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Is M3 Big Enough?

Should I get a M3 or stretch financially to get a MY...or wait till I can afford the Y?


  • Total voters
    32
Really want a MY but I might be a bit priced out of that. So considering a M3. I have three basically grown kids (two live with mom the other, college grad, lives with me right now) and rarely more than 2 of them in the car at the same time. Also have a black lab that is in the car a lot. Don't haul tons of stuff but generally like the room of an SUV. Have had SUV's forever (and currently have a Chevy Equinox which is perfect size) so stepping down to a sedan might be a shock for me. I might be looking at either buying a 3 or leasing a Y (which I know is a horrible financial decision aside from lower monthly payments).
Concerns of M3:
-Given seat height worried about the ease of getting in and out
-Ability to comfortably have 2 kids in the car (one in back)
-Enough space for dog to be in the car and sit up and stretch out without being cramped
-Overall storage capacity-don't haul tons of stuff but like being able to put beach stuff in back of current SUV, ski stuff, or whatever when necessary. Will 3 allow me to still do this?

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,127
2,585
Houston
How tall are you?

If you are tall, the rear seats are very tight with the fronts seats moved back. You'll have a lot more rear seat room in the Y, and it's a wider car. If you are teeny tiny, then the 3 will be ok.

With the folding seats you can put a lot in the Model 3, but obviously not as much as the Y.

You might be a good candidate to rent a Model 3 on Turo when the kids are around to see how everyone fits.
 
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I'm only 5-8. Kids range from 5-7 to 6-1 so nobody huge although my 16 year old is a 6-0 260 lb football player so he's wiiiiiiide! :). I actually have an overnight test drive today so looking forward to that and will get a much, much better idea about all my questions. When rear seats folded there really is plenty of space in the trunk/into the rear of the car? Also, how about my dog. Will he struggle to be comfortable in there? And getting in and out...worried about getting my 55 year old butt in and out of those low seats!
 
I’m 6’2” and have no issues in the M3... my 21 yo daughter rides in back behind drivers seat and says enough room (she isn’t uncomfortable) on 2.5 hour road trips to/from university breaks. M3 is definitely mid sized... if you want more legroom save/lease a MS. I’ve been in a MY and don’t think much more leg space in back seats using the settings I use for driver.
 
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The M3 is surprisingly spacious on the inside. Definitely has more space for objects than my P90D ie, door pockets, storage under the arm rest, and pockets behind the front seat. My 90lbs Rottweiler loves riding in the back seat. The M3 fits my lifestyle more than the MS. You should test drive or rent a M3 and see if it will workout for you.
 
Best recommendation is to test drive under your use conditions. If going by the numbers were that easy it would be...easy. :)

Example, there have been a small number of people who have found the drivers seat awful to unbearable. So, only your butt will be able to discern as well as your other family members. Good luck.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,127
2,585
Houston
I’m 6’2” and have no issues in the M3... my 21 yo daughter rides in back behind drivers seat and says enough room (she isn’t uncomfortable) on 2.5 hour road trips to/from university breaks. M3 is definitely mid sized... if you want more legroom save/lease a MS. I’ve been in a MY and don’t think much more leg space in back seats using the settings I use for driver.

You must have short legs and a long torso.
 
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Really want a MY but I might be a bit priced out of that. So considering a M3. I have three basically grown kids (two live with mom the other, college grad, lives with me right now) and rarely more than 2 of them in the car at the same time. Also have a black lab that is in the car a lot. Don't haul tons of stuff but generally like the room of an SUV. Have had SUV's forever (and currently have a Chevy Equinox which is perfect size) so stepping down to a sedan might be a shock for me. I might be looking at either buying a 3 or leasing a Y (which I know is a horrible financial decision aside from lower monthly payments).
Concerns of M3:
-Given seat height worried about the ease of getting in and out
-Ability to comfortably have 2 kids in the car (one in back)
-Enough space for dog to be in the car and sit up and stretch out without being cramped
-Overall storage capacity-don't haul tons of stuff but like being able to put beach stuff in back of current SUV, ski stuff, or whatever when necessary. Will 3 allow me to still do this?

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.
1. 2 kids, gf and you : no problem in the m3. 3 kids/adults ok too but not for very long trips.
2. The dog is a deal breaker. Do not expect to have more than 2 passengers and a dog in a m3. Then it is getting crammed either for the dog or the passengers or straight out too dangerous. Trunk is not an option in m3 for the dog.
3. Do not lease a mY if you are going to be puting a lab in it. Just saying. You dont want to pay those seats in cash. A few scratches might lower the resale value but a dealer will make you pay for new and trash the olds.
Wait and buy a mY, it seems like you need it...
 
Really want a MY but I might be a bit priced out of that. So considering a M3.
With 3 kids, an hatchback is no brainer, get the Model Y instead of the sedan Model 3.

Are you considering
- the ($38k) Model 3 SR+
or
- the ($47k) Model 3 LR AWD
against
- the ($50k) Model Y LR AWD?
May be wait to check if the Model Y with the 7 seat option ,is practical?

This version might be handy when receiving some parents or guests visits.
 
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If you have to ask, then it's probably too small. The M3 is a small-ish midsize sedan. A really nice sedan, but equivalent in size to a 3-Series. It's substantially smaller inside than my mother-in-law's 2013 Camry. I bought mine 18 months ago because I needed the Autopilot assistance, but miss the space of my minivan every day. I think of trading for a Y at least once a week, but the FSD price increase keeps me here.

I'd hold out and spring for the Y when you can do it. Don't jump the gun and eat depreciation on a car you won't be completely happy with.
 
Really want a MY but I might be a bit priced out of that. So considering a M3. I have three basically grown kids (two live with mom the other, college grad, lives with me right now) and rarely more than 2 of them in the car at the same time. Also have a black lab that is in the car a lot. Don't haul tons of stuff but generally like the room of an SUV. Have had SUV's forever (and currently have a Chevy Equinox which is perfect size) so stepping down to a sedan might be a shock for me. I might be looking at either buying a 3 or leasing a Y (which I know is a horrible financial decision aside from lower monthly payments).
Concerns of M3:
-Given seat height worried about the ease of getting in and out
-Ability to comfortably have 2 kids in the car (one in back)
-Enough space for dog to be in the car and sit up and stretch out without being cramped
-Overall storage capacity-don't haul tons of stuff but like being able to put beach stuff in back of current SUV, ski stuff, or whatever when necessary. Will 3 allow me to still do this?

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.
I have found our M3 to have plenty of storage space. We went on a holiday with a total of four adults and my wife and I were frugal about our luggage but when we picked up the other two passengers the wife laughed and said "I always pack the kitchen sink" which gave me a sinking feeling! But the M3 coped. It's always good to have soft bags as they squish better and I got about ten bags and odds and ends into the frunk, trunk and the well in the trunk. There is more room in the M3 that in a Honda V6 Accord that we owned two cars ago.

Never had any complaints about seating of tall people.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,408
7,951
MA, NH
If you have to ask, then it's probably too small. The M3 is a small-ish midsize sedan. A really nice sedan, but equivalent in size to a 3-Series. It's substantially smaller inside than my mother-in-law's 2013 Camry. I bought mine 18 months ago because I needed the Autopilot assistance, but miss the space of my minivan every day. I think of trading for a Y at least once a week, but the FSD price increase keeps me here.

I'd hold out and spring for the Y when you can do it. Don't jump the gun and eat depreciation on a car you won't be completely happy with.

Tesla’s policy of not applying FSD forward to a new vehicle (or at least heavily discounted) is holding back sales they could be making.
 
My wife has a Ford Escape which I think is similar in size to the Equinox? As far as passenger and leg room, the M3 is actually quite a bit better. Obviously storage space isn't as good, but you can actuallly fit a lot in the M3 as long as they aren't large bulky objects. Ive carried I think a 10' pipe in my car which I'm pretty sure would not fit in the Escape, but a tall box probably wouldn't fit in the trunk of the M3. Would need to use the front or back seat for that. I suspect a dog would have plenty of room, unless you have a greyhound or something :)
 

Mr X

Active Member
Jan 18, 2013
2,417
2,924
1 AU
Model 3 has too much room for me


- Never use frunk
- Never use trunk
- Never use rear seats
- Headroom is more than plenty


Single, no family, 3 is ideal.

Relationship, kids, get a Y.


Rear seats in the 3 suck. Thighs hover and never touch the bolsters and my legs always feel strained with the high floor.


In the Y, not at all.
 
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dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Love my 3.

Came out of an (incredibly roomy) Cadillac XT5. Was really concerned about downsizing from a large-ish crossover (as large as 2-row crossovers get) into a sporty sedan.

It's been absolutely NO issue whatsoever. I'm 6'0" and not a beanpole, but extremely, extremely comfortable in the 3.

Try the test drive but I love mine... very happy I downsized. Thought it'd be a problem, but it wasn't. Like, at all.
 

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,577
3,011
Massachusetts
A used X would probably be best. A leased anything, especially with the dog, is just a terrible idea. A 3 probably wouldn't meet your dog-needs, in any case.

All that said, if the $3k difference between the 3 and Y is determining whether which one you should get, you probably shouldn't get either, and probably not even the X unless it was a super hot deal. In our neck of the woods(MA), excise taxes(on top of ~$3k in sales taxes) sucked up another ~$1k a year(although it decreases rapidly).

~$50k is a ton of dough to tie up for transportation, even if its the best transportation money can buy. As much a fan of EV's as I am, I treat the ~$50k I spent on Stacy's Mom(2018 AWD 3) as 'fun' money. Its 'fun' for sure, but I would probably have $100k in hand had I just invested it wisely back then(or much more if I had just bought TSLA!), or $50k in hand PLUS a slightly used but completely mundane Honda Accord.
 

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