Here’s why you should buy Tesla Model 3 SR+ instead of Toyota Camry

Let’s assume we are going to drive a total of 150,000 miles.

Toyota Camry cost of ownership:

Price: Source:
L – $26,100 (source: link 1)
SE – $28,000
XSE – $30,000

[These prices actually do not reflect the actual price on the dealer’s showroom. Price is always higher than the price shown on their website.]

But let’s assume we will not buy the pricier model. We will buy the cheapest Toyota Camry which costs $26,100.

Gas Cost:
Though Toyota says mpg of Camry is up to 29 city / 41 highway but real world we only get max 25 combined(I drive one). Let’s be generous and take 28 mpg. In order to drive 150,000 miles, we need a total of 150,000/28 = 5,357 gallons of gas. Each gallon of gas costs $3.4/gallon (Averaging present + future 5 years gas prices, in California current gas price is over $5/gallon). So total costs of gas, 5357×3.4 = $18,213 

Engine Oil Change:
Oil Change Every 10,000 miles (According to Toyota Camry ownership manual if it is a taxi or police car, the oil should be changed every 5,000 miles.). 150,000/10,000 = 15 oil change. Each oil change costs a minimum of $50, so 15×50 = 750. (I had bad experiences where oil change cost is very low. Sometimes they don’t change the oil filter)

Transmission Oil Change:
Let’s assume we will not change transmission oil over this 150,000 miles. Toyota ownership manual says we don’t need it for the lifetime of the transmission, but mechanics say we should change transmission oil every 60,000 miles or so even if manufacturers do not recommend it.

Brake Pad and Rotor:
I assume we are very good with brakes, so our all 4 brake pad will last for 50,000 miles. All 4 new brake pads (with only 1 rotor, very optimistic) change cost $350 with labor. We need a total of 3 times brake pad change over 150,000 miles. So, 3×350 = $1050.

Engine Spark Plug Change:
According to the Camry manual, we must have to change engine spark plug around 125,000 miles. Cost $100 with labor (I highly doubt we will get this rate)

Total Cost: $26,100(Price) + $18,213(Gas cost) + $750(Oil Change) + $1050(Brake Pad + Rotor) + $100(Spark plugs) = $46,213

Tesla Model 3 SR+ cost of ownership:

$39,500 (Without Full self-driving feature)

Charging Cost:
Each full charge takes you 250 miles. But we assume it is 240 miles. For 150,000 miles we need total 150,000/240 = 625 Charge. Each full charge costs 10 dollar (50kW x $0.20). So total charging cost 625 x $10 = $6250

Brake Pad and Rotor.
Tesla has regenerative braking. During Toyota Camry we assumed we change our Brake Pad every 50,000 miles because we are very good with our braking. So If we have Model 3 SR+ we will need only one brake pad change. Cost $350.

Total Cost: $39,500(Car Price) + $6250(Charging Cost) + $350(Brake Pad) = $46,100

We exclude Tire rotation, Tire change, Engine air filter(Tesla do not have one), Cabin air filter, and Washer fluids cost.

Cost of ownership per mile at 150,000 miles-

Camry: $0.308
Tesla Model 3 SR+ : $0.307

So from a cost perspective at 150,000 miles, Toyota Camry and Tesla Model 3 SR+ costs about the same. After this, Model 3 SR+ is the winner.

But Extras in Tesla Model 3 SR+ with same cost of ownership:

As you can see at 150,000 miles of ownership both vehicles cost the same. But here are the extra things you get in your Tesla Model 3 SR+.

  1. Autopilot standard.
  2. Ability to upgrade to Full Self-driving feature.
  3. Control everything of your vehicle from your phone.
  4. The world’s most advanced Infotainment system includes games, caraoke (Karaoke for Cars), Netflix, Hulu, youtube, Spotify, web-browser, built-in google maps, etc.
  5. Far superior sound system compared to Toyota Camry.
  6. Heated front seats.
  7. Auto-dimming, power-folding, heated side mirrors.
  8. Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection. (In Camry you have to pay more than $2,000 for a tiny moonroof)
  9. Sentry Mood (reference link 6).
  10. 4 built-in cameras(out of 8) work as a dashcam.
  11. One of the safest cars in the world (reference link 5).

That’s why you should buy Tesla Model 3 SR+ instead of Toyota Camry.

Few References: