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BMW F80 M3 v Model 3 Performance--From Someone that Owns Both

GSP

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,575
804
The key card is suboptimal because when the car asks for it, you have to dig it out of your wallet (or wallet and purse, if you carry one), tap it against the door, and then tap it again against the center console. It's harder to use in that sense than even a traditional metal key, because it requires the extra step of getting it out of your wallet. And when you're trying to wrangle kids and packages into the car, it's just a pain.

For me, the phone works essentially flawlessly. For my wife? It's like 50/50. It got annoying enough that I actually bought two of the optional key fobs, but *they* don't even work all the time.

It's a frustration that seems entirely unnecessary, given that every other car (including the Model S) works flawlessly with a fob.

When I use my key card, I don’t take it out of my wallet. I just tap my wallet on the B-pillar and the car unlocks. Tap the wallet again on the center console to start the car, then put it back in my pocket and drive off. Very fast and easy.

Most of the time I use my phone as key, with the keycard in my wallet just for backup.

GSP
 

gannettguy

New Member
Oct 11, 2012
3
1
32940
Regarding the road noise compared to other cars. Turn up your radio! It
completely eliminates any wind or tire road noise. I just bought the cheapest tires on the market. The tire dealer said “You will hate them”. They drive fine. I cannot tell any difference when the radio is on.
As to the key card issue. I put mine in my wallet. I have the app on my phone. In another back pocket. The Bluetooth rarely fails and if it does I use the key card. That is not normally necessary though, as it is not failing totally. The phone app seemingly fails often, it just needs close contact. I just turn around and tap my rear holding the phone against the car and the car then opens. Or just tap the phone against the car by the handle. If it is such a problem to dig the card out on the rare occasion as it might, you could consider hiring a chauffeur to open it for you.
Concerning the Grammar Natzie. If you are so annoyed about punctuation and sentence structure, as opposed to some of us ignorants failure to use proper punctuation, possibly you could volunteer some time to teach eighth grade English. Work out your frustrations there, rather than not realizing, we are not attempting to publish perfectly, and spare us your issues with our mere attempts to help each other.
 
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M3toMod3

Member
Jun 27, 2019
11
3
USA
At the track I will take the [M3/M4] BMW any day, spec'd with the carbon ceramic brakes. The car is engineered for that. Outside of the track, I cannot find any way to justify driving anything but a high performance EV. And the only game in town for those of us who care about handling is currently the P/3D. The driving experience is superlative, from a performance driving perspective I do not miss a single thing from any car I've had in the past. Now, for occasional AutoXing, I would also pick the TM3 because of that crazy instant torque.
.

F80 M3 MT Comp to LR AWD and couldn’t agree more. Was insane ripping through twisty back roads and canyons in my M3... between the better handling setup, tires, and sports seats it just was much more controlled. Not even close in the model 3.

Could the Model 3 get there? I’d actually be interested in the thoughts of people who have upgraded and are running 20x9 and 20x10 matching the M3.
 

pdx3181

Member
Oct 11, 2017
249
230
Portland, OR
View attachment 449793


I've put a few miles now on my new-to-me 2016 F80 BMW M3, including a 400 mile trip, and have had my Model 3 for nearly a year--so I thought I'd write down some thoughts.

The Cars:

2016 BMW M3 6M, M Adaptive suspension, 425 hp
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance dual motor, 475ish hp (incl. 5 percent OTA boost at some point)

Exterior:

The BMW is an extrovert's car. I've thought of them as sort of extra, as my kid would say, particularly in the way the rear fenders flare over the back wheels, and in the front bumper that just barely escapes looking like catfish whiskers. But the look of the car has grown on me. The proportions on the M3 are nice, old-school BMW--long hood, relatively upright passenger cabin, L-shaped taillights. It works better than the E90, to my eyes, which I always thought seemed a bit narrow. The details on my car, including a blacked out grille, dark wheels, and a carbon fiber roof, are a nice contrast to the Sakhir Orange paint, which is a dramatic, fun color.

The Tesla is...well, from some angles it's pretty good, especially with 20 inch wheels. There are details you can appreciate, like the multiple curves and angles on the nose that seem far racier than a sedan has any right to have. But from other angles (esp. from the rear), it's just awkward. The proportions are nowhere near as good as the dead-sexy Model S. But it blends in better than the M3, especially because it doesn't make any noise (more on that in a minute).

Interior:

The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design, and for materials that some say are sub-par.

But it takes living with the car, and comparing it to something like the BMW, to really appreciate how goddamn good the Tesla is inside.

The lack of instruments in front of you is off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to the panoramic view out the front, which helps you not only in daily driving but also lets you place the car better when you start to drive fast. The center screen has its disadvantages, mostly in the lack of tactile feedback category, but the interface is so clean and intuitive that anyone can get in and make the car work immediately. The Tesla also has noticeably more space inside than the BMW, particularly for cargo--it has a bigger trunk AND a frunk AND a compartment below the trunk. Taking two kids and their gear to camp in the Tesla? Easy. Not so much in the BMW.

Notably, the things that people complain about (lack of air vents, lack of buttons, etc) are, for me at least, non-issues. The automatic climate on the Tesla is essentially set it and forget it. The steering wheel buttons control the audio functions I need them to and nothing else. The nav in the Tesla is easy to use because the large touch screen makes entering a destination simple. I do wish there were separate mirror controls, but beyond that? I really have no complaints.

Compared to the Tesla, the BMW feels like you're sitting in a hollowed-out WWII torpedo. The hood bulges up in front of you, forcing you to look around it, and the gauges and instrument panel dominate your field of view. There are buttons all over the place, but they operate in inscrutable ways that requires study to master. iDrive is better than its ever been, but it's still hard to learn, and 9 times out of 10 you'll just not bother using the nav rather than try to wrestle with destination entry. I should note that BMW actually has a nice app that works with the car, and entering nav info on that works well, but the whole setup is far kludgier than the one in the Tesla.

The seats in the BMW seem nicer at first. They're real leather, and firmer than the Tesla's, which are sort of hyperneoprene and squishy. But the BMW's seats are made for someone broader of beam than me, so I kind of rattle around in them, and after 400 miles my ass hurts in a way it doesn't driving the Tesla.

Does the BMW feel nicer inside? I guess--there are certainly more types of materials, and they're probably more expensive. But ultimately, the Tesla gets out of your way, while the BMW demands constant attention.


Driving.


Speaking of driving, what about that?

I'd like to sugarcoat this, but I can't. It's in the driving that the Tesla reveals itself to be the better car. And it's not a close thing. The BMW is near the apex of what an internal combustion engine performance car can be, but the Tesla exists in a different league, a vision of the future, a quantum leap. It's like comparing a P-51 to an Me 262.

Around town, you expect this to be true. With no clutch and instant torque, the Tesla is faster than the BMW everywhere, all the time. It's always ready to go, to jump in front of someone at a light, to nail a gap in traffic, whatever you need. It's "throttle" response is otherworldly, but it also has traction to spare--it digs and GOES, right now, no wheelspin, nothing to worry about.

The BMW requires thought, deliberation--point it straight ahead, and lay on the throttle, and it will go fast, as soon you slip the clutch just right and let the revs build a little and the turbos spool and manage the shift points. Get any of that wrong and even the Kia Forte in the next lane will beat you to 20 or 30 mph, forget about the Tesla.

And the Tesla will do it silently. The BMW's active muffler sounds like its got holes bored through it in sport and sport+. It's a pretty OK sound, though not great, but what it lacks in sonorous character it makes up for in volume. When you go fast in the BMW, people know it. Pedestrians, your passengers, people a few blocks over, everyone. When you go fast in the Tesla, people don't even notice, although your passengers might wonder why they suddenly have whiplash.

OK, so around town the Tesla is the winner. Sure. That makes sense.

But living with the two cars what surprised me is how much better the Tesla is for long-distance travel. The BMW is geared crazy-short. At highway speeds, it's turning 3000 RPM. Great because the turbos are on boost, but terrible for relaxing. The suspension is a bit jittery and overall the car just feels like work to drive at high speeds. Given its size and weight, it's a little surprising just how much of a GT the BMW isn't.

The Tesla, OTOH, doesn't vibrate. It doesn't roar, or boom. It just goes. There's tire and wind noise, of course, but not too much of either, and mostly there's just calm.

It's really remarkable how tired I was today after 400 miles in the BMW; way more than I would have been in the Tesla.

And I will say this, too--people bitch about EV charging, but after you get used to using the Tesla network, going back to getting gas feels like a huge step backward.

Isn't it faster to get gas, you ask? Well, sure--but you have to make two stops if you also need food, which I do on a 200 or 400 mile drive. First you stop for gas, and you stand there while it pumps, and then you drive off to find a place to eat. With the Tesla, you stop, plug in, go get your food, come back, unplug, and you're on your way. It's legitimately better.

Of course, if you're driving more than 400 miles or so, and have to do multiple charging stops, the Tesla might start to feel constraining. But on a 6 hour trip like I did today, it wouldn't have, at all.

And that doesn't even get into the whole buying gas for daily driving thing, which is something you don't realize you hate until you don't have to do it.

The Tesla’s phone key thing is great, as long as it works, which for me it does, but for others in my house it doesn’t reliably, and that’s the source of immense frustration. Why can’t this car just have a normal key?

For the BMW, it has the world’s most sensitive passenger detection weight sensor in the passenger seat—seriously, it’s triggered by things like a sandwich or your phone + glasses case. This would probably also drive you nuts if you regularly carried a bag; you’d have to put it on the floor.

Neither car has much steering feel. The BMW’s wheel is too big, and the Tesla’s is too small. I’d say the Tesla’s steering is better if only because it’s sharper, but driving the Porsche after either is a revelation.

Verdict

I like the BMW. I really do. It's fun to shift your own gears, and you won't find a better manual transmission sedan of recent vintage than this one. And the BMW has sounds and feelings that give their own satisfaction. I'd hate to lose cars like this forever.

But if the question is "which is the better car," the answer isn't hard. It's not remotely close. The Tesla performs all of the functions you're looking for in a performance car better than the BMW, by a lot. Plus it's more practical and easier to live with.

If you could have only one, my recommendation would be: Buy American.

My last car was a 2018 BMW M3.

I agree with most of this comparison.

But what I loved ("I") was the way the BMW seats gripped on the corners. The Tesla doesn't do that. It also doesn't track as well in the corners.

But I completely agree - save for those two things - the Tesla takes the cake. Add in the price, even for the P3D, and it's no competition.
 

Zodiacchris

Member
Jul 8, 2019
38
109
Australia
Just been to Germany on holidays and drove my fathers Jaguar XKR for a couple of weeks, Autobahn and all. Always loved that car, with the song of the two Roots compressors and truly impressive when you put the foot down at 170km/h and let it zoom to 250...
But - I bought a humble second hand MS 70D in April this year and it is the runt of the Tesla family acceleration wise. Weight, Torque and KW of both cars are pretty similar on paper. However the S just wins hands down in everything up to 200km/h, sooo much quicker of the mark, made the Jag feel absolutely pedestrian. The Jag has a lovely feel inside with the leather and walnut dash, if a bit claustrophobic size wise. But it’s hard to get past the light and space of the S interior, and that is before looking at ergonomics and interface.

Plus, I had already forgotten how smelly it is to fill up with carcinogenic petrol...

It has taken a long time for the future to arrive but the wait was worth it!
 
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scohtay

Member
May 1, 2019
32
10
United Kingdom
13962"]View attachment 449793


I've put a few miles now on my new-to-me 2016 F80 BMW M3, including a 400 mile trip, and have had my Model 3 for nearly a year--so I thought I'd write down some thoughts.

The Cars:

2016 BMW M3 6M, M Adaptive suspension, 425 hp
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance dual motor, 475ish hp (incl. 5 percent OTA boost at some point)

Exterior:

The BMW is an extrovert's car. I've thought of them as sort of extra, as my kid would say, particularly in the way the rear fenders flare over the back wheels, and in the front bumper that just barely escapes looking like catfish whiskers. But the look of the car has grown on me. The proportions on the M3 are nice, old-school BMW--long hood, relatively upright passenger cabin, L-shaped taillights. It works better than the E90, to my eyes, which I always thought seemed a bit narrow. The details on my car, including a blacked out grille, dark wheels, and a carbon fiber roof, are a nice contrast to the Sakhir Orange paint, which is a dramatic, fun color.

The Tesla is...well, from some angles it's pretty good, especially with 20 inch wheels. There are details you can appreciate, like the multiple curves and angles on the nose that seem far racier than a sedan has any right to have. But from other angles (esp. from the rear), it's just awkward. The proportions are nowhere near as good as the dead-sexy Model S. But it blends in better than the M3, especially because it doesn't make any noise (more on that in a minute).

Interior:

The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design, and for materials that some say are sub-par.

But it takes living with the car, and comparing it to something like the BMW, to really appreciate how goddamn good the Tesla is inside.

The lack of instruments in front of you is off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to the panoramic view out the front, which helps you not only in daily driving but also lets you place the car better when you start to drive fast. The center screen has its disadvantages, mostly in the lack of tactile feedback category, but the interface is so clean and intuitive that anyone can get in and make the car work immediately. The Tesla also has noticeably more space inside than the BMW, particularly for cargo--it has a bigger trunk AND a frunk AND a compartment below the trunk. Taking two kids and their gear to camp in the Tesla? Easy. Not so much in the BMW.

Notably, the things that people complain about (lack of air vents, lack of buttons, etc) are, for me at least, non-issues. The automatic climate on the Tesla is essentially set it and forget it. The steering wheel buttons control the audio functions I need them to and nothing else. The nav in the Tesla is easy to use because the large touch screen makes entering a destination simple. I do wish there were separate mirror controls, but beyond that? I really have no complaints.

Compared to the Tesla, the BMW feels like you're sitting in a hollowed-out WWII torpedo. The hood bulges up in front of you, forcing you to look around it, and the gauges and instrument panel dominate your field of view. There are buttons all over the place, but they operate in inscrutable ways that requires study to master. iDrive is better than its ever been, but it's still hard to learn, and 9 times out of 10 you'll just not bother using the nav rather than try to wrestle with destination entry. I should note that BMW actually has a nice app that works with the car, and entering nav info on that works well, but the whole setup is far kludgier than the one in the Tesla.

The seats in the BMW seem nicer at first. They're real leather, and firmer than the Tesla's, which are sort of hyperneoprene and squishy. But the BMW's seats are made for someone broader of beam than me, so I kind of rattle around in them, and after 400 miles my ass hurts in a way it doesn't driving the Tesla.

Does the BMW feel nicer inside? I guess--there are certainly more types of materials, and they're probably more expensive. But ultimately, the Tesla gets out of your way, while the BMW demands constant attention.


Driving.


Speaking of driving, what about that?

I'd like to sugarcoat this, but I can't. It's in the driving that the Tesla reveals itself to be the better car. And it's not a close thing. The BMW is near the apex of what an internal combustion engine performance car can be, but the Tesla exists in a different league, a vision of the future, a quantum leap. It's like comparing a P-51 to an Me 262.

Around town, you expect this to be true. With no clutch and instant torque, the Tesla is faster than the BMW everywhere, all the time. It's always ready to go, to jump in front of someone at a light, to nail a gap in traffic, whatever you need. It's "throttle" response is otherworldly, but it also has traction to spare--it digs and GOES, right now, no wheelspin, nothing to worry about.

The BMW requires thought, deliberation--point it straight ahead, and lay on the throttle, and it will go fast, as soon you slip the clutch just right and let the revs build a little and the turbos spool and manage the shift points. Get any of that wrong and even the Kia Forte in the next lane will beat you to 20 or 30 mph, forget about the Tesla.

And the Tesla will do it silently. The BMW's active muffler sounds like its got holes bored through it in sport and sport+. It's a pretty OK sound, though not great, but what it lacks in sonorous character it makes up for in volume. When you go fast in the BMW, people know it. Pedestrians, your passengers, people a few blocks over, everyone. When you go fast in the Tesla, people don't even notice, although your passengers might wonder why they suddenly have whiplash.

OK, so around town the Tesla is the winner. Sure. That makes sense.

But living with the two cars what surprised me is how much better the Tesla is for long-distance travel. The BMW is geared crazy-short. At highway speeds, it's turning 3000 RPM. Great because the turbos are on boost, but terrible for relaxing. The suspension is a bit jittery and overall the car just feels like work to drive at high speeds. Given its size and weight, it's a little surprising just how much of a GT the BMW isn't.

The Tesla, OTOH, doesn't vibrate. It doesn't roar, or boom. It just goes. There's tire and wind noise, of course, but not too much of either, and mostly there's just calm.

It's really remarkable how tired I was today after 400 miles in the BMW; way more than I would have been in the Tesla.

And I will say this, too--people bitch about EV charging, but after you get used to using the Tesla network, going back to getting gas feels like a huge step backward.

Isn't it faster to get gas, you ask? Well, sure--but you have to make two stops if you also need food, which I do on a 200 or 400 mile drive. First you stop for gas, and you stand there while it pumps, and then you drive off to find a place to eat. With the Tesla, you stop, plug in, go get your food, come back, unplug, and you're on your way. It's legitimately better.

Of course, if you're driving more than 400 miles or so, and have to do multiple charging stops, the Tesla might start to feel constraining. But on a 6 hour trip like I did today, it wouldn't have, at all.

And that doesn't even get into the whole buying gas for daily driving thing, which is something you don't realize you hate until you don't have to do it.

The Tesla’s phone key thing is great, as long as it works, which for me it does, but for others in my house it doesn’t reliably, and that’s the source of immense frustration. Why can’t this car just have a normal key?

For the BMW, it has the world’s most sensitive passenger detection weight sensor in the passenger seat—seriously, it’s triggered by things like a sandwich or your phone + glasses case. This would probably also drive you nuts if you regularly carried a bag; you’d have to put it on the floor.

Neither car has much steering feel. The BMW’s wheel is too big, and the Tesla’s is too small. I’d say the Tesla’s steering is better if only because it’s sharper, but driving the Porsche after either is a revelation.

Verdict

I like the BMW. I really do. It's fun to shift your own gears, and you won't find a better manual transmission sedan of recent vintage than this one. And the BMW has sounds and feelings that give their own satisfaction. I'd hate to lose cars like this forever.

But if the question is "which is the better car," the answer isn't hard. It's not remotely close. The Tesla performs all of the functions you're looking for in a performance car better than the BMW, by a lot. Plus it's more practical and easier to live with.

If you could have only one, my recommendation would be: Buy American.[/QUOTE]

View attachment 449793


I've put a few miles now on my new-to-me 2016 F80 BMW M3, including a 400 mile trip, and have had my Model 3 for nearly a year--so I thought I'd write down some thoughts.

The Cars:

2016 BMW M3 6M, M Adaptive suspension, 425 hp
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance dual motor, 475ish hp (incl. 5 percent OTA boost at some point)

Exterior:

The BMW is an extrovert's car. I've thought of them as sort of extra, as my kid would say, particularly in the way the rear fenders flare over the back wheels, and in the front bumper that just barely escapes looking like catfish whiskers. But the look of the car has grown on me. The proportions on the M3 are nice, old-school BMW--long hood, relatively upright passenger cabin, L-shaped taillights. It works better than the E90, to my eyes, which I always thought seemed a bit narrow. The details on my car, including a blacked out grille, dark wheels, and a carbon fiber roof, are a nice contrast to the Sakhir Orange paint, which is a dramatic, fun color.

The Tesla is...well, from some angles it's pretty good, especially with 20 inch wheels. There are details you can appreciate, like the multiple curves and angles on the nose that seem far racier than a sedan has any right to have. But from other angles (esp. from the rear), it's just awkward. The proportions are nowhere near as good as the dead-sexy Model S. But it blends in better than the M3, especially because it doesn't make any noise (more on that in a minute).

Interior:

The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design, and for materials that some say are sub-par.

But it takes living with the car, and comparing it to something like the BMW, to really appreciate how goddamn good the Tesla is inside.

The lack of instruments in front of you is off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to the panoramic view out the front, which helps you not only in daily driving but also lets you place the car better when you start to drive fast. The center screen has its disadvantages, mostly in the lack of tactile feedback category, but the interface is so clean and intuitive that anyone can get in and make the car work immediately. The Tesla also has noticeably more space inside than the BMW, particularly for cargo--it has a bigger trunk AND a frunk AND a compartment below the trunk. Taking two kids and their gear to camp in the Tesla? Easy. Not so much in the BMW.

Notably, the things that people complain about (lack of air vents, lack of buttons, etc) are, for me at least, non-issues. The automatic climate on the Tesla is essentially set it and forget it. The steering wheel buttons control the audio functions I need them to and nothing else. The nav in the Tesla is easy to use because the large touch screen makes entering a destination simple. I do wish there were separate mirror controls, but beyond that? I really have no complaints.

Compared to the Tesla, the BMW feels like you're sitting in a hollowed-out WWII torpedo. The hood bulges up in front of you, forcing you to look around it, and the gauges and instrument panel dominate your field of view. There are buttons all over the place, but they operate in inscrutable ways that requires study to master. iDrive is better than its ever been, but it's still hard to learn, and 9 times out of 10 you'll just not bother using the nav rather than try to wrestle with destination entry. I should note that BMW actually has a nice app that works with the car, and entering nav info on that works well, but the whole setup is far kludgier than the one in the Tesla.

The seats in the BMW seem nicer at first. They're real leather, and firmer than the Tesla's, which are sort of hyperneoprene and squishy. But the BMW's seats are made for someone broader of beam than me, so I kind of rattle around in them, and after 400 miles my ass hurts in a way it doesn't driving the Tesla.

Does the BMW feel nicer inside? I guess--there are certainly more types of materials, and they're probably more expensive. But ultimately, the Tesla gets out of your way, while the BMW demands constant attention.


Driving.


Speaking of driving, what about that?

I'd like to sugarcoat this, but I can't. It's in the driving that the Tesla reveals itself to be the better car. And it's not a close thing. The BMW is near the apex of what an internal combustion engine performance car can be, but the Tesla exists in a different league, a vision of the future, a quantum leap. It's like comparing a P-51 to an Me 262.

Around town, you expect this to be true. With no clutch and instant torque, the Tesla is faster than the BMW everywhere, all the time. It's always ready to go, to jump in front of someone at a light, to nail a gap in traffic, whatever you need. It's "throttle" response is otherworldly, but it also has traction to spare--it digs and GOES, right now, no wheelspin, nothing to worry about.

The BMW requires thought, deliberation--point it straight ahead, and lay on the throttle, and it will go fast, as soon you slip the clutch just right and let the revs build a little and the turbos spool and manage the shift points. Get any of that wrong and even the Kia Forte in the next lane will beat you to 20 or 30 mph, forget about the Tesla.

And the Tesla will do it silently. The BMW's active muffler sounds like its got holes bored through it in sport and sport+. It's a pretty OK sound, though not great, but what it lacks in sonorous character it makes up for in volume. When you go fast in the BMW, people know it. Pedestrians, your passengers, people a few blocks over, everyone. When you go fast in the Tesla, people don't even notice, although your passengers might wonder why they suddenly have whiplash.

OK, so around town the Tesla is the winner. Sure. That makes sense.

But living with the two cars what surprised me is how much better the Tesla is for long-distance travel. The BMW is geared crazy-short. At highway speeds, it's turning 3000 RPM. Great because the turbos are on boost, but terrible for relaxing. The suspension is a bit jittery and overall the car just feels like work to drive at high speeds. Given its size and weight, it's a little surprising just how much of a GT the BMW isn't.

The Tesla, OTOH, doesn't vibrate. It doesn't roar, or boom. It just goes. There's tire and wind noise, of course, but not too much of either, and mostly there's just calm.

It's really remarkable how tired I was today after 400 miles in the BMW; way more than I would have been in the Tesla.

And I will say this, too--people bitch about EV charging, but after you get used to using the Tesla network, going back to getting gas feels like a huge step backward.

Isn't it faster to get gas, you ask? Well, sure--but you have to make two stops if you also need food, which I do on a 200 or 400 mile drive. First you stop for gas, and you stand there while it pumps, and then you drive off to find a place to eat. With the Tesla, you stop, plug in, go get your food, come back, unplug, and you're on your way. It's legitimately better.

Of course, if you're driving more than 400 miles or so, and have to do multiple charging stops, the Tesla might start to feel constraining. But on a 6 hour trip like I did today, it wouldn't have, at all.

And that doesn't even get into the whole buying gas for daily driving thing, which is something you don't realize you hate until you don't have to do it.

The Tesla’s phone key thing is great, as long as it works, which for me it does, but for others in my house it doesn’t reliably, and that’s the source of immense frustration. Why can’t this car just have a normal key?

For the BMW, it has the world’s most sensitive passenger detection weight sensor in the passenger seat—seriously, it’s triggered by things like a sandwich or your phone + glasses case. This would probably also drive you nuts if you regularly carried a bag; you’d have to put it on the floor.

Neither car has much steering feel. The BMW’s wheel is too big, and the Tesla’s is too small. I’d say the Tesla’s steering is better if only because it’s sharper, but driving the Porsche after either is a revelation.

Verdict

I like the BMW. I really do. It's fun to shift your own gears, and you won't find a better manual transmission sedan of recent vintage than this one. And the BMW has sounds and feelings that give their own satisfaction. I'd hate to lose cars like this forever.

But if the question is "which is the better car," the answer isn't hard. It's not remotely close. The Tesla performs all of the functions you're looking for in a performance car better than the BMW, by a lot. Plus it's more practical and easier to live with.

If you could have only one, my recommendation would be: Buy American.
Would have been a great article if it wasn't ruined by "The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design,"

Please write 100 times- I won't use 'it's' when its 'its'". (tongue in cheek)

All jest - loved it.

From a guy that's had a Performance Model 3 for a month after a 3-series convertible.
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
228
Would have been a great article if it wasn't ruined by "The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design,"

Please write 100 times- I won't use 'it's' when its 'its'". (tongue in cheek)

All jest - loved it.

From a guy that's had a Performance Model 3 for a month after a 3-series convertible.

Confession—I first posted this in a different forum and forgot about this forum’s autocorrect for the S word. Weird that “g**damn” gets through, though...
 
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Kilotango74

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,337
1,129
Palmdale, CA
Forgive my skepticism, but:
1. Put the keycard towards teh outside of the wallet.
2. She would have to "frantically dig" through her wallet for a key fob. Which of course does NOT fit in a wallet, therefore is an added "thing" to add to her purse she would otherwise not have.
3. Your wife should learn proper foot placement if the heels determine where her mirrors go. You drive with the balls of your feet. And the seat position affects arm position to the steering wheel, too. I've worn boots, and driven without shoes, never adjusted. Been with the same lady, either dating, engaged, or marrried, for nearly 30 years. And she has more &^%*ing shoes than Corizon Aquino, and she has never had to adjust the seat or mirror or anything due to her shoes. And even if she DOES have to adjust, there can't possibly be an infinite number of positions, so just set up an extra driver profile.
I can see the OP’s point here clearly. We have a BMW X5 and with comfort access my wife never has to “dig” for the fob. In fact she never has to touch it. It sits in her purse and when she touches the door handle it unlocks. Period. I can see how this convenience compared to having to mess with your phone if it does not work right, or having to pull out the key card could be a source of irritation. The point of all this technology is to make the process easier and seamless and when it doesn’t work it can be aggravating.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,132
9,789
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I can see the OP’s point here clearly. We have a BMW X5 and with comfort access my wife never has to “dig” for the fob. In fact she never has to touch it. It sits in her purse and when she touches the door handle it unlocks. Period. I can see how this convenience compared to having to mess with your phone if it does not work right, or having to pull out the key card could be a source of irritation. The point of all this technology is to make the process easier and seamless and when it doesn’t work it can be aggravating.

As some have noted, the phones unlock issue could be due to your phone power settings.

For women who carry purses, I can see where a key fob isn’t noticed.
 

Saguarojoe

Member
May 28, 2017
123
60
Tucson, AZ
View attachment 449793


I've put a few miles now on my new-to-me 2016 F80 BMW M3, including a 400 mile trip, and have had my Model 3 for nearly a year--so I thought I'd write down some thoughts.

The Cars:

2016 BMW M3 6M, M Adaptive suspension, 425 hp
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance dual motor, 475ish hp (incl. 5 percent OTA boost at some point)

Exterior:

The BMW is an extrovert's car. I've thought of them as sort of extra, as my kid would say, particularly in the way the rear fenders flare over the back wheels, and in the front bumper that just barely escapes looking like catfish whiskers. But the look of the car has grown on me. The proportions on the M3 are nice, old-school BMW--long hood, relatively upright passenger cabin, L-shaped taillights. It works better than the E90, to my eyes, which I always thought seemed a bit narrow. The details on my car, including a blacked out grille, dark wheels, and a carbon fiber roof, are a nice contrast to the Sakhir Orange paint, which is a dramatic, fun color.

The Tesla is...well, from some angles it's pretty good, especially with 20 inch wheels. There are details you can appreciate, like the multiple curves and angles on the nose that seem far racier than a sedan has any right to have. But from other angles (esp. from the rear), it's just awkward. The proportions are nowhere near as good as the dead-sexy Model S. But it blends in better than the M3, especially because it doesn't make any noise (more on that in a minute).

Interior:

The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design, and for materials that some say are sub-par.

But it takes living with the car, and comparing it to something like the BMW, to really appreciate how goddamn good the Tesla is inside.

The lack of instruments in front of you is off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to the panoramic view out the front, which helps you not only in daily driving but also lets you place the car better when you start to drive fast. The center screen has its disadvantages, mostly in the lack of tactile feedback category, but the interface is so clean and intuitive that anyone can get in and make the car work immediately. The Tesla also has noticeably more space inside than the BMW, particularly for cargo--it has a bigger trunk AND a frunk AND a compartment below the trunk. Taking two kids and their gear to camp in the Tesla? Easy. Not so much in the BMW.

Notably, the things that people complain about (lack of air vents, lack of buttons, etc) are, for me at least, non-issues. The automatic climate on the Tesla is essentially set it and forget it. The steering wheel buttons control the audio functions I need them to and nothing else. The nav in the Tesla is easy to use because the large touch screen makes entering a destination simple. I do wish there were separate mirror controls, but beyond that? I really have no complaints.

Compared to the Tesla, the BMW feels like you're sitting in a hollowed-out WWII torpedo. The hood bulges up in front of you, forcing you to look around it, and the gauges and instrument panel dominate your field of view. There are buttons all over the place, but they operate in inscrutable ways that requires study to master. iDrive is better than its ever been, but it's still hard to learn, and 9 times out of 10 you'll just not bother using the nav rather than try to wrestle with destination entry. I should note that BMW actually has a nice app that works with the car, and entering nav info on that works well, but the whole setup is far kludgier than the one in the Tesla.

The seats in the BMW seem nicer at first. They're real leather, and firmer than the Tesla's, which are sort of hyperneoprene and squishy. But the BMW's seats are made for someone broader of beam than me, so I kind of rattle around in them, and after 400 miles my ass hurts in a way it doesn't driving the Tesla.

Does the BMW feel nicer inside? I guess--there are certainly more types of materials, and they're probably more expensive. But ultimately, the Tesla gets out of your way, while the BMW demands constant attention.


Driving.


Speaking of driving, what about that?

I'd like to sugarcoat this, but I can't. It's in the driving that the Tesla reveals itself to be the better car. And it's not a close thing. The BMW is near the apex of what an internal combustion engine performance car can be, but the Tesla exists in a different league, a vision of the future, a quantum leap. It's like comparing a P-51 to an Me 262.

Around town, you expect this to be true. With no clutch and instant torque, the Tesla is faster than the BMW everywhere, all the time. It's always ready to go, to jump in front of someone at a light, to nail a gap in traffic, whatever you need. It's "throttle" response is otherworldly, but it also has traction to spare--it digs and GOES, right now, no wheelspin, nothing to worry about.

The BMW requires thought, deliberation--point it straight ahead, and lay on the throttle, and it will go fast, as soon you slip the clutch just right and let the revs build a little and the turbos spool and manage the shift points. Get any of that wrong and even the Kia Forte in the next lane will beat you to 20 or 30 mph, forget about the Tesla.

And the Tesla will do it silently. The BMW's active muffler sounds like its got holes bored through it in sport and sport+. It's a pretty OK sound, though not great, but what it lacks in sonorous character it makes up for in volume. When you go fast in the BMW, people know it. Pedestrians, your passengers, people a few blocks over, everyone. When you go fast in the Tesla, people don't even notice, although your passengers might wonder why they suddenly have whiplash.

OK, so around town the Tesla is the winner. Sure. That makes sense.

But living with the two cars what surprised me is how much better the Tesla is for long-distance travel. The BMW is geared crazy-short. At highway speeds, it's turning 3000 RPM. Great because the turbos are on boost, but terrible for relaxing. The suspension is a bit jittery and overall the car just feels like work to drive at high speeds. Given its size and weight, it's a little surprising just how much of a GT the BMW isn't.

The Tesla, OTOH, doesn't vibrate. It doesn't roar, or boom. It just goes. There's tire and wind noise, of course, but not too much of either, and mostly there's just calm.

It's really remarkable how tired I was today after 400 miles in the BMW; way more than I would have been in the Tesla.

And I will say this, too--people bitch about EV charging, but after you get used to using the Tesla network, going back to getting gas feels like a huge step backward.

Isn't it faster to get gas, you ask? Well, sure--but you have to make two stops if you also need food, which I do on a 200 or 400 mile drive. First you stop for gas, and you stand there while it pumps, and then you drive off to find a place to eat. With the Tesla, you stop, plug in, go get your food, come back, unplug, and you're on your way. It's legitimately better.

Of course, if you're driving more than 400 miles or so, and have to do multiple charging stops, the Tesla might start to feel constraining. But on a 6 hour trip like I did today, it wouldn't have, at all.

And that doesn't even get into the whole buying gas for daily driving thing, which is something you don't realize you hate until you don't have to do it.

The Tesla’s phone key thing is great, as long as it works, which for me it does, but for others in my house it doesn’t reliably, and that’s the source of immense frustration. Why can’t this car just have a normal key?

For the BMW, it has the world’s most sensitive passenger detection weight sensor in the passenger seat—seriously, it’s triggered by things like a sandwich or your phone + glasses case. This would probably also drive you nuts if you regularly carried a bag; you’d have to put it on the floor.

Neither car has much steering feel. The BMW’s wheel is too big, and the Tesla’s is too small. I’d say the Tesla’s steering is better if only because it’s sharper, but driving the Porsche after either is a revelation.

Verdict

I like the BMW. I really do. It's fun to shift your own gears, and you won't find a better manual transmission sedan of recent vintage than this one. And the BMW has sounds and feelings that give their own satisfaction. I'd hate to lose cars like this forever.

But if the question is "which is the better car," the answer isn't hard. It's not remotely close. The Tesla performs all of the functions you're looking for in a performance car better than the BMW, by a lot. Plus it's more practical and easier to live with.

If you could have only one, my recommendation would be: Buy American.
I'd amplify a couple of observations. I had to drive an ICE machine a couple of times, rentals. The M3 screen is less distracting than the rentals I drive. There is so much to absorb and look at on the rentals. The wheel always obscures something. The screen has all the info needed, in an organized fashion, at a glance. Regen is so easy to use. Just take your foot off the accelerator. On an ICE the car just keeps rolling at speed and you have to actively apply the brake. Also have to remember to stop for the car in front of you. Getting out of the ICE is just get out walk away. One day I got out of the ICE and went to Trader Joe's. When I got back the car was unlocked, the keys were in the ignition and of course the car was running. Wow. OMG. If I ever drive an ICE again it will be too soon.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,183
5,210
FL
Could not agree with you more. I traded in my 2012 Mercedes E550 coup for a model 3 plus. I loved the E550...my favorite car ever. I would however and make the trade again in a heart beat. As my wife says, the Tesla makes the E550 feel like an antique. The E550 beats the Tesla in handling at 75+ mph. It's not even close actually. The Tesla needs to be much tighter in my opinion. However, the E550 is a much more expensive car and would normally compare to the S which I have never driven. Thanks for the detailed post. Really enjoyed it.

Which model 3 do you have? Our model 3s DMP trash any Mercedes sedan including even AMG models in handling with the MPP Sports coilover kit but they were probably on balance better even without it as stock and delivered from the Factory. A little bit soft, but much easier to rotate into a turn, and for that matter more neutral at the limit. The Mercedes would be much quieter on the highway except for our noise reduction efforts which have knocked roughly 6db off Highway noise levels. But that's about the only place where it's close. Model 3 is faster, more responsive, handles better, actually feels significantly lighter on its feet, and is just boatloads more fun to drive. And that's before one gets into any discussion about ecology or maintenance costs.

My wife always wanted an E-Class Mercedes but after the model 3 DMP she says no thanks.
 
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Campflake

Member
May 16, 2019
7
2
FOREST LAKE
View attachment 449793


I've put a few miles now on my new-to-me 2016 F80 BMW M3, including a 400 mile trip, and have had my Model 3 for nearly a year--so I thought I'd write down some thoughts.

The Cars:

2016 BMW M3 6M, M Adaptive suspension, 425 hp
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance dual motor, 475ish hp (incl. 5 percent OTA boost at some point)

Exterior:

The BMW is an extrovert's car. I've thought of them as sort of extra, as my kid would say, particularly in the way the rear fenders flare over the back wheels, and in the front bumper that just barely escapes looking like catfish whiskers. But the look of the car has grown on me. The proportions on the M3 are nice, old-school BMW--long hood, relatively upright passenger cabin, L-shaped taillights. It works better than the E90, to my eyes, which I always thought seemed a bit narrow. The details on my car, including a blacked out grille, dark wheels, and a carbon fiber roof, are a nice contrast to the Sakhir Orange paint, which is a dramatic, fun color.

The Tesla is...well, from some angles it's pretty good, especially with 20 inch wheels. There are details you can appreciate, like the multiple curves and angles on the nose that seem far racier than a sedan has any right to have. But from other angles (esp. from the rear), it's just awkward. The proportions are nowhere near as good as the dead-sexy Model S. But it blends in better than the M3, especially because it doesn't make any noise (more on that in a minute).

Interior:

The Tesla gets a lot of *sugar* for it's spare, Spartan interior design, and for materials that some say are sub-par.

But it takes living with the car, and comparing it to something like the BMW, to really appreciate how goddamn good the Tesla is inside.

The lack of instruments in front of you is off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to the panoramic view out the front, which helps you not only in daily driving but also lets you place the car better when you start to drive fast. The center screen has its disadvantages, mostly in the lack of tactile feedback category, but the interface is so clean and intuitive that anyone can get in and make the car work immediately. The Tesla also has noticeably more space inside than the BMW, particularly for cargo--it has a bigger trunk AND a frunk AND a compartment below the trunk. Taking two kids and their gear to camp in the Tesla? Easy. Not so much in the BMW.

Notably, the things that people complain about (lack of air vents, lack of buttons, etc) are, for me at least, non-issues. The automatic climate on the Tesla is essentially set it and forget it. The steering wheel buttons control the audio functions I need them to and nothing else. The nav in the Tesla is easy to use because the large touch screen makes entering a destination simple. I do wish there were separate mirror controls, but beyond that? I really have no complaints.

Compared to the Tesla, the BMW feels like you're sitting in a hollowed-out WWII torpedo. The hood bulges up in front of you, forcing you to look around it, and the gauges and instrument panel dominate your field of view. There are buttons all over the place, but they operate in inscrutable ways that requires study to master. iDrive is better than its ever been, but it's still hard to learn, and 9 times out of 10 you'll just not bother using the nav rather than try to wrestle with destination entry. I should note that BMW actually has a nice app that works with the car, and entering nav info on that works well, but the whole setup is far kludgier than the one in the Tesla.

The seats in the BMW seem nicer at first. They're real leather, and firmer than the Tesla's, which are sort of hyperneoprene and squishy. But the BMW's seats are made for someone broader of beam than me, so I kind of rattle around in them, and after 400 miles my ass hurts in a way it doesn't driving the Tesla.

Does the BMW feel nicer inside? I guess--there are certainly more types of materials, and they're probably more expensive. But ultimately, the Tesla gets out of your way, while the BMW demands constant attention.


Driving.


Speaking of driving, what about that?

I'd like to sugarcoat this, but I can't. It's in the driving that the Tesla reveals itself to be the better car. And it's not a close thing. The BMW is near the apex of what an internal combustion engine performance car can be, but the Tesla exists in a different league, a vision of the future, a quantum leap. It's like comparing a P-51 to an Me 262.

Around town, you expect this to be true. With no clutch and instant torque, the Tesla is faster than the BMW everywhere, all the time. It's always ready to go, to jump in front of someone at a light, to nail a gap in traffic, whatever you need. It's "throttle" response is otherworldly, but it also has traction to spare--it digs and GOES, right now, no wheelspin, nothing to worry about.

The BMW requires thought, deliberation--point it straight ahead, and lay on the throttle, and it will go fast, as soon you slip the clutch just right and let the revs build a little and the turbos spool and manage the shift points. Get any of that wrong and even the Kia Forte in the next lane will beat you to 20 or 30 mph, forget about the Tesla.

And the Tesla will do it silently. The BMW's active muffler sounds like its got holes bored through it in sport and sport+. It's a pretty OK sound, though not great, but what it lacks in sonorous character it makes up for in volume. When you go fast in the BMW, people know it. Pedestrians, your passengers, people a few blocks over, everyone. When you go fast in the Tesla, people don't even notice, although your passengers might wonder why they suddenly have whiplash.

OK, so around town the Tesla is the winner. Sure. That makes sense.

But living with the two cars what surprised me is how much better the Tesla is for long-distance travel. The BMW is geared crazy-short. At highway speeds, it's turning 3000 RPM. Great because the turbos are on boost, but terrible for relaxing. The suspension is a bit jittery and overall the car just feels like work to drive at high speeds. Given its size and weight, it's a little surprising just how much of a GT the BMW isn't.

The Tesla, OTOH, doesn't vibrate. It doesn't roar, or boom. It just goes. There's tire and wind noise, of course, but not too much of either, and mostly there's just calm.

It's really remarkable how tired I was today after 400 miles in the BMW; way more than I would have been in the Tesla.

And I will say this, too--people bitch about EV charging, but after you get used to using the Tesla network, going back to getting gas feels like a huge step backward.

Isn't it faster to get gas, you ask? Well, sure--but you have to make two stops if you also need food, which I do on a 200 or 400 mile drive. First you stop for gas, and you stand there while it pumps, and then you drive off to find a place to eat. With the Tesla, you stop, plug in, go get your food, come back, unplug, and you're on your way. It's legitimately better.

Of course, if you're driving more than 400 miles or so, and have to do multiple charging stops, the Tesla might start to feel constraining. But on a 6 hour trip like I did today, it wouldn't have, at all.

And that doesn't even get into the whole buying gas for daily driving thing, which is something you don't realize you hate until you don't have to do it.

The Tesla’s phone key thing is great, as long as it works, which for me it does, but for others in my house it doesn’t reliably, and that’s the source of immense frustration. Why can’t this car just have a normal key?

For the BMW, it has the world’s most sensitive passenger detection weight sensor in the passenger seat—seriously, it’s triggered by things like a sandwich or your phone + glasses case. This would probably also drive you nuts if you regularly carried a bag; you’d have to put it on the floor.

Neither car has much steering feel. The BMW’s wheel is too big, and the Tesla’s is too small. I’d say the Tesla’s steering is better if only because it’s sharper, but driving the Porsche after either is a revelation.

Verdict

I like the BMW. I really do. It's fun to shift your own gears, and you won't find a better manual transmission sedan of recent vintage than this one. And the BMW has sounds and feelings that give their own satisfaction. I'd hate to lose cars like this forever.

But if the question is "which is the better car," the answer isn't hard. It's not remotely close. The Tesla performs all of the functions you're looking for in a performance car better than the BMW, by a lot. Plus it's more practical and easier to live with.

If you could have only one, my recommendation would be: Buy American.


Sold M3 convert, bought Model 3 Performance..... I could not agree more with the thoughts and comments.... Having owned many BMW's, Tesla has taken driving into a new, simpler and fun direction.... Hope to see the pick up soon....
 
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ztuner

Member
Mar 31, 2019
51
27
Sarasota FL
i have a 16 m3 and a P3D as well. My M3 is tuned by me and is faster than the P3D but not by much.

M3 - 11.2 @ 123 mph
P3D - 11.75 @ 113 mph.

M3 makes a shade over 500 whp. Its ultimately faster on the street and has better "feel" driving it hard. Less body roll and way better brakes. You have to work the m3 to go fast and you get a bigger rush. The interior space is similar between the 2 cars. The biggest difference is that 80 mph and above the M3 kills the P3D - thats to be expected i guess. For 99 % of driving the P3D will be faster on the street. I like both cars and probably will be upgrading the M3 further :)

For everyday use the Tesla is the go to car. a full tank costs 50 + bux on the m3 and 10 on the Tesla, its a no brainer. i do like the seats on the m3 more but dont mind the Tesla seats too much. I should probably upgrade the suspension and brakes on the tesla and sell the m3. So confused because they do different things for me.
 
Last edited:

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,183
5,210
FL
i have a 16 m3 and a P3D as well. My M3 is tuned by me and is faster than the P3D but not by much.

M3 - 11.2 @ 123 mph
P3D - 11.75 @ 113 mph.

M3 makes a shade over 500 whp. Its faster on the street and has better "feel" driving it hard. Less body roll and way better brakes. The interior space is similar between the 2 cars. The biggest difference to be is 80 mph and above the M3 kills the P3D - thats to be expected i guess. For 99 % of driving the P3D will be faster on the street. I like both cars and probably will be upgrading the M3 further :)

For everyday use the Tesla is the go to car. a full tank costs 50 + bux on the m3 and 10 on the Tesla, its a no brainer.

Not sure it's a meaningful comparison between a highly tuned aftermarket engine that you probably dropped what three grand or four grand into? Versus and completely stock Tesla that can't really be tuned at all? A Level Playing Field would be a stock M3 against a stock Tesla dual motor performance. The Tesla wins that and it's not that close. The drag race on carwow was not even as close as this one on drag times. And if you're talking about track performance let's compare a competently prepared Tesla against your competition M3. I suspect you'd struggle to beat the mountain pass car on a track.
 
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dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,183
5,210
FL
Tuning the M3 cost me 600 bux. All i have is a flash, nothing more.

Let's hope you don't get subpar gas or any carbon deposits in your combustion Chambers. You're probably running pretty close to pre ignition without water injection. Good luck keeping that engine alive for very long at that State Of Tune without water injection. And it's safe to say you have no engine warranty.. And none of that is any meaningful rebuttal of your lack of Level Playing Field. Come on.
 

ztuner

Member
Mar 31, 2019
51
27
Sarasota FL
Let's hope you don't get subpar gas or any carbon deposits in your combustion Chambers. You're probably running pretty close to pre ignition without water injection. Good luck keeping that engine alive for very long at that State Of Tune. And none of that is any meaningful rebuttal of your lack of Level Playing Field. Come on.
I tune cars for a living ... regardless i have no idea what your point is exactly. All i did is shared my experience, how is that a problem ?
 
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