Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Looking for thoughts on Model S LR (refresh) vs. M3P

CorporateB

Member
May 17, 2021
54
100
UT
I've been eyeing the S since the refresh tease early this year, but having never driven a post-2016 S, I'm not sure what to expect compared to my M3P. I love the sportiness of the M3P, and don't really want to lose much of that, but the quality of life changes in the S seem appealing. I do a lot of highway driving, and will be doing a lot of long road trips in the future. The M3P is awesome and feels like the perfect size, but I'm willing to pay for the quality of life upgrades in the S if they're as good as they seemon paper.

The major [on paper] benefits of the S seem to be:
  • Lower noise floor (this is my chief complaint with the 3, it's really loud above 70, at least relative to my previous BMW)
  • Suspension -- the M3P suspension is so stiff that you can feel all of the grooves of the LA freeways
  • Range -- The range comparing the M3P on 20's to the S on 19's is pretty nice on road trips. I know even an SR+ is good enough with planning, but the extra range is really nice especially in and around California where there may be a wait for chargers
  • Better sound sytem
  • More space/more comfortable for passengers
The downsides:
  • Yoke (not a fan, but it doesn't seem too bad)
  • Cost, of course. I have the price locked in before the two price increases, so I am getting it for $10K less than the current 'sticker' price.
  • More 'boat-like' handling? The last S I drove was a 2016, so I assume the refresh is much better but how does it compare to the M3P?
I've been looking for threads and videos where this is discussed. I'm looking for a more direct comparison if possible, I see a lot of S -> refresh S comparison and old 3 vs. old S, but looking in particular the refresh S vs. M3P.

Any insights and/or links would be welcome. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Issaction

planetary

Member
Dec 29, 2018
253
541
Danville, CA
I'm not sure the Model S has a better sound system. I've not been able to hear for myself yet. Reports are mixed, ranging from "it's great!" to "it's almost as good!" to "my M3/Y is noticeably better".

However, I've noticed the M3 sound is really optimized for the front, especially the driver. Rear passengers get noticeably lower sound quality, IMO. Maybe the S is more uniformly optimized? Maybe it'll improve with software, e.g. around the same time we get ANC? Who can say.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CorporateB

headcase

Member
Jan 23, 2015
574
1,092
Raleigh, NC
I'm not sure the Model S has a better sound system. I've not been able to hear for myself yet. Reports are mixed, ranging from "it's great!" to "it's almost as good!" to "my M3/Y is noticeably better".

However, I've noticed the M3 sound is really optimized for the front, especially the driver. Rear passengers get noticeably lower sound quality, IMO. Maybe the S is more uniformly optimized? Maybe it'll improve with software, e.g. around the same time we get ANC? Who can say.
Tesla vehicles in my opinion always have the sound stage sitting too much forward, practically in the dashboard. The downside with trying to center the soundstage across the front and back speakers is that the rear speakers always sound underpowered to me. I’m hoping the new setup on the refresh doesn’t suffer that as much, as I didn’t get to adjust fade / test that yet in the car I was in.

I think the new sound system is a definite improvement from the previous generation Model S, but I’m withholding final judgement until I have a few weeks of driving my own car with tracks I’m familiar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: planetary

JADCa

Member
Mar 5, 2018
185
466
California
I've been eyeing the S since the refresh tease early this year, but having never driven a post-2016 S, I'm not sure what to expect compared to my M3P. I love the sportiness of the M3P, and don't really want to lose much of that, but the quality of life changes in the S seem appealing. I do a lot of highway driving, and will be doing a lot of long road trips in the future. The M3P is awesome and feels like the perfect size, but I'm willing to pay for the quality of life upgrades in the S if they're as good as they seemon paper.

The major [on paper] benefits of the S seem to be:
  • Lower noise floor (this is my chief complaint with the 3, it's really loud above 70, at least relative to my previous BMW)
  • Suspension -- the M3P suspension is so stiff that you can feel all of the grooves of the LA freeways
  • Range -- The range comparing the M3P on 20's to the S on 19's is pretty nice on road trips. I know even an SR+ is good enough with planning, but the extra range is really nice especially in and around California where there may be a wait for chargers
  • Better sound sytem
  • More space/more comfortable for passengers
The downsides:
  • Yoke (not a fan, but it doesn't seem too bad)
  • Cost, of course. I have the price locked in before the two price increases, so I am getting it for $10K less than the current 'sticker' price.
  • More 'boat-like' handling? The last S I drove was a 2016, so I assume the refresh is much better but how does it compare to the M3P?
I've been looking for threads and videos where this is discussed. I'm looking for a more direct comparison if possible, I see a lot of S -> refresh S comparison and old 3 vs. old S, but looking in particular the refresh S vs. M3P.

Any insights and/or links would be welcome. Thanks!
I think you have it about right. The new S is not boatlike at all. It actually handles quite well, but is BIG and you can't hide that.

They both have amazing sounds systems. It really comes down to personal preferences at this level.

The yoke is really only an issue for the internet. You won't care at all driving it, I think it is better in fact after a month. The turn signals are not as intuitive, but work ok. I hate the horn, but never use it so it doesn't really matter. Still the horn is probably the biggest mistake they made in my opinion. I just don't understand why they couldn't have the usual horn button under the airbag like every other car.

I get at almost 40% more usable range on my LR vs my 3P. With only limited info on the LR, it seems to get around ~320? usable highway miles on a charge with 21" rims vs the ~230 miles for my 3P with 245 wide 20" tires with my driving speed and style in SoCal. Both enough, but the LR is more enough???

It really isn't much different than asking if the BMW M3 is better than a 750il. Kinda depends what you want from the car, not that either is really better. For road trips I think you will be much happier in the bigger, plusher, much higher range S. When you hit a very tight windy mountain road, you will occasionally miss the 3P.
 

YHZ-Owner

Member
Jul 26, 2021
22
7
Haliax
I've been eyeing the S since the refresh tease early this year, but having never driven a post-2016 S, I'm not sure what to expect compared to my M3P. I love the sportiness of the M3P, and don't really want to lose much of that, but the quality of life changes in the S seem appealing. I do a lot of highway driving, and will be doing a lot of long road trips in the future. The M3P is awesome and feels like the perfect size, but I'm willing to pay for the quality of life upgrades in the S if they're as good as they seemon paper.

The major [on paper] benefits of the S seem to be:
  • Lower noise floor (this is my chief complaint with the 3, it's really loud above 70, at least relative to my previous BMW)
  • Suspension -- the M3P suspension is so stiff that you can feel all of the grooves of the LA freeways
  • Range -- The range comparing the M3P on 20's to the S on 19's is pretty nice on road trips. I know even an SR+ is good enough with planning, but the extra range is really nice especially in and around California where there may be a wait for chargers
  • Better sound sytem
  • More space/more comfortable for passengers
The downsides:
  • Yoke (not a fan, but it doesn't seem too bad)
  • Cost, of course. I have the price locked in before the two price increases, so I am getting it for $10K less than the current 'sticker' price.
  • More 'boat-like' handling? The last S I drove was a 2016, so I assume the refresh is much better but how does it compare to the M3P?
I've been looking for threads and videos where this is discussed. I'm looking for a more direct comparison if possible, I see a lot of S -> refresh S comparison and old 3 vs. old S, but looking in particular the refresh S vs. M3P.

Any insights and/or links would be welcome. Thanks!
Get the M3P. It's a better car than the refreshed Model S in pretty much every way.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,105
5,728
Seattle, WA
Get the M3P. It's a better car than the refreshed Model S in pretty much every way.

I just traded in my M3P for the Plaid. The Model S is better in many ways, and the 3P is better in different ways (mostly size and toss-ability). Interestingly, I put the Plaid around a sweeping curve today at... some speeds I wouldn't have dreamed possible, and uh... it goes round like like it's on rails. The 3P definitely feels lighter, but the Plaid handles well - it's just always going to feel like that much of a bigger car. Size-aside, the Model S is just a much nicer place to be, period.
 

JADCa

Member
Mar 5, 2018
185
466
California
Is the LR the same around curves? or does plaid have something that the LR doesn't. I have a 2020 Raven S and its not great around corners.
I believe the only difference is the Plaid does have torque vectoring which helps at the limit that the LR doesn't, but that would rarely be noticed on the street. The Raven is quite a bit different.
 

Rupe

Member
Jul 8, 2011
60
26
Ft Walton Beach FL
One thing I noticed is that the glare from 3 windows is obvious on the M3 touch screen, but definitely less so on the S Refresh, even though it’s bigger by 2in. The interior & center console are nicer as well. LR 0-60 is 3.1 and on par with the M3P. AA traction tires really make the difference around non-track corners.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Issaction

Dinosaurus

Member
Jun 17, 2019
40
24
Portland, OR
I have a M3LR, was thinking of the new S, what are your thoughts?
Quieter. Faster. Comfier. Roomier. Displays are much more responsive. Ventilated seats are amazing to me. Regen braking seems smoother. Sound system is a lot better, especially given recent updates. My M3LR didn't have a power trunk, so I'm loving that. I think my frunk is smaller, but my 3 was pre-hear pump. Despite the Plaid, I'm getting roughly the same Wh/mi efficiency and have longer total range. Yoke and turn signals take some getting used to, but it's second nature to me now.
 

Issaction

LR | Cream/White | 19" | RN1152 | July 02
Jul 15, 2021
85
128
Round Rock, TX
Quieter. Faster. Comfier. Roomier. Displays are much more responsive. Ventilated seats are amazing to me. Regen braking seems smoother. Sound system is a lot better, especially given recent updates. My M3LR didn't have a power trunk, so I'm loving that. I think my frunk is smaller, but my 3 was pre-hear pump. Despite the Plaid, I'm getting roughly the same Wh/mi efficiency and have longer total range. Yoke and turn signals take some getting used to, but it's second nature to me now.
What's your average Wh/mi since owning the car? Obviously we will keep in mind that it's a Plaid so it probably wasn't driven with optimal efficiency ;)
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top