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My M3 vs my MS...the revolution is underway

ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
Somewhat in the same boat, but instead of a lease I have the Tesla Resale Guarantee coming. Although now it doesn't look like I'll really need to rely on it.

I'm still a bit worried about not having good wiper control from the stalk. I don't believe for a second that I'll be happy with the automatic rain sensing. I've never owned a car which had a really good one.

I'm also a bit concerned about the wind noise, and road noise in the 3. People say it's worse than the S, and I felt like the S was pretty bad for such an expensive car. There have also been complaints about the Interior fan noise even when on low.

The Model 3 range/cost factor is so good that I might end up getting it despite my concerns once the AWD version is available. Especially if any significant new feature is released with AP2.
I did not comment in my review on the road/wind noise. I think they are comparable, in other words the 3 did not improve upon the S in that area. I will say that the whirring noise of the MS motor is gone in the M3. Some people like that whirring, I don't care one way or the other, but it's gone on in the 3. Honestly this sound system is so far superior that it's all I hear even at 75 mph.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,622
6,394
Snohomish, WA
I did not comment in my review on the road/wind noise. I think they are comparable, in other words the 3 did not improve upon the S in that area. I will say that the whirring noise of the MS motor is gone in the M3. Some people like that whirring, I don't care one way or the other, but it's gone on in the 3. Honestly this sound system is so far superior that it's all I hear even at 75 mph.

In my Model S the only motor I hear is the front one, and so right now there isn't anything to compare against.

That's great news about the sound system.
 

ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
IMO math is simple. Take any model S or X that is comparable to a 3... price is roughly twice as expensive.

Take the model 3s that are shipping right now for instance. Those are equivalent to loaded 100D. That's like $110k

Are air suspension and AWD worth $55k??
Yep, and the extra cargo space...unless you need that space as a few have said in this string, it's really hard to justify the S.
 

ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
the S has double the capacity for storage/bags etc. It is a bigger car. Its a smoother ride, it is less sporty. Its not the same car. The S needs a refresh but its not the same car
I could not agree more. But for almost double the price it needs to really separate itself from the 3 in the next refresh or the lower end S will be far over shadowed by the 3.
 
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MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
796
1,985
Morris County, NJ
Completely agree with the OP. In many ways, the Model 3 is the refreshed Model S many people have been expecting. The key differentiator is the hatchback with a bit more storage.

This is coming from a P85D to a single motor Model 3. When the AWD (and possibly performance) Model 3 come out, I just don't see how the S survives without a major refresh. Being "less sporty" with "more acceleration" is an odd place to be. And for every Model S owner who wants a large sedan, I think we'll see quite a few owners who never really wanted a large car but didn't have another option. If you really need a larger car, there's always the Model X.

The Model 3 uses advanced solid state MOSFETs instead of fuses. It has wiring redundancies and better headlights. The Model 3 has a more futuristic Bluetooth entry system and interior facing camera incorporated into the Autopilot hardware. The Model 3 has a seamless dual phone charging dock that's superior to the Model S. I agree with the OP that the Model 3's sound system is significantly better than even the High Fidelity Model S. Basically, the Model S has slick auto-presenting handles and a power liftgate going for it.

When I got my Model S three years ago, I remember describing it as feeling like a car from the future was sent back in time. The Model 3 now feels that way and, as much as I've loved the P85D (and the insane acceleration), the Model 3 makes it feel dated. I expected it to feel less premium, but you basically get all the benefits of owning a Tesla (Superchargers, OTA firmware, Autopilot) without compromise.

All that said, if Tesla refreshes the Model S and takes it to the next level, I'm absolutely interested. Having a hatchback and a little extra room is nice. But it would need to reclaim the range and technology/luxury crown. To be clear, the Model S is still an excellent car. I think the Model 3 is just nicer than I expected.
 
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tropical1

Member
Dec 8, 2015
108
178
Odessa, FL
Agree with all points above. Model 3 and Model X is perfect combo. When the Model X refresh comes out (hopefully with larger battery), I will consider an upgrade for the X. Model S is still an awesome car and for folks that want the extra space or more of a touring car, it is still a great choice. However, it will be better once it is fully refreshed with some of the tech from the Model 3.
 

nutts1

Member
Dec 28, 2017
37
79
New Jersey
I'll disagree. I've kept my 3 reservation to keep my options open but I like almost everything about my S better than what I've seen of the 3. Since I bought the S used, it cost less than what most people are paying for the First Production 3. (The Y might be a better fit for me, although it will have some of the same things I don't like about the 3.)

Depends on what one wants and values in a car.
How can you disagree? You've not owned or regularly driven an M3 so you have no point of comparison. Not one comment here has been negative toward the MS, only that especially for the price, we prefer our 3's.

I've had my S for almost 3 years and my M3 for 2 months. To this point, the only 2 things I miss off the S are the AP controls on the steering wheel and the auto high beams. My understanding is both will be corrected down the road by a software update. I've had the opportunity over the past two months of driving through 3 snow storms here in NJ and although it does not perform like the MS does, nothing I've ever driven handles slippery roads like the AWD MS, it handles as good or better than any FWD car I've owned. I've had to use the slip start feature twice and both times the car M3 slugged its way right on through.

Summary for me is if I ever replace my MS I may consider the Model Y when it comes out but otherwise would choose the Long Range AWD M3.
 

ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
How can you disagree? You've not owned or regularly driven an M3 so you have no point of comparison. Not one comment here has been negative toward the MS, only that especially for the price, we prefer our 3's.

I've had my S for almost 3 years and my M3 for 2 months. To this point, the only 2 things I miss off the S are the AP controls on the steering wheel and the auto high beams. My understanding is both will be corrected down the road by a software update. I've had the opportunity over the past two months of driving through 3 snow storms here in NJ and although it does not perform like the MS does, nothing I've ever driven handles slippery roads like the AWD MS, it handles as good or better than any FWD car I've owned. I've had to use the slip start feature twice and both times the car M3 slugged its way right on through.

Summary for me is if I ever replace my MS I may consider the Model Y when it comes out but otherwise would choose the Long Range AWD M3.
Great points here...no one is dissing the MS. I have loved it. But as I said in my opening of this thread, the 3 is a full turn past the S, which is really saying something about the 3, not disparaging the S. We all assume a significant S refresh is coming, but those who now own a 3 understand that if that refresh does not really raise the bar for the lower cost version of the S, then it's not going to sell up against the 3.
 
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midnights85

Member
Sep 14, 2016
7
11
48359
What about the pay per charge difference between the model s and m3. I drive a lot, over 90k miles on my model s 85. I am about to order a 75d. The range is better than my 85 and the awd is amazing after spending 3 weeks driving one while my 85 is in the shop. I also live in michiMic, so awd is important to me. Once I factor in the tax incentive, free supercharging and Awd. I still think the s is the way to go for me
 
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iluvmacs

Member
Jan 27, 2014
489
810
Madison, WI
What about the pay per charge difference between the model s and m3. I drive a lot, over 90k miles on my model s 85. I am about to order a 75d. The range is better than my 85 and the awd is amazing after spending 3 weeks driving one while my 85 is in the shop. I also live in michiMic, so awd is important to me. Once I factor in the tax incentive, free supercharging and Awd. I still think the s is the way to go for me
Better compare that against the fact that the 3 is 30% more efficient than the S. That means you get 30% more miles from charging at home, and thus your home charging costs less for the same miles driven. Depending on how much Supercharging one does, it can actually cost less overall to charge a 3. I came to that conclusion for us personally since we might use a Supercharger 20 times a year.
 
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ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
What about the pay per charge difference between the model s and m3. I drive a lot, over 90k miles on my model s 85. I am about to order a 75d. The range is better than my 85 and the awd is amazing after spending 3 weeks driving one while my 85 is in the shop. I also live in michiMic, so awd is important to me. Once I factor in the tax incentive, free supercharging and Awd. I still think the s is the way to go for me
Understanding your need for the AWD, so you could wait for the AWD M3, since the range of the M3 and the MS 75D is starkly different--318 miles per charge to 259. As far as the free supercharging is concerned, I have considered that and you are the first to mention that on this thread. I also use the supercharging network extensively here in the Northeast corridor, and now with more range in the 3, I will use it less, but it will cost me incrementally when I do use it. I plan to continue to take advantage of the growing number of Destination chargers out there at parking garages and hotels. I do some day trips and when I drive to NYC I park at garages that will charge me during the 5-6 hours I'm in town. I think we will all use the supercharging network more judiciously moving forward when it costs us. I don't think free supercharging could ever make up for the vast difference in price in the AWD 3 (whatever final cost is) and the 75D.
 

dgpcolorado

high altitude member
Apr 25, 2015
2,649
3,913
The Western Slope, Colorado
Better compare that against the fact that the 3 is 30% more efficient than the S. That means you get 30% more miles from charging at home, and thus your home charging costs less for the same miles driven. Depending on how much Supercharging one does, it can actually cost less overall to charge a 3. I came to that conclusion for us personally since we might use a Supercharger 20 times a year.
I think your situation is true for many/most. However I charge for free at home and have made more than 169 Supercharger visits in two years. "Free" Supercharging (I actually paid for it in the price of my car) is of some value to me and those of us who like to do road trips in a Tesla. While we may be few, we do exist.

For those urban and suburbanites who plan to use the car for mostly local driving in congested traffic conditions, a Model 3 makes a lot of sense. By contrast, I'm taking my S to Monument Valley on Wednesday for a spring camping trip and will head over to Moab with my bicycle next month. That is my idea of "local" driving. (My "road trips" tend to be 2000+ miles.)
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
6,879
Canyon Lake,CA
Mostly agree. The Model 3 is designed to sell 10X more than the Model S.

S will still sell to those wanting a more luxury vehicle with enough storage room for 4 people traveling together. The hatch back design also allows for 7 seats and is great for growing families.

Pulling up in an S still provides much more drama than in the 3. It's size puts it into another class.

3 is more nimble and great around town, but the S is so much better on a long road trip.

Price difference alone will result in 3's selling in much larger volume.
 
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ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
The interesting take away for me here is that some MS owners like their M3's as well or even better than their MS. Potato, po-ta-toe, some people have the means to get which ever car they prefer... BUT, many people don't have the means and will be happy to hear that many MS owners prefer the more affordable vehicle!
I think that is precisely the proper takeaway for current non-owners who hold Model 3 reservations. Be excited.
 

icefree

Member
Apr 8, 2017
196
335
Northern VA
While I appreciate all convenience improvements in the interior of the 3, I still prefer the Model S over the 3. Granted I'm comparing a P100D against a RWD 3, but if I had choice between the two I would always pick the Model S. When I sit in the 3 I think, this is nice. When I sit in the S, I just sink into the seat and sigh a gratifying "ahhhh yes".

Beyond the performance aspects of my S vs my 3 (I know it's not fair, no comparison), here are a few of the issues I have with the 3:
- The rear view out of the car is just awful. It might be something one can get used to, but your FOV out the back of the car is very limited. Any car following relatively closely and all you can see are the occupants heads. The car disappears. It's bad enough that I keep trying to think of ways to remount the rear view mirror higher, so the viewing angle beyond the back is lower and closer to the car.
- The seats. The Model S front seats are just more comfortable for me. Larger, wider, and better bolstering.
- I really miss the power trunk on the 3. The power liftgate on the Model S is wonderful.
- Key fob. Seriously, this phone/card thing is really a pain. I know it will hopefully get better with software patches, but I've been stuck outside of the Model 3 several times, when I forget my wallet in the car (with the card), and my phone isn't connecting or working with the door locks. I would pay good money for a key fob on the Model 3.
- Door handles. A bit of a regression here. The Model S has auto present handles, simple to use, and no brainer when extended on how to open the door. Then the Model X went to auto opening doors, where you don't even need to touch the door to open it. Then the Model 3 decided to go with a physical dexterity test to open the doors. Not an improvement.
- Environment feel; for me, the Model 3 is much louder inside than the Model S. Could be tires, of course, Could be air suspension. When I'm in the 3, I feel like I'm in an nice EV car. When I'm in the S, I feel like I'm on a magic carpet ride :)
- I still prefer the binnacle and larger center panel of the S. Having the Nav and the Music displayed simultaneously is hard to give up when going to the 3, with the smaller shared display space.

In the end the 3 is an awesome car, no doubt, but it's really not in the same class as the Model S, nor should it be (since that's the way it's positioned by Tesla). Ok, just typing this up makes me want to go drive around the block in my S again. It's so Zen.
 

ArcAngel

Member
Oct 14, 2015
57
220
Malvern, PA
While I appreciate all convenience improvements in the interior of the 3, I still prefer the Model S over the 3. Granted I'm comparing a P100D against a RWD 3, but if I had choice between the two I would always pick the Model S. When I sit in the 3 I think, this is nice. When I sit in the S, I just sink into the seat and sigh a gratifying "ahhhh yes".

Beyond the performance aspects of my S vs my 3 (I know it's not fair, no comparison), here are a few of the issues I have with the 3:
- The rear view out of the car is just awful. It might be something one can get used to, but your FOV out the back of the car is very limited. Any car following relatively closely and all you can see are the occupants heads. The car disappears. It's bad enough that I keep trying to think of ways to remount the rear view mirror higher, so the viewing angle beyond the back is lower and closer to the car.
- The seats. The Model S front seats are just more comfortable for me. Larger, wider, and better bolstering.
- I really miss the power trunk on the 3. The power liftgate on the Model S is wonderful.
- Key fob. Seriously, this phone/card thing is really a pain. I know it will hopefully get better with software patches, but I've been stuck outside of the Model 3 several times, when I forget my wallet in the car (with the card), and my phone isn't connecting or working with the door locks. I would pay good money for a key fob on the Model 3.
- Door handles. A bit of a regression here. The Model S has auto present handles, simple to use, and no brainer when extended on how to open the door. Then the Model X went to auto opening doors, where you don't even need to touch the door to open it. Then the Model 3 decided to go with a physical dexterity test to open the doors. Not an improvement.
- Environment feel; for me, the Model 3 is much louder inside than the Model S. Could be tires, of course, Could be air suspension. When I'm in the 3, I feel like I'm in an nice EV car. When I'm in the S, I feel like I'm on a magic carpet ride :)
- I still prefer the binnacle and larger center panel of the S. Having the Nav and the Music displayed simultaneously is hard to give up when going to the 3, with the smaller shared display space.

In the end the 3 is an awesome car, no doubt, but it's really not in the same class as the Model S, nor should it be (since that's the way it's positioned by Tesla). Ok, just typing this up makes me want to go drive around the block in my S again. It's so Zen.
I actually agree with only one of your bullets above (the rear view out the back of the 3), but I respect them all and can see how you would come to all those conclusions. It's an embarrassment of riches to compare the both of them. Once price comes into play, however, the lens changes significantly for most.
 
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icefree

Member
Apr 8, 2017
196
335
Northern VA
I actually agree with only one of your bullets above (the rear view out the back of the 3), but I respect them all and can see how you would come to all those conclusions. It's an embarrassment of riches to compare the both of them. Once price comes into play, however, the lens changes significantly for most.
I appreciate that. Yes, I agree. In the end, the cost of the car is the final filter. Is my Model S 3X better than my Model 3 even though it cost 3X as much? Honestly, of course not, well, except in one area. The "wweeeeee!" factor is > 3X better. Worth. Every. Penny. :D
 

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