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My 1 week review with the M3LR, compared to the BMW M135i

So I’ve had my Model 3 LR for a week now and I’ve done a few miles in it, so I thought I'd share my initial thoughts compared to my F40 BMW M135i that I part-ex’d. Just to note, this is the first Tesla I've ever owned.

BADCEC5D-8434-4EA4-A7AA-AE247CE65D1A.jpeg


  • The ‘touchscreen for everything’ is taking some adjusting to, I’m sure I’ll get used to it over time with more and more use.
  • Most of the functions that use the cameras aren’t anywhere near as good as you’d hope:
    • The automatic wipers aren’t great.
    • The auto high beam is completely useless.
    • The speed sign recognition is rubbish compared to the BMW.
  • The sound system can rattle the cabin quite a bit. Especially the little speakers in the A pillars at higher volumes on certain tracks. I might log a service appointment for it but don’t want them to faff and make it worse.
  • The built-in Google Maps navigation isn’t as good as Google Maps via CarPlay (live traffic info isn’t as good, and I miss the perspective view when navigating)
  • Spotify seems to update randomly and sometimes not at all. If I make changes to my playlists etc most of the time it doesn’t update for a few drives. Forcing a reboot of the system kicks it into life but this is a dumb workaround.
  • As a result I’m missing CarPlay and Apple Music.
  • The indicator stalks - why can’t they just be normal and hold position? I’ve adjusted to cancelling them etc but still.
  • My car is awaiting the USB ports and wireless charging retrofit - but I suspect my car will be one those where the front USB-C ports won’t carry data. Not happy if that is the case but we shall see.
  • The reverse lights are crap, the M135i used to illuminate my driveway when I was reverse parking onto it. The Tesla doesn’t.
  • I don’t like the ‘bong’ noise when you press the button to close the boot.
  • Talking of the boot, I wish it would open to the highest height automatically. I've already hit my head and now have to make a habit of pushing it open wider if I'm reaching into the back of the boot.
  • The car could really do with a decent heads up display. I really miss that and was one of the best features on the M135i.
  • The BMW had automatic parking (that worked very well) and reverse assistant. Tesla want £3k extra for that functionality as part of the enhanced autopilot upgrade. Nope. Let me pay a few quid for the bits I want.
  • No storage hooks or anchor points in the boot. Had to buy a screw in carrier bag holder thingy.
  • I wish I could move UI elements around on the screen. I’d rather have the nav closer to me and the AP visualisation the other side. Maybe I’ve missed something if that is possible.

  • It’s rapid. Even though it’s technically not a lot faster than the M135i was, it feels a lot faster.
  • It’s sooooooo much more comfortable than the BMW was. The seats in the BMW, while they hold you well, we’re absolutely killing my backside and left leg. No issues at all with the Tesla. Might have also been the offset driving position in the BMW.
  • Love the user profiles and easy access feature.
  • Mobile app is excellent. Like being able to quickly warm the cabin and put the heated steering wheel on before getting in. Sharing locations from Google maps to the app works well too.
  • Reading destinations from my sync'd calendar and automatically setting up navigation when I get in the car is great. Every car should allow this.
  • Really like not having to carry a key with me, auto lock and unlock via the phone works really well.
  • I’m a bit of a data nerd, and I’ve set up Teslamate which I really like a lot.
  • Besides the cabin rattles mentioned above at high volumes, the sound system is excellent.
  • Enjoying the larger boot space and the big under-floor storage area. Also the frunk which has the charging cables and maintenance bits I like to keep in the car.
  • The cost to run it is a lot, lot less. I won’t miss putting £70 of petrol in for 350 miles at best. Also won't miss the tax and £40k tax premium either.
  • The Supercharger network, at least so far, works very well and is super easy to use.
  • I like having Netflix in the car. Really useful for burning some time when charging, etc.
  • Autopilot, when on the motorway and on dual carriageways, works really well (except the speed sign recognition as mentioned). It’s especially good in slow moving and stop-start traffic.
  • Single pedal driving is great when you get used to it.
  • It’s a nice cabin to be in. I like the panoramic glass roof. I haven’t done any super long journeys yet but feel it’ll be a nice place to take a trip in.

So yeah, those are my early thoughts on the car. Will see how I get on over the next few months. Probably important to note that I’m the sort of person who can find a fault with just about anything - overall I’m really liking the car so far, no regrets on changing from the BMW.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jlz78

Member
Sep 25, 2021
160
98
London
So I’ve had my Model 3 LR for a week now and I’ve done a few miles in it, so I thought I'd share my initial thoughts compared to my F40 BMW M135i that I part-ex’d. Just to note, this is the first Tesla I've ever owned.

  • The ‘touchscreen for everything’ is taking some adjusting to, I’m sure I’ll get used to it over time with more and more use.
  • Most of the functions that use the cameras aren’t anywhere near as good as you’d hope:
    • The automatic wipers aren’t great.
    • The auto high beam is completely useless.
    • The speed sign recognition is rubbish compared to the BMW.
  • The sound system can rattle the cabin quite a bit. Especially the little speakers in the A pillars at higher volumes on certain tracks. I might log a service appointment for it but don’t want them to faff and make it worse.
  • The built-in Google Maps navigation isn’t as good as Google Maps via CarPlay (live traffic info isn’t as good, and I miss the perspective view when navigating)
  • Spotify seems to update randomly and sometimes not at all. If I make changes to my playlists etc most of the time it doesn’t update for a few drives. Forcing a reboot of the system kicks it into life but this is a dumb workaround.
  • As a result I’m missing CarPlay and Apple Music.
  • The indicator stalks - why can’t they just be normal and hold position? I’ve adjusted to cancelling them etc but still.
  • My car is awaiting the USB ports and wireless charging retrofit - but I suspect my car will be one those where the front USB-C ports won’t carry data. Not happy if that is the case but we shall see.
  • The reverse lights are crap, the M135i used to illuminate my driveway when I was reverse parking onto it. The Tesla doesn’t.
  • I don’t like the ‘bong’ noise when you press the button to close the boot.
  • Talking of the boot, I wish it would open to the highest height automatically. I've already hit my head and now have to make a habit of pushing it open wider if I'm reaching into the back of the boot.
  • The car could really do with a decent heads up display. I really miss that and was one of the best features on the M135i.
  • The BMW had automatic parking (that worked very well) and reverse assistant. Tesla want £3k extra for that functionality as part of the enhanced autopilot upgrade. Nope. Let me pay a few quid for the bits I want.
  • No storage hooks or anchor points in the boot. Had to buy a screw in carrier bag holder thingy.
  • I wish I could move UI elements around on the screen. I’d rather have the nav closer to me and the AP visualisation the other side. Maybe I’ve missed something if that is possible.

  • It’s rapid. Even though it’s technically not a lot faster than the M135i was, it feels a lot faster.
  • It’s sooooooo much more comfortable than the BMW was. The seats in the BMW, while they hold you well, we’re absolutely killing my backside and left leg. No issues at all with the Tesla. Might have also been the offset driving position in the BMW.
  • Love the user profiles and easy access feature.
  • Mobile app is excellent. Like being able to quickly warm the cabin and put the heated steering wheel on before getting in. Sharing locations from Google maps to the app works well too.
  • Reading destinations from my sycn'd calendar and automatically setting up navigation when I get in the car is great. Every car should allow this.
  • Really like not having to carry a key with me, auto lock and unlock via the phone works really well.
  • I’m a bit of a data nerd, and I’ve set up Teslamate which I really like a lot.
  • Besides the cabin rattles mentioned above at high volumes, the sound system is excellent.
  • Enjoying the larger boot space and the big under-floor storage area. Also the frunk which has the charging cables and maintenance bits I like to keep in the car.
  • The cost to run it is a lot, lot less. I won’t miss putting £70 of petrol in for 350 miles at best. Also won't miss the tax and £40k tax premium either.
  • The Supercharger network, at least so far, works very well and is super easy to use.
  • I like having Netflix in the car. Really useful for burning some time when charging, etc.
  • Autopilot, when on the motorway and on dual carriageways, works really well (except the speed sign recognition as mentioned). It’s especially good in slow moving and stop-start traffic.
  • Single pedal driving is great when you get used to it.
  • It’s a nice cabin to be in. I like the panoramic glass roof. I haven’t done any super long journeys yet but feel it’ll be a nice place to take a trip in.

So yeah, those are my early thoughts on the car. Will see how I get on over the next few months. Probably important to note that I’m the sort of person who can find a fault with just about anything - overall I’m really liking the car so far, no regrets on changing from the BMW.
I also sold a F40 M135i X drive for a M3 LR in December and I completely agree with all of your points, positive and negative.

I would add that going back to driving my other car (auto diesel) feels like stepping back in time.
 
It should unless it has been set to open lower.

let it open, then push it fully up, then press and hold the button for 3 seconds until you get a beep which will set the new opening height.

Just went and tried this - works nicely. No idea why it would have been set to below the maximum - maybe in case the average consumer isn't tall enough. Thank you!!
 

dog299

Member
Dec 14, 2021
54
12
UK
Interesting thread.

I have a BMW M135I and planning to move over to MY.

Looking at your mentioned issues, these appear to be all the things I believe I will miss the most (especially the HUD). Have you found any real show stoppers?

A few quick questions:
How have you found the ride next the BMW? I have heard some concerns that Teslas run hard.
How do you rate the Sat Nav vs the BMW? You mentioned the lack of perspective view (I thought you could select this or something similar?).
 
Interesting thread.

I have a BMW M135I and planning to move over to MY.

Looking at your mentioned issues, these appear to be all the things I believe I will miss the most (especially the HUD). Have you found any real show stoppers?

A few quick questions:
How have you found the ride next the BMW? I have heard some concerns that Teslas run hard.
How do you rate the Sat Nav vs the BMW? You mentioned the lack of perspective view (I thought you could select this or something similar?).
I think it really comes down to what your priorities are in a car and what is really important to you. The thing I probably miss the most about the M135i above all else is the user interface and controls, because iDrive 7 I think is just about as good as it gets. It’s certainly not a show stopper for me, but it does take a period of adjustment that’s for sure.

In terms of the ride quality: my M135i had the 19inch wheels with the standard suspension (so not adaptive) and the ride in the Tesla is considerably better. I also had issues with the BMW tram lining on bad roads which used to drive me mad - also not a problem with the Tesla. Yes, the car could do with being a little less firm but for me at least it’s far more comfortable than my M135i ever was.

Sat Nav: I used to use BMW’s sat nav in the M135i as it was excellent and I liked the directions in the HUD. Sat nav in the Tesla is basically Google Maps with smart routing for supercharger stops etc. and it works really well. Only real gripe for me is that while you can have the view in the direction of travel, it’s a ‘top down’ or overhead view. Again, something you get used to - it’s an easy sat nav to use still. I used to like having the ‘following behind your car’ perspective view but again it’s not essential and something you get used to.

I’d say make sure you go and test drive the car a few times before committing. I knew what I was getting into having been out in a friend’s M3 a few times as well as having a number of test drives myself. While my list of gripes is long, overall there are no regrets changing from the M135i (at least so far).
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
1,566
1,229
UK
Picking up a couple of points, the Tesla sat nav isn’t google, many think it is because they overlay the route on a google map but that’s purely for show. The built in nav is, like many things, a Tesla work in progress.

We’ve a BMW as well as a Tesla, your point about seat comfort I recognise but I miss the lateral support in the Tesla and I wish the Tesla seats went lower.

Suspension wise, if you’re enthusiastic down country lanes I find the Tesla set up becomes harder to place the car. The Tesla brakes are also poor in comparison but the instant torque of the Tesla makeup for it.

Did you not consider the i4? Most of your negatives would disappear while keeping most of the pluses. It’s on my short list for when we next change.
 

dog299

Member
Dec 14, 2021
54
12
UK
I think it really comes down to what your priorities are in a car and what is really important to you. The thing I probably miss the most about the M135i above all else is the user interface and controls, because iDrive 7 I think is just about as good as it gets. It’s certainly not a show stopper for me, but it does take a period of adjustment that’s for sure.

In terms of the ride quality: my M135i had the 19inch wheels with the standard suspension (so not adaptive) and the ride in the Tesla is considerably better. I also had issues with the BMW tram lining on bad roads which used to drive me mad - also not a problem with the Tesla. Yes, the car could do with being a little less firm but for me at least it’s far more comfortable than my M135i ever was.

Sat Nav: I used to use BMW’s sat nav in the M135i as it was excellent and I liked the directions in the HUD. Sat nav in the Tesla is basically Google Maps with smart routing for supercharger stops etc. and it works really well. Only real gripe for me is that while you can have the view in the direction of travel, it’s a ‘top down’ or overhead view. Again, something you get used to - it’s an easy sat nav to use still. I used to like having the ‘following behind your car’ perspective view but again it’s not essential and something you get used to.

I’d say make sure you go and test drive the car a few times before committing. I knew what I was getting into having been out in a friend’s M3 a few times as well as having a number of test drives myself. While my list of gripes is long, overall there are no regrets changing from the M135i (at least so far).
Really helpful thank you (pls do keep us informed of your ongoing thoughts)

Good to hear about the ride quality. I find the BMW can be unforgiving for passengers and even the driver sometimes.

I think my main reason for the move away from the M135i is the increased size (now have two dogs) and drive position (parents are starting to get older and harder to get in and out of cars - which tbh I sometimes find with the BMW).

95% of my journeys are without the need for Sat Nav. I must be a lazy driver as on the 5% I am glued to the HUD and the BMW system as it is great at saying what line to be in etc.

I have test driven the M3 and might look to do so again; and hopefully I will get the chance with the MY soon as well.
 

Xdama

Member
Dec 7, 2021
142
85
Yorkshire
Interesting thread.

I have a BMW M135I and planning to move over to MY.

Looking at your mentioned issues, these appear to be all the things I believe I will miss the most (especially the HUD). Have you found any real show stoppers?

A few quick questions:
How have you found the ride next the BMW? I have heard some concerns that Teslas run hard.
How do you rate the Sat Nav vs the BMW? You mentioned the lack of perspective view (I thought you could select this or something similar?).
I changed from a 630d GT to a M3LR the BM had air rear suspension and was definitely set for a more cosseting ride than a 1 series. I can honestly say the ride in the M3 is perfectly fine on most roads, more unsettled on bad surfaces though (nothing I wasn’t expecting).
I agree with most of the OP points, the HUD is my biggest miss tbf followed by the extending seat bases. I would add my dislikes are:-
1/ I wear reading glasses so find the font size a bit small for things like range and the regen bar, it’d be nice to be able to adjust this. I’ve adjusted for this by wearing my contact lenses daily which I never used to.
2/ Not a lover of TACC for 🇬🇧 roads at all. Having said that I don’t like VW adaptive cruise either (had a Passat short term after selling the BM). My preference is standard cruise but apparently the EU have dictated all new cars have to be adaptive if fitted. So for me it, I’ll just get used to using my foot again like pre-cruise days.
3/ The screen displaying the car rolling along a road is just a waste of screen space. It serves no purpose imo and could be utilised much better as a button panel for car functions. Just flash up when there’s an actual hazard.
4/ The card entry or phone access. My wife dislikes it as the doors aren’t able to open until I’m there (maybe I should set her phone up as well lol). The phone access is a bit glitchy sometimes works others it doesn’t and the card is too easy to lose. I use an RFID wallet so it’s a faff to dig it out (when it’s pissing down). Consequently I’ve ordered a keyfob from Tesla but that’s just a preference thing.

Other than that I am pleasantly surprised. My biggest concern was luggage capacity after the 6 series with it’s 600 litre boot (I work offshore so carry a lot of expensive gear). This has proved to be no problem due to the lower rear boot and the frunk, it’s actually pretty spacious. The build quality on mine is fine, I did take a checklist with me when I picked it up though, well worth the time & effort imo. Iirc I found a video on YouTube about checking the car on collection, there was a link below it with a really good checksheet to print out.

I certainly don’t miss the £40k plus roadtax, nor the £90+ fill ups. Although insurance is a bit steep apparently UK insurance companies deem Tesla security as below par. My guess would be the smartphone access is disliked but don’t see how this is any less secure than an RFID keyless entry personally.
 
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Reactions: dhrivnak and dog299

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,423
3,607
Shropshire
How... Bought it from China
Why... Because I wanted to see if I could drive with it, before I bought a new Model S
Really... Yes 😁😍

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Each to there own. I would have thought the only advantage is visibility and the M3 is not short on that to begin with. You could probably make some cash though giving test drives to other prospective MS owners. Matt Watson might be your first customer :)

 
  • Funny
Reactions: Xdama
Picking up a couple of points, the Tesla sat nav isn’t google, many think it is because they overlay the route on a google map but that’s purely for show. The built in nav is, like many things, a Tesla work in progress.

Sorry, yes should have said; I believe they use Google Maps for the roads (albeit a cached/hosted version) but MapBox (I think) for the routing. In any case, definitely not a solid as full-fat Google Maps for routing, etc.

Did you not consider the i4? Most of your negatives would disappear while keeping most of the pluses. It’s on my short list for when we next change.

Yes I looked at it but didn't shortlist it because:
  • As I bought the car outright and not leased it, it's too expensive. Starts at just shy of £52k and thats with basically no kit on it. I'd want at least the Tech Pack which is another £1900 on top. Also for memory seats and lumbar support (important as I share the car with the wife) I'd need the comfort pack - another £1950.
  • Unless you go for the M model (£64k+) its not going to perform as well as the Tesla.
  • Charging: I go through phases where I do long trips for work and the supercharger network was a big draw for me.
  • Lead times for the car are mental.
So it makes the M3LR feel like a bit of a bargain in comparison with the kit that you do get as standard. Maybe I shouldn't complain about the £3400 for Enhanced Autopilot after all 😅
 

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
488
480
West Midlands, UK
Each to there own. I would have thought the only advantage is visibility and the M3 is not short on that to begin with. You could probably make some cash though giving test drives to other prospective MS owners. Matt Watson might be your first customer...

Well... having done 5000 miles with it now, I really like it.

There are several advantages.

- Visibility, makes the view in front even less cluttered. It's like being a passenger in the drivers seat.

- Access. I always park with the yoke inverted. Which leaves you masses of space to get in and out. Ideal for me if I'm wearing thick walking boots without having to adjust memory seats.

- Comfort. These yoke wheels are really substantial, much thicker than a standard wheel. So holding it, and resting position in corners is more comfortable (in my opinion).

- Sense of Occasion. I ride motorcycles, and got bored of cars a long time ago. This yoke brings a new futuristic dimension to my car world. Makes it a lot more interesting for me.

- Tesla effect. People's reaction to it all. Amuses me 😁👍
 
Just an FYI, speed sign recognition isn't yet available on motorways, so more that it 'doesn't exist yet' than it's 'rubbish'. Fully accept that it's rubbish that is doesn't exist yet.

Ah that would explain it then! Drives me crazy as I'm quite happy to use Autopilot on a common journey I take a few times a week, but the speed drops to a long average 50mph stretch that the car just doesn't see.

UK insurance companies deem Tesla security as below par. My guess would be the smartphone access is disliked but don’t see how this is any less secure than an RFID keyless entry personally.

I wondered whether it was down to the high cost of parts and repairs with the Tesla causing the premium to be higher.
 

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
488
480
West Midlands, UK
Sorry, yes should have said; I believe they use Google Maps for the roads (albeit a cached/hosted version) but MapBox (I think) for the routing. In any case, definitely not a solid as full-fat Google Maps for routing, etc.



Yes I looked at it but didn't shortlist it because:
  • As I bought the car outright and not leased it, it's too expensive. Starts at just shy of £52k and thats with basically no kit on it. I'd want at least the Tech Pack which is another £1900 on top. Also for memory seats and lumbar support (important as I share the car with the wife) I'd need the comfort pack - another £1950.
  • Unless you go for the M model (£64k+) its not going to perform as well as the Tesla.
  • Charging: I go through phases where I do long trips for work and the supercharger network was a big draw for me.
  • Lead times for the car are mental.
So it makes the M3LR feel like a bit of a bargain in comparison with the kit that you do get as standard. Maybe I shouldn't complain about the £3400 for Enhanced Autopilot after all 😅

I seriously looked at the BMW i4 M50 as well, but dismissed it.

I already own a BMW from new, so am used to their 'money machine' warranty program. Which I really don't like. I suspect they have engineered some money scam servicing schedule for this car as well. I'll be very interested to see how reliable it is once it's in customers hands.

Cost once specced up, was more than my Model 3 Performance.

My family relatives all have Tesla Superchargers within 10 miles from where they live (yes, I just got very lucky). I have 24 Superchargers within 5 miles from where I live... even luckier. ... and have been used several times...

Tesla Model 3 Performance was immediately available to buy... BMW i4 M50 had a 12 month delay.

So there you are 😁🙂
 

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