This article is the subjective opinion of the author, who during 2017-2024 tested a dozen different electric vehicles, is an active participant in more than 10 technical chats, quickly learned not only to assemble simple devices during blackouts, but also to program battery control units (BMS) for consumer needs.

Carefully. Everything written below can cause hate from supporters to “take something cheaper”, but it will help potential Tesla buyers to decide.

Against the backdrop of a price war for a place in the electric car market, there was a significant collapse in prices. And if a year later a “comfortable” ticket to the world of Tesla cost from $35-40 thousand, now you can already find good options worth $25-30 thousand.

2-3 years ago, we associated this brand with the premium segment. But at the beginning of 2024, the number of budget Tesla taxis is growing rapidly. And yes, passengers already know how to open doors with awkward handles.

The most popular are the most popular used mass-produced cars – Model 3 and Model Y. If you already know a little about these cars, I suggest finding answers to common questions that face the purchase of these particular models. Of course, in the status of “used”. We do not take into account the new “deeply restyled” Model 3 of the 2024 model year, they still offer few.

Model 3 or Model Y?

If you look from the front, you can not immediately notice the difference between these models. The Model 3 is a typical D-class sedan that went to the first buyers back in 2017. In 2020, the Model Y “crossover” was included in the kit. Because, in fact, the real ground clearance of the Model Y is 1.5-2 cm higher than the Model 3 and is 15-16 honest centimeters. Depending on how you measure, Elon Musk, like every guy, is capable of exaggerating.

The advantages of the Vaika, in addition to ground clearance, include a high landing (most people like this), a spacious trunk and the ability to get a version for 7 seats. However, the seven-seater version is not so common, and keep in mind that either a child or a grumpy mother-in-law will fit on the third row.

Due to its more aerodynamic profile, the Troika will consume energy more efficiently (by about 10%), will be… softer. Yes, the Model 3 is still a “stool”, but the “Vaika” will generally make you click your teeth on our roads. Especially on the 20th rubber profile in the top versions. And the Model 3 is cheaper.

There are rumors that in 2023 the manufacturer of shock absorbers was changed, the Model Y became softer, but at the time of writing, I personally did not ride the last “Vayks”. In general, Tesla likes to improve or worsen something without additional communications.

So, you need to measure with your body whether you agree to overpay for a landing and a slightly higher ground clearance. For some, it’s really important.

Standard, Long Range or Performance?

There are three main versions of the car:

  1. Standard (battery with a capacity of 50-62 kWh manufactured by Panasonic or CATL) – rear-wheel drive with one motor, base battery, the smallest wheels (if you can say so about the same 18 inches for the Model 3), and other small features. For example, “standard” triples do not have a subwoofer and leg lighting for the driver.
  2. Long Range (75-82 kWh Panasonic or LG battery) – already has two motors, more dynamic, there is a subwoofer😊
  3. Perfomance (75-82 kWh Panasonic or LG battery) is the most powerful version, which will be faster than 99% of cars in the stream. Equipped with the largest wheels, it is recommended on our roads for people with strong jaws.

The Long Range, Single Motor and other “rental” versions are not taken into account due to their low prevalence.

Why don’t I describe in detail the battery capacity and other technical features? Because depending on the market and others, only the manufacturer knows the moments, there are many nuances. There were different motors, different types of batteries, different manufacturers. For an inexperienced user, the answer to the common question “how much will it travel?” is as follows: an unrolled “Standard”, depending on the season and how to press, will travel 200-350 km on a single charge. “Long” or “Perf” are able to travel 270 – 450 km.

Of course, you can set records in both directions of the mileage range, but we will do without extremes.

America or Europe?

Everyone has their own philosophy. In general, you need to understand that cars from America are a little cheaper, have a lower total mileage, but 99% have been in an accident. You can take a car from America, but with a small blow and a whole safety. Other differences between the “Americans”:

  • red “turn signals” at the back (however, the Model Y has a better chance of getting on the “global” lights, which are easier to adapt to our standard);
  • left mirror for “connoisseurs”;
  • “Autopilot” can do more (this is a separate topic for conversation);
  • By 2022, the integrated modem will only work on 4G cellular frequencies without replacement;
  • different charging port.

Everything is “treated” and adapted at will, but it requires money. The adapted “American” costs the same as the “European”, but whether all this needs to be redone is still a question.

Drive “from there” or buy “here”?

At the time of writing, we have so many offers that it makes no sense to drive a car to order. You can qualitatively diagnose a car in Ukraine, and not choose copies based on images. There is a separate sport – to order a car from the USA, wait for it here, and then assemble it with your own hands or with the hands of an (in)experienced master. This is a more religious issue.

Those who believe that cars are all intact in Europe are also not always right. Everyone chooses their own path.

Most importantly, when you order a car from America, due to the long travel time to us, you are at great risk. Without communication with the manufacturer’s servers, the car may lose the so-called certificates. Without them, Tesla turns into a car from the “Chinese” market – the application does not work, the car does not update, etc. Certificates are a separate common topic, if you like this post, I’ll tell you about them.

Once again, Tesla without certificates is not Tesla.

“Fresh Standard” or “Experienced Long”?

The most common question is because these two offers are in the same price range. This is especially true for the Troikas, which have had one restyling and many other changes for almost seven years. Using the example of the Model 3, let’s go through the main differences in the production of a car. I would like to note that the data are approximate, due to the fact that changes were gradually made at different manufacturing plants.

2018 – new hardware was installed – now autopilot version 3.0 instead of 2.5 (it learns on its own, processes the picture from the cameras faster);

2020 year (from December, 2021 model) – significant restyling, added a heat pump, matrix headlights (which do not work normally yet). There have been decorative changes in the cabin, from the main one – wireless charging has appeared, fragile lacquered plastic in the decoration has disappeared. And now the car has an external loudspeaker, the car has “learned” to sing karaoke and release gases (not humor) through it. Subjectively, the build quality has significantly improved, the “knocked down” of the car.

Externally, the restyled model is distinguished by the absence of chrome parts on the doors.

October 2021 – in the Standard version, the usual battery from Panasonic was replaced with an iron-phosphate battery from CATL. This solution is generally good, but not without nuances. And that’s why it’s a separate topic for discussion.

2022 – the change of the processor manufacturer from Intel to AMD, after a while the parking sensors were “taken away”.

The Model Y also began its journey with conventional headlights and parking sensors, but the carousel of changes in this model is even more interesting, the latest “Vayks” already have a promising 4.0 autopilot.

As a result, a conditional question arises – whether to take the 2019 Long or the 2021 Standard. I admit that I bought my Model 3 earlier and at a different price, I settled on a restyled simpler version. Almost 5 seconds to a hundred is enough, I do not use the available battery charge during the day, there is no need to ride between regional centers. However, I got a fresher car with a bunch of goodies and lower mileage.

But, if you need more mileage on a single charge, or you are a BMW-ist at heart, then you can consider Longa from the MILF category. Or even take a swing at “Performance”.

For those who have already settled on the creation of the electric car industry from Elon Musk, I strongly advise you not to rush, but personally drive a new car for a month or two and only after that decide on improvements. In fact, there are a lot of accessories for Tesla, our servicemen have learned how to activate free charging in the branded network of “superchargers” and install full autopilot. It costs a pretty penny and doesn’t always work as we would like. Therefore, it is important, firstly, to decide what you want, and secondly, to find a competent service, and not amateurs. The number of the latter has increased. A mass car, no matter what.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you need to cover some topics more tightly, write in the comments.

If I helped you at least a little with the choice, with permission, I will share a link to the fundraiser of my friend, who protects our skies from attack UAVs.

Технолог за професією, літератор в душі. Любить технологічні речі. Мріє розвинути в Україні мережу безкоштовних заправок для електромобілів.