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Model 3 road noise - AWD vs. P3 - Owners Thoughts & Comparisons

I have had my 18" aero P3- for a week now. The biggest thing I researched prior to buying was about the cabin experience - noise and ride quality etc. especially on motorways/long journeys. I originally ordered the 20" P3+ but after a 10 minute test drive I ultimately decided to change to an AWD. I was lucky enough to be able to switch to a P3- with 18" aeros just a week or so before delivery so in the end I feel like I got the best of both worlds.

However, prior to this last week of driving the car I was still really unsure of how this would perform for me. I read quite a few comments from people picking up their P3+ that the noise was actually fine, but I always wondered what they were comparing to and how high up their list this point actually is. I get the feeling that a lot of the people who have bought the P3+ are largely concerned about the handling and the speed, not caring so much for the ride quality and noise, or at least it being lower down on the priority list. At the end of the day it is a track ready sports car!

For my comparison: I also own a 10 year of BMW 5 Series M-Sport (2 litre diesel engine, not very fast, but lowered with harder suspension and big wheels). My P3- which is effectively an AWD in this respect is considerable louder on all roads above 30 mph, getting more noticeable the faster you go. I don't have decibel readings (which are often quite hard to mentally process anyway) but at 80mph on the motorway on a smooth but not brand new piece of tarmac, I have to speak fairly loud to have a conversation in the M3 vs. being able to speak normally in my BMW. I would say general ride quality is about the same - both being quite hard. I am not sure exactly how much worse the M3P+ is to this as I have never driven it at motorway speeds but for me any worse than the AWD would start to feel like a real issue.

I know all this stuff is very subjective and it totally depends on what you are comparing to as well as whats important to you but I am personally really glad I chose the P3-/AWD over the P3+. The Model 3 is an awesome car and this does not effect my opinion of it. Sure I would like it to be a bit quieter considering there is no audible engine but everything else more than makes up for it.
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Cabin refinement is something that's important to me too. My current car (for one more full day only!) is a 5 year old BMW 3-series 335i (f31). It's a nice car with a lovely engine (6-cyl petrol), but I've never been totally happy with road noise from it. Compared to previous 3-series, and especially the latest variant, it is not a best-in-class performer for quietness. I think that BMW cut too many corners on sound deadening. Before I got the 3, I had a 5-series (f11), and for sure it was notably quieter. BMW build the 5 as a more luxurious car and it shows in cabin refinement. If you're comparing the Model 3 to the 5, then I'm not too surprised that it shows more road noise.

From the brief test drive I had of the Model 3 LR AWD on 18" Aeros, I thought it was actually a little better than my 3 (now on 19" non run-f;at tyres which are quieter than the original tyres). I didn't get it up to 80mph, but probably at least 60 or 70, and it was OK.

I'm sure it can be made better though, so I've bought a door seal kit and a roof seal kit, both of which I hope will improve things a little.
Took delivery of my P- (18" aeros) on Wednesday and it's incredible! I did however notice there was a bit more road noise that I was expecting. Not uncomfortable or anything, just a little more than I have experienced in some of my other cars.
Like you say, unless I get my DB meter out this is subjective but I would say there is more road noise than our 1st Gen Nissan Leaf but that does have much smaller tyres. I would also say my Audi S5 was quieter from memory and it's probably about the same as a BMW 3 series coupe I had with large M Sport wheels and "rubber band" tyres.
The ride however is really nice. Way better than the BMW that thing was aweful. The P- is firm enough to be sporty but enough give to feel comfortable and not crashy at all.