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Not sure will still order a Model 3


Apr 26, 2015
charlotte, nc
Just want to write about my candid thoughts.

Back in 2015 I purchased a Model S after test driving several cars. I bought a Model S because we were both convinced that it was the best car in its price level and class. We became Tesla evangelists and said only good things about the car and brand to anyone that asked and to our family members and friends.

Starting even before that, we have been Elon fans because we share many of his beliefs and visions.

When Model 3 was announced, we placed deposit immediately. We expected delays given past Tesla history so didn't really mind it and have been able to order since Jan 2018. We never really intended to order an early version due to past history of problems with initial production cars. Since one of our cars' lease is due at the end of Aug 18, we always planned to order in June so we would get the car just before our other car is due. We were very encouraged by the initial positive reviews of the Model 3. More negative news did come out later but we were still pretty sure about ordering the car given its coolness.

During our CA Christmas vacation last winter, we even took a detour to the Fremont factory and saw a bunch of Model 3s and were looking very much forward to getting our car.

This changed somewhat about 6 weeks ago when we first saw a Model 3 on the highway. We generally love seeing Teslas on the highway and when I saw the Model 3, I was excited as it was the first time I have seen one on the road. However as the car drove by right next to us and then exited to another highway, we were both somewhat disappointed. We both thought that the car had no presence and looked like an econo-box, like a Toyota Corolla or something similar. Basically we didn't think it looked like a premium sports sedan on the road.

Then last month, a friend took delivery of his new Model 3. We took the car on a long road trip for memorial day weekend. I rode in the car probably 6+ hours and also drove the car on local roads and highways. My overall feeling was very different from when I first drove the Model S:
  • I had owned Lexus GS Fsport and BMW 535i Msport before Model S and also drove MB E class several times. The Model S is a better car than all of these cars. It is the best car in its class compared to the top brands. That was how I felt when I first drove a Model S and this assessment has not changed.
  • However the Model 3 is not nearly the superior car in its class. It doesn't drive as well as a BMW 3 series (I have owned 2 since 2012) and is louder than even a BMW 3 series on the highway let alone Merc C class. Overall, I would place the car below BMW, MB and Audi cars of the same class.
At this point we are not sure we still will order a Model 3. We still have a week or so to decided and may still order one because of expected high resale value... By that I mean in a couple years when the new S or Porsche Mission E comes out, we can probably take less of a loss selling a Model 3 compared to another similarly priced car that we can buy this summer.


Mar 13, 2018
Who knows about resale values. If Tesla produces the number it promises you may soon see model 3's with rebates. Having no dealer network will make it tough to reach a large market penetration. Love them or hate them car sales people close the deals.


Jan 10, 2013
Portland, OR
I had a Model S, a 428 gran coupe and now a Model 3. I like the Model 3 the best, although the other two cars had their strengths. You're not wrong about the looks of the car, and the interior isn't the best, but the drive train and UI can't be beat. I can't tell you how disappointing the BMW was in terms of throttle response, even on the 435 I test drove. The depreciation on the 428 was pretty rough as well. For me it came down to getting the tax credit and minimizing depreciation over a few years ownership before I move on to the next car. I think the Model 3 LR depreciation depends a lot on whether they discontinue it for AWD and Performance only, if they ever make the SR, and the tax credit expiration.
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Jan 5, 2018
Scottsdale az
That is disappointing to hear. I just finalized my decision and ordered the 3 after sitting on my reservation for months and going back and forth between the 3 and a used 2016 S for close to the same price.

Read that people love driving the 3 and it handles better than the S and the range was better than the S75 I was looking at.

But for the price my concern was that its not a “premium” car and doesn’t feel and look like a premium car.

Sounds like your friends M3 that you took a road trip with was an earlier build. some of the issues of ride quality have been fixed with the later builds. That is what settled it for me...when Elon tweeted they fixed the comfort of the rear seats, reduced wind noise by fixing the windshield and gave suggestions for improving the ride by lowering the psi of the tires.

Though I am still not sold on my decision...lol


Apr 26, 2015
charlotte, nc
My friend's car is after the updated front seats but before the updated rear seats. Ya rear seats definitely needed improving.

I think ride quality is totally alright, and wind noise probably significantly improved given what I have read from others. However on the road the noise (mostly road/tire noise actually and he has the 18in wheels) is still worse than the German cars. It felt somewhat higher pitched compared to BMW road noise; just felt it more easily washes out what you can hear on the car audio system.


May 23, 2018
The model 3 has great lines on the side, fantastic head lights, a well defined rear end w/ great tail lights, and a sleek (albeit stubby) nose.

There is nothing 'econobox' about the car other then its small size. What would you define as 'road presence'? The only thing that defines your run of the mill 3 series is the BMW grill and halo lights.
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May 23, 2018
To each his/her own.

For me, it's a fantastic car in all aspects. But I'm not coming from expensive luxury/performance cars, so my POV is different.

IMO, you have to get way out of the Model 3's class to have a drastic change in 'road presence' or premium styling. There is really nothing that sets an A3, 3 series BMW or C class apart from a model 3 other than historic brand styling.

I do think that wind/road noise are probably slightly worse on the Model 3 compared to it's counterparts, but it's far from unbearable or obnoxious. equating it to an 'econobox' is pretty absurd.

I've also spent a decent amount of time driving both BMW 328 and 335's, and I think it's crazy to say that they drive better. They probably have a softer suspension, but they feel nowhere near as agile or sporty as the Model 3.

Really sounds to me like the OP wants another model S at model 3 pricing.
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Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
When you publish your thoughts, they are no longer candid.

Sorry you're so concerned that the 3 is not BMW or MB. Personally, I've never been that impressed with either. Really like the 3, mainly because it's long range electric. All other is secondary.

Also sorry you are so bummed by the 3. It is designed to be a cheaper Model S, and my 3 was half the price, so I expect it to drive differently. I have never compared any car to BMW or MB or Porsche, and to me, those that do are missing the point. Tesla is not BMW or MB. If that's what people want, buy one, and I'll pass you going up my grade to my house. On top of that, all my power is generated by solar panels, stored in batteries, and transferred to my car in my garage at night, so since my panels have paid for themselves, I like to think the driving is free in a sense. I guess BMW and MB have electrics now, but I know the BMW only has about 100 miles of range.
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
Canyon Lake,CA
Your analysis is pretty right on, however I disagree with your result.

The S was indeed a game changer. That 4 door hatch back knocked it out of the park as far as styling, ride, utility and game changing all electric drive with the spectacular centrally mounted large touch screen display.

At double the price of the Model 3 it has a road presence that seems to have gained universal respect.

The Model 3 is a 4 door sedan with a trunk. It is smaller than the Model S and will not have that grand presence of the larger car. It is designed more as a nimble city car, and will not have the road manners of the elegant Model S

As you predicted, like all previous Teslas, the Model 3 has had some teething problems coming out of the gate. Most were quickly addressed with softer ride, quieter windshield, more padded rear seats, upgraded software, inproved braking for multiple hard stops.

Consumer reports was blown out of their socks when they actually got a chance to speak with Elon Musk about where they found the Model 3 falling short. Elon said they had already addressed their major concerns and agreed with them that the changes needed to be made in wind noise (already done) rear seat comfort (already done) and that he appreciated them pointing out where repeated high speed braking needed improvement. Within a week or so he push out new software controlling the ABS braking system so that every Model 3 on the road would get enhanced braking. Consumer Reports put a current model through their full testing again, and were amazed at how it now had already addressed all those concerns.

While the Tesla has been getting better, the European have gotten worse. They got caught cheating on emission controls, their previous fine handling has gotten worse. The run flat tires they come with ride harsh and provide decreased handling. Their GPS and stereo systems have not kept up with Tesla. Their displays are not as good. They still do not offer OTA updates. You still get ripped off with their agressive service costs. They depreciate like a rock and generally do not provide the premium experience the portend to offer.

The new German products do not offer anything substantially better than the competition from Asia. They also cost more to buy, insure, and maintain.

They are mostly differentiated by their historic grills, otherwise are quite plain.

Biggest problem with all of them is that they continue to burn 1,000s of gallons of gasoline over their lifetimes, while leaving a stream of pollution as they go. This is no longer acceptable for earth consious folks when there is a clean alternative.

I believe you will go ahead with your purchase of the amazing Model 3. If you qualify for some tax credits or rebates it will make the economics compelling.

If you just take a moment to listen to modern ICE motors at idle you will immediatedly understand. They now use noisy high pressure clicking fuel injection systems, whistling turbo chargers/superchargers, and other gadgets that make them sound cheap. They shut off their motors at stop lights then start all up again when you hit the throttle. Really annoying. They upshift way to early to attempt to get a little more mileage. All these things make their driving experience worse instead of better.


Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
Buford, GA
At this point we are not sure we still will order a Model 3. We still have a week or so to decided and may still order one because of expected high resale value..

I don't think that the Model 3 isn't as much about what is outside than what is ( or isn't ) inside. I don't think that a Tesla has ever been a really unique design.


Active Member
Mar 16, 2012
Scottsdale, AZ
To each his/her own, I guess. I would take the M3 over any of the cars listed in the original post (and yes, I’m including the Model S), esp. when factoring price and TCO into the equation. For reasons I’ve posted (or concurred with) in other previous threads.


Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
I sat in a Model 3 last weekend and loved it. It’s a beautiful car all around. I would certainly take it over a BMW or MB.
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1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
I recently got a BMW 430i convertible as a loaner from my service center. Very hard for me to relate to the OP's experience in comparison to the 3/4 series BMW. It took me way longer to figure out all the controls in the BMW. The UI menus are deep and complicated. The torque just can't compare. The responsiveness of the wheel just can't compare. The engine noise when I do push the car is more farty than aggressive. My commute to work got me 28mpg. My Model 3 is ~150mpge (beating EPA ratings). I went online to see what this car costs, and it's basically the same price as the Model 3 first production config.

I used to be a huge BMW fanboy 10 years ago - M3 owner and fanatic. But I get it. We all have different tastes, and we prioritize things differently. While I agree Model 3 blends in way more than my Model S, it is sooooo much more fun to drive.

And... there's a reason this is happening:


Engineer and Car Nut
Nov 8, 2015
East Coast, USA
I have a recent build 225XX and the car is the quietest car I have ever owned by far. I have owned MB and BMW's. In the model 3 with the sound system on low volume at highway speed I only perceive the sound system and not much else. My wife mentioned how easy it is to fall asleep (in the passenger seat!) in the Model 3. My car has the Conti-Silent tires with the foam filler. Not sure if they started adding on the later builds. I have never noticed any wind noise and minimal road noise.

As far as looks, people that have no idea what brand of car it is notice the styling all the time. One even came up to me and said it was absolutely beautiful with no idea it was a Tesla or Electric. I have the 19" wheels so I think this is part of the difference.

The handling and responsiveness is way beyond the 3 series BMW. I have owned 2 and still have a BMW 1 series. The model 3 is way more fun to drive.

We all have our preferences but I think it is easily the best car in it's class.
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