Tesla Terms: M3P vs M3LR, and MYLR vs MYP (Which To Buy, And What They Mean!)

I remember when I had my first Tesla test drive: it was a Model Y Performance model, and it was awesome. It was very fast, very sleek – and I loved the minimal interior. I got home and quickly went on the Tesla website – only to cry at the price of the Model Y Performance. (Just kidding… well, sort of).

But what I did do was head over to Reddit and joined a few Tesla subreddits. I also went on the TeslaMotorsClub.com forums and started reading. I quickly saw people say things like “I love the MYLR” or “Should I buy the M3LR or M3P”?

But what exactly do these cryptic terms mean? Are they terms from a secret club, whose meaning you only discover when you buy a Tesla? And if you do like a certain type of Tesla (such as the Model 3), which option should you buy?

Let’s answer these questions (and more) below.

What M3P, M3LR, MYLR and MYP Mean

White Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range UK car
A M3LR Tesla – in other words, a Model 3 Long Range model!

The various cryptic-looking terms that Tesla fans and owners use aren’t actually that confusing.

M3 stands for Model 3 (the cheapest Tesla car, released in 2017), and MY stands for Model Y (the SUV Tesla released in 2020). Then the “P” stands for Performance, and “LR” stands for Long Range.

So putting all that together, the four phrases I mention in this article’s title means the following:

  • M3P – A Tesla Model 3, with the super-fast performance option selected.
  • M3LR – A Tesla Model 3, with longer range than the standard Model 3 option.
  • MYLR – A Tesla Model Y, with longer range than a standard Model 3 (there is no ‘basic’ Model Y option; the MYLR is the cheapest option in the range).
  • MYP – A Tesla Model Y, with the super-fast performance option selected.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. In general, you get all the same features with every Tesla – apart from the range and performance (which do vary). So I wanted to quickly sum up the differences in each model’s price, range and 0-60mph performance.

ModelMax Price (as of April 2020)Range0-60 Speed
Model 3 (base)$48,490267 miles5.8 seconds
Model 3 Long Range$57,490334 miles4.2 seconds
Model 3 Performance$62,990315 miles3.1 seconds
Model Y Long Range$64,990318 miles4.8 seconds
Model Y Performance$67,990303 miles3.5 seconds
Comparing some key aspects of the Model 3 and Model Y, including price and range

As you can see, the Performance model has a quicker 0-60 time and a higher price, but the range will be lower (due to the extra power draining the EV battery more). However whilst the difference isn’t massive in the Model Y range, there is more of a choice to be made for the Model 3 – after all, the M3LR has a fair bit more range than the M3 base model (334 miles versus 267 miles).

Read on for further detail about the Model 3 and Y, and whether there’s a ‘best’ version of each to purchase.

An Overview of the Model 3

The rear Michelin tire of a Tesla
The rear of a Tesla Model 3

Tesla only had two main car choices a decade ago: the Model S and Model X. Both were fairly expensive, often costing over $100,000. But as Tesla built out their gigafactory capacity and ironed out some issues in their supply chain, they could start working on cheaper cars. This hard work (which almost bankrupt Tesla a few times) resulted in the Tesla Model 3 – a car which at times has been available for under $40,000.

Considering that many similar gasoline cars (such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series) cost more than this, the Model 3 was a marvel – an EV that was no more expensive than a comparable gasoline car, even though EV prices were generally much higher than gasoline cars.

Whilst the price has risen since then, the Model 3 is still a fairly reasonably priced car. It has all the standard Tesla benefits such as a massive touchscreen, minimalist interior and access to the Supercharger network.

The Model 3 is classed as a small sedan, and as we all know, it’s fully electric. The base model has a 267 mile range, but the M3LR option has a 334 mile – a nice 20% boost in range. Whichever option you purchase, the 0-60 speed is below 6 seconds – although the M3P offers a brilliant 3.1 second speed.

Whilst the Model 3 is a great car, since it’s fairly low to the ground, it hasn’t always been viewed as a family friendly car. Certainly, I have a 1 and 3 year old, and I don’t consider the Model 3 to be practical for us. Which brings us onto the Model Y.

Model Y Overview

A Tesla Model Y with blue paint in a UK car park
A Tesla Model Y with blue paint in a UK car park

Previously Tesla only sold one family-friendly car: the Tesla Model X. This all-electric SUV is spacious, very fast and has a long range. However its price (often above $100k) meant that it was out of reach for many families.

Enter the Tesla Model Y. This started rolling out in 2020, with a base price of around $60k. It’s 2″ longer and wider than the Model 3, and 7″ taller. Whilst this might not sound like much, it feels much more spacious and family friendly than the Model 3.

There are two base options (the long range, and performance, options) but neither have a massively different price or range (not compared to the Model 3 stats, at least). However you definitely do notice the improved acceleration in the MYP, compared to the MYLR – when you put your foot down in the MYP, your head will slam back into the head rest. This is reflected in the faster 0-60 speeds (3.5 seconds for the MYP vs 4.8 seconds of the long range model).

The Model Y has a 7-seater option in the US and some other markets, but sadly this option isn’t available to us Brits in the UK yet. Nonetheless, it’s still a fairly family friendly car.

Should You Buy The Model 3 or Model Y?

The back of a black Tesla Model Y Performance
The back of a black Tesla Model Y Performance

This brings us to the big question: is the Model 3 or Model Y ‘better’, and which one should you buy? Before I answer that, let me hop onto this fence.

As you might have guessed, I’m not going to give a specific answer to that question – and that’s because it’s not really possible to. The Model 3 and Y are different cars, aimed towards different people at different times of their life.

If you want a high-tech EV which you will use for some local driving, or maybe some trips with you and your partner, the Model 3 will be great for you. But if you have children, you might find that constantly crouching down to put them in the child seat is frustrating – the higher-up Model Y is better for this purpose.

So for me personally, I would want a Model Y since I have two young children. But I am conscious that this comes at a higher cost – the MYLR starts at £55k in the UK, which is £13k more than the starting price of a Model 3.

If I really wanted to buy a Tesla now and my budget was constrained, the Model 3 would be a more natural choice.

Of course, if I won the lottery I wouldn’t buy either the Model 3 or Y. I’d probably go for the Model X! But for the purposes of this question, I would happily have a Model 3 for some local trips or journeys with my wife and I, but when I need to take the children away, the Model Y would be best for us.

Is The M3P, M3LR (or Base Model) Best To Buy?

Screenshot from Tesla.com Model 3 in the UK
Screenshot from Tesla.com Model 3 in the UK

If you’re thinking of purchasing a specific Tesla Model 3, you might be a bit off-put by the various choices. Especially when you have to consider the price, range and performance of it:

ModelMax Price (as of April 2020)Range0-60 Speed
Model 3 (base)$48,490267 miles5.8 seconds
Model 3 Long Range$57,490334 miles4.2 seconds
Model 3 Performance$62,990315 miles3.1 seconds
Comparing the three Model 3 options

But also this choice could arguably be boiled down to a simple enough formula:

  • Do you want a really fast EV? If so, buy the M3P.
  • Do you have range anxiety and feel like 267 miles isn’t enough? Buy the M3LR.
  • In all other cases, just buy the base Model 3 model for under $50k.

Whilst that could be seen as too simplistic, it’s generally true for many buyers. I personally don’t like my cars being too fast (especially since I often have my two very young children with me), so I’m happy to disregard the M3P option. I then just need to consider whether the 20% extra range (in the M3LR) is worth an extra $10k?

In my case, it’s not. When I do travel longer distances, 267 miles (and maybe a trip to a supercharger station) is fine by me. So for me personally, the base Model 3 is ideal.

But of course, your mileage may vary!

MYLR vs MYP – Which Is ‘Best’?

The main boot trunk of a Tesla Model Y
The main boot trunk of a Tesla Model Y

Ah, the Model Y. This is my favorite Tesla by far – it has a great size trunk, awesome performance (even on the slower MYLR version) and feels spacious inside. And it’s usually easier to make a choice between the MYLR and MYP, whose specs I will recap again below:

ModelMax Price (as of April 2020)Range0-60 Speed
Model Y Long Range$64,990318 miles4.8 seconds
Model Y Performance$67,990303 miles3.5 seconds
Comparing the price, range and performance of the two Model Y choices

For me, there’s not a massive amount of difference on paper between these two cars. Yes one is $3k more and has a faster 0-60 speed, but the range isn’t impacted too much by this extra performance.

You really just have to ask yourself whether you want a fast Model Y (in the MYLR) or a really fast Model Y (in the MYP). For me personally, when I test driven the MYP, I found it a bit too fast – I couldn’t imagine flooring it with my children in the back.

So I would happily go with the MYLR, saving a bit of money and having a slightly bigger range. But that’s just me. The choice is, of course, yours and if performance is important to you, the MYP is a stunning car.

Plus you can always make the acceleration slower in the touchscreen if you do have children (or other family) in the car with you (just select the “Chill” option):

The pedals and steering options of a Tesla Model Y including acceleration and steering mode options
The pedals and steering options of a Tesla Model Y including acceleration and steering mode options

Summing Up

Hopefully now you can see that “M3LR” and “MYP” aren’t super-secret terms that are handed down to you by Elon Musk personally. They are just quick abbreviations used by Tesla fans for the basic ‘trim’ options that Tesla provide.

In terms of which Tesla to buy, the choice is entirely yours. One thing is for sure, though: you will almost certainly love your Tesla, whichever one you go for.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan is a software developer who is passionate about eco-friendly lifestyles - and products, such as green cars! He has loved seeing Nissan and Tesla sell loads of quality EVs over the last decade - with every other car manufacturer finally following suit.

EV adoption seems to be at a tipping point now, with 'ordinary folk' starting to order them too. This is naturally aided by very expensive gas prices, but also a genuine desire for people to try and improve the environment.

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