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Any safety benefits of Model 3 AWD in Australia under normal driving conditions?

Hi All,

So I've been on the fence with my Model 3 order and not sure if I should stick to the RWD or go with the LR for the AWD drive train.

If comparing an RWD and AWD under normal driving conditions (as in taking turns at reasonable speeds under the speed limit etc.) is there going to be a noticeable difference in handling and safety?

Likewise for driving in the rain we get in Australia, is there going to be a noticeable difference in handling and safety?

I've seen a lot of mention about AWD being better for driving where it snows but it never snows in South Australia.

It's an $18,000 AUD difference for me since I will get the EV rebates with the RWD but not with the LR. I don't mind the price gap if it means I get a safer car that handles better since I'll often have my wife and kids as passengers.

Has anyone driven both Model 3 RWD and AWD versions and can comment?

Thanks!
 
Not worth it. (IMO) I remember sweating over this when I purchased my S in 2016 and ended up going for RWD and don’t regret saving the money for a second. I changed my mind many times, thinking I’d be future proofing, maybe better resale, regret not getting the higher tier option or it’ll be safer on the road, but 6 years later didn’t think much about it again.
Biggest contributor to handling and safety I think are quality tyres and I don’t skimp there. Due to the weight of these vehicles and low centre of gravity I haven’t come across a time I wished I had AWD. Maybe except up to Mt Buller I thought would be nice but was all good on that scenario and felt secure at all times in less than ideal conditions. The other consideration is additional noise in the cabin from the front motor which I notice straight away when I jump in dual motor, mine is noticeably quieter with the rear motor tucked away at the back. I think this would all apply to the M3, I have an S. Just my $0.02c but for me there is nothing I feel like I’m missing out on. Great handelling, safety, is quieter and I kept a chunk of change. 6 years later and still impresses.
 
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Not worth it. (IMO) I remember sweating over this when I purchased my S in 2016 and ended up going for RWD and don’t regret saving the money for a second. I changed my mind many times, thinking I’d be future proofing, maybe better resale, regret not getting the higher tier option or it’ll be safer on the road, but 6 years later didn’t think much about it again.
Biggest contributor to handling and safety I think are quality tyres and I don’t skimp there. Due to the weight of these vehicles and low centre of gravity I haven’t come across a time I wished I had AWD. Maybe except up to Mt Buller I thought would be nice but was all good on that scenario and felt secure at all times in less than ideal conditions. The other consideration is additional noise in the cabin from the front motor which I notice straight away when I jump in dual motor, mine is noticeably quieter with the rear motor tucked away at the back. I think this would all apply to the M3, I have an S. Just my $0.02c but for me there is nothing I feel like I’m missing out on. Great handelling, safety, is quieter and I kept a chunk of change. 6 years later and still impresses.
our last two S were a rwd and an awd. The handling around the city of the awd was noticably superior to the rwd. I drove both several times each week. The rwd never felt dangerous or out of control though, and although it was noticable to me, not so for the wife.
 
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I had a LR RWD before I traded it in to get an AWD. Handling is excellent in both cars, even in snow which I understand is not an issue in SA. The only times I notice a difference is when I floor it, especially on wet roads. The RWD had a harder time keeping the wheels from spinning. This is not a real issue though, the electronics do a fantastic job.
As others pointed out, good tires are more important than AWD.
The reasons I switched to AWD are that there is a lot of snow where I live and the insane acceleration. Not that the RWD is slow by any means, but the fun factor is even higher in an AWD, especially with acceleration boost.
You'll be fine, no matter which car you choose :D.
 
I had a LR RWD before I traded it in to get an AWD. Handling is excellent in both cars, even in snow which I understand is not an issue in SA. The only times I notice a difference is when I floor it, especially on wet roads. The RWD had a harder time keeping the wheels from spinning. This is not a real issue though, the electronics do a fantastic job.
As others pointed out, good tires are more important than AWD.
The reasons I switched to AWD are that there is a lot of snow where I live and the insane acceleration. Not that the RWD is slow by any means, but the fun factor is even higher in an AWD, especially with acceleration boost.
You'll be fine, no matter which car you choose :D.

funny that you say that given that the P85+ has a reputation to be the most fun model S to drive.
i dont think its an AWD problem, its a marketing problem.
There would definetly be a market for a P+ RWD Model 3 with perhaps a 0 to 60 of 4 seconds or so. RWD is just more fun for drive than AWD.
 
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My reply to this post the other day was just to give the OP an insight into my own experience with weighing up this question, didn’t want to start a debate about what is better. So just to clarify if I had unlimited funds, would get AWD, but as I didn’t and I went with RWD, and never had any post purchase regret for the reasons I’d outlined earlier. But then I’m not setting lap times in the burbs, mostly regional driving and often long distances and have loved every minute. But I know for me was my biggest concern was will I regret my decision later, and I don’t at all. Which ever way you go you won’t think about it much afterwards! Happy purchasing future owners!
 
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After owning an Audi Quattro, I was sold on AWD. I went to a S90D. I'll always go for AWD given the choice.
Couldn’t agree more with you, ive owned AWD cars for many years starting with a Subaru Liberty RS Turbo way back and just find the stability and extra control in adverse conditions it offers is a huge advantage.
Not to mention the added safety when overtaking offered by the AWD Tesla LR and it’s considerable performance advantage. To my mind the less time you are on the wrong side of the road the better.
 
Want to chime in here. The AWD in Tesla's aren't really true AWD. The vast majority of the time only the RWD motor is active. The front motor is activated mostly for hard acceleration. This has been confirmed by tesla themselves as well as numerous online sources.

Not being anti LR or anything, just giving accurate info.
 
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Want to chime in here. The AWD in Tesla's aren't really true AWD.
I have verified for myself that this is the case on my LR (via OBD data). Certainly at constant speed in a straight line only one of my motors is used. However, acceleration, regen braking, turning, wheel slip/spin and probably a number of other circumstances will cause the second motor to be used. So it is AWD when needed and in my 7 months of ownership I have found it excellent, particularly in lousy rainy weather with slippery, winding roads and gravel surfaces.
 
I think the safety benefits of AWD in the wet is exaggerated.

It gives you more grip only under acceleration. It does not give you any more grip around corners or in braking.

In the snowy mountains, AWD without chains are the most common type of cars I see that have run off the road around corners.

Having AWD can give you a false sense of how much grip your tyres actually have. It's safer to actually learn how much grip your tyres have for the condition and to drive within that than relying on AWD kicking in.
 
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I think the safety benefits of AWD in the wet is exaggerated.

It gives you more grip only under acceleration. It does not give you any more grip around corners or in braking.

In the snowy mountains, AWD without chains are the most common type of cars I see that have run off the road around corners.

Having AWD can give you a false sense of how much grip your tyres actually have. It's safer to actually learn how much grip your tyres have for the condition and to drive within that than relying on AWD kicking in.
When I was driving in Calgary many years ago in my AWD Subaru, I learned very quickly that you can easily spin out if you don't respect icy conditions. There's really only so much AWD can do. It's not about chains, it's not about AWD, it's about HOW you drive the car more than anything else. 100% agreed.
 
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