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S/3 Comparo -- Driven Back-to-Back-to-Back

ForeverFree

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2015
611
1,399
Sherman Oaks, CA
My wife and I have had our Model 3 since Christmastime, and we've good advantage of the opportunity to trade back and forth day to day between it and our S85D.

In doing so, we've reached the usual conclusions:

S = smoother, with slightly less intrusive road feel and wind noise

3 = more nimble

3 = able to carry a lot

S = able to carry a lot ... with ease

S = more UI "territory" and more mature UI design

3 = snappier UI hardware, far better nav routing display

Etc.
However, until today, I hadn't taken time to trade cars back-to-back-to-back on the same morning.

Routed a great mix of big straight surface streets and small winding ones, straight-ish freeways and curving on-ramps, high-speed canyon highways and lower-speed mountain roads. (For SFV, CA folks: Valley Vista, Sherman Way, I-405, Sepulveda (in the pass), Mulholland, and Beverly Glen.)

Goal was to see which car was more enjoyable to drive. Faced with looming decision of keeping (or upgrading) Model S (sensible for road trips) vs. trading "down" to a Model 3, I wanted to see which car I'd prefer as a daily driver.

If the contest proved close, the wise answer would be to stand pat, with my wife and I able to trade off and enjoy the best of both worlds. That's where I'd tentatively come down, aided by sage advice from members of this forum.

Until today.

Driving the same route, back-to-back-to-back, yielded a major surprise: The contest wasn't close. The contest ... wasn't.

Seems an easy choice to sell the S once 3 AWD becomes available.

Sure, it would be nice to have a (hoped-for) S110D or 120D for travel.

But, probably not at the expense of less delight daily.

And, certainly, not at an incremental cost of $50K (~ $5K/yr add'l depreciation rate). (Would we Turo a 120D for $200+ a day for the two or three weeks of road trips we do each summer? If not, why should we spend an equivalent amount depreciating an S whose only advantages for us fall a fewer weeks a year?)


Just one person's Sunday drive thoughts. Would welcome yours! :)
 
Oh yeah, in terms of fun factor, there's no comparison imo.
S reigns supreme from stoplight to stoplight. It's a roller coaster ride, but it's only fun in a straight line. As soon as I encounter a curve, I can totally feel the heft. On the other hand, model 3 reminds me of my old E90 M3 (sans the v8 soundtrack). Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon period, but I'm actually looking forward to some canyon carving in my model 3.
 

buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2017
3,274
8,856
ATX
Hmmmmm, I don't know guys.... I think this assessment makes sense for the regular powertrain... but the P100D is something else entirely.

I'm not even sure a 3 P100D would be preferable. The S seems to be perfect for the P100D.... while I like the X, there is a nimble feel to the S and a P100D model 3 would just be so nimble it would be hard to relax! It would probably feel like a roadster.

I'm so impressed with the 3, it's a great great vehicle. And would be a blast even with less power. I want one, but I also want an X.

I thought it's interesting too, I kind of think the model 3 might be better than the S on long road trips. Seems a tad more comfortable than the S.
 
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Routed a great mix of big straight surface streets and small winding ones, straight-ish freeways and curving on-ramps, high-speed canyon highways and lower-speed mountain roads. (For SFV, CA folks: Valley Vista, Sherman Way, I-405, Sepulveda (in the pass), Mulholland, and Beverly Glen.)

Hey, that's the same route I take everyday too! I might've seen you a couple times! :D

Interesting conclusion with the Model 3. Given these roads, I can see why you'd prefer nimble over smooth.
 

n2mb_racing

Active Member
Jun 14, 2014
2,168
2,012
durham, NC
My wife and I have had our Model 3 since Christmastime, and we've good advantage of the opportunity to trade back and forth day to day between it and our S85D.

In doing so, we've reached the usual conclusions:

S = smoother, with slightly less intrusive road feel and wind noise

3 = more nimble

3 = able to carry a lot

S = able to carry a lot ... with ease

S = more UI "territory" and more mature UI design

3 = snappier UI hardware, far better nav routing display

Etc.
However, until today, I hadn't taken time to trade cars back-to-back-to-back on the same morning.

Routed a great mix of big straight surface streets and small winding ones, straight-ish freeways and curving on-ramps, high-speed canyon highways and lower-speed mountain roads. (For SFV, CA folks: Valley Vista, Sherman Way, I-405, Sepulveda (in the pass), Mulholland, and Beverly Glen.)

Goal was to see which car was more enjoyable to drive. Faced with looming decision of keeping (or upgrading) Model S (sensible for road trips) vs. trading "down" to a Model 3, I wanted to see which car I'd prefer as a daily driver.

If the contest proved close, the wise answer would be to stand pat, with my wife and I able to trade off and enjoy the best of both worlds. That's where I'd tentatively come down, aided by sage advice from members of this forum.

Until today.

Driving the same route, back-to-back-to-back, yielded a major surprise: The contest wasn't close. The contest ... wasn't.

Seems an easy choice to sell the S once 3 AWD becomes available.

Sure, it would be nice to have a (hoped-for) S110D or 120D for travel.

But, probably not at the expense of less delight daily.

And, certainly, not at an incremental cost of $50K (~ $5K/yr add'l depreciation rate). (Would we Turo a 120D for $200+ a day for the two or three weeks of road trips we do each summer? If not, why should we spend an equivalent amount depreciating an S whose only advantages for us fall a fewer weeks a year?)


Just one person's Sunday drive thoughts. Would welcome yours! :)

Hmm. Sounds like the 3 is very impressive. I wonder if you'd choose differently if you did back to back with a P100D? The power in the P90D causes me to have some pretty silly grins. :)

Performance model 3 would be fun, but I don't know if they would let it compete with the performance Model S. The available 1300 amps from the model 3 battery might indicate otherwise, though. 1300 amps in the 3 might be pretty close to the 1700 amps available in the P100D, given the lower weight.
 
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My wife and I have had our Model 3 since Christmastime, and we've good advantage of the opportunity to trade back and forth day to day between it and our S85D.

In doing so, we've reached the usual conclusions:

S = smoother, with slightly less intrusive road feel and wind noise

3 = more nimble

3 = able to carry a lot

S = able to carry a lot ... with ease

S = more UI "territory" and more mature UI design

3 = snappier UI hardware, far better nav routing display

Etc.
However, until today, I hadn't taken time to trade cars back-to-back-to-back on the same morning.

Routed a great mix of big straight surface streets and small winding ones, straight-ish freeways and curving on-ramps, high-speed canyon highways and lower-speed mountain roads. (For SFV, CA folks: Valley Vista, Sherman Way, I-405, Sepulveda (in the pass), Mulholland, and Beverly Glen.)

Goal was to see which car was more enjoyable to drive. Faced with looming decision of keeping (or upgrading) Model S (sensible for road trips) vs. trading "down" to a Model 3, I wanted to see which car I'd prefer as a daily driver.

If the contest proved close, the wise answer would be to stand pat, with my wife and I able to trade off and enjoy the best of both worlds. That's where I'd tentatively come down, aided by sage advice from members of this forum.

Until today.

Driving the same route, back-to-back-to-back, yielded a major surprise: The contest wasn't close. The contest ... wasn't.

Seems an easy choice to sell the S once 3 AWD becomes available.

Sure, it would be nice to have a (hoped-for) S110D or 120D for travel.

But, probably not at the expense of less delight daily.

And, certainly, not at an incremental cost of $50K (~ $5K/yr add'l depreciation rate). (Would we Turo a 120D for $200+ a day for the two or three weeks of road trips we do each summer? If not, why should we spend an equivalent amount depreciating an S whose only advantages for us fall a fewer weeks a year?)


Just one person's Sunday drive thoughts. Would welcome yours! :)
 
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Oh yeah, in terms of fun factor, there's no comparison imo.
S reigns supreme from stoplight to stoplight. It's a roller coaster ride, but it's only fun in a straight line. As soon as I encounter a curve, I can totally feel the heft. On the other hand, model 3 reminds me of my old E90 M3 (sans the v8 soundtrack). Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon period, but I'm actually looking forward to some canyon carving in my model 3.
Couldn't Agree More!!
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,701
TX
Hmm. Sounds like the 3 is very impressive. I wonder if you'd choose differently if you did back to back with a P100D? The power in the P90D causes me to have some pretty silly grins. :)

Performance model 3 would be fun, but I don't know if they would let it compete with the performance Model S. The available 1300 amps from the model 3 battery might indicate otherwise, though. 1300 amps in the 3 might be pretty close to the 1700 amps available in the P100D, given the lower weight.
P100D = curb weight 4941lb
M3 LR = curb weight 3,838 lb

Add 260lb to each, because driving alone isn't fun AND/OR an extra order of nachos was:
1300/4100 = .3170
1700/5200 = .3269

So assuming the same voltage (?), the M3 LR is already about %4 lower potential power/kg, before factoring in the extra mass from adding a front motor/transaxle. Still, a lot of potential there.
 
Last edited:
P100D = curb weight 4941lb
M3 LR = curb weight 3,838 lb

Add 260lb to each, because driving alone isn't fun AND/OR an extra order of nachos was:
1300/4100 = .3170
1700/5200 = .3269

So assuming the same voltage (?), the M3 LR is already about %4 lower potential power/kg, before factoring in the extra mass from adding a front motor/transaxle. Still, a lot of potential there.

Permanent magnet motor efficiency over induction motor could erase that difference.
 

mikevbf

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2012
1,879
4,536
vermont
If dual motor M3 is available only with air suspension which is what I currently expect based on a tweet from Musk, I wonder if it will still be as nimble? I have a Model X in VT and the biggest gripe my wife has is how bumpy it gets on poorly maintained paved roads. Strangely, the MX is fine on the bumpier dirt roads around here.

I am trying to decide between LR, SR, or not all on M3. A lot of the decision will come down to back seat comfort for my 5'11 daughter in terms of knee support and how the suspesion feels in the duel motor version. If it is too bumpy or the back seats are unacceptable for 30 minutes drives for my tall daughter, then we will not get it. If both these are as good or close to as good as our MX, then we will go with the LR set up even though the M3 would only work as a road trip car when we did not bring our 100 pound dog. If backseat and road comfort or fine, but not as good as the MX, then we will get the SR option. What is clear to me at this point is I will need to test drive before deciding which might be tricky if the dual motor comes only with air suspension.

I did an interesting exercise on A Better Route Planner yesterday where I planned a route from my house in VT to my sister's house in DC with my MX90D and the LR M3. Surprisingly, the M3 was almost an hour faster than MX (7hr vs 8hr) due to lower weight and less need of supercharging on route.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: Drucifer
My wife and I have had our Model 3 since Christmastime, and we've good advantage of the opportunity to trade back and forth day to day between it and our S85D.

<Snip>

In doing so, we've reached the usual conclusions:

And, certainly, not at an incremental cost of $50K (~ $5K/yr add'l depreciation rate). (Would we Turo a 120D for $200+ a day for the two or three weeks of road trips we do each summer? If not, why should we spend an equivalent amount depreciating an S whose only advantages for us fall a fewer weeks a year?)


Just one person's Sunday drive thoughts. Would welcome yours! :)

As the owner of a S70D and the new M3ER I have spent the past month going back & forth between the cars and I reached a similar conclusion, I would perhaps phrase it a bit differently.

I think the S is the better car, but the 3 is by FAR the better value. As a personal finance guy I tend to always come down to the "bang for the buck" evaluation. Recognizing that most people don't optimize that way (for if they did, we would all no-doubt be driving a Honda Fit) I think Tesla will have a much harder time selling the S once availability of the 3 becomes widespread.

The value curve definitely flattens at the higher end, where 10% better costs 40% more. For those fortunate enough that this difference is immaterial I believe you would be happiest in the S, for others the 3 may ease any pangs of guilt over spending a lot of dough on a car.

In either case I still believe the car can be owned and enjoyed without regret.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,701
TX
Permanent magnet motor efficiency over induction motor could erase that difference.
In larger HP motors my understanding is that the efficiency differences, between the top quality of each tech, at full loads is only about 1-1.5%. Although I guess the efficiency benefits are more substantial at low RPM so it could readily counter off-the-line and up to maybe 20-30mph? The biggest benefit of lower mass is already factored into curb weight.
 
I totally agree.

Hmmmmm, I don't know guys.... I think this assessment makes sense for the regular powertrain... but the P100D is something else entirely.

I'm not even sure a 3 P100D would be preferable. The S seems to be perfect for the P100D.... while I like the X, there is a nimble feel to the S and a P100D model 3 would just be so nimble it would be hard to relax! It would probably feel like a roadster.

I'm so impressed with the 3, it's a great great vehicle. And would be a blast even with less power. I want one, but I also want an X.

I thought it's interesting too, I kind of think the model 3 might be better than the S on long road trips. Seems a tad more comfortable than the S.
 
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My kids tell me that the rear seats in our 3 are not anywhere close to the comfort of the rear seats in our S85 or P90D.

The acceleration in the 3 is good, but a Model S P100D is a whole different world. I do look forward to seeing what the performance Model 3 feels like. The prototype they had at the original unveil felt pretty darn fast, at least from the passenger seat.
 

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