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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.

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  • 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.
 
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why? why would you wait 20 minutes after scraping car?
use any spare plastic card to scrape windshield and 2 side windows. 1 minute and you can go anyway...
I think we know it isn't a minute lol. You turn the car on, cold air blasts out. It takes 10 minutes at least to scrape ice of all windows (you shouldn't just be doing front and two side windows). Then I guess he waited for the screen to demist inside.

either way, sitting inside, opening the phone, turning on defrost and walking out to a clear car without even worrying is a massive advantage imo. It's nice and toasty inside too.
 
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Sorry should have been clearer the main consideration was the VW ID4 and ID5.

We are looking to move away from the hot hatch/saloon body shape. The BMW i4 does looks exciting but the cost/body shape and as you mentioned some 'must have' (in my opinion) tech missing means it is off the card.

We did for a hot moment think about the iX but the cost goes up even further - we are PCP buyers rather than leasing - I cant lease through work and never been fully comfortable with the dynamics of leasing.

We did consider and sit in the EV6 but my impressions were not positive (plastic....) and then again sat in the Ioniq 5 yet were concerned its design might age quickly.

After reading people's comments here I am feeling more confident re; the ride experience BMW M135i vs Tesla - that was certainly my opinion from the Model 3 test drive I had.
I tried Ioniq5 and saw some reviews on the EV6, and while they are nice big cars and stuff, the prices were a lot more than a M3, plus like you said, very plastic inside. Plus the boot in the i5 wasn't even that much bigger, in fact, if felt smaller to me because it was shallow with a useless space underneath. Never driven the BMW, but I can assume its a nice drive as with all those cars.

I think the difference for me is that Tesla is cheaper and better than pretty much all other cars in its range.
 
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I tried Ioniq5 and saw some reviews on the EV6, and while they are nice big cars and stuff, the prices were a lot more than a M3, plus like you said, very plastic inside.
I test drove the Ionic 5 and was fairly impressed with it overall, though yes I agree the plasticy-feeling interior does cheapen it a bit. When optioned again it came so close to the Tesla that I just thought I'd go with what I consider to be the benchmark car.
 
I think we know it isn't a minute lol. You turn the car on, cold air blasts out. It takes 10 minutes at least to scrape ice of all windows (you shouldn't just be doing front and two side windows). Then I guess he waited for the screen to demist inside.

either way, sitting inside, opening the phone, turning on defrost and walking out to a clear car without even worrying is a massive advantage imo. It's nice and toasty inside too.
it literally took me less than 1 minute this morning. Windshield and driver's side, using kfc rewards card :D
That's for one.
of course it might depend on level of frost on the windows, but really, if you in a rush, rear side windows are not that important and will defrost while driving in few minutes anyway.

as I am coming from the county which has "normal" winters (you know, snow and -10 for prolonged time is a norm, I find it amusing when people say some nonsense like "20 minutes" or even "10 minutes" takes to scrape the car. it just doesn't.
it takes less than 5 minutes to scrape car windows AND to remove snow from the roof, trunk and bonnet... let's be sensible here ;)

p.s. I miss my old Mondeo as it had heated windshield. that was epically good.
 
while I agree on that (loved this in my BMW 330e and will be utilizing in model 3), I am asking WHY would you scrape car and wait for 20 minutes?

with ICE car is simple: start engine, max fan to windshield and heat rear window (+ turn on seat heaters if have such), get out of the car, scrape it with engine running for 1 minute (neutral gear + hand brake of course), get in the car and drive. ;)

20 mins were exaggerated from your side, I hope.
Not sure the wait of 20mins unless that was what time he was say it took to get the interior to heat up🤷🏼‍♂️. In that EV’s are far superior to ICE cars ime especially a diesel engined motor. My 630D took an age to clear the windscreen when frosty even after scraping it would fog back up until the engine heated up.
Sorry should have been clearer the main consideration was the VW ID4 and ID5.

We are looking to move away from the hot hatch/saloon body shape. The BMW i4 does looks exciting but the cost/body shape and as you mentioned some 'must have' (in my opinion) tech missing means it is off the card.

We did for a hot moment think about the iX but the cost goes up even further - we are PCP buyers rather than leasing - I cant lease through work and never been fully comfortable with the dynamics of leasing.

We did consider and sit in the EV6 but my impressions were not positive (plastic....) and then again sat in the Ioniq 5 yet were concerned its design might age quickly.

After reading people's comments here I am feeling more confident re; the ride experience BMW M135i vs Tesla - that was certainly my opinion from the Model 3 test drive I had.
I went to the launch of the EV6 and was really impressed with it. If it wasn’t for the wait time & lease costs being £100 a month more plus range being reduced for 4wd ( no idea why other manufacturers have reduced range when Tesla increases with 4wd), then I would probably have gone that way. There’s more room in the back than in the M3, not that I carry pax in the back that much but a nice to have imo. So reasons for going M3LR for me were as follows:-
1/ Best affordable range
2/ Cheapest lease costs for this class of car.
3/ Lead time on delivery
4/ 4wd is a nice to have imo having driven mainly RWD for the past 14yr or so. I contract so not getting to work costs me a lot, I always had winter wheels & tyres for my RWD cars. I’ll see how this gets on when we get a bit of snow, may change the tyres to all season ones later.
5/ Acceleration (can’t be beaten by the wife’s Kona E lol). Although I find myself in chill mode more often than not, it’s more than enough for everyday driving imo.
6/ Superchargers - absolute godsend although Elon is trialling opening them to all manufacturers in Holland atm. I suspect it’ll become a bloody bunfight if that gets released worldwide. Especially in UK where we seem to becoming more self centred every day.

The main things that are taking a bit of getting used to are:-
1/ Still find myself reaching for a gear lever in the centre
2/ HUD - miss that a lot
3/ Dumb cruise control (that’d be the same on any new car nowadays though) VW adaptive cruise is much worse though.
3/ Steering wheel controls are opposite to BMW so volume is on left and cruise speed increment is on right. Also miss the 1 or 5MPH increase capability too.
4/ I find the screen is susceptible to low sun through the roof / rear window which although all satnav screens in other cars are too, you still have the actual functional controls in front of you. HUD would alleviate this & I’d quite happily have paid for the option.

One thing that does surprise me is the glass roof. In the BMW if I had the cloth screen back in winter I could feel the cold (joys of being folically challenged 🤫). The Tesla roof I can’t feel any cold at all unless I physically touch it, really impressive.
In terms of add on accessories I have the following:-
Cupholder insert - recommended as cups from coffee chains are loose in as standard
Screen protector - I have the matte cover which personally I think prevents reflection.
Trays for the centre cubbies - as standard these are like huge bins & things get lost / tangled up in them. The Tesla ones don’t slide about like the ones on Amazon (I’ve tried both & the Tesla ones are a bargain imo) They show as not in stock online but ring your local dealer and he can get them for you)
Rear boot noise insulation - not convince it make that much difference to noise but aesthetically it looks much better than the painted metal imo.
Roof accoustic seal - again not convinced it makes much difference but thought it worth a punt. Wind noise is much more noticeable than in an ICE car in EV’s in general.
Car jack pads - apparently your local kwikfit fitter has been known to jack up through the battery pack. Teslas have holes dedicated to fitting the jack pads in, then remove and stow in the car.
I also have the acoustic door seal kit as yet to be fitted but looking on YouTube make a 5db reduction at some speeds.
And finally a set of sunscreens for the roof. Apparently it can get pretty hot with sunlight in these and again being folically challenged I feel that quite a lot.

Hope this helps some people.
 
Not sure the wait of 20mins unless that was what time he was say it took to get the interior to heat up🤷🏼‍♂️. In that EV’s are far superior to ICE cars ime especially a diesel engined motor. My 630D took an age to clear the windscreen when frosty even after scraping it would fog back up until the engine heated up.
could agree on this one. but then again, ICE warms up faster while driving than idling. it makes little to no sense to sit and wait for car to warm up idling when it is much more efficient while driving.
 
I test drove the Ionic 5 and was fairly impressed with it overall, though yes I agree the plasticy-feeling interior does cheapen it a bit. When optioned again it came so close to the Tesla that I just thought I'd go with what I consider to be the benchmark car.
I was ready to go for the i5, until Tesla asked me to test drive again, and it was an immediate nod of the head as soon as we sat in the car, from the wife, that the M3 was the one. It just feels much nicer inside.
 
it literally took me less than 1 minute this morning. Windshield and driver's side, using kfc rewards card :D
That's for one.
of course it might depend on level of frost on the windows, but really, if you in a rush, rear side windows are not that important and will defrost while driving in few minutes anyway.

as I am coming from the county which has "normal" winters (you know, snow and -10 for prolonged time is a norm, I find it amusing when people say some nonsense like "20 minutes" or even "10 minutes" takes to scrape the car. it just doesn't.
it takes less than 5 minutes to scrape car windows AND to remove snow from the roof, trunk and bonnet... let's be sensible here ;)

p.s. I miss my old Mondeo as it had heated windshield. that was epically good.
I must admit having the heated windshield in a previous car was a game changer.
 

Adopado

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Aug 19, 2019
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I must admit having the heated windshield in a previous car was a game changer.

It's an especially useful thing in an ICE (we have a Fiesta with one) because otherwise it takes an age for the cabin heating to get going enough to warm the screen. With Tesla pre-heating it's very much less of an issue because you have full heat almost straight away and plenty of warm air to blow on it. I was initially surprised that the Tesla didn't have a heated screen but because I pre-warm the car in winter it hasn't been a problem (this is my 3rd winter with the Model 3).
 
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I came from a fully loaded BMW F23 M235i and there is nothing I will miss other than putting the roof down.

I found BMWs sat nav (appreciate it was a number of generations old) pretty useless even with concierge service and pretty much defaulted to Waze.

I certainly don't miss the rattles and numerous warranty claims, although its early days in Tesla ownership for me.

My auto wippers were just as bad as the Tesla's, although the BMWs high beam assist is better than the tesla's auto full beams
 
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Before the M3 LR....

Mercedes C63 Estate... (9 months)
Wonderful engine, comfortable Mercedes cabin equipment, terrible ride unless fully loaded. Needed to be AWD as on anything but smooth, dry tarmac I felt the back end wanted to go first.
Mercedes AMG A35.... (2 years)
Harsh ride, unsubtle gearbox, Mercedes Me... (Hey Mercedes) about as subtle as Alexa... and my wife's friend is named Mercedes. Quick and entertaining, to a point. A pocket rocket. The ride killed it for me.
BMW M140... (2 years) The worst of the C63 and the A35.

The Tesla M3 LR (9 months and counting)
A far a better ride, is far more planted, corners well, better sound system, very relaxed cabin interior, lots of space, big boot,
V11 GUI is OK, BUT I still would like the BMW iDrive as well as the touch screen. And leather seats.

I tried all the "car" EVs, as opposed to the SUV/Crossover offerings, nothing other than the Mini made me smile.

I still have the Morgan 2014 Plus 8 with its all leather interior and BMW 4.8L naturally aspirated V8. Flawed in so many ways, but still makes me smile.

The future?
Probably sell the Morgan and M3 to fund a Tesla Roadster....
Because it is stunning to behold and quick.
 
When did informing insurance companies about minor mods become such a big deal in this country? Compare the discussions in this neck of the TMC forums with those on the USA side and it's clear the latter folks are much more willing to tweak and fettle their cars with little to no snipes from the sidelines about informing their insurance company. (Appreciate this is drifting off-topic for this thread...)

Steve
 
When did informing insurance companies about minor mods become such a big deal in this country? Compare the discussions in this neck of the TMC forums with those on the USA side and it's clear the latter folks are much more willing to tweak and fettle their cars with little to no snipes from the sidelines about informing their insurance company. (Appreciate this is drifting off-topic for this thread...)

Steve
Mainly because insurance companies will do whatever they can to NOT pay out. A minor mod or tweak to you is a reason to withhold a claim to them. You’re gambling on that, if you don’t inform them.
As an example, to me fitting OEM wheels with winter tyres ….. in winter to my rwd BMW seemed like a sensible thing to do, to lessen the chances of me claiming ….. to my insurance company NOT telling them wouldv been a reason to NOT pay in the event of a claim. Made absolutely no bloody sense at all to me but used to tell them each year, never made an impact on my actual premium …..apart from the lovely admin charge each time for adjusting my documents.
 

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