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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.
 
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Scott Fairchild

2014S,2016 X 90,2018 3, 2019 XRvn, 2021 Y, 2014S
Mar 27, 2016
811
755
Melbourne fl
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!!
I think they set it lower at first, so you don't bang your garage door on the first opening and chip or scrape the paint. Just my opinion.
 
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People get very passionate about this, however it does thoroughly confuse me what the issue is. When it can see head or taillights ahead the headlights dip pretty quickly, it's certainly never taken long enough for anyone to complain to me. My last car didn't have it so I don't have a frame of reference whether it's quick or slow.

Pushing the left stalk switches between dipped and Auto Full Beam, so if I don't want the possibility of full beam (e.g. on a Motorway, in a built up area) I just push the stalk.

I understand it's not fancy matrix lights that are available as an expensive 'add-on pack' for some of the premium brands, I knew that when purchasing.
I suspect its because I'm used to the BMW auto full beam system, which dipped only the required areas etc. The Tesla gets easily confused by just about anything reflective - it dips when a road sign reflects for example. Maybe it'll get better with software updates. In any case its not a deal breaker, just isnt' anywhere near as good as what I'm used to
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,502
1,004
Berkshire
I suspect its because I'm used to the BMW auto full beam system, which dipped only the required areas etc. The Tesla gets easily confused by just about anything reflective - it dips when a road sign reflects for example. Maybe it'll get better with software updates. In any case its not a deal breaker, just isnt' anywhere near as good as what I'm used to

with the matrix lights which are an expensive option. I remember when I bought my 4GC in 2018 and the original spec got updated to include LED (not matrix) lights 'as standard' - and they put the price up £1000 which was coincidentally the price of LED lights as an option previously.

I hope they eventually use the matrix lights more effectively on the new models but who knows?
 
Interesting what you say about the navigation perspective. I was surprised at that on my test drive. I figured maybe I just needed to change a setting to make it follow the car and not be a 2D overview, but it sounds like not from what you're saying.

I just drove my VW ID.3 for the last time (buying dealer collects on Thurs and I'm not going anywhere tomorrow), and used the VW navigation for the first time in ages because I usually use Apple CarPlay. I noticed that the VW system actually has 3D modelling of buildings in cities and things and has a perspective that follows the car. Doesn't look too bad actually.

Bizarre that such an infotainment/tech focused company as Tesla still only has basic 2D navigation!
 
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kelvin 660

White SR+ with LFP battery
Aug 21, 2020
508
417
Stonehouse
Well as long as Tesla can sell all the cars it makes it doesnt need to improved the wipers, the auto high breams, the navigation, the lack of car play/android auto, etc..
IMO, we need more competition including with the super charger network before things will improve...
In fact, we are lucky to get V11 update but I suppose that keeps people thinking "wow" I wish my "normal" car could do that.. and what else will Tesla dream up... I want a Tesla...
 
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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Thank you for the very interesting photos.
Tastes are a very personal thing but for me this just confirmed how much I absolutely detest that monstrosity. I’ll cancel my Model S order if I can’t get it with a proper steering wheel.

That said, props to you for managing to get one retrofitted to your car and I’m glad you’re not regretting your purchase! :)
 
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PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
900
843
West Midlands, UK
Thank you for the very interesting photos.
Tastes are a very personal thing but for me this just confirmed how much I absolutely detest that monstrosity. I’ll cancel my Model S order if I can’t get it with a proper steering wheel.

That said, props to you for managing to get one retrofitted to your car and I’m glad you’re not regretting your purchase! :)

Haha... 😁😁😁👍

Good job I didn't buy it for you then isn't it 😁
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,323
10,249
SF Bay Area
That’s the main reason for the option to set the height lower, but I think the question was more to do with why it was set lower on collection of a new vehicle.
Maybe done that way to essentially force you to set your own height setting? I know a few years back reading about someone who bashed their raised garage door when their trunk opened. Think it damaged the trunk as well.
 

MrT3

Active Member
Jun 26, 2021
1,303
789
UK
Maybe done that way to essentially force you to set your own height setting? I know a few years back reading about someone who bashed their raised garage door when their trunk opened. Think it damaged the trunk as well.
Possible but I’ve not seen others complain about the opening being low (not everyone is aware the height is adjustable), and it wasn’t low on the two M3s I’ve had.
 
So in 2014, I bought a new F21 M135i automatic with adaptive dampers and a bunch of other options. I absolutely loved that car, except that the dampers would make a knocking noise going over speed bumps and the odd bad road. I took it to the BMW service centre and they said "it's a feature of the design"! Looking at the forums at the time, a lot of others with adaptive dampers had a similar response from BMW. However, in the grand scheme of things, I was pleased that I went for the adaptive dampers, because it made the ride more comfortable.

We sold the M135i 5 years later, because well, it was 5 years old and I had just been told the discs and pads needed to be changed with a wild quote from BMW, plus the tread was getting low on the rear tyres again. So it was on to the next car... credit to my wife, this is the first time I've ever part exchanged a car where the dealer gave me the new car and a fair amount of cash too. You see, at the time of buying the M135i my wife said "you can have it if I can pick the next car", to which, in a moment of excitement I stupidly agreed... but, a deal is a deal... and she picked a Skoda Fabia 95PS colour edition! :oops: I've got to say, it took me a lot of months to get over the transition and every time I saw an M135i driving around a sad feeling would come over me. That said, I must admit, the Skoda handles far better than I thought it would, it's a lot cheaper to run (although I missed the epic acceleration of the M135i) and it's got me into a much needed more relaxed style of driving.

Anyway, our family is now bigger and the Fabia is too small so we need a new car. Since it's my turn to pick, I ordered an M3RWD (due at the beginning of March). I couldn't test drive an M3RWD, but did test drive the M3LR and thought the acceleration was epic. Unfortunately, although I would have loved an M3LR, I just couldn't justify the additional cost. Since I've been out of the M135i for a few years, my hope is that the M3RWD will feel as fast to me as my remembrance of the M135i. Given the instant torque, I think it probably would have done if the 0-62 acceleration was still 5.6s (5.3 to 60), but I'm not convinced now that it's 6.1s (5.8s to 60), given that the automatic M135i had a 0-62 of 4.9s (think the manual was 5.1s). Still, I don't know what I'm worried about, whatever it's like, I should be more than happy with it since it'll be a lot faster than a Fabia! 😁

Anyway, the complaints that my wife had with the M135i are that it was
  • too low
  • really banged and crashed over potholes
  • tramlined on certain roads
  • went through fuel like there was no tomorrow (think we averaged low 20's for MPG as I had a lead foot and many of the journeys were short).
  • the alloys were really easy to curb

Aside from the last point, where I expect the M3 is just as bad, I'm hoping she'll be a lot happier with the M3RWD. :)
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,780
4,389
Scotland
I don't know if anyone has done real life testing and comparison of the new base Model 3 with the previous 5.3 to 60mph RWD SR+ across the speed ranges. Sometimes the acceleration at higher speeds is less impacted between models on testing ... sometimes it is. Apparently the gap between the SR+ and LR was a bit less at higher speeds than in the 0-60 ... so it could be that the difference between the base Model 3 and SR+ is not the same across the speed range. (I would think a half second is going to be noticeable in the initial pick up though if testing the base Model 3 and SR+ back to back.)
 
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I think it probably would have done if the 0-62 acceleration was still 5.6s (5.3 to 60), but I'm not convinced now that it's 6.1s (5.8s to 60), given that the automatic M135i had a 0-62 of 4.9s (think the manual was 5.1s). :)

I would wager that the Model 3 RWD would be faster in the real world, particularly in an overtake manoeuvre. Quick as the autobox is, the motors react faster and this is coming from a M235i former owner
 
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it may well feel as fast (albeit different) with the instant torque and power pushing all the way
Yeah you are probably right; the fact of the matter is it will react a lot faster and will hit harder in that respect, I'm just wondering if the peak acceleration will be similar in the 40-70 region.

I don't know if anyone has done real life testing and comparison of the new base Model 3 with the previous 5.3 to 60mph RWD SR+ across the speed ranges. Sometimes the acceleration at higher speeds is less impacted between models on testing ... sometimes it is. Apparently the gap between the SR+ and LR was a bit less at higher speeds than in the 0-60 ... so it could be that the difference between the base Model 3 and SR+ is not the same across the speed range. (I would think a half second is going to be noticeable in the initial pick up though if testing the base Model 3 and SR+ back to back.)
That's a good point, I just assumed it would be slower across the board, but perhaps the loss is more towards the lower end of the spectrum.

I would wager that the Model 3 RWD would be faster in the real world, particularly in an overtake manoeuvre. Quick as the autobox is, the motors react faster and this is coming from a M235i former owner
Yeah, without a doubt it should be faster for overtaking manoeuvres and so much more relaxing. Don't get me wrong, most of the time I found the ZF to be a fantastic gearbox especially when it was in "manual" mode. However, when in full auto mode and I wanted to get it to move, sometimes I found that it did some weird stuff. For example, there were times when I'd resigned myself to being stuck behind slow-moving traffic and just left it in full auto because the traffic in the other direction was just too busy, but then, a sudden unexpected opportunity to safely overtake would arise. So in this situation, I'd hold down the left paddle and put my foot to the floor to get the most aggressive kick-down but it would sometimes go too far, kicking down to 2nd gear at over 6000RPM, leaving less than 500RPM before the power would start to slightly tail off and less than 1000rpm before the red line. When this happened, although it was still accelerating while changing down to 2nd, it wasn't what I'd call as rapid as hoped, plus even though it hit 6000RPM on the down change, I'm not convinced the boost pressure was quite there because it would never really pick up as expected, plus I pretty much had to change to 3rd instantly, so even more time wasted in gear changes. Don't get me wrong, it was still quick enough for the overtake when this happened, but it wasn't exactly fun. After a few experiences like that, I tended to drive it in "manual" mode if I ever thought there was even a remote chance that I'd want to overtake. I also tended to drive it in these scenarios in a slightly lower gear than normal, but that wasn't as relaxing and also left my wife thinking that I wanted to drive fast, which wasn't really the case - I just wanted to safely get past the person doing 40mph (or one of those that drives 50mph on the straights but 35mph when the slightest bend arrives). The thing that excites me about the M3RWD is that whole problem goes away and even if the peak acceleration isn't as high as the M135i at its best, it probably isn't going to be too far away and the instant acceleration should more than make up for it! :)
 
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Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,780
4,389
Scotland
Yeah you are probably right; the fact of the matter is it will react a lot faster and will hit harder in that respect, I'm just wondering if the peak acceleration will be similar in the 40-70 region.


That's a good point, I just assumed it would be slower across the board, but perhaps the loss is more towards the lower end of the spectrum.


Yeah, without a doubt it should be faster for overtaking manoeuvres and so much more relaxing. Don't get me wrong, most of the time I found the ZF to be a fantastic gearbox especially when it was in "manual" mode. However, when in full auto mode and I wanted to get it to move, sometimes I found that it did some weird stuff. For example, there were times when I'd resigned myself to being stuck behind slow-moving traffic and just left it in full auto because the traffic in the other direction was just too busy, but then, a sudden unexpected opportunity to safely overtake would arise. So in this situation, I'd hold down the left paddle and put my foot to the floor to get the most aggressive kick-down but it would sometimes go too far, kicking down to 2nd gear at over 6000RPM, leaving less than 500RPM before the power would start to slightly tail off and less than 1000rpm before the red line. When this happened, although it was still accelerating while changing down to 2nd, it wasn't what I'd call as rapid as hoped, plus even though it hit 6000RPM on the down change, I'm not convinced the boost pressure was quite there because it would never really pick up as expected, plus I pretty much had to change to 3rd instantly, so even more time wasted in gear changes. Don't get me wrong, it was still quick enough for the overtake when this happened, but it wasn't exactly fun. After a few experiences like that, I tended to drive it in "manual" mode if I ever thought there was even a remote chance that I'd want to overtake. I also tended to drive it in these scenarios in a slightly lower gear than normal, but that wasn't as relaxing and also left my wife thinking that I wanted to drive fast, which wasn't really the case - I just wanted to safely get past the person doing 40mph (or one of those that drives 50mph on the straights but 35mph when the slightest bend arrives). The thing that excites me about the M3RWD is that whole problem goes away and even if the peak acceleration isn't as high as the M135i at its best, it probably isn't going to be too far away and the instant acceleration should more than make up for it! :)
Yes, the Tesla overtake is definitely the answer to the scenario you describe! It's almost embarrassingly easy to just press the pedal and go. Also nowadays I much prefer not to make a drama of the whole thing. In a sporty ICE car when you need to get past quickly it comes with much noise and kerfuffle ... it can be felt (by the person being overtaken) that you are "making a point" in quite an aggressive way ... as if giving the finger as you go past even when you just want to get past quickly and safely. The Tesla just swishes past ... job done.
 
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Yes, the Tesla overtake is definitely the answer to the scenario you describe! It's almost embarrassingly easy to just press the pedal and go. Also nowadays I much prefer not to make a drama of the whole thing. In a sporty ICE car when you need to get past quickly it comes with much noise and kerfuffle ... it can be felt (by the person being overtaken) that you are "making a point" in quite an aggressive way ... as if giving the finger as you go past even when you just want to get past quickly and safely. The Tesla just swishes past ... job done.
I'm 100% agreed and absolutely on board with a quiet fuss-free overtaking experience!
 

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