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Low mileage second EV, keep coming back to .... M3!

Current car is a 2021 M3 LR with heat pump. Based in the UK so all these cars are right hand drive and costs in UK £.

Looking for a cheap as possible reliable low mileage second EV in UK (4-5K miles per year). The trouble is cheap EVs just feel so poor value in comparison with spending a little more to get a used M3.

I've mostly ruled out a used MS as I don't like the driving experience as much. Only a small amount more boot and cabin space than a M3. Plus some concerns about reliability, maintenance cost and battery longevity.

Here are the options I've come up with
17K for older Nissan Leaf 40KWh - bland driving experience, range limits journeys possible without charging, smallish boot
22-24K for new Corsa-E, Peugot e-208, small cabin and boot, bland driving experience very poor regen, limited range
29K for new MG ZS Long range. Better size cabin and boot with M3 SR level range. Mediocre driving experience and poor regen.
37K used M3 SR from 2019-2020 still in 4 year warranty mileage limit. Great driving experience and internal cabin boot space. Supercharger access for go-anywhere capability.
39K used 2021 model M3 SR with heat pump

Is it worth paying the extra to get a Chinese made M3 2021 model with heat pump? Are they significantly better built than the 2019-20 M3 made in Fremont? Getting a used LR instead of SR is still quite a jump up in price for range that will never get used though it may hold its value better. Rarely get snow here so AWD not vital.

Depreciation is hard to be sure about but it looks like cars on this list may depreciate at a similar absolute rate of K/year since the cars at the cheaper end of the list seem to be depreciate faster in % terms.

Any reason to think something like a MG ZS will have more reliable long lasting battery than a M3 beyond the end of the battery warranty? The actual battery warranty length will be similar since the MG has a 7 year warranty instead of 8.
 
A new SR+/RWD M3 could be an option. It costs more but the value is still unmatched IMO. Has the LFP battery and at only 4-5k miles a year, the resale value should be high if you decided to get rid of it. Shouldn't be any maintenance really either...you would maybe rotate the tires once a year and get the brakes cleaned up since you live in the cold. No way I would recommend purchasing a used Tesla these days. The value just isn't there as used car prices are so high. Makes so much more sense to buy a new one.

Any VW EV's in the UK?
 
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We have the VW id3 and id4 selling here in the UK. Quite pricey, especially for longer range versions and some lead time to order new. Id3 seems quite small inside after an M3. New M3s in the UK have leapt up in price. Now 46k for new SR and 55K for LR with best part of a year's lead time.

I'm seeing the poorest value for money in the oldest used Teslas. The used cars in the middle age wise aren't much more expensive.
 
How about a BMW i3 BEV. I loved mine - very practical for running errands & shopping around town. The Model 3 was mostly sitting in the garage and the i3 was seeing all the action until we sold it. Used to be cheap to buy used here in US but not any more (like most everything else).
Test drove the i3 years ago. Would probably not choose it for longer trips vs M3. Range seems quite limited even in the expensive longest range cars. I3 Didn't seem like a lot of interior space for family trips. Perhaps I'm just spoiled by the space available in a M3.
 
I love the garage space that we have with only one car. If it weren't for safety issues, I'd consider this for a second EV (Electra Meccania Solo):

download.jpeg
 
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Test drove the i3 years ago. Would probably not choose it for longer trips vs M3. Range seems quite limited even in the expensive longest range cars. I3 Didn't seem like a lot of interior space for family trips. Perhaps I'm just spoiled by the space available in a M3.
You're right - not good for long trips, and tricky if you have to put someone in the back seat. Therefore, "around town" were the keywords in my post :) So, if you need it for 1-2 people to go to the store it's very good. Can fit quite a lot of groceries in the back, turns on a dime, easy to get in and out, and feels quick... (compared to ICE cars, not the Model 3).
 
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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,605
1,251
USA
@Nujec I can't comment on Shanghai vs Fremont manufacturing, but among US market models I'd pay $2k extra for the 2021 updates in a heartbeat, assuming similar mileage for the comparison.

I agree that the Model 3's combination of driving fun, range+charging, and performance are still tops at its price point - for any trim level of Model 3, from SR+ RWD to P AWD. That said I like variety, and I'd definitely prefer something with a hatch/liftgate to complement the 3 for better cargo hauling.

Among similarly priced new cars the Polestar 2 is by far my favorite fun+sporty+compact EV to me after the Model 3, and it's a hatchback. It's extremely different from the Model 3 in so many ways, yet overall P2 dual motor is about equally appealing to me as a Model 3 dual motor.

Unfortunately the P2 single motor is FWD and a lot slower than the M3SR+, but the P2 is the better city car and it's not like you can use the Model 3's extra acceleration in a city anyways. P2 is better for city driving because it has a better turning radius, it's shorter (slightly), the hatch is better for cargo / errands, and it rides better.
 
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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,605
1,251
USA
I've mostly ruled out a used MS as I don't like the driving experience as much. Only a small amount more boot and cabin space than a M3. Plus some concerns about reliability, maintenance cost and battery longevity.
I want to correct one thing here - Model S is *vastly* better than Model 3 for cargo hauling. The trunk is way bigger and the hatch makes its space fully usable, vs the frustratingly small Model 3 trunk opening. The S frunk is much bigger too, at least comparing RWD single motor models. And the S back seat is much better for 3 across if that ever matters for you.

Of course the S is a lot longer and wider, so it's worse to park and feels almost too big for narrow country roads, but you do get way more cargo space inside.

I certainly agree the Model 3 is far more fun to drive though!
 
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I'm considering a UK pre-owned M3 S+ from December 2020. It seems like it's an early 2021 model year car with heat pump etc even though it's made in Fremont, not Shanghai. Is this is a bit of rarity?

Any reason to think this car would be in any way inferior to a slightly later 2021 M3 SR+ made in Shanghai?

The VIN starts with 5YJ3F7EA2MF

According to teslatap.com

1-3Manufacturer5YJ = Tesla, Inc.
4Make3 = Model 3
5Body TypeF = Sedan 4 Door (Model 3, Right-Hand Drive)
6Restraint System7 = Type 2 manual seatbelts (Front, Rear*3) with Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints & Active Hood
7Battery TypeE = Electric
8Motor/Drive UnitA = Single Motor - Standard Model 3
9Check Character2
10Model YearM = 2021
11Location of ManufactureF = Fremont, CA, USA
 
I want to correct one thing here - Model S is *vastly* better than Model 3 for cargo hauling. The trunk is way bigger and the hatch makes its space fully usable, vs the frustratingly small Model 3 trunk opening. The S frunk is much bigger too, at least comparing RWD single motor models. And the S back seat is much better for 3 across if that ever matters for you.

Of course the S is a lot longer and wider, so it's worse to park and feels almost too big for narrow country roads, but you do get way more cargo space inside.

I certainly agree the Model 3 is far more fun to drive though!

Having a hatchback definitely makes access a lot easier. I guess they chose a sedan design because they were designing for the American market initially. Seems they changed their minds with the Model Y. There were a few inches of difference in trunk dimensions under the parcel shelf and a wider section next to the trunk opening but I was surprised it wasn't deeper front to back than the 3 given that it's a longer car.

Measuring across the back seats with a tape measure the total width seemed similar but the middle seat was definitely more usable. With two full size child seats in the back the middle seat is still unusably narrow though.

So yes the S is more practical, no question, but measuring with a tape measure made me really respect how cleverly the 3 packages its interior space for a significantly smaller car. I just wish they'd made the 3 a hatchback.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,605
1,251
USA
Wait are you comparing with Model S or Model Y? Those are pretty different. Model S cargo hold is definitely longer/deeper than Model 3. Model Y is shorter and taller than Model S, I think it's closer to Model 3 dimensions except taller. The Y should be good for cargo hauling too, especially boxy items, though not as good as the S for long items.

I'm a longtime Model S owner and only recently bought a Model 3 (last fall). I assure you the S is truly in a different league than the 3 for cargo hauling if that's any kind of priority for you. For that reason alone the 3 can only be a second car for us, it could never replace our S, which was our only car for many years. Your cargo needs may be different!

Within days of owning the 3 I was frustrated by inability to fit a large item inside. Yes there was enough physical space in the cabin (trunk too short I think), but there was no opening large enough to get it in and out. Had to haul that item a different day using the S. We're frequently hauling things that just don't fit in the 3, due to either large square-ish dimensions or sheer length, as well as simply larger volumes of cargo than the 3 could fit for one trip.

Of course any time I don't need the extra space I'd rather drive the 3. :) I've zero regrets getting the 3, it's really fun and drives way better than a Y, and we were keeping our S anyways. It would be nice if the 3 had a hatch, but it's not essential for us now that we're a two car family. At this point the most likely S replacement for us is a Rivian R1T.
 
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I'm considering a UK pre-owned M3 S+ from December 2020. It seems like it's an early 2021 model year car with heat pump etc even though it's made in Fremont, not Shanghai. Is this is a bit of rarity?

Any reason to think this car would be in any way inferior to a slightly later 2021 M3 SR+ made in Shanghai?

The VIN starts with 5YJ3F7EA2MF

According to teslatap.com

1-3Manufacturer5YJ = Tesla, Inc.
4Make3 = Model 3
5Body TypeF = Sedan 4 Door (Model 3, Right-Hand Drive)
6Restraint System7 = Type 2 manual seatbelts (Front, Rear*3) with Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints & Active Hood
7Battery TypeE = Electric
8Motor/Drive UnitA = Single Motor - Standard Model 3
9Check Character2
10Model YearM = 2021
11Location of ManufactureF = Fremont, CA, USA
I purchased this car in the end. Very happy with how it drives.

The fit and finish is a bit inferior to our Shanghai made M3 LR which is 4 months newer. The rear door handles are a bit recessed, the panel gaps less consistent, the frunk is harder work to close.

SR+ is plenty fast enough for me but as you'd expect the acceleration is not quite as punchy and brutal as the M3 LR. The M3P would be way too fast for my taste.
 
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