Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Advice - potential new owner

Hi all. I’m looking for some practical advice reassurance since ordering a M3 LR on a personal lease through Lex autolease (through Gateway2Leaselease). I had a 30 min test drive on the weekend and I was blown away but at the same time left me a little concerned.

Positives
- performance of course
- loved the MMI and found it really easy to use
- interior quality in my view is very good - nice plastics and even the harder plastics were pretty decent
- amazing sound system

Concerns
- car was a 71 plate so pretty new but there were multiple rattles all over the cabin. Could this be a Friday afternoon car or just trashed as it’s being used as a demo.
- suspension firm but comfortable but suspension clunking / noisy over bumps and a little crashy at times (tyres running on 44 psi)
- wind noise at motorway speeds - fairly noisy

Now I get it, all cars, even premium ones, will pick up rattles over time but I thought it was excessive for such a new car. I read from some owners that Tesla do not consider rattles as warranty items. Is that true and the experience of those on the forum? If the case it would be enough for me to cancel my order.

Ive also read some M3s suffer from wind noise more than others depending on their build / panel gaps. Again would you say the wind noise is worse than in your previous cars. Road noise was certainly less than a Mercedes A35 I once leased.

How long does it take to get into your local Tesla service centre - with and without courtesy car? My experience with Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealers is 4 weeks wait with courtesy car. Thanks
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
2,915
2,366
Norfolk
I guess a lot depends on tyre pressures and road surface. Mine’s a 20 plate. There are no significant rattles, though when empty, the passenger seat back rattles a bit.
yes, there’s tyre and wind noise but not worse than any other car I’ve owned. Panel gaps are fine too.
never had the need for a service centre visit I’m afraid. (That’s a good sign!)
mine is a U.S. manufactured car. Your’s will be Chinese and they are considered by many to be better.
Demo cars will always have a hard life!
I wouldn’t be too concerned.
 
The suspension is quite hard - intentional as apparently lots of people like it like that.. not noisy though. The Tesla picks up a lot of road/wind noise (compared to my Leaf for example, which was very quiet by comparison).. but rattles should be able to be dealt with as a service item if you get any.. mobile service will come out to fix a lot of stuff on your driveway.

Most I've ever waited for service is a couple of weeks but never had much go wrong (rear heater cracked the window, not serious really). It varies with service centre of course. Biggest problem is if there's something big needs replacing and there's a wait for parts (after a crash for example) where you hear of it taking months to get the right part from the US. I'm not sure how that compares to other brands though.
 

GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,674
1,766
UK
I've had a rattle fixed as a warranty item, so that's not true, but as with all these things there's perhaps a limit to what's considered reasonable. I think the same goes for Wind noise, not been anything unexpected on mine but there are folks on here that have had doors/windows adjusted to make a better fit.

Same as others, never had much problem getting a booking at a service center West of London, if I look today there's availability at Reading on Thursday and next week at West Drayton. If it's not while you wait they you can get a loaner or Uber credit.
 
The issue is no longer getting reasonably dated service appointments but the parts needed for those appointments. It has recently improved (last year I had several appointments postponed night before for a month or more waiting on parts) but whilst still an issue, my recent experience is that they are a bit smarter and if possible will do as much as they can then rebook for another appt a few weeks later. I also had an issue with a major part which left us with an undrivable car - out part came in overnight but others around same time frame had been waiting a month or more. Not sure what is going on there or we were just ‘lucky’ with the timing of our breakdown.

As for ride comfort. I find it very firm even on 18” wheels - I’ve had firmer but they were sports models, our LR is a regular saloon car not performance model. Trying to type a nav location as a passenger on a regular urban road is still a challenge. It’s fine on smooth surfaces though.
 
We 'downgraded' to a M3LR from a BMW X3 M Sport, and the suspension is noticeably softer than what we were used to with the BMW. Still - the M3 ride is on the firmer side - fine for decent A-roads and motorways but on a bumpy track you will feel the imperfections in the road. If you live in an area with lots of potholes/speed bumps you may want to take that into consideration.

Not had any problems with rattling so perhaps there was an issue with the car you were given to test.

The insulation on the new 2021 (made in China) edition M3s is excellent - much better than the car we test drove. Really not very much in the way of road/tyre/wind noise considering there's no engine rumble to drown them out, and the sound system is so strong that it can overpower most external noise anyway.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
2,014
1,858
UK
I don't find the suspension firm, I don't find it very accurate though when pushing on but thats another matter.

Noise wise its not the quietest car, they probably go easy on sound insulation to save cost and weight. I've had quieter cars on motorways but its not horrendous. I had a Model S before getting a Model 3 and the Model S was quieter. I therefore don't think it's a build quality things as such, but could be "design quality" and not going all out to make it really quiet.

The perception of these things comes down a lot to what you're used to. You list some premium makes and I've owned Audi, Merc, a lot of BMWs and my wife still has one and there are definitely things about Tesla which feel less premium than those makes in terms of depth of design. Just look at the boot opening struts and compare those to a £50k+ BMW saloon, the suspension is fixed with no adaptive settings, the brakes are relatively weak compared to the best of the rest but not bad in absolute terms etc. It doesn't make it a bad car at all, it kind of depends what you value in a car and you will almost certainly love many aspects but may miss others.
 
Thanks folks - appreciate your comments. It’s reassuring to know that you can get into a service station pretty quickly and with the opening of a new Northampton centre i will be well catered with the Milton Keynes centre nearby. The question on covering rattles on warranty was triggered by reading the warranty terms and conditions where it states rattles and noises are not covered unless something is broken. Maybe I just got a demo that has been trashed. I agree wind noise is what it is so just need to deal with that and having come from a X4 M40d suspension comfort is not too far off that. I agree something like a BMW has nicer materials but the quality on the Tesla is generally very good so don’t see it too much of a downgrade from my wife’s current Audi A6 phev other than wind / road noise. The M3 LR is actually for my wife so I will get to drive it on the weekend and school runs.
 
I’ve found that occasionally a window isn’t right up and that generates a lot of wind noise Whether that’s because it didn’t return fully after a door was opened or because the switch was knocked I don’t know. Either way closing it solves the problem.
I too had a rattle fixed on a post-delivery service visit. A clip was missing from the shelf behind the back seat.
Ride is rough on what passes for the roads.in town near me but is fine on major roads.
 
Thanks folks - appreciate your comments. It’s reassuring to know that you can get into a service station pretty quickly and with the opening of a new Northampton centre i will be well catered with the Milton Keynes centre nearby. The question on covering rattles on warranty was triggered by reading the warranty terms and conditions where it states rattles and noises are not covered unless something is broken. Maybe I just got a demo that has been trashed. I agree wind noise is what it is so just need to deal with that and having come from a X4 M40d suspension comfort is not too far off that. I agree something like a BMW has nicer materials but the quality on the Tesla is generally very good so don’t see it too much of a downgrade from my wife’s current Audi A6 phev other than wind / road noise. The M3 LR is actually for my wife so I will get to drive it on the weekend and school runs.
Where did you hear about the new Northampton service centre?
 

Jeeves

Member
Feb 12, 2020
617
360
UK
The build quality and materials choices aren't as good as BMW's in my opinion. It's nearly there, but not quite as pleasing. Tesla are obviously working hard to get to the right price point and having to make compromises in that regard taking into account the cost of the battery/drive train. I have found the service centres committed to resolving any issues, including rattles, under warranty.

I have the Performance model, and I find the suspension good. It's not as good as a car with aftermarket, tuned setups, but it would be unfair to expect that. The low centre of gravity from the battery makes for a really pleasing and stable ride even with the 20" low-profile tyres. I haven't had any problems with noise from the suspension at all. Nor is tyre noise more noticeable to me than any other car.

The wind noise is quite noticeable at very high speeds compared to the BMWs I've owned. Beyond that, I think it's a very quiet car. Energy consumption (shorter range) would likely preclude you hammering it down an autobahn like you might be content to do in a big BMW or similar.

In short, the car is over the acceptable threshold. If you're going for an electric car, what really makes the difference is the Supercharger network. I'd love an EV with BMW levels of quality, but there would have to be substantial improvements to the public charger network to make one viable.
 
The build quality and materials choices aren't as good as BMW's in my opinion. It's nearly there, but not quite as pleasing. Tesla are obviously working hard to get to the right price point and having to make compromises in that regard taking into account the cost of the battery/drive train. I have found the service centres committed to resolving any issues, including rattles, under warranty.

I have the Performance model, and I find the suspension good. It's not as good as a car with aftermarket, tuned setups, but it would be unfair to expect that. The low centre of gravity from the battery makes for a really pleasing and stable ride even with the 20" low-profile tyres. I haven't had any problems with noise from the suspension at all. Nor is tyre noise more noticeable to me than any other car.

The wind noise is quite noticeable at very high speeds compared to the BMWs I've owned. Beyond that, I think it's a very quiet car. Energy consumption (shorter range) would likely preclude you hammering it down an autobahn like you might be content to do in a big BMW or similar.

In short, the car is over the acceptable threshold. If you're going for an electric car, what really makes the difference is the Supercharger network. I'd love an EV with BMW levels of quality, but there would have to be substantial improvements to the public charger network to make one viable.
BMW are taking orders for the i4-50, an EV that is BMW.
But there is a price...
I went through the BMW Configurator to match my blue M3 LR AWD and came up with £70,000....So £20,000 premium for the BMW experience.
And of course, no Supercharging.
And slightly less range, despite bigger batteries.

For now, Tesla offers the right product at the right price for me, but the others will be snapping at their heels. Mine is on 4 year PCP, it will be interesting to see what choices there are in 3 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeeves

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,593
1,063
Berkshire
I was curious about the i4 and I'll get a test drive, but its premium priced at the moment and then you throw in the usual BMW 'packs' that force you to buy 3-4 expensive options you don't want to get the one that you do, and you're almost 50% more than a LR, and close to double what I spent on my previous 4 series gran coupe. thats a hard pill to swallow

I find BMW a comfortable but pretty drab place to be, compared to the relative bling of an Audi. After a while you ignore it, so the relatively sparse interior of the model 3 is totally fine.

If BMW and others woudl do much simpler options packs - give me radar cruise, lane keep assist and a surround camera and I'm happy.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top