Tesla Buying Guide
In terms of company growth and product success in an overcrowded market, Tesla is a modern-day success story. Their first production car was unveiled a little over 10 years ago, following its incorporation by Elon Musk, with the fully electric Roadster, yet late last year they became only the sixth company in history to achieve over $1 trillion market capitalisation, quite the achievement in such a short space of time. So why the revolution in the marketplace?
A Quick Overview
When Tesla’s production cars first came along, they set a precedent for cars that manage to be aerodynamically very efficient, yet refreshingly looking like normal cars on the outside, something not often said about electric cars at the time. The models may look contemporary externally, but they adopted revolutionary minimalism on the inside, whilst blending the very latest technology and features not seen on other mainstream vehicles. The Model S was the first of their vehicles that ditched the traditional idea of a car interior, with dials, switches or buttons replaced by a single central mounted touchscreen, and a huge one at that. All functions and controls for the car are operated from a 17” touchscreen control in the centre of the dashboard, altering everything from heating and seat controls, to multimedia, navigation, lighting and so on.
This ethos of ‘not following the crowd’ is something that has ensured Tesla have become the success they have, with a new way of looking at what cars can be. A fresh approach to give their take on what a car means to people and the functionality they can offer. In many cases this brought hi-tech features such as autopilot, automatic lane change, automatic parking and so much more, but often includes a light-hearted take providing features you did not even know you needed (like a log fire screensaver for the touchscreen complete with crackling noise played through the speakers). Even new features and upgrades are often available as ‘over-the-air’ downloads to existing owners offering new possibilities, new technologies and even performance and range improvements.
The Tesla Range
The current Tesla range consists of the Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y, (reportedly to spell out the moniker ‘SEXY’), and with yet more in the pipeline for the future to offer something for everyone. So, with 4 models to choose from, we thought we would put together a Tesla buying guide to simplify the options:
Tesla Model S
The luxury saloon of the range and the longest serving model in the line-up. The range has been slimmed down to offer a dual-motor all-wheel drive ‘standard’ drivetrain capable of an estimated range of 405 miles, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds. The flagship of the range, the Model S Plaid, offers over 1,000bhp from its tri-motor all-wheel-drive set up and a claimed 0-60mph time of just 1.99 seconds with an estimated range of 396 miles.
Both models are equipped with a 17” landscape touch screen, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, wireless or fast charging capability, a 22-speaker 960-watt audio system with active noise reduction and much more.
Used Model S’s are also available with alternative models signifying the power or motor configuration available, with 75, 85, 90 and 100 options available and followed by a ‘D’ for dual motor or no letter for single motor versions. They also come with extra self-explanatory names depending on the options selected such as Long Range, Performance or ‘Performance Ludicrous’ for those looking for that extra performance (now superseded by the Plaid).
Tesla Model 3
The compact saloon of the line-up, the Model 3 is seen as the Tesla for everyone, starting at a more reasonable £48k. Available as a rear-wheel drive (305-mile estimated range, 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds) or dual-motor all-wheel drive version and with Long Range (374-mile estimated range, 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds) or Performance (340-mile estimate range, 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds) variants of the latter.
The Model 3 may be smaller than the Model S, yet it still features a huge 15” touchscreen to the interior, can be opened with a smartphone as a key and can still be equipped with options such as Enhanced Autopilot and even what Tesla call ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’.
Tesla Model X
The largest SUV of the Tesla range, often remembered as the one with the ‘Falcon Wing’ gullwing rear doors. The doors may have been originally seen as a gimmick, yet they demonstrate another way that Tesla think outside the box, by creating a unique feature for the car whilst offering improved accessibility to the rear seating. The Model X range has also been simplified to offer the ‘standard’ dual-motor all-wheel-drive version (348-mile estimated range, 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds) and the 1,020bhp Plaid with a tri-motor all-wheel-drive set up (333-mile estimated range, 0-60mph in 2,5 seconds). Both models are equipped with a 17” landscape touch screen, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, wireless or fast charging capability, a 22-speaker 960-watt audio system with active noise reduction and seating for up to 7 passengers.
Used Model X’s are also available with alternative models signifying the power or motor configuration available, with 75, 90 and 100 options available and followed by a ‘D’ for dual motor or ‘Long Range’ or ‘Performance’ depending on the variation selected.
Tesla Model Y
The newest model in the range, the Model Y, is the smaller SUV based on the Model 3 platform and comes in rear-wheel-drive (283-mile expected range, 0-60mph in 6.6 seconds) or dual-motor all-wheel-drive options with the Performance (319-mile expected range, 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds) or Long-Range version (331-mile expected range, 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds). Despite its smaller size the Model Y can be specified with seating for up to 7 and features the same 15” touchscreen and advanced technology features as its larger siblings.
All Tesla models can take advantage of the Tesla Supercharger network ensuring you are usually not too far from a power source at any point, and on-board navigation software ensures that your route can consider their location on your journey should you need them. Not only that but Tesla’s own app will ensure that Tesla cars have priority at their own charging stations and those travelling longer distances in their Tesla, or require more charge, even have priority over other Tesla owners. With additional models scheduled including a second generation Roadster, ‘Cybertruck’ pick up truck and ‘Tesla Semi’ commercial lorry, the Tesla revolution may be extending even further over the next few years.
Here at Oracle Car Finance, we even have the ability to help you purchase your Tesla whilst sourcing your bespoke finance solution. If you are thinking of purchasing any of the available Tesla models and making the switch into these electric vehicles, your dedicated Account Manager will be on hand to talk you through the buying process and finance options tailored to you and your requirements. You can get in touch with us either by calling us on 0800 012 6666 or clicking here.
Voted Best Specialist Car Finance Provider three years in a row at the Car Finance Awards 2020, 2021 and 2022 having funded over £1.5 billion.