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Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla offers a range of electric vehicle models, including the Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, and Cybertruck.
  • The Model S is a luxury executive saloon, while the Model 3 is a more affordable sedan. The Model X is an SUV with unique Falcon Wing doors. The Model Y is a compact SUV.
  • Tesla is also developing the Roadster, a high-performance electric sports car, and the Semi, an electric Semi-trailer truck.

You can’t escape Tesla. Elon Musk’s electric car company has been credited with fuelling the boom in electrification, making mass-market electric cars a reality for many drivers and spurring the rest of the industry into action. It’s been a huge success, and the number of Teslas you see on the road is testament to that. But there’s increasing competition and more options. What started as a conversation about the Tesla Model S and how fast it is, has spawned into real buying decisions for customers.

So how do these Tesla models compare?


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What is Tesla?

Tesla is an electric vehicle (EV) maker now headquartered just outside of Austin, Texas. Its goal is to produce electric cars that are either premium or affordable for everyday consumers – with an expanding portfolio of models. Elon Musk, one of five original founders of the company, holds the position of CEO.

Outside of EVs, Tesla is also exploring a wider ecosystem, offering a number of other solutions that leverage its experience in battery power, such as solar panels and power storage. They are also working to make strides in the world of robotics and artificial intelligence.


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Which Tesla car is right for you?

Tesla is always looking to expand its offering. With the Model S making a huge impact on the market as one of the first pure electric cars, it’s a company that’s hugely disruptive. All the ranges we’ve provided are EPA estimated ranges, but will vary depending on driving style and environmental factors, as EPA ranges tend to be under the most ideal of conditions. Tesla has also changed the positioning of its models recently and, in some cases, offers an upgrade to unlock power or issues firmware updates that change the official figures on ranges. Prices for Europe are from Germany.

There are five current on-sale models, with a number of different versions to choose from, with the Cybertruck finally beginning deliveries. All prices listed here are before tax incentives, which vary wildly by state and country.

Tesla Model S
Source: Tesla

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is very much an executive saloon, with similar long and low design lines as you might find on a Jaguar. The Model S originally launched in 2012 and helped to put Tesla on the map as an automaker. Tesla has continued updating the Model S since its release, and there are currently two versions: Model S and Model S Plaid.

While some earlier editions of the Model S offered rear-wheel drive, all the latest Model S models operate in all-wheel drive (AWD). The latest addition – and flagship – is the Plaid model, offering sub-2.0s 0-60mph – with the Plaid model offering tri-motor propulsion (over the Model S’s dual-motor).

All models offer Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) as standard – which brings a range of driver assistance – but there’s the option for Enhanced Autopilot for $6,000, which adds navigation to TACC, self-parking, auto lane changing, Summon, and Smart Summon, or there’s the full self-driving upgrade at $12,000, which adds traffic light and stop sign control, and autosteer on city streets.

  1. Model S: AWD, 405 miles, 0-60mph in 3.1s
  2. Model S Plaid: AWD, 396 miles, 0-60mph in 1.99s

Tesla Model 3-1
Source: Tesla

Tesla Model 3

  • Starting price: $38,990 / £39,990

The Tesla Model 3 launched in the US in 2016 as the affordable alternative to the Model S. In 2023 a pretty substantial update was announced with interior design and material changes, and exterior styling to make it more aerodynamic. The revamped Model 3 is now available for order in the UK and Europe with estimated deliveries in the first quarter of 2024. Exact dates of availability in the United States have yet to be confirmed.

A four-door sedan, the Model 3 launched with a range of options, but that’s been refined to just three that are currently available. TACC is standard, but Enhanced Autopilot costs $6,000 / £3,400 the full self-driving upgrade is $15,000 / £6,800.

  1. Model 3: RWD, 272 miles, 0-60mph in 5.8s
  2. Model 3 Long Range: AWD, 333 miles, 0-60mph in 4.2s
  3. Model 3 Performance: AWD, 315 miles, 0-60mph in 3.1s

2023 Model 3:

  1. Model 3: RWD, 318 miles, 0-62mph in 5.8s
  2. Model 3 Maximum range: AWD, 390 miles, 0-62mph in 4.2s

Tesla Model X
Source: Tesla

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is the “soccer mom’s” answer to the electric car, though to be clear, it’s certainly priced as a luxury vehicle. It’s an SUV-style EV capable of seating seven people. It uniquely features rear Falcon Wing doors (think the DeLorean in Back to the Future) that, along with the huge touchscreen inside, will make all your kids think you bought a car from the future. There are two models, but three different seating configurations – you can choose 5 (included), 6 ($6,500 extra), or 7 ($3,500 extra). TACC is included, with Enhanced Autopilot for $6,000 and the full self-driving upgrade option is $12,000.

  1. Model X: AWD, 348 miles, 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds
  2. Model X Plaid: AWD, 333 miles, 0-60mph in 2.5s

As with the Tesla Model S, there have been a number of different versions of the Model X, but it’s now distilled into the Model X and Plaid – the latter sporting a tri-motor arrangement.

Tesla Model Y
Source: Tesla

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y fills the space between the Model 3 and the Model X, as a compact SUV. It will seat five, offers plenty of space, but will really appeal to those looking for something more affordable than the Model X. There’s the option for a $1000 tow hitch, and the same Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability upgrades as the other models.

The compact SUV segment drives an enormous amount of volume world-wide, and in 2023 the Tesla Model Y became the first all-electric vehicle ever to become the world’s best-selling car.

Tesla originally suggested four models would be available, but currently offers three specifications:

  1. Model Y: RWD, 260 miles, 0-60mph in 6.6s
  2. Model Y Long Range: AWD, 330 miles, 0-60mph in 4.8s
  3. Model Y Performance: AWD, 303 miles, 0-60mph in 3.5s

Tesla Cybertruck
Source: Tesla

Tesla Cybertruck

The Cybertruck was unveiled in November 2019, as Tesla switched its attention to a pick-up truck format. Tesla hopes this will make waves and peel off market-share in the highly competitive segment, particularly in the United States.

The Cybertruck has a unique angular design, with a stainless steel body and shatter-resistant glass – it has a 6 foot by 4 foot bed and offers 11,000 lbs. of towing capacity on it’s All-Wheel Drive and Cyberbeast models.

There are three versions of the Tesla Cybertruck available for order

  1. Rear-Wheel Drive: 250 miles, 0-60 in 6.5s
  2. All-Wheel Drive: 340 miles, 0-60 in 4.1s
  3. CYBERBEAST (Tri-Motor) : 320 miles, 0-60 in 2.6s

The Dual and Tri Motor versions will arrive first, with deliveries set to begin imminently. The RWD version of the Cybertruck currently has an estimated availability of 2025.

Tesla Roadster
Source: Tesla

Tesla Roadster

  • Starting price: Unknown, reservations open
  • Availability: Unknown

The Tesla Roadster started the whole thing in 2008 – and was due to return in 2020 (it’s been reviewed by some US sources, but otherwise is still only up for reservations only). In May 2023, Elon Musk said that he was hoping for production to start in 2024.

The Roadster’s aim is to be the fastest electric car on the road, with some impressive figures announced so far, with a 0-60mph speed of 1.9 seconds and a top speed over 250mph. It will seat four and has a removable glass roof.

Tesla currently has reservations open but offers little in the way of model specifics when reserving. There is only one type of reservation offered, with $5,000 due immediately, and a wire of $45,000 due within 10 days.

What about future Tesla vehicles?

Tesla Semi
Source: Tesla


The Tesla Semi is exactly what it sounds like: a Semi-trailer truck. A prototype debuted in late 2017 and was planned for production in 2020. In 2022 Tesla began delivering Semis to PepsiCo. In 2023 Tesla confirmed that the fleet of Semis was at roughly 100 units so far. There are some hopes for wider production in 2024.

The Tesla Semi has an estimated 500-mile range on a full charge and would be able to run for 400 miles after an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes using new “Tesla Megacharger” charging stations.

Tesla is hopeful that a combination of newer battery technology, cheap electricity (as compared to fuel), and Autopilot features, will make the Semi a gamechanger among long-haul vehicles.

Tesla Model 2

Tesla is thought to be working on a smaller car, designed for even greater scale. It currently doesn’t have a name, but was teased in May 2023, where Elon Musk said: “We are actually building a new product. We’re not just sitting on our hands here.” There’s currently no timescale on a new model, but it has been confirmed that it will get a proper launch at some point in the future. Tesla would be joining the competition, who are all looking to produce more affordable electric models in the coming years.

tesla s heavily upgraded autopilot will start rolling out in december image 1

What is Tesla Autopilot?

Autopilot is part safety feature, part James Bond-level car tech. It uses cameras that are strategically placed, allowing the car to do things like keep in the center of a road lane, change lanes, and be more adaptive while in cruise control. At a basic level that will allow adaptive cruise control and steering, while Autopilot Enhanced also allows automatic lane changes, parking and Summon (from the app on your phone).

The goal of Autopilot is to eventually lead to autonomous driving. Starting in October 2016, every car Tesla produced shipped with the necessary hardware to use Autopilot. By 2019 it was standard.

Tesla continues to push update options, with more enhanced self-driving features. Most recently, Tesla soft-launched their “FSD Beta,” allowing qualifying vehicles to use their Autopilot features on almost any road.

What are Tesla Superchargers?

Tesla Superchargers are charging stations that have popped up all over the globe in the past 10 years. It’s the electric car equivalent of a gas station. While users can charge their car at home with wall-mounted chargers, Superchargers can recharge a near-dead Model Y battery to 50 percent in roughly 15 minutes.

Tesla cars ordered before January 2017, and still driven by their original owners can use the Supercharger stations for free. Though there are less and less of those around, as Tesla has endeavored to get these unlimited Supercharging customers off their books.

All other Tesla owners pay a nominal fee for supercharging that can vary greatly charger to charger. Some charge by the minute, while others charge by the kWh in areas where Tesla is allowed to directly sell electricity.

Tesla more recently introduced V4 Superchargers, which will increase the charging to 250kW, potentially halving the charge time for compatible vehicles. Tesla’s cars are also compatible with other chargers (as long as the plug fits), and Superchargers are slowly being made more widely available to other models of electric vehicles. The eventual goal is to open up the entire supercharging network to all EVs. In the US, many vehicle manufacturers are adopting the same NACS connection as Tesla, so all chargers can offer the same plug.

How can you buy a Tesla?

In 2019, Tesla announced all its dealerships would close. It’s moving to online-only sales via Tesla’s site. However, a few select shops in high-traffic areas will stay open and serve as showrooms for Tesla cars.

what is tesla powerwall why you need a 10kwh lithium ion battery in your home image 1

Does Tesla make anything else?

Solar Roof

Most of us have seen the homes with gigantic solar panels strapped to their roof. Sure, it’d be cool to lower your electric bill, but it’s not exactly pleasing to the eye. That’s why Tesla came up with Solar Roof. The concept is simple: what if every shingle on your roof was a solar panel? To find out more, see our guide here.


Tesla’s Powerwall is designed to store solar energy. One problem that plagues solar power users is the ability to store energy for use when the sun is down. Powerwall solves that issue. To find out more, see our guide here.

Tesla Shop

At Tesla’s online shop, you can buy some nifty Tesla-branded apparel, but more importantly, you can get car accessories, like a wall-mounted charging port for your home or mobile connectors to charge your car on the go.

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