Live your best life with the Tesla that fits you
Can driving Tesla’s Model S transform you from corporate desk jockey to man (or woman) of mystery, as you navigate through the crowded city streets? Is the Model X your escape from the fate of every soccer mom (or dad) stuck driving a minivan? Or will driving the Model 3 prove you’ve made it big in life, or you’re at least headed in that direction?
While choosing one of Tesla’s current models won’t really reveal anything about your personality, or even speak to your current status in life, it may reflect the type of lifestyle you hope to live. So which is it? Which Tesla model is right for you?
Current Tesla models
Built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the smooth, sleek design of the Model S helped captivate car drivers and investors in 2013, driving up Tesla’s stock by 382 percent.
Since then, Tesla has continued to update this model, giving it a facelift in 2016 and improving mechanical functionality by replacing the 40-amp charger with a newly standard 48-amp onboard charger to charge up faster.
Owning a Model S doesn’t come cheap, however. The Model S Standard Range (aka the base model) starts at about $79,000 and can reach $135,000 MSRP with the fully-loaded Model S Performance.
In the streets, the latest Model S features a battery capable of driving 270 miles (equivalent to a round trip from Los Angeles to San Diego, California) on a single charge for the Standard Range and 315 miles for the Performance Range, currently one of the longest battery ranges of any electric vehicle on the market. Plus it’s a fast car, with the ability to go from zero to 60 in 3.0 seconds. Add another $15,000 to get the Ludicrous Mode option, and you can cut that time down to 2.4 seconds if that kind of thing excites you.
The interior of the Model S features a 15-inch touchscreen to control most of the car’s functions, which can sometimes go back and forth in the pros and cons category, depending on whether you see the large screen as a technophile’s dream or a distraction to driving.
Since the Model S made its debut in 2012, typical Model S owners have been made up of innovators in the tech industry like Turo host Wade, who works for a tech company in the San Francisco Bay Area, or lifestyle entrepreneurs like Monk, who stay ahead of trends in tech by jumping in rather than watching from the sidelines.
Starting at $79,000 for its base model, the Model X brought Tesla into the crowded crossover SUV market in 2015, featuring falcon-wing doors reminiscent of Doc Brown’s Delorean in “Back to the Future.” The largest of Tesla’s current models, its roomy interior has turned routine family road trips into weekend adventures that are anything but boring.
Any conversation about what makes the Model X special has to cover its power and speed. With up to 762 net horsepower, the Model X can go from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds, which is pretty fast considering it’s bigger and heavier than most cars.
After receiving a full charge at one of Tesla’s supercharger stations or charging stations, the Model X can go on longer than most EVs (electric vehicles) with a range of 255 miles for the Standard Range, 325 miles for the Long Range, and 305 miles for the Performance model — an added convenience for road-trippers worried about finding a place to charge up as they make their way to their next adventure.
The Model X does have its downside, including costing you a pretty penny should you go all out and opt for the top-of-the-line Model X Performance, complete with Ludicrous Mode, at about $150,000. The second- and third-row seats aren’t exactly roomy, though Tesla has been able to add the ability to fold down seats, which was not available when the Model X made its debut.
Like the entire crossover SUV market, the Model X can be the ideal vehicle for drivers of all shapes and sizes. Seating six to seven passengers, it’s an attractive option for the hipster moms and dads not wanting to conform to the traditional vanpool vehicle. But with its speed and sleek, stylish design, it’s also appealing to enthusiast car owners like Turo host Rajat.
Considered the “mass-market” Tesla vehicle, the Model 3 starts at $39,000 and can reach up to $62,000 after all the upgrades. After initial deliveries in 2018 (and after receiving almost 375,000 pre-orders two years before its first release), Tesla continues to receive orders from price-conscious but tech-savvy consumers who want the agile handling and speed of a Tesla, without investing the equivalent of a down payment for a house.
Aside from its affordability, the Model 3 drives in with the same sleek technology featured in all of Tesla’s current models, including dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and a remote start feature with the Tesla smartphone app. The Model 3 Standard is also fast, like sports car fast, going from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds. And in addition to its speed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also recognized the Model 3 for having the lowest probability for injury of all cars ever tested.
In addition to the delays in production and delivery times, the Model 3 does have some notable shortcomings, including uncomfortable rear seating, lack of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and a complicated infotainment screen that some have found distracting.
The Model 3’s price point truly makes it the Tesla for everyday consumers. Whether you live in Silicon Valley itself or are from the heart of the midwest like Paul, the Model 3 might be a great fit for you, especially with the growing number of charging stations set up across the US. With a sophisticated design, quick acceleration, and smooth handling, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to join the luxury hybrid and electric car class.
Tesla vehicles are changing the auto industry
Tesla’s commitment to clean energy has also generated more excitement and conversations around electric vehicles than ever before. And not just among environmentally conscious drivers either, something we haven’t seen with other electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf or even the popular but predictable hybrid Toyota Prius.
With Tesla’s growing popularity, access to features built into the infotainment system and semi-autonomous driving technology is no longer limited to just millionaires or James Bond types. Now these toys are available to anyone looking to add a little bit of flair and adventure to their daily commute. In short, Tesla has made luxury driving available to you. All you have to do is get in and drive.
Finding the right Tesla model for you
Now that you’re a little more familiar with the current Tesla models, it’s time to see which one is right for you. Is it the smooth and classy Model S, the family-friendly Model X, or the more affordable Model 3? There’s really only one way to find out, and that’s taking one, two, or all three of these Tesla models out for a spin.