miles by using a Tesla referral link from another Tesla owner.


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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