Comparison: Tesla Model Y vs Model 3

Derryn Wong
2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore

We compare and explain the differences between the Tesla Model Y SUV and Tesla Model 3 sedan in Singapore

Photos by Tesla, CarBuyer Team, title image by Jonathan Ng

With the official launch of the Model Y SUV in Singapore, Tesla now has two models in its lineup here. Note that while the brand lists the Model S large sedan and the Model X large SUV on its Singapore website, deliveries of both those models have not materialised yet.

The Model 3 and Model Y are similar-looking and similar-sized cars, and they have an almost identical equipment loadout as well, so buyers considering between the two might come up confused as to what the differences are between the two.

The short answer is : The Model Y is an SUV, and is a slightly larger, more spacious, but also more expensive car that has less performance than the Model 3 sedan. 

For the more detailed breakdown of the differences between them, and how to choose one, read on.

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Read more Tesla news on CarBuyer :
– Tesla Model 3 launch news for Singapore
Tesla Model Y launch news for Singapore
Tesla Supercharger in Singapore : How much does it cost to charge?
Here’s why you should be careful with Autopilot in Singapore

You should get the Tesla Model Y if…

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore
Tesla Model Y RWD

You need more space 

While the interior designs are almost exactly the same with the same minimalist layout, the Model Y has one key difference: It has more space.

Both cars have a very similar footprint, though the Model Y is slightly larger, both cars have almost the same wheelbase – Model 3 at 2,880mm and Model Y at 2,290mm. The biggest difference between the two is height: At 1,624mm, the Model Y is 180mm taller than the Model 3 – though again, styling hides this difference quite effectively.

Model 34,694mm1,849mm1,443mm2,880mm
Model Y4,750mm1,978mm1,624mm2,890mm
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y dimensions compared
2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore
The height difference is the most obvious contrast between the Model 3 (blue, in front) and Model Y (white, back)

That height difference is the key reason why the Model Y has much more space than the Model 3.

Boot space starts out at a cavernous 867-litres, and expands to a quoted 2,100-litres with the seats folded down. We checked out the car at launch and it also has an underfloor storage space, as well as additional cubby holes down the side. That’s significantly more than the Model 3 sedan, which only has 425-litres of boot space.

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore
Model Y’s backseat

The rear passenger room is more generous than the Model 3’s, with significantly more headroom, though legroom is not noticeably improved. Shoulder room should also be better, since the Model Y is wider. 

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore
Model Y’s boot space

To sum up, if you need more cargo space and regularly carry five people, the Model Y will suit your needs better. The Model 3 can also carry five people – but with less comfort, and it has less boot space. 

You’re not prioritising the driving experience

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore

It’s a motoring rule of thumb that SUVs are less fun to drive than sedans. This is because SUVs tend to be taller, with higher centres of gravity, they are also larger, and heavier than similarly-priced sedans. 

This holds true for the Model Y and Model 3. We already covered the dimensional differences, but they also translate to less driving performance in terms of acceleration and top speed. If you look at our first impressions drive of the Model Y too, it’s clear that the Model 3 is more suited to those who want fun behind the wheel. 

Model 3 RWDModel Y RWDModel 3 PerformanceModel Y Performance
Power239hp / 420Nm 320hp / ??? Nm505hp / 670Nm530hp / ??? Nm
0-100km/h6.1 seconds6.9 seconds3.3 seconds3.7 seconds
Top Speed 233km/h217km/h261km/h250km/h

You should get the Tesla Model 3 if…

Model 3 on the road

You want a sleeker body shape or prefer the sedan look

Both cars look quite similar in the flesh, especially from the front. As far as SUVs go, the Model Y avoids the very tall, boxy look and resembles a high-riding fastback than a soft-roader – that’s probably to preserve aerodynamic efficiency. However, next to a Model 3, it does look taller and more ungainly, and despite the fact that SUVs are the popular choice these days, it’s not likely to draw buyers based on its looks alone but rather its practicality. 

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore
Model 3 on the road

You want to spend less

The Model Y is a larger, more spacious car and hence it will cost you more than an equivalent Model 3. The important thing to note here is that the Model Y is around S$30k more expensive than the Model 3 – so if you’re counting pennies then it’s clear that the sedan has the edge here.

Tesla prices without COE, with rebates (July 2022)
Model 3 RWDS$114,655 
Model Y RWDS$142,471
Model 3 PerformanceS$164,398 
Model Y PerformanceS$190,195

But what about the range and charging times?

2022 Tesla Model Y versus Tesla Model 3 - CarBuyer Singapore

The Model 3 and Model Y don’t actually differ hugely when it comes to range, and they have the same charge times. On paper, a Model 3 will go further than a Model Y, because the latter is a larger, heavier car. But in Singapore, where distance doesn’t matter quite as much, we say the range difference between the two shouldn’t affect your buying decision that much.

Model 3 RWDModel Y RWDModel 3 PerformanceModel Y Performance
Battery (gross)60kWh70kWh82kWh90kWh

*From LTA homologation figures 

However because all of them have the same Supercharger-capable tech onboard, with a fast charge rate of up to 250kW, charging times are quite similar for all Model 3 and Model Y variants. In fact Tesla Singapore says they’re the same – i.e. a Model 3 RWD and Model Y RWD have the same charge times.

With a Supercharger, all cars will go from 10 to 80 percent in less than half an hour, officially ‘around 20 minutes’. ‘Regular’ 11kW AC charging will take seven hours for a full charge, for RWD models, and 8 hours for the Performance models.



About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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