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From 340xi to Tesla dual motor Model 3 - mini comparo.

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by voip-ninja, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    #1 voip-ninja, Sep 21, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2018
    Cross posted from my post in Bimmerfest Forum;

    My current BMW is a 340xi that I've leased for the past three years. In fact I extended the lease a month as I had not yet received the car I ordered to replace it.

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    Replacement car is a Tesla Dual Motor Model 3.

    I put $1000 deposit on the Tesla back in April of 2016 after the "big reveal", the thought of an affordable electric vehicle with some performance chops was pretty exciting to me. I never would have thought it would take nearly 1,000 days for Tesla to deliver my car, but it did.

    I finalized my order for the Tesla back in June. Right up until the month of June I was not convinced I wanted to own this car, I had read about Tesla's catching fire, shoddy quality of the vehicle assembly and I was worried about things like just one giant touchscreen for instrumentation.

    I decided to rent a RWD Model 3 in Turn, to spend a day with it and figure out if it was for me. After the rental, which I was thrilled with, I committed my order.

    After a few missteps from Tesla with moving my delivery date out, then pulling it back in I finally took delivery of my new car yesterday. I feel I'm in a good position to provide some direct feedback to those who might consider making the move to electric.

    I've never considered myself much of an environmentalist... but I do recycle, I do have a 7,000 watt solar array on my house and now I have an electric car. Most of these decisions I make are driven by economics. In the case of the Tesla 3 it breaks down this way;

    • $49,000 Model 3 with LR battery and premium upgrades
    • $4,000 dual motor configuration
    • $1,000 Deep Blue Metallic Paint
    • $1,500 premium white interior
    • $1,000 delivery
    • -$7,500 Federal Tax Credit
    • -$5,000 State Tax Credit

    So, final cost on this car will be $49,000 + taxes and registration. That's a pretty good deal. I guess the fact that the car has zero emissions and is good for the environment is a bonus.

    I picked my car up at Colorado's big Tesla service center. Tesla does not have traditional dealerships. They have stores and service centers. I picked up on a weekday and the lot was filled to overflowing with Tesla S/3/X (no Y yet) vehicles and there were a decent number of deliveries going on. Two carriers with more cars were showing up while I did my delivery.

    I walked in, identified myself, paired my phone with my new car, and started looking it over. If I had been ready to drive off, it would have taken 10 minutes. Literally. 10 minutes. I was a cash buyer with no trade in... no matter how I slice it though, fastest new car purchase I've ever done. Since Tesla sells to everyone, even employees at the same price there is no negotiating. They have been known to give customers discounts or concessions if there is a major problem with their purchase.

    The car was in better condition than I expected. Examining with a flashlight there was no evidence of any re-paint and the paint was in great condition. Panel alignment that Tesla has been rightly criticized for was very good... not QUITE on the level of German automakers but close enough most would not notice. There was one very small alignment issue with the rear driver's side door, but it's so minimal I don't know that I care enough to ask them to fix it. After driving off with the car I did discover the left turn signal is not working correctly. Tesla will correct this with a part swap soon with their mobile service (rangers!) which is pretty nice... beats a service center visit with a brand new car.

    I drove off and proceeded to spend the next 24 hours when not working driving the car, putting over 100 miles on it.

    I wanted to share my initial impressions.

    Compared to my 340xi the handling on the Tesla is better. Noticeably better. It points and turns much faster and the forward seating position (there is no engine so the cabin is forward of where it is in traditional cars), low center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution make it a joy to drive spiritidly.

    The one downside to the handling is the suspension, which is firmer than on the BMW. It soaks up bumps well enough but there is some extra springiness in the suspension I find a bit objectionable. Some of this could be due to the very high (45 PSI!!) tire pressure that Tesla recommends for optimal range. My car came with 18" rims (the standard "aero" wheels), I'm not sure if I could take driving it with 19"s and definitely not 20"s. As these will be my winter wheels I probably have some time to figure it out.

    I was initially concerned that the giant center display would be a turn off... but it's not. I can always see the speed out of my peripheral vision, the screen is enormous and incredibly responsive. It does not have CarPlay but neither does my current BMW. Bluetooth works well with my iPhone X... it does contacts, music, and of course my phone acts as a key (works perfectly so far). Backup key is a plastic credit card that has an RFID chip. You hold it up to the B pillar to unlock the car and you tap it to the center console to enable drive. The phone as a key is more convenient.

    Power/speed wise there is no comparison between the 340xi and the Model 3 with dual motors. Both cars show similar 0-60 and 1/4 mile times (4.5 seconds and 12.7 seconds approximately). However, with the BMW you only achieve these times with sport+ mode enabled and in more or less perfect conditions. With the Tesla you squeeze the accelerator and the car simply takes off like a rocket... instantaneously. Turbo lag isn't "almost" nonexistent. It is nonexistent. The feeling of thrust is similar to what you feel in a very large 400+ horsepower V8 car like a Corvette but the responsiveness just doesn't have any comparison in the world of gas burning cars.

    One of my biggest gripes with my 340xi and the 328xi it replaced is that slight delay and hesitation when something happens and you need to react quickly with SPEED. You press firmly on the accelerator and it takes the car a moment to figure out you want to MOVE like NOW. This happens even in Sport mode. The Tesla has none of this. Response for all purposes is instantaneous. Pretty incredible really.

    Additionally, the car isn't making any noise other than a very faint whine when it is doing this. The feeling of extremely rapid acceleration coupled with no drama is kind of addictive. Scratch that, it is highly addictive.

    Let off the accelerator and the car starts to immediately slow with the regenerative brakes... recapturing momentum and putting it in the batteries.

    I didn't test drive the Performance version that is even faster with 3.5 0-60 and 11.6 1/4 mile times. The one I bought is fast enough. Never thought I'd say that but it's true. Plus, I saved $10,000 buying the "slow" dual motor one. Go me.

    Interior wise the car is nice, but it's not on the level of a BMW/Merc/Audi. It just doesn't have that "bespoke" feel, but it is quite a lovely airy modern cabin. The lack of gauges and buttons and stuff feels weird at first but you quickly get used to it. Interior storage is fairly useful (much more so than S or X) but not on level with BMW. I still can't find a good place to store my sunglasses in this thing. :)

    What are the strengths of the BMW comparatively?

    Cosmetically the BMW looks higher end. The M body kit, the angel eye headlights, the aggressive "get the hell out of my way" stance, all scream "German Autobahn machine". The Tesla looks good but it's softer. Biggest problem with the looks are the pouty fish mouth. Still not in love with it. It's worth noting that other than a carbon fiber spoiler on the highest end Performance+ version and different rims, there is zero cosmetic differentiation between Tesla versions right now.... oh, I forgot one, the white seats are only available on all wheel drive variants, at least for now.

    The suspension is tuned a bit better for a more compliant ride on the Beemer... trade off though is it handles nothing like the Tesla.

    The BMW has a higher end feeling cockpit with more materials and the materials feel a bit higher end. The Tesla doesn't feel cheap, just spartan. The sport seats on the BMW have better adjustments, they are much firmer. The Tesla seats were still surprisingly comfortable... probably best next to Volvo I've sat in from a pure "comfort" perspective.

    BMW has some features I will miss. I will miss the kick to open tailgate. I will miss the 360 surround view parking (In fairness though the Tesla has a better backup camera and it is displayed on a massive screen compared to the BMW)...

    BMW has CarPlay, which the Tesla does not have. The Tesla does have a much better sounding stereo than the HK in the BMW.

    The BMW might have just slightly less wind noise than the Tesla. The Tesla also exhibits a tiny bit of buzzing/vibration sounds from the cockpit when going over really grooved concrete, but I've experienced this to varying degrees with all cars I've owned.

    That's about it for now. I've posted some additional pictures below. The Tesla looks quite good in person but is very hard to photograph this color with a smart phone. I'm debating having the aluminum trim wrapped in black and getting a light tint on the windows.

    I'm here to answer any questions you have, so fire away and I'll respond the best I can.

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  2. sroh

    sroh Member

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    Congrats and thanks for the extensive and well thought-out write-up. I have the same config as you except for red paint. Window tint will make it look a bit more aggressive (and more comfortable).

    Enjoy!
     
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  3. Snow Drift

    Snow Drift Slip Start: [Activated]

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    Love it. I have the same color combo. I'm waiting on taking off the Aeros until winter, but I've already got the kit.
     
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  4. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    Congrats and nice review! I'm in almost the same position (although I had a 340i instead of xi and my blue AWD Model 3 has black interior), and I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. :)
     
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  5. timk225

    timk225 Active Member

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    Not that I want white seats, but I'd like to know Tesla's reasons why they are only available on AWD cars. What's so different about a RWD 3 that the seats can't work with it?
     
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  6. SoCalGuy

    SoCalGuy Active Member

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    I think it’s just another carrot to get you to buy a higher priced model. Most luxury automakers save certain aesthetic options for higher trimmed models.
     
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  7. nalang

    nalang Member

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    Welcome to the family!
     
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  8. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    Limited supply of white interior parts at this point in time.
     
  9. MXWing

    MXWing Well-Known Member

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    @voip-ninja

    I haven’t read a testimony so exhilarating since the letters in Penthouse.

    Enjoy. You’ll be a good ambassador for Tesla to Bimmer owners being fair minded.

    Tesla owners going from Prius to Model 3 won’t be able to speak the language heh.
     
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  10. LargeHamCollider

    LargeHamCollider Battery cells != scalable

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    Great review! thanks for posting.
    My brother in-law has a 2015 BMW M3 which I drove back-to-back with my RWD 3, at our altitude (above a mile) performance was very similar despite the M3 being much faster on paper. It was MUCH tougher to get peak performance from the M3 than the model 3, driving around town at 6000-8000rpm is not super practical.

    Very different feeling cars, and by that I mean the Tesla felt much better, I'll be keeping my "3" :).
     
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  11. UnknownSoldier

    UnknownSoldier Unknown Member

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    Good choice on the blue! It looks like mine, I also have the same paint color with white interior!
     
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  12. N54TT

    N54TT Member

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    Is your 340 tuned? How would you compare the accelerations at higher speed? When cruising at say 50 or 60....and punching it. My Cobb tuned 335 pulled nice and hard. We all know off the line the model 3 quick and fall off at higher speeds...but at what speed? Does it feel the same at those speeds?
     
  13. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I have not driven enough at those speeds to make a fair comparison. B58 motor in 340i is quite a bit more powerful than the engine in a 335i and the RWD Model 3 I rented had no issues with very fast passing acceleration so I would be surprised if the bmw is quicker.

    Model 3 probably starts to lose acceleration to the gas burner at some point over 100 mph, which I almost never drive at.
     
  14. UnknownSoldier

    UnknownSoldier Unknown Member

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    The problem with passing speeds has always been that an ICE needs to downshift, spool up the turbo, etc. but the EV just instantly applies torque and it's flying. So while an ICE engine might be able to pull a faster 30-50 or 50-70 if it's already in the right gear and the turbo is already spinning, in a real world situation the EV will generally win passing speed tests even if raw numbers aren't in it's favor because there is no delay from flooring it to acceleration actually occurring.
     
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  15. samotlietuvis

    samotlietuvis Member

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    Nice combo - I am the same minus the white interior, coming soon. Great price...
    Glad to hear the handling is better than the BMW. That was not an easy thing to pull off for a heavier car.
    Although on paper few BMWs are close or the same as Tesla M3 AWD - on average Tesla M3 will be driven faster. The M3 AWD will be like with my Spark EV vs my past vette - I drive my Spark EV on average faster than I drove my LS3 C6 M6 corvette. Nothing personal to the corvette - on paper it is a much faster car - I loved the looks and the torque - but unless one is holding revs at 3k or higher even the corvette V8 takes time to come alive; No such lag in my Spark EV - just pure max torque available any time on the tap. It is instantaneous and addicting. I cannot wait to get a feel for my M3 AWD.
     
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  16. ebmcs03

    ebmcs03 Active Member

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    Man. Your Model 3 looks better than mine!
     
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  17. guywithkeyboard

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    Congrats OP!

    And...
    Holy *sugar*. The stereotypes are real. The comment thread in the Bimmerfest forum cross-post is a cesspool.
     
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  18. NathanielHrnblwr

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    LOL yep. Considering how much of other state's Fed tax money flows into MS, that guy should shut his trap.
     
  19. Jedi2155

    Jedi2155 Model 3 has Arrived.

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    Being a former Spark EV driver bye bye *Ritalin* and having test driven both the RWD and Performance AWD, I'll tell you the Spark feels slow in terms of that torque response. I feel that Chevrolet EV pedal mapping is more relaxed and delayed compared to some of its competitors, but it'll definitely get you going. I'd say the "0-20 lag" feel from the RWD Model 3 is akin to a Chevrolet EV.

    If the AWD is anything like the performance Model 3, its far more instantaneous and head snapping which I suspect is a function of the front AC induction motor. You'll love you AWD.
     
  20. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    I read the bimmerfest cross post replies. What tools people can be. You are a minority (IMO) that you bought a Tesla for economics and performance vs environmental considerations, but you CLEARLY stated that upfront. So one of the first questions tries to blame you for considering it "green" because the grid isn't 100% renewable. You also mentioned that you have solar. Pretty f-ing dense is the only explanation that I can muster. Unbelievable. I guess the only thing to do is to smoke some more dinos and see how much carbon our atmosphere can handle, right? Oh, and that grid couldn't possibly get any cleaner over the life of your new Model 3, right?

    The funny thing is that I bought my Tesla and solar for exactly the same reasons you did. Pure economics. The environmental impact was icing on the cake The Model 3 is compelling enough even without environmental consideration! But the more I listen to Elon and the more I read, the more I value the icing ;)
     
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