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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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So I've had the Model 3 for a bit over a full month now, and I've done 1200 miles. My impressions are much the same still as my initial review/comparison.


  • Mostly gotten used to the touchscreen. It's good, but I'd still prefer to have a secondary input method that you can use more easily while driving (like the iDrive controller in the BMW)
  • Navigation has been fine. I've gotten used to the 'top-down' only view. Still prefer full-blown Google Maps but its fine.
  • Spotify only syncing playlists randomly is still really, really annoying. It takes about 3 days for my Discover Weekly playlist to catch up.
  • The indicator stalks for signalling have been fine, no issue.
  • USB retrofit got done, though mine have no data capablility. Meh. Its not the end of the world but its annoying knowing that all the cabling is in there, Tesla just won't supply the data-capable hub for it to work and have simply said 'tough'.
  • Bought one of those screw-in bag hanger thingies for the boot. Not ideal but it works.
  • The user interface desperately needs to allow more customisation options. The blind spot camera positioning is really dumb, and I want to be able to put elements where they'd work best for me. Maybe this year we'll see it.
  • I'd actually pay for a native Carplay software upgrade but it'll never happen.
  • Had to disable the association between my wife's phone key and her profile. Even with my phone set to priority, if she gets in the car the same time as me (even into the passenger seat) it'll always choose her profile. Its really, really dumb.
  • No obvious way I can see of changing the glovebox pin once you've set it. You can enable and disable it, but not change it. Assuming I have to go through the faff of doing the 'forgot my PIN', which is dumb. Just allow me to change it to what I want once I've put the existing PIN in.
  • Gutted that the free supercharger refferal scheme has stopped. Since I've had mine, two people have ordered a car after me taking them out in mine and giving them a demo, going through the figures, etc.
  • The auto wipers at night are still rubbish.
  • The auto high beam is LOL-worthy at times, but its not the end of the world.
  • The seats have been very comfortable, even on long trips. No issues at all like I had with the M135i in terms of comfort.
  • A month of charging the car has cost me £80. An average month of charging the M135i used to cost me £200+.
  • Setting the cabin to heat before getting into the car has been a huge gamechanger for me. Especially when I've played tennis outdoors during the winter in some freezing conditions - getting into a warm car has been superb.
  • I really like not having to go to petrol stations any more. Keeping the car topped up at home is great. Until October when my fixed price electricity tarrif ends that is....
  • Autopilot has been great most of the time, I've used intelligent cruise control / lane keep assist in this car far more than I have in any other. I'd quite like enhanced autopilot but there's not a chance I'm paying that much for it. Maybe I'll pick it up if it ever goes on sale.
  • I've already used to the performance of the car. It's more than ample, but we'll see how long I can resist buying that 'acceleration boost' upgrade.
  • Quite a few software updates since getting the car. Liking the look of the next version that they've already started pushing out in China. Keen to get that and see where it goes from there.

Overall, it would take something really special for me to want to change the car for the foreseable. What I will say though, is that I do hope that other manufacturers start releasing more competitive cars and the charging network gets sorted. The Model 3 is a great car but its far from perfect, and I'm just not 100% certain that I'll want a Tesla in the future if Elon keeps insisting on things like the yoke, etc - but we shall see!
 
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.

View attachment 754469

  • 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.
Thanks for the detailed review!

However, I did not see one important area for comparison.

Ride and handling. Prior to 2011, BMWs were renowned for their balance of sporty handling, and comfortable ride. Post F platform, they have been not good, with jittery handling and overly softly sprung suspension, the same time.

What are your thoughts with your BMW vs Tesla in this area? Especially since Model 3 suspension is a bit jittery (I reduce my tire pressures to 36 PSI from 45 PSI to take the edge off).
 
Thanks for the detailed review!

However, I did not see one important area for comparison.

Ride and handling. Prior to 2011, BMWs were renowned for their balance of sporty handling, and comfortable ride. Post F platform, they have been not good, with jittery handling and overly softly sprung suspension, the same time.

What are your thoughts with your BMW vs Tesla in this area? Especially since Model 3 suspension is a bit jittery (I reduce my tire pressures to 36 PSI from 45 PSI to take the edge off).
Difficult to compare them because they’re a different class of car - one a hot hatch and the other an ‘exec saloon’ I guess you’d call it. That said, the M135i handled better but it would tramline terribly and was gittery. I actually find the Model 3 more ‘stable’. It feels heavier in the corners but it’s nevertheless impressive.

I should also add that the Model 3 is infinitely more comfortable. Likely because I had the 19 inch wheels on the M135i and so was unable to spec the adaptive suspension which would have helped a lot. I never got on with the seats at all in the BMW, to the point where that became one of the main reasons I looked to change the car - on a long journey it became agonising.
 
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Difficult to compare them because they’re a different class of car - one a hot hatch and the other an ‘exec saloon’ I guess you’d call it. That said, the M135i handled better but it would tramline terribly and was gittery. I actually find the Model 3 more ‘stable’. It feels heavier in the corners but it’s nevertheless impressive.

I should also add that the Model 3 is infinitely more comfortable. Likely because I had the 19 inch wheels on the M135i and so was unable to spec the adaptive suspension which would have helped a lot. I never got on with the seats at all in the BMW, to the point where that became one of the main reasons I looked to change the car - on a long journey it became agonising.

I agree that we are comparing different cars.

I am a little surprised to hear about the bad seats though. BMW usually doesn’t falter on the interior quality and comfort, generally.
 
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I agree that we are comparing different cars.

I am a little surprised to hear about the bad seats though. BMW usually doesn’t falter on the interior quality and comfort, generally.
I'm not sure if its a trait of the right hand driver version of the car, or the fact that they're sport seats, but it just felt like I was twisted in the seat - pedals felt offset and it caused all sorts of pain and bother to my left leg and my back. Also no lumbar support. It's a shame because I did quite like the M135i.
 
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.
Mine keeps on loosing its setting and stupid low position or full depending on what it feels like. on the day. I keep on resetting it to full but hay Im stupid and it wants to loose its setting.
 

MrT3

Active Member
Jun 26, 2021
1,429
895
UK
Mine keeps on loosing its setting and stupid low position or full depending on what it feels like. on the day. I keep on resetting it to full but hay Im stupid and it wants to loose its setting.
That may just be the recent software bug that Tesla introduced trying to fix boot strut issues. Wait until you are on 2022.16.x and see if it is any better.
 

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