in

2021 Model 3 Long Range vs. Standard Range Plus (RWD) – Is the LR Worth the Upgrade?



Scan every Tesla forum and you’ll find several threads about “Model 3 LR or SR+” with prospective owners deliberating this difficult decision. If they cost the same, the Long Range is probably a no brainer, but they don’t cost the same. So, the question is: Is the Model 3 Long Range worth the upgrade? I’m here to compare the two and make the decision easier for you. FYI, both cars used in this test were 2021 model vehicles, and as we know Tesla prices and features change every week, so hopefully this video stays relevant through 2022!

Acceleration:
– Long Range does 0-60 in 4.2 seconds vs. Standard Range Plus in 5.3 seconds. And NOW all we get is the Model 3 RWD which does 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, a big power gap there

Range
– SR+ is 267 miles (with 19″ wheels) vs. LR at 334 miles. Again, no contest here

All-Weather Driving
– Long Range AWD for the win!

Handling
– Sure, the Long Range has AWD for better grip and driving in rain/snow, BUT that adds 400 pounds to the weight. Yes, you read that right! The extra motor plus larger battery weighs OVER 400 pounds more than the Standard Range Plus model
– Given this, I give the SR+ (RWD) model the edge in handling, it simply feels nimbler and more responsive
– Let me put it another way: The Model 3 SR+/RWD is a rear engine, RWD car. Sound familiar? (hint: Porsche 911/Carrera)

Weight (source: Tesla website)
– Standard Range Plus (RWD): 3,600 pounds
– RWD: 3,880 pounds
– Long Range, Dual Motor (AWD): 4,065 pounds

Regenerative Braking
– The Long Range model has more aggressive regen than the SR+/RWD model/ Why?
– You’ve got TWO motors doing the regen = more regen
– SR+/RWD model has limited regen capability, not just because there is one motor, but because the single motor can’t be tuned for maximum regen, otherwise the strong decelerative forces could upset the handling balance/stability of the car

Audio
– Long Range has premium audio, which sounds much better (though not amazing)

Other stuff
– Long Range charges faster – charges up to 250 KW (SR+/RWD charges up to 175KW)
– Heated steering wheel standard on LR; not even offered on the SR+/RWD
– Heated rear seats included on LR; a $300 upgrade on the SR+/RWD
– Long Range comes with floormats (SR+/RWD does not!)
– Long Range has additional LED interior lighting
– In the Long Range model you hear more “whirring” from the electric motors, because you have one right in front of you. The SR+/RWD model, with its motor located far in the rear, you can only hear on hard acceleration. The car is otherwise totally silent

Cost
– With just a $6,000 difference between the two models (as of December 23rd, 2021), I think the choice is clear: Upgrade to the Long Range! So worth it, even though I’ve decided to keep my SR+ (I love the handling too much to give it up – best handling Tesla ever!)

46 Comments

  1. I have owned a SR+ for a year now. I now have a Long Range on order. The SR+ works fine on longer trips between major cities in california. But when you go off the main highways, the range makes a huge difference. Some national parks I just can't comfortable go to because of the range.

  2. I believe the SR+ (rwd) is THE most efficient EV available today. – period…. When I bought my 2020 it was a relative bargain at around $37k base. The battery pack is somewhere around 50kw/hr (I think)…. If you charge at home on a standard 120v outlet, the SR+ will charge faster, as I believe the LR battery is around 20% +/- larger. But if you have a Tesla 240 v wall charger, the SR+ maxes out at only 32 amps, while I believe the SR can charge at 40 amps (maybe more??), so the LR will charge faster.. My 2020 SR+ only has 14,000 miles and is only about.2 years old, but my range has dropped from 250 down to only 208 miles at 100% charge. And I blew through the original 18” Michelin Primacy MXM rear tires at only 12,000 miles. So my range is tight 4 sure. I don’t travel much but I do get anxiety when the range drops below 40%, even though I charge at home. It really doesn’t take much driving to give me range anxiety, but I can honestly say that in almost 2 years, I have literally only used superchargers twice and have never been anywhere close to getting stranded with no charge. For me, I really think the SR+ (rwd) is a smart way to get into a Tesla at the lowest cost possible. I live in Florida, so awd is not necessity. The lighter SR+ really does handle extremely well…. I really have no regrets…

  3. On a lease it makes $200 difference, difficult to justify, 270 can be charged at 100% while LR should be charged at 90% so that range Gap is not that significant.

  4. If you have the money for the LR sure, however now with the LR being almost 10,000 more, the SR+ is a way better option for what you get and now being able to charge to 100% unlike the LR that still can only be charged up to 80%

  5. The 2022 Standard Range is much heavier than the 2021. The Long Range which was initially 400 lbs heavier in 2021 is now only 170 lbs heavier. This is mainly due to the new LFP heavier batteries installed on the Standard Range which is also why the 0-60 time is much slower on the Standard Range in 2022 compared to 2021. Having said that does that negate the previous con regarding the weight for the Long Range?

  6. I would stick to the SR+ to retain the advantage of the LFP battery chemistry. (Safer, longer battery life, flexible charging without battery degradation)

  7. Thanks for the great video. It is now a $9k upgrade from SR+ RWD to the LR AWD. Is the LR AWD still worth it?

  8. I have had all models, a 2019 LR awd, a 2020 performance and i now have a 21 sr+ from china with LFP. The sr+ is the way to go if you dont drive that much. And the fact that you can charge the LFP to 100% makes it even better!

  9. Great review I think the current RWD comes with LFP batteries and it allows charging to 100% daily. However the LR it's still recommended to charge to 80% or 90%. So the range becomes less comparing the two. And in the long term it looks like LFP degradation is much lower than LR batteries. Also Tesla added the heated steering and back seats standard to the RWD. Unfortunately here in Canada the difference is around $10,000 which makes it really expensive.

  10. Here are our thoughts….Not from "Cali"….not a slam but….

    We live in the Mts of Colorado and the mileage benefits are super important (especially in sub zero temps).

    The other thing with the LR there is All Wheel Drive! Simply a must in ice/snow.

    Your thoughts are spot on…however driving both even in dry/wet/snow/etc…..I think you might come around to the Dual Motor, which you kind of mentioned.

    Range, power, AWD, etc……I do think it IS worth it!

    Terms have changed, as everything "TESLA", but you are correct the M3 is a great car. The "new" M3LR is a great choice….especially in colder climates!

  11. Thanks for the review!! I'm trading in my 2019 BMW 330i and I'm also conflicted between Model 3s, but the price difference between RWD and AWD is now $7,500. Do you think the AWD is still worth it at that new price gap? Also, do you know how the RWD (SR+) audio compares to stock BMW? The RWD fits 95%, if not more, of my driving needs.

  12. I’m conflicted because the sr+ fits my needs, but I REALLY want the premium audio. The sr+ audio is still good enough right?

  13. Placed an order for the lr model 3 but after some thinking I realized the biggest features the lr offers like awd, faster 0-60 and longer distance are things I don’t really need for my type of driving , so I switched to the rwd. Hopefully down the road I don’t regret not going with the long range model.

  14. Thank you for this review because I was going through the exact same situation. Your video has really helped me 👏🏽

  15. Absolutely disagree BMW Harmon Kardon is better…at least on the comparative 2/3/4 series. I have an M2 COMP and Model 3. Zero contest for audio. Also, we refer to it as "understeer" if you're feeling the car push in turns. Good analysis on the 18 vs 19" but that's not a when size issue, that's a tire compound. Try Michelin PS4. Sounds like what you need is Tesla to make the RWD long range again…And maybe so do I.

  16. On the 2022 the difference between the SR+and the LR in terms on range are kinda the same now because the LR gives you 350 miles but its recommended to charge up to 80% witch is about 280 miles and the SR+ with the new LFP battery its ok to charge up to 100% with a range of 273 miles , so if you do the math is only 7 miles more on the LR for 6k more . So if you don't really care about acceleration and wanna save 6k and get a battery with less degradation get the SR+ .

  17. Shame they don't make the LR RWD anymore. Probably the best mix of range and driving characteristics. I test drove a MYP and really was surprised how much a difference that weight over the front wheels makes. Feels completely numb

  18. Great video, thank you.

    Really useful to hear an honest comparison rather than owners trying to justify their purchase.

  19. The SR+ is MIC supplying the UK market currently , has the new DPF battery and can be charged to 100% everyday if needed improving the range to 220 miles real world. The LR is only about 50 miles better . The DPF battery is claimed to be good for 3000 charge cycles & 1m miles. battery life. The premium price between the SR+ and the LR in the UK is £7k ($9500 US) [ Feb 2022 ]. For my needs the SR+ is more than I need. I can get the colour I prefer , get a tow hitch and PPF to protect the paintwork. I’m going for my second test drive on Tuesday, to make the final decision.
    I only drive about 8k miles a year, 95% within 50 miles of home. Great video, very honest. Thank you

  20. I drive 60 miles a day to get to work. Is buying a tesla a bad idea for this situation? obviously 60 miles to get home too

  21. I have a BMW with a Harman Kardon system and it’s great but the LR is WAY better, like leaps and bounds better when it comes to sound quality.

    I’ve also had other cars with Harman Kardon sound systems that sound better than my BMW but none of the compared to the sound system in the LR Tesla. 👍🏻

  22. Here's some fun with EU pricing: LR is over 11k EUR more expensive – SR is also only one getting 2k EUR goverment sub, bringing the difference to 13k EUR. Also new LFP models can always Be charged to 100%, range difference is not that much anymore then, vs 80% charge on LR. SR is just awesome value compared to any electric car…

  23. I understand the tech advances with the new lfp batteries on the SR but god damn I can’t get over the fact they’re making Tesla’s heavier and slower for the newer models… they’re already such heavy cars, hope they don’t make them heavier with the 4680’s!

  24. Love everything about my Long Range Model 3. The standard plus didn’t suit my needs as the LR did. Love the extra “weight” and the handling is great to me. The speed and acceleration is great as well. Kept the 18 inch tires and the ride is great. Test drove the standard and it wasn’t for me

  25. Insurance is brutal on the long range and performance models. Moreover, I absolutely my 2022 RWD Model 3 that’s now a week and a half old. I have no problems with range nor charging speed. Just remember to precondition the car when you’re on long road trips to obtain the fastest charging speeds.

  26. I enjoyed this video. In your heart, you sound like you prefer the standard range. I feel like the RWD will also depreciate less than the Long Range AWD, so that’s a factor for me. What do you think?

  27. Agree the SR+ is so nimble and handles nicely. Lease on my 2019 is up soon….problem is the LFP car replacing it is about 3800 lbs so nearly as heavy as Long Range car.

  28. 400 "extra" pounds would be just three passengers. Premium sound system, Faster and fewer charging stops away from home. Vegas is outside of my long range but I never had to get there by car fast. I stop to pee at the candy store with dozens of super chargers. The power with or without the acceleration boost download is worth the price difference all by itself to me. If you can afford it get it, if you can't get the short range and factor in the stops on road trips. My vote is for the long range as budget allows.

  29. I’d be willing to bet that nobody in the entire world ever got the LR and had buyer’s remorse because they didn’t get the SR instead.

  30. No difference in charging speed in real life, just 40 min extra range and acceleration, unless you go for the performance someone will always beat you at the traffic lights.

  31. The best video I have seen on comparing the two models. Thank you very much as your video helps significantly with the decision making process. I like how you covered all the pros and cons in depth.

  32. Hands down one of the best comparison videos I've ever seen for the Model 3. Thank you.

  33. Thank you. I just picked up a blacked out standard range plus. I was wondering how the longe range handled.

  34. Damn you are repetitive. On and on about the weight. We get it! You could of taken 5 minutes out of the repetition. Nice of you to make a video about the differences just needed some more editing so the same thing isn’t repeated over and over again.
    Like sometimes you repeat yourself a lot. I found that often you repeated yourself and that was annoying but just the repeating is what I find to be a bit off putting. The review had some repeating during the trip which is kind of repetitive. But as long as you don’t mind repetition and hearing the same thing repeated in a repetitive way it can be a good review of the same thing over and over in a repetitive way.

    Get it? Good on you for doing it. Work on the editing 👍

  35. Not a huge difference, but it's a bit disappointing that the 0 to 60 went up with the newer RWD version versus the standard range plus.

  36. One of the best videos I have seen comparing the two models 3.
    Makes me happy that I have chosen the LR, for all the reasons you have talked in your video. I was more interested on the range and the all wheel drive, plus the regen was on my mind too.
    And with the price difference, it was a no brainer.
    I should be getting mine this month, can't wait.
    How far is your drive to LA? From where are you driving, it looks like a beautiful drive.

  37. I wanted the LR but after factoring in taxes and fees and the red paint, it was nearly 60k. I prefer the SR+ for now since I work from home and figure I'll trade up in four years once the battery tech advances.