TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Just Test Drove BMW i3 and P85D back to back...

Discussion in 'Canada' started by hingisfan, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    Went to Toronto for a little getaway with my wife so I booked an i3 and a Model S test drive before we headed back home. I had test drove a P85 (not sure if it was + or not) last January, but my wife had never even seen one up close. Neither of us had any experience with the i3.

    Was not impressed overall with the i3 or BMW Toronto in general. Guy I talked to on the phone was not the guy I test drove with, and I had to double up with some other guy for the test drive. The car itself wasn't too bad, headroom was lacking in the rear seats and I don't think I liked that you have to have the front door open to open the rear door (have 2 year old). Maybe if we were older and the backseat was pretty much never used. The car drove nice, I REALLY liked their regen setup, you could be going 60km/hour and just letoff the accelerator maybe 100-120 feet from a stop sign and you would come to a nice smooth complete stop, without ever touching the brake. I'm not sure why Tesla hasn't done this, I always seem to be still rolling quite a bit in the Model S and still have to go to the brake pedal to stop. I am not a big fan of all the eco materials and lighter toned woods in the i3, just looked weird to me. Also, there are screens and knobs everywhere, plus the weird joystick thing in the centre console. The guy demo'd the auto-parallel park feature at the end, but even him doing it, it was about an 8 step process to do it, and the car moves quite slow while it happens. I haven't driven a Soul EV yet, but I'm guessing I will like it better, plus it's much cheaper.

    Then we headed over to Tesla on Lawrence. We test drove with an awesome guy (can't remember name, white, maybe 30, tall, thin), he said he had been with Tesla for 2.5 years, back when it was just an office, he really knew his stuff. After we showed ID and chatted a bit, we headed out to the car. I wasn't even thinking we would be driving the P85D, then I said sarcastically, "you guys don't let people test drive in insane I guess eh?" He says "oh yeah, sure!". And off we went. My wife drove first and was completely blown away, although she didn't ever completely floor it. Then it was my turn. I got the chance to completely floor it 3-4 times on dry pavement. I used to think the "Tesla grin" was a bit exaggerated, but I was wrong. I was grinning like a kid in a candy store, it was unbelievable. Then, he took me down to a dead end road that was snow covered and got me to turn around and stop. I floored it again and I could not believe how fast we went under complete control, with no slippage whatsoever.

    I also found this test drive much more comfortable than last time, maybe it's the next gen seats? I found visibility a bit better, headroom better in the front, much better in the rear. I also found the car a bit easier for me to get in and out of (but still a bit tight getting in). Maybe my knees were just having a good day, or maybe it was because my last test drive I drove right after 2.5 hours on the 401, I'm not sure.

    Display screens looked amazingly crisp, audio was good, next gen seats really comfy. I have a reservation on the X so I still want to wait and at least see the reveal and pricing for it before I decide what I am doing. I keep flipping back and forth with getting something like the Soul EV to get me through to Model 3, or splurging on a Tesla. We are a 2 car family so this next car is mainly for me, and if I go cheaper we can go to 2 EVs for our daily drivers when the model 3 comes out (with minivan as a 3rd vehicle). But, the Model S is so amazing I am tempted to get one anyway. We don't go out of town that often, maybe 4-6 times a year, so I could even get away with a 60 I think, but even a bare bones 60 would be double the cost of the Soul EV. Decisions, decisions.

    Anyways, just wanted to share my great test drive story. Is there anyone I can call to compliment my test drive guy? (and figure out who it was, lol). This guy was so awesome I really want to give the feedback.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,331
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Thanks, interesting side by side comparison report.

    I'm sure if you call the Lawrence showroom and ask to speak to the manager you can figure out who assisted you and give him a nice compliment. Good managers like to get feedback!

    By the way...splurge! You won't regret it. No other EV comes close to a Tesla.
     
  3. spentan

    spentan Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,254
    Location:
    SoCal
    Nice writeup.

    I just took delivery of a P85D, and I must say, compared to my older P85s, the fit and finish has been greatly improved.

    I also have an X Reservation (no family, but 6ft9in and 420lbs), so I might find the X more spacious (hence the reservation).

    I would recommend go for the S, then if you want the X, just trade it using the Happiness Guarantee! It's worth it!
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Nice write up. I think you'll find you never really have to use your breaks in the Model S as well. The regen is easy to get used to and be able to time to slow down at a light without breaks.
     
  5. Aussie Bob

    Aussie Bob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario canada
    Great comparison write up. Was your test drive rep Ramatin Amiri? He was tall and thin and had been with Tesla for some time. He was with us for hours on two separate occasions and was fantastic. As Tesla reps are part of company they are not on commission, so you do have that salesman's push philosophy. It made buying our S so much more enjoyable.

    FYI you may be able to delete the creep function in your settings as creep was added as an upgrade early on in S history I believe. As I am travelling cannot confirm with my car.

    My wife was blown away in our test drive as well.

    i also have entry issues but once inside I feel great and the S is the best car I have ever driven.
     
  6. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    My guess is that it was Jon Niskanen (not sure about the spelling) who was the original DS and now is the eastern regional manager.
     
  7. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    I never thought of that. Yes creep was on (no creep in i3) so maybe that was why regen would not stop the car. Also, regarding new seats, I am 6 foot 2 and 280lbs, and found the new seats great.
     
  8. hemants

    hemants Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    toronto
    I'd be interested in an i8 vs p85D comparo!
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    Regen will not totally stop the Model S with creep off--I assume that creep on will make it worse, but creep on seems silly to me. However, I've found that the amount of slowing down in the Model S is just fine, about the same amount I'd decelerate if I was just using the friction brakes--at least I never hear tires squealing from behind as the other driver attempts to stop. Also having to use the brakes during the last 3-4 mph helps keep the rotors and pads clean.
     
  10. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Location:
    San Diego
    Personally, I like the i3 regen where it brings you all the way to a stop. Added bonus, there is no slight jerk at the end when it completely stops. Very hard to do with friction brakes. There is a suspicion out there that for the last few mph, the i3 actually engages the motor in reverse to smoothly stop (since, like the Model S, the physics won't allow you to regen at really low mph).

    As far as forcing you to use friction brakes, I've found the slow stopping to be useless as far as getting the rust off. You have to stomp on them once in a while to eliminate squeals.
     
  11. dasRad

    dasRad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    The low speed regen on the Model S used to be a lot more aggressive, but a software "update" in the spring of last year reduced it. Both my wife and I preferred the greater low speed regen as you could drive around town and just do a full lift off the accelerator when you needed to do a right angle turn. Now we have to lift earlier (and slow following traffic), or use brakes immediately before the turn.
     
  12. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    Ya, I really liked how the i3 brought me to a nice smooth stop, with pretty much exactly the same braking style I would normally use.

    Also, forgot to mention, I LOVE the new black headliner, it really made the pano roof blend in with the interior. Even as a budget buyer its an option I would strongly consider, probably even more than leather seats, as most people who have the non-leather give it rave reviews.

    Any reason why Tesla doesn't have stronger regen available as an option? Or at least stronger when under 5-10km/hr?
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    Don't know about the regen. On our former Sig, the regen was never as strong as it is on the Roadster...I always prefer stron regen, but not everyone does.

    I would really like to see a 3rd setting for the Model S regen, with the 3rd setting being much more akin to the Roadster...

    By the way Hingis, did you get permission to take the time off from haranguing Kingston Hydro to make this trip? :wink::biggrin:
     
  14. spentan

    spentan Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,254
    Location:
    SoCal
    Another thing I noticed with my p85d I get more than 60kW regen, it feels more powerful for sure
     
  15. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Location:
    San Diego
    As to why the MS regen doesn't bring the i3 to a stop, while the i3 does: My theory is that the MS (and the i3) regen cannot bring the car to a full stop on level ground - the losses in the energy conversion limit regen working properly down to 0 mph. The BMW engineers just went a step further and realized that while that is an engineering limitation, it doesn't lead to a good user experience. Stopping power shouldn't just cut out at low speeds. So I suspect BMW wrote software to give the motor some gently decreasing reverse power when the regen cuts out, if the accel pedal isn't pressed. This not only allows "regen" stopping all the way to 0 mph, but it is a smoother stop than what can be accomplished via friction brakes.
     
  16. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    The "strength" of the regen is not an issue. It simply isn't possible to come to a full stop using regenerative brakes. The slower you're going, the less able the motor is to generate electricity and slow you down. The only way to stop using the motor only would be to actually apply current to the motor in the opposite direction.

    Tesla's setup is simple to engineer - the brake system is completely separate from the drive system. If you're not pressing the brake pedal, then you are not using the friction brakes. I haven't driven an i3, but if it stops the way described, then there has to either be some blended friction braking or the motor-applies-torque-in-the-opposite-direction idea. Either way, it requires a bit more engineering. (The Nissan LEAF blends friction braking and regen on the brake pedal, so it's possible to press the brakes and not actually engage the friction brakes; at least in the version of the LEAF prior to "B" drive mode, there was no significant regen on releasing the power pedal - it seems that they wanted to simulate the behaviour of a gasoline car.)

    While I love the Tesla and the "keep it simple" approach, I have to say that an interface in which lifting off the power pedal results in
    a) consistent deceleration regardless of state of charge and temperature
    b) a smooth complete stop

    is a superior interface.
     
  17. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    One other thing I forgot to mention that I sort of didn't like....when making a full 90 degree turn, in my current car, after the turn is complete, I can just let go of the wheel and it returns back to the home (straight) position. In the Model S, it felt like I had to turn the wheel back by hand to bring the wheel back to home. Not a big deal, just an observation.
     
  18. mrElbe

    mrElbe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    Stouffville, ON Canada
    Steering Wheel returns to straight position due to the front wheel caster.
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    At low speeds it's due to Steering Axis Inclination (aka KPI). Caster is self centering at higher speeds.
     
  20. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    Just watched the Montreal video on insideevs and my awesome test drive guy was in fact Martin Paquet!
     

Share This Page