Tesla Model 3 - entry model or long range?

I’m looking to buy one of these. The differences are as follows (noting I’m in Thailand and specs may differ from other countries):

  1. Price. The Long Range is ~ £5000 more here.

  2. 4 wheel drive. The entry model has rear wheel drive and the Long Range has 4 wheel drive.

  3. Acceleration. Entry 0-60mph is 6.1 secs v Long Range 4.4 secs.

  4. Range. Of course. 347 miles v 423.

  5. Wheels. 18” black wheels v 19” alloys.

  6. The stereo. 7 speakers v 14. Cheaper model has no subwoofer which I have found in the past to be quite important in car stereos. It is also missing a couple of small mid range drivers and tweeters around the seating position which supposedly give a more immersive experience.

My use case: crawling down Petchaburi road 7km and back in fairly heavy traffic going max 50km/h to and from work, on my own, on weekdays only (90% of my use). The remaining 10% would be a run out on the motorway 1-2 times a month.

So in terms of use, the cheaper model seems to be the sensible option. That leaves the stereo. Is it really worth £5000 more for the better stereo?! Online research suggests not, but I’d be interested in your audiophile assessments…

I’d be cautious, they have already paid out compensation over buyers that had the long range version throttled by a SW “update” and YMMV by the tune of 25 to 30% less than claimed. We have them as pool cars at work and I also know several private owners too.
Good luck

1 Like

I get about 200 miles out of my SR in a uk winter, 250 plus in summer. I have had both the SR and the performance version. If I went for another it would be the LR, purely because my only semi regular long trip is to my dad which is 200 miles. And LR would mean no charging stops even in winter.

Acceleration is a non issue, the SR is fast enough (and I used to own Porsches, lotus etc)

4 wheel drive not needed or missed

Stereo is fine but I am not really into hi fi in cars

What is the supercharger network like in Thailand? For me that is the only reason to go Tesla vs the competition at the moment

Ah, by “throttled”, they needed to pay for further software updates?

Really helpful, thanks. The supercharger network is pretty good. With my use, however, all I’d need to do is charge at home.

I have a LR 3 because it was 4 wheel drive and as I live up a lane prone to ice in the winter I decided it might be worth it. It was But it is not 4wheel drive in the conventional sense because the car clearance isn’t any better than a ’normal’ car so it isn’t generally worth paying for it. It does engage all wheels together so does limit spinning. The long range is also pretty limited. My 3 will get 280/300 if I’m careful. Other Tesla models get much better LR. A friend has gotten about 380 out of theirs.

1 Like

Yes, many think that 4 wheel drive means “off roader” but there are many saloons with 4 wheel drive, starting the 80’s there were Ford Sierras, Ford Granadas, Subaru Imprezas, Audi Quattros. All with permanent all wheel drive.

1 Like

FWIW, my personal take:

  1. Cost acceptability is purely personal. Personally I would never buy a new car, and anything more than perhaps £15k on a good (high mileage but well looked after) car is a horrendous amount of money…

  2. I’d never buy a car with RWD: FW or 4W.

  3. The faster the better - not for daily use but because in certain instances it can make all the difference, Than said, 6.1 is no slouch, and it is relevant to consider whether tyres can cope (or cost of tyres as a consumable if they need to be something special).

  4. The greater the range the better - but again a personal thing, depending on how often you make long journeys, how long it takes to recharge, and, importantly, ready availability of chargers in any location you might need.

  5. Whichever is cheapest, unless a material difference to handling or economy. I have no interest in car fashion!

  6. Erm, it is a car. And, though I don’t know specifically about Teslas, it is apparently normal on electric cars to cut down on sound insulation to save weight, as there is less noise to reduce. So it is still not a quiet environment, and, I guess, nowhere near hifi is possible (and if it was, it could be dangerous as it could engross and detract from driving).

1 Like

Three reasons why I will never buy a Tesla car:



Thanks for this. Yeah, I can’t imagine that the stereo is so good that it distracts from driving!

  1. cost is a matter for each of us and all electric cars are very expensive! I doubt I will ever get a reasonable resale value. But I had made the decision to electric for moral and pious reasons. I was very lucky that I had enough money too do so.

  2. As I say I bought an AWD on purpose. It is not, as Guinnless says rather more eloquently than me, an off-roader. I had a RW drive which was enormous fun to drive but terrible on my local roads as soon as it got colder!

  3. I can assure you that my Tesla can accelerate much faster than yours can and can keep a speed faster than the speed limit happily! Electric cars, because they don’t have gears have immediate torque and the acceleration is astonishing and needs to be respected.

  4. Range was important and so I got the long range but these things are relative. Mrs Lutyens’ diesel car can do 500 miles on a full tank easily. There is an element of ‘will I have enough charge to get somewhere’ but you learn to deal with that. I have always found somewhere to charge although you need to remember that a charge stop is 30/40mins rather than a fuel stop of 5mins.

  5. I have no interest is fashion either although I would prefer to drive a car that I like the look of rather than one that I don’t! I bought an electric car because, for all the discussion about the materials mined to make the car/batteries etc, its use was more sustainable. The theory being that electricity can be created from renewable sources rather than using a carbon fuel. I do understand all the contradictions here but I decided that a leap had to be made so have done so.

  6. It is just a car although really it is a computer and that is important to remember. The Tesla arranges its batteries in a slightly different way to others and it is exceptionally quiet. As I understand it, the insulation is to keep your engine noise out rather than other peoples engine noise out. The Tesla like many electric cars has only two noise making ‘engines’ which are shoe box size and are just a motor over each axle. They make very little noise. So the car is quiet, apart from tarmac noise, and is fine.

Eighteen months ago when I was looking at electric cars, the smaller ones simply didn’t have the range I needed so they were out. The ‘bigger’ ones were substantially more expensive, and as the BMW salesman admitted, only at the ‘big and powerful end’ of their range because they needed such a big engine to pull the load of the batteries. So it came down to a Tesla and the Tesla was getting the better reviews. I test drove a Tesla and was sold over the others. It isn’t without its faults/quirks! Everything is controlled on a screen rather than knobs and levers. (apart from indicators!) and that can be challenging and frankly, distracting! The boot is large but not very high so I can only just get my bike it there. And there is of course the fact that it appears that Musk has turned out to be sociopath if not a psychopath rather than a demented ‘genius’. But this far in, I would never go back to petrol/diesel car. Ever.

There are more electric cars on the market now so do look at the others but I am very happy with my Tesla and everything I do with it. Oh, and when you buy it , use the battery indicator to tell about charging not the milage indicator. You will never get the suggested milage indicated between charges!


What a great reply, thank you for this.

I have just now ordered the Model 3 standard range. Fits my needs perfectly. Also, the standard stereo is pretty good for a car stereo. Will take delivery next month. Thanks for all your comments.


Of all the electric cars of which I’m aware, Tesla is the only brand that makes something I am attracted to - somehow all others appear to be compromises where the Tesla doesn’t. Perhaps because they were designed as electric from the ground up, rather than converted either from an existing ICE car or from ICE car production practices.

If I were to buy a Tesla (when their secondhand prices get low enough , and with certainty about battery life), the Model X is the one I’d want, or possibly the Model Y but I’m a bit shaky on its details. Of the Model 3 variants it would have to be the Long Range because there is no way I ever want a RWD car - but the 3 isn’t flexible enough for my needs, so I’d have to have a second vehicle, and I’d rather drop to just one.


Why not?

Try to insist on a Chinese built one rather than American built as the Chinese are apparently far better finished.

The prices here in Thailand are pretty good for new Teslas, mainly as there is a free trade deal on the import with China. Certainly when compared with other electric cars such as BMW, Mercedes they are far cheaper.

RWD on my EV6 certainly isn’t an issue. With good tyres and modern traction control it really isn’t something to worry about. 4WD electric cars are more about performance from twin motors than traction or stability. If you have frequently icy roads or terrible surfaces I suggest you need a suitable vehicle, and winter tyres. Not 400+ bhp!

I have owned many RWD cars. Does my EV6 ‘feel’ like a rear drive car in terms of balance or cornering…no. Neither does it feel like a heavy FWD car, understeering at every bend.

Our i3 is also RWD only. In neither car can I elicit ‘old school’ RWD behaviour. The grip from the i3’s narrow ‘pram’ tyres is amazing really.

Personally I don’tike the Tesla aesthetic, inside or out and I have been unimpressed by the quality and reliability of those owned by friends.



Before I bought one for my wife, I thought the BMW i3 was a toy and not a real car. But I was wrong and in fact the i3 is excellent as an about town car. It’s great fun to drive as well.

The Tesla Model 3 looks bland to me. They are popular around leafy Surrey, so I often see one but there is nothing about them that makes me want one.


The comments about noise piqued my interest. Last week walking through a small local village I was passed first by a Tesla (a saloon, no idea which model) and then a medium sized ICE (Kia or Hyundai or similar brand).
The tyre noise from the Tesla was, to my ears, significantly more noticeable than the combined engine and tyre noise of the ICE car.
Of course the in-car nvh experience is likely to be different to the casual walker experience.


1 Like

The i3 is a design icon I.m.o. I’ve it still in my list

1 Like