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Tesla Model Y vs. Model 3: Performance Variant Showdown

Credit: YouTube | The Kilowatts

The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are the electric automaker’s two mass-market vehicles that were aimed toward making electric transportation a mainstream idea. The two cars share 75% of the same parts and have been referred to as “siblings” by Tesla enthusiasts. But how do the Performance variants of the two vehicles compare in terms of handling, acceleration, and efficiency?

The Kilowatts YouTube channel aimed to answer that question for the consumer, the enthusiast, or even the curious. How would Tesla’s mass-market sedan match up against its mass-market crossover?

Three tests were performed to compare the two vehicle’s performance in the three different categories. While handling tests can be subjective, the other two were based purely off of data that proved to show the Model 3 Performance was the superior vehicle in a 0-60 MPH assessment and efficiency. But the Model Y wasn’t far behind in either category and for a crossover, that speaks volumes.

A comparison of the two vehicle’s Performance variants shows the cars are strikingly similar in acceleration, range, and 0-60 specifications.

Model 3 Performance

  • 299 miles of range
  • 75 kWh battery pack
  • 162 MPH top speed
  • 3.2-second 0-60 MPH
  • 20″ Gray Performance Wheels
  • Performance Brakes
  • Carbon fiber spoiler
  • Lowered suspension
  • Aluminum alloy pedals

Model Y Performance

  • 280 miles of range
  • 75 kWh battery pack
  • 155 MPH top speed
  • 3.5-second 0-60 MPH
  • 21″ Überturbine Wheels
  • Performance Brakes
  • Lowered suspension
  • Aluminum alloy pedals

The 0-60 MPH comparison of the two cars performed by The Kilowatts proved the Model 3 was superior in acceleration. It came just .15 seconds over its estimated 0-60 time that Tesla specified on its website at 3.35 seconds, while the Model Y recorded a 3.72-second time.

The Model 3 edged the Model Y in 0-60 MPH time. (Credit: The Kilowatts on YouTube)

Even in efficiency, the Model 3 was around 5% more efficient, registering 275 watt-hours per mile compared to the Model Y’s 295 watt-hours.

The two electric vehicles are remarkably similar in build, performance, and efficiency, and the company’s entire fleet continues to improve thanks to software releases that positively impact performance and battery tech.

Tesla has made battery manufacturing and technology a key focus of its company’s development through the past few years. Improvements in battery anodes and electrodes, along with developments in cell-life preservation, have allowed the company to become the first automotive manufacturer to produce an electric car with 400 miles of EPA-estimated range.

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Although the Model 3 and Model Y continue to be Tesla’s two most popular sellers, each vehicle appeals to differing needs in practicality and performance. Both cars offer white-knuckle acceleration packed with efficient range ratings that allow for long-distance travel. However, the decision of which vehicle to purchase comes down to what the owner personally needs.

The Model Y crossover has more cargo space and caters to those with small families. The Model 3 provides plenty of space for owners but is not quite as big as its sibling in the Model Y.

When choosing which to buy, it all comes down to personal preference. While the Model 3 currently offers slightly faster speeds and better efficiency, the Model Y offers cargo room that would be great for anyone who is hauling the kids to and from soccer or picking up the weekly grocery haul.

Watch the Kilowatts Model Y and Model 3 comparison video below.

Tesla Model Y vs. Model 3: Performance Variant Showdown
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