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LR M3 2020 (FR) v M3 2021 (MIC)

lwbrown

Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
1
Perthshire
I've had a M3 2020 LR company lease car for 13 months. All in all an excellent experience.

Apart for some paint issues on delivery, the only issues I've had over 12,000 miles were a misted rear light cluster and the side of the drivers seat coming adrift.

So, knowing I needed to hand the car back this week (left the company) I was thinking about buying one myself. The government forced my hand with the removal of the EV grant, so I ordered a stock M3 2021 which I picked up last week.

So...how do they compare?

Note that this is not a detailed technical evaluation, just a view after driving both for a week.

Of the new features, the electric tailgate is marginally useful, heated rear seats will be useful, but the expected heated steering wheel hasn't materialised. This seems to be a common issue, I only hope that it doesn't require a trip to a service centre.

Generally, I would say that the build quality of the 2021 MIC does feel better, paintwork, regular panel gaps, etc, and the interior does look/feel better, although, for me, the wood inserts on the doors don't really work. I know this is a minor point, but the inside edges of the cup holders sharp, and not as good as the 2020.

Noise - much worse. With everything switched off, the 2020 was silent. The 2021 has a very loud hum (and occasional vibration) from the frunk (presumably the heat pump?). I know you don't really hear it when driving, but it is quite loud! I also think that the motor whine is worse, particularly around 40, but not a major issue.

Range - Now this is where I am disappointed. I know I will be told look at the % not the miles, or it depends on driving etc, but these are 2 cars, in teh same place, driven in the same manner! At 100% charged I could expect a range of 319 ish form the 2020. Given that I was expecting around 10% better, I was very disappointed only to get a 100% charge range of 325.

I could have bought the lease car for around £41k, so was it worth an extra £7k for a M3 2021.....probably, but only time will tell!

Moderator comment - changed MY (Model Year) to M3 to avoid confusion
 

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Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
310
196
Surrey, UK
I’m confused by your review. Is your 2021 model an LR or SR+? Your previous LR should have had heated rear seats. If your new M3 is a MiC LR then it should have the heated steering wheel. If it doesn’t have this, are you sure it’s not a Freemont car? Have you confirmed build location through the VIN?
 

lwbrown

Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
1
Perthshire
Apologies re MY - yes I meant Model Year

Both are LR, checked VIN for both - new one is MiC. Old one ( picked up March 2020) definately didnt have heated rear seats.
 

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
310
196
Surrey, UK
Apologies re MY - yes I meant Model Year

Both are LR, checked VIN for both - new one is MiC. Old one ( picked up March 2020) definately didnt have heated rear seats.
How odd!

The heated steering wheel function should just be a remote config push (like my missing fog lights!) however this could be hit and miss considering Tesla still don’t mention the feature on their UK site. You could end up with an awkward SC technician who insists there is no heated steering wheel!

I’m curious about the extra noise. We test drove a 2020 pre-refresh SR+ and found it much louder even at low speeds than our MiC LR.
 
Last edited:

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
1,444
1,068
Norfolk
Apologies re MY - yes I meant Model Year

Both are LR, checked VIN for both - new one is MiC. Old one ( picked up March 2020) definately didnt have heated rear seats.
That’s odd. My March 2020 LR has heated rear seats. Didn’t make much odds. With lockdowns and so forth, they’ve never been used.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,809
1,828
Bath, UK
LRs should have heated rear seats (Fremont & MIC) and heated steering wheel (MIC). If you don't/didn't have either of those I'd be kicking up a fuss with Tesla.

As @Cardo said though it might be difficult to get them to acknowledge that the car should even have it. Might have to wait until they offer it as a retrofit option for SR+.. whenever that might be.

I don't pay any attention to projected mies at 100%. Unless you've actually driven a good percentage of that then it's ultimately a "best guess" from the BMS anyway.
 

lwbrown

Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
1
Perthshire
How odd!

The heated steering wheel function should just be a remote config push (like my missing fog lights!) however this could be hit and miss considering Tesla still don’t mention the feature on their UK site. You could end up with an awkward SC technician who insists there is no heated steering wheel!

I’m curious about the extra noise. We test drove a 2020 pre-refresh SR+ and found it much louder even at low speeds than our MiC LR.
Re noise, just discussed with my daughter who has also driven both. She disagrees that the 2021 is noisier, but it's a different lower pitch. As I'm over 60, it's possible that I dont hear the higher pitch whine in the 2020 car, or I've just become used to it.
 

lwbrown

Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
1
Perthshire
Just clearing out the old car, realised that the new one had mats!

Also found the most annoying difference!

The 2021 version no longer has a DAB Radio option. Yes, you can use TuneIn to select some channels, but it takes 4 or 5 seconds to tune in.

Have Tesla really deleted the Radio?
 

raymondotango

Member
Jan 20, 2021
6
4
London
How odd!

The heated steering wheel function should just be a remote config push (like my missing fog lights!) however this could be hit and miss considering Tesla still don’t mention the feature on their UK site. You could end up with an awkward SC technician who insists there is no heated steering wheel!

I’m curious about the extra noise. We test drove a 2020 pre-refresh SR+ and found it much louder even at low speeds than our MiC LR.
On a Facebook group, a number of people have stated they do not have the heated steering wheel enabled. Log it on the app and an OTA update can be done.
 

lwbrown

Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
1
Perthshire
Also just tried to delete all personal info!

Never sync'd contacts - tick
Deleted phone pairings - tick
Deleted satnav history - tick (one by one!!!!)
Deleted 'Home' - tick
Deleted crap music selections on Spotify.......................nope :(
 

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