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M3P 2021 ride quality on UK roads?

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
Hi all.

This is my first post so apologies I’m posting this incorrectly/in the wrong place.

I had a M3 LR (black/black with 19” wheels) on order but then found myself with M3P envy when I noticed a neighbour up the road had just taken delivery of the P!! I then (today) hastily changed my order to the P (and dropped the EAP to save some £££) but having spent hours pouring through this forum I am now worried about the ride quality on the 20” wheels/tyres.

I’ve only test driven the LR on 18’s and that felt super comfortable.

Any UK M3P owners out there who can confirm or deny my fears?? I only mention UK owners as you’ll know how terrible some of our roads are!! 😂

FWIW I do think the P looks the best, but I’ll be driving it more than I look at it so want to make the right decision.

Thanks all.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,449
2,407
Bath, UK
It really depends on what you’re used to.

It doesn’t stick out to me as bumpy or uncomfortable in the slightest. You do feel the road, though, bad surfaces and all.

Seems like the obvious thing to do is have a chat with your neighbour and let them know of your dilemma. Maybe they’ll offer to give you a ride around the block or something, to help you make up your mind?
 
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Fraank

Member
Jul 21, 2019
313
337
UK
I think it really depends on your road quality. If the LR was that good, you probably have good roads where you live? We have some awful roads here and the LR is not comfortable at all on them, and therefore the P would be even worse.

On good roads the LR has a brilliant ride, and therefore I expect the P too!
 

Artiste

Member
Jun 17, 2019
439
339
Lancashire
It certainly isn’t uncomfortable though the ride is very firm - you’d expect that from a car with this performance.

However, you’ll be aware of every imperfection on the road surface, and you’ll hear significant tyre noise at anything over 20mph. At motorway speeds tyre noise, and wind noise, are very intrusive. The M3P is not nearly as quiet or refined as a car in this price bracket should be. It’s my biggest disappointment with my car. Well, along with the crap windscreen wipers, useless auto headlights and lots of phantom braking.
 

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
It really depends on what you’re used to.

It doesn’t stick out to me as bumpy or uncomfortable in the slightest. You do feel the road, though, bad surfaces and all.

Seems like the obvious thing to do is have a chat with your neighbour and let them know of your dilemma. Maybe they’ll offer to give you a ride around the block or something, to help you make up your mind?
Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t know the neighbour too well but I’m sure if I ask nicely he wouldn’t mind showing off his new ride. I’m perhaps a bit spoilt as I’m currently driving a Velar with air suspension so I guess anything sporty and somewhat lower to the ground is going to feel quite different/bumpy
 

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
I think it really depends on your road quality. If the LR was that good, you probably have good roads where you live? We have some awful roads here and the LR is not comfortable at all on them, and therefore the P would be even worse.

On good roads the LR has a brilliant ride, and therefore I expect the P too!
Yes, I suppose like most UK roads it’s a mix of good and bad. I was just surprised how good the ride quality was on the 18’s and so I’m probably over thinking what the 20’s must feel like.
 

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
It certainly isn’t uncomfortable though the ride is very firm - you’d expect that from a car with this performance.

However, you’ll be aware of every imperfection on the road surface, and you’ll hear significant tyre noise at anything over 20mph. At motorway speeds tyre noise, and wind noise, are very intrusive. The M3P is not nearly as quiet or refined as a car in this price bracket should be. It’s my biggest disappointment with my car. Well, along with the crap windscreen wipers, useless auto headlights and lots of phantom braking.
Thanks for your response.

Do you think the road noise is mainly due to the fact there is no engine noise? Sorry if I’m over simplifying that thought!

What do you mean by phantom braking? Literally the car braking on its own without warning? Sounds dangerous!!

…and I’ve heard others mention the poor wipers. Bad news on a £60k car!!
 

Artiste

Member
Jun 17, 2019
439
339
Lancashire
Thanks for your response.

Do you think the road noise is mainly due to the fact there is no engine noise? Sorry if I’m over simplifying that thought!

What do you mean by phantom braking? Literally the car braking on its own without warning? Sounds dangerous!!

…and I’ve heard others mention the poor wipers. Bad news on a £60k car!!

There’s just a lot of road noise. Modern ICE engines are very quiet, so you shouldn’t hear any engine noise at motorway speeds unless you’re in a cheap car or accelerating hard. My A6, which cost less than my M3P, is so much quieter that it’s in a completely different league, despite it having a V6 Diesel engine at the front. The Tesla can’t begin to compete on comfort and refinement.

You’ll find many threads on phantom braking. It only happens when you’re using autopilot and lots of people reckon they’ve identified some of the main causes. Personally I’ve experienced full emergency braking on the motorway, bringing me down from 70 to 40mpg before I could intervene. Cue lots of rude gestures from the cars behind, and I honestly don’t know how I’ve not been rear ended. I don’t use autopilot because I’ve nearly crapped my pants too many times. Lots of owners are pinning their hope on new software currently being trialled but, as with most things Tesla, behind schedule. I tend to look at Tesla’s past record rather than promises for the future, and their record isn’t great.
 

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,115
1,351
Chester UK
Road noise becomes noticeable at anything above about 40mph in my car and really only intrusive if exceeding 70. It's probably caused by almost non existent sound insulation in the wheel arches, exacerbated by different road surfaces. Concrete is by far the worst whereas at the other extreme, freshly laid smooth tarmac can be surprisingly quiet even at speed. I will also add that I very rarely drive without listening to music & the Premium Sound System is of such quality that road noise is barely noticeable unless specifically concentrating on it.

My experience with Phantom Braking has been OK, I had a couple of severe instances back in early 2020 but on almost empty dual carriageway & in each case this was whilst crossing over a slower road beneath. Since then when using Autopilot, keeping my foot just above the accelerator pedal in readiness avoids any further 'surprises'. To be fair, the only (very rare) occurrences since have been much more gentle and instantly correctable. I may be wrong but because owners report wildly differing experiences of PB, maybe each persons autopilot settings have a significant impact - mine are mostly set to 'off' or 'warning' rather than assist and take action.

The wiper system Tesla uses is inferior to most others but recent software updates do seem to have significantly improved this. Apart from spray from lorries where manual intervention is needed, the auto setting has worked as well as anything over recent weeks.

So, anyone purchasing a Tesla needs to be aware that these cars have various foibles, quirks and downright annoyances but countered by a long list of outstanding features which more than compensate. The Model 3 is not a luxury car unlike the S and X so anyone expecting that may be disappointed but for sheer driving enjoyment it is hard to beat.
 

btc1k

Member
Jan 18, 2021
499
363
Bristol
Hi all.

This is my first post so apologies I’m posting this incorrectly/in the wrong place.

I had a M3 LR (black/black with 19” wheels) on order but then found myself with M3P envy when I noticed a neighbour up the road had just taken delivery of the P!! I then (today) hastily changed my order to the P (and dropped the EAP to save some £££) but having spent hours pouring through this forum I am now worried about the ride quality on the 20” wheels/tyres.

I’ve only test driven the LR on 18’s and that felt super comfortable.

Any UK M3P owners out there who can confirm or deny my fears?? I only mention UK owners as you’ll know how terrible some of our roads are!! 😂

FWIW I do think the P looks the best, but I’ll be driving it more than I look at it so want to make the right decision.

Thanks all.
The difference in ride can certainly be felt - and it's a very personal thing.

I found myself in a similar situation to you - at the beginning of the year my lease broker persuaded me to order an LR as there was a cracking deal and it was cancellable with no penalties - then I started looking at the P and ordered one of those too with the intention of cancelling the LR...

Before I did that, I arranged with Tesla to test drive them both, back to back, for an hour each. I had driven the LR previously.

Other differences apart, I'll just focus on ride quality which was a big factor in my decision to later cancel the P and stick with the LR.

The P was definitely a more 'precise' feel - it felt like it was set up as a performance car (i say that because some cars aren't!). However the downside of that was that, to me, it felt a bit "crashy" - i.e there was little to no damping over the smallest bumps or road imperfections. My mind was made up after being unable to avoid a small pothole and I honestly felt like I'd damaged the wheels as the noise and crash was huge.

After an hour in the P, I felt like I needed a rest (must be my age) - and got in the LR for the next hour - immediately feeling the difference. The LR felt almost just as planted but a helluva lot more comfortable.

I like to go quickly but the harshness of the ride in the P was just a tad too much for me. It doesn't have to be like that - I've had performance cars with other marques which are set up for performance handling without crashing through potholes... but anyway...

So in the end, I cancelled the P, went for the LR and added accel.boost. I am very very happy and it was totally the right decision.

But having commented on the ride quality of the P in the performance thread and being told very clearly I am wrong.... it seems to be a very personal thing :cool:

If you can, try them back to back on test drives - it was a great way to compare for me.
 
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rincewind

Member
Nov 5, 2019
557
303
London England
At motorway speeds tyre noise, and wind noise, are very intrusive. The M3P is not nearly as quiet or refined as a car in this price bracket should be. It’s my biggest disappointment with my car. Well, along with the crap windscreen wipers, useless auto headlights and lots of phantom braking.
^^ This. I realy like my P, but the longer I have it the more unaceptable the noise levels become. Maybe it's my age, but, honestly, they should be quiter than this. My biggest gripe at anything over 50 is the wind noise at the top of the drivers window - it's driving me nuts. I've done just about every suggestion on here to mitigate it, even had Tesla replace the door seal last month. None of it made any difference, it's just a poor design that seriously needs changing.
 

GlynG

Member
Apr 26, 2021
47
88
Wigston, Leicester
Coming from a Velar most cars will feel rather harsh on the road but it really does depend on what you personally find comfortable.

I had Two Boxsters - both were rather harsh in the ride on poor surfaces - but I didn't find the hard ride an issue - just the amount of body flex and rattles it produced, Next was a 911 - the 997.2 C2S - again a firm ride but not being a convertible little to no flex and no creaks/rattles - so that was rather good.
The car previous to the M3P was the Focus Mk3 RS - seemed everyone criticised the ride quality in that - very firm and often referred to as "crashy" or "pogo" but i found it very comfy and no complaints at all.

In comparison to my previous cars the M3P is fabulous, Its a little firm but not harsh, road noise - cant say its ever registered with me as an issue - perhaps I have a Friday afternoon car as my car doesn't display most of the issues people ascribe to the M3P - Panel gaps are all good and the paintwork is every bit as good as any of my Porsches, The auto wipers are no different to any of my previous cars in terms of how they work - it rains they switch on - it stops raining they go off, I've had some phantom braking in FSD mode but nothing like emergency braking and a tap of the throttle immediately negates the braking and it usually occurs when a truck is alongside and its close to the lane marking - perhaps the car anticipates the truck moving from its lane into mine - but nothing to complain about.

The 20 inch wheels undoubtedly make for a firmer ride as there is less "suspension" effect in the tyre wall and pot holes will result in a less compliant ride as the jolt is felt more.

Whichever car you eventually decide on wont be the wrong choice - you will just accept what you have and live with it.
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,230
5,756
Surrey, UK
I'm very often in the passenger seat of our LR and I can say that it also gives a very harsh ride over many road surfaces - typical surfaces, not small back routes. If I have to type something on phone whilst moving its very sporadic - if the intention is to turn the car into a platform where it can be a driverless mobile office then they are going to have to do something with the ride quality irrespective of specification.
 

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
The difference in ride can certainly be felt - and it's a very personal thing.

I found myself in a similar situation to you - at the beginning of the year my lease broker persuaded me to order an LR as there was a cracking deal and it was cancellable with no penalties - then I started looking at the P and ordered one of those too with the intention of cancelling the LR...

Before I did that, I arranged with Tesla to test drive them both, back to back, for an hour each. I had driven the LR previously.

Other differences apart, I'll just focus on ride quality which was a big factor in my decision to later cancel the P and stick with the LR.

The P was definitely a more 'precise' feel - it felt like it was set up as a performance car (i say that because some cars aren't!). However the downside of that was that, to me, it felt a bit "crashy" - i.e there was little to no damping over the smallest bumps or road imperfections. My mind was made up after being unable to avoid a small pothole and I honestly felt like I'd damaged the wheels as the noise and crash was huge.

After an hour in the P, I felt like I needed a rest (must be my age) - and got in the LR for the next hour - immediately feeling the difference. The LR felt almost just as planted but a helluva lot more comfortable.

I like to go quickly but the harshness of the ride in the P was just a tad too much for me. It doesn't have to be like that - I've had performance cars with other marques which are set up for performance handling without crashing through potholes... but anyway...

So in the end, I cancelled the P, went for the LR and added accel.boost. I am very very happy and it was totally the right decision.

But having commented on the ride quality of the P in the performance thread and being told very clearly I am wrong.... it seems to be a very personal thing :cool:

If you can, try them back to back on test drives - it was a great way t
I’ve just now booked a test drive for this coming Tuesday so hopefully they’ll have both the LR and P available (although the LR I test drove previously has the 18’s fitted so not a particularly fair comparison). It is indeed a personal, subjective topic. I’ll report back on Tuesday!
 

26ct2143

Member
Nov 22, 2020
207
85
Burton-on-Trent, UK
I live on a farm and spend most of my time driving country lanes.
These road have little to no money spent on them and can have quite large potholes. (I frequently have to dodge round them)
i went for a LR on the standard 18in wheels.

For me the ride is plenty firm enough for these roads, I could not imagine how it could be with a P.
But I would have liked a P, but I'd probably destroy the wheels/suspension and feel uncomfortable in the process.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Mar 16, 2018
1,263
801
UK
I tried both and went LR with performance boost. The P looks better but that upside, and it pretty much is the only upside, just wasn't worth the downsides, and thats before you factor in price. I came from a Model S P90D and a BMW 6 series and X5 before that, and the the Model 3 is the noisiest car I've owned in a long time, and the suspension doesn't feel sohisticated at all. The saving grace, especially on the 18" wheels, is you can chuck it anywhere and not worry about the wheels too much, the last car I had like it was a Subaru Impreza Turbo. For a the miles I now do and the country roads I do them on I'm more than happy with that, I think I'd struggle if I had to regulary do big miles in it and try and have a mobile phone call on the motorway (but thats a M3 complaint and not the LR v Performance). The point I guess is that the P just isn't worth £60k+ or £11k over the LR for what amounts to a bigger set of wheels, track mode and I'm not sure the brakes and suspension changes are much more than a cosmetic make over rather than being actually better.

Be wary of the published figures too, the P is quoted with 1' roll out and the LR isn;t, so the gap is less than it appears, and then the performance boost closes the gap even more, especially once you're doing 20mph or more.
 

btc1k

Member
Jan 18, 2021
499
363
Bristol
^^ This. I realy like my P, but the longer I have it the more unaceptable the noise levels become. Maybe it's my age, but, honestly, they should be quiter than this. My biggest gripe at anything over 50 is the wind noise at the top of the drivers window - it's driving me nuts. I've done just about every suggestion on here to mitigate it, even had Tesla replace the door seal last month. None of it made any difference, it's just a poor design that seriously needs changing.
I find it interesting to hear about the noise complaints - my 21 LR is actually really quiet, certainly on a par with the Audi I had before.

I wonder if the facelift is improved or if it just varies car to car.

When I did the back to back test drive, one car had terrible wind noise over 50mph, the other was deadly quiet. Weird how they seem to all be different.
 

browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
529
471
Notts
I have a 2021 LR on 18" and the ride is quite a bit firmer than my BMW 330d on 18" with adaptive suspension on comfort. It's quite close to the ride in Sport, or, if you're used to BMW M Sport passive suspension, similar to that.

As to road noise, this is anecdote not data, but I think the MiC cars have taken a considerable step forward in being quieter than the Fremont cars. I don't think this is down to the double-paned glass so much, but more the tighter build tolerances seem to have reduced the wind noise issues at higher speeds etc. I think most owners who have had both would agree. Youtuber Bjorn Nyland seems to back this up too.
 
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Tony Hoyle

Active Member
May 7, 2019
1,111
674
Stockport, UK
I've always go the feeling road noise varies between cars.. for me it starts to become an issue at about 15mph and by 30 it's already too loud, compared to for example the leaf I had previously - at low speeds that was so quiet it felt silent.

Driving too long at 70 and I actually get a headache from the volume of it (or sometimes the volume of the music I have to use to drown it out).

But then you get posts saying it's fine.. and it's not just a 2019/2021 split either, from what I've seen. It's just massive variation in build quality.
 

NJR46

Member
Jun 29, 2021
131
121
Colchester, England
Coming from a Velar most cars will feel rather harsh on the road but it really does depend on what you personally find comfortable.

I had Two Boxsters - both were rather harsh in the ride on poor surfaces - but I didn't find the hard ride an issue - just the amount of body flex and rattles it produced, Next was a 911 - the 997.2 C2S - again a firm ride but not being a convertible little to no flex and no creaks/rattles - so that was rather good.
The car previous to the M3P was the Focus Mk3 RS - seemed everyone criticised the ride quality in that - very firm and often referred to as "crashy" or "pogo" but i found it very comfy and no complaints at all.

In comparison to my previous cars the M3P is fabulous, Its a little firm but not harsh, road noise - cant say its ever registered with me as an issue - perhaps I have a Friday afternoon car as my car doesn't display most of the issues people ascribe to the M3P - Panel gaps are all good and the paintwork is every bit as good as any of my Porsches, The auto wipers are no different to any of my previous cars in terms of how they work - it rains they switch on - it stops raining they go off, I've had some phantom braking in FSD mode but nothing like emergency braking and a tap of the throttle immediately negates the braking and it usually occurs when a truck is alongside and its close to the lane marking - perhaps the car anticipates the truck moving from its lane into mine - but nothing to complain about.

The 20 inch wheels undoubtedly make for a firmer ride as there is less "suspension" effect in the tyre wall and pot holes will result in a less compliant ride as the jolt is felt more.

Whichever car you eventually decide on wont be the wrong choice - you will just accept what you have and live with it.
I find it interesting to hear about the noise complaints - my 21 LR is actually really quiet, certainly on a par with the Audi I had before.

I wonder if the facelift is improved or if it just varies car to car.

When I did the back to back test drive, one car had terrible wind noise over 50mph, the other was deadly quiet. Weird how they seem to all be different.
I wonder if there’s an obvious difference between US made and the newer Made in China models. Many reviews seem to suggest the China models are slightly improved as regards build quality/noise etc but again could just be the luck of the draw from car to car
 

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