What Is the Difference Between Tesla Models?


Tesla has a very similar approach to the original “Ford” vehicles in regards to naming its vehicle models. Ford started with the Model T in 1908, and Tesla started with the Model S in 2012. If this isn’t a bit of foreshadowing on how big of a name Tesla will become, I don’t know what is! However, Tesla continued this naming style for its next 3 models as well: totaling the Model S, X, 3, and Y.

So, what is the difference between Tesla models? In short, the Tesla Model S and X are the luxury versions of the Model 3 and Y. Two of them are sedan style, and the other two are SUV style: the Model S and 3 are sedan, and the Model X and Y are SUV.

All of Tesla’s vehicles are fully electric, and can not use gasoline at all, but each model is notably different in many ways. Let’s break down the differences between each Tesla model.

Before we begin, if you see older “Used” Tesla models listed for sale, you may see a number and letter behind their name (Tesla has done away with this naming system). The number refers to how many kWh the battery is (how big the battery is, essentially how much range you will get on a single charge) and the letters refer to “P” meaning Performance version (faster 0-60 time, higher top-speed, more horsepower) and “D” meaning Dual-Motor (having two motors and being all-wheel drive, rather than single-motor and rear-wheel drive).

Now let’s explain the difference between each Tesla model:

The Tesla Model S is a luxury sedan and starts at $104,990. Fun Fact: Its performance version (called “Plaid”) is, as of 2022, the fastest accelerating production car in history with a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds, with 1,020hp.

The Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV and starts at $120,990. Fun Fact: It has “Falcon Wing” rear doors that open in a way that always turns heads, plus its “Plaid” version is casually the fastest accelerating production SUV in history with a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds, with 1,020hp.

The Tesla Model 3 is an economical sedan and starts at $46,990. Fun Fact: It routinely makes the list of safest cars on the road, with its 5-star crash rating, but its performance version is still no slouch in the speed department with a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds with just about 500hp.

The Tesla Model Y is an economical SUV and starts at $65,990. Fun Fact: This is Tesla’s newest version, and is already expected to be Tesla’s best selling model and even on-track to become the World’s best-selling car! It shares about 70% of the same parts as the Model 3, just a bit bigger since it’s an SUV, it has a full 5-star safety rating, and routinely makes the safest cars on the road list as well. Its performance model is no joke either, with a 0-60 time of 3.5 with about 500hp.

It can be confusing at first, but hopefully that helps explain the differences of each Tesla model.

Greg Gottfried

The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg Gottfried, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. Being a Tesla owner allows Greg to fact-check information and personally try new scenarios out before publishing an article explaining the process.

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