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Tesla 3 isn't perfect, but after a full day rental this BMW driver is buying one!

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by voip-ninja, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I finally got the full Tesla Model 3 experience by way of a Turo rental. For anyone in the greater Denver area, I simply can't recommend this method enough for getting enough time behind the wheel to make a decision on such a big purchase. PM me if you want contact details and I'll provide them.

    My family and I got to enjoy an entire day with the Tesla Model 3 and I got to basically back to back compare it in pretty much every aspect with my current car, a 2016 BMW 340xi.

    When it comes to driver enjoyment, the Tesla exceeds the BMW in every way. Munich has to be scared right now, and understandably. The Tesla (other than from a full stop) accelerates much faster than the BMW, it handles better, it keeps the driver more engaged, and it is simply much more fun to drive.

    The car is also simply gorgeous. A friend thought I had purchased a Porsche. I thought the limited rear visibility would bother me, but it did not. The backup camera works pretty well in most situations and I had no trouble fitting the car in my garage even though it's a bit wider than my current ride and the mirrors don't fold as tight to the body.

    My 3 year old son just loved the view from the back seat with the huge pano roof. I would glance back at him and he was always looking all around at stuff he's never gotten to look at from any other car. At the end of the trip he kept going on and on about how much he likes the Tesla and kept asking "dad, when are you getting YOUR Tesla?" ;)

    My wife also did a complete turn around. She went from being very skeptical of Tesla build quality, auto pilot safety, etc., to being completely sold on the car by the end of our time with it.

    Coolest moment of the trip was driving into the small town of Morrison and having a couple of local Morrison cops ask me to roll the window down so they could complement the "cool car" and then giving my 3 year old son a junior police badge.

    Yours truly is a pragmatic tough customer. I don't sugar coat things and the only mission I'm on is to get the best bang for my buck. I've driven some pretty nice cars (and motorcycles) over the last 20 years, so my standards are quite high.

    There are some areas where the BMW exceeds the Tesla, but they aren't as many as I anticipated.

    1. The BMW has better seats, with more adjustments.
    2. The BMW has a better interior, with much nicer materials. My wife liked the modern design of the Tesla quite a lot but did concede that the materials didn't seem appropriate for a $50K+ car that was supposed to have "premium" interior upgrades.
    3. The BMW has an infotainment system that better integrates with my phone (shows text messages on the screen for example)... newer models have Carplay.
    4. The latest BMW models have inductive phone charging. For the life of me I can't understand why Tesla has opted to go with the plug in charging setup, which didn't work with either my wife or my phones when they were in their cases. Tesla really needs to remedy this ASAP.
    5. The BMW has a few really superb "pet" features that I really like. One is surround view when parking which is perfect for parallel parking... I really wish Tesla would implement this using the cars cameras if such a thing is possible. Another one is the BMW has a comfort access feature that works much better than the Tesla including trunk access that is much better. The trunk will automatically open if you have the key and swipe your foot under the rear bumper... perfect for when your arms are loaded with packages or groceries.

    My biggest gripe with the Tesla after our trip was the key card. It is horrible. I realize I wouldn't normally have to interact with the car this way, but how horrible for anyone who will let others drive their car regularly. I really hope Tesla contemplates adding a better method of access that doesn't rely on a smart phone.

    So, the Tesla is not perfect, but it's just too fun to drive.. and the thrill of pulling into a supercharger stall and putting 100 miles of range back on the car in about 20 minutes. Wow. I can't even imagine what this will be like when next level superchargers arrive and this time gets even shorter.

    Now this March 31st pre-order just has to wait for the invite to configure a dual motor car.
     
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  2. EVMeister

    EVMeister Member

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    Reading such a positive and level-headed comparison by somebody who is admittedly a BMW owner and presumably on some level fan is quite refreshing. I'm glad you had a good time and hope you enjoy your own M(odel)3 when you get it. :)
     
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  3. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf The Clown Prince of Crime

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    Most of my issues with my Model 3 (a very very short list) are with the software. Features that either need further refinement (EAP, media interface still lacking, still some persistent software bugs), things that are “coming soon” but not here yet (summon, WiFi, nav waypoints, etc) and things that are completely missing but could be added OTA (text message integration, additional streaming options).

    My Model 3 is the nicest and most expensive vehicle I’ve owned so far. My previous vehicles were a 2005 Mazda 6 and a 2012 Ford Mustang, so for me the interior is quite nice compared to my other cars. No complaints about the seats and interior here. I can understand why those coming from other cars in a similar class as the Model 3 may complain about that though.
     
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  4. DanH

    DanH Member

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    Yes, BMW has slightly better materials and finishes, but the minimalist design of the 3 is gorgeous. Unless, you’re anal and looking for small imperfections, otherwise you won’t notice them. Getting into a BMW 428 which is of similar size feels more cramp and you’ll question how often do you use those buttons and knobs.

    Hope you’ll get yours soon.
     
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  5. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I would still prefer a few more dedicated controls in the 3 for things like side mirrors, steering wheel position, and some dedicated buttons on the steering wheel for media, voice control and such.

    The 4 series has much less headroom in the back than the Tesla, the 3 series bmw size-wise is a better comparison I believe.
     
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  6. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe Tesla could add the surround view parking feature since the cameras do not face down. They'd need to add another set of cameras to accomplish this.
     
  7. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    Probably true
     
  8. mekberg

    mekberg Member

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    The "car" button takes you to Quick Controls which has mirrors and wheel adjustments. I have adjusted mine on the fly a few times without much of an issue.

    Left scroll wheel is volume, prev/next track, and push to pause.

    Press in right scroll wheel for voice controls.
     
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  9. mekberg

    mekberg Member

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    Aren't the B pillar cameras downward facing-ish?
     
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  10. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Not really. There no way it would ever help with parallel parking unless you're concerned with a curb 12 ft away. :)

    Other vehicles have 180 degree cameras on the the mirrors facing straight down.
     
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  11. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    Not to be too much of a smart-ass, but let me proceed.

    I know about all of those things. I spent an entire day with the car and learned all of the controls, menus, etc. I was also able to directly compare doing these things in my current car against the Tesla.

    The Tesla is handicapped in certain areas and this is one of them. It is not easy or safe to make a mirror adjustment with the Tesla while the car is in motion. If I want to activate Siri with my BMW I hold a button on my steering wheel and talk to Siri. If I want to do this on the Tesla it is not possible.... I have to physically find my phone and hold a button to use voice control.

    There are simply areas where Tesla has pursued cost savings to the detriment of the owner experience.... in my opinion.

    I will say that using the center screen on the Model 3 was more enjoyable than I had thought it would be and I adapted to it very quickly, while still pining for just a few things that would make the overall experience superior and would have cost Tesla very little money.
     
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  12. VT_EE

    VT_EE Member

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    Nice write-up. I certainly appreciate the objective side-by-side comparison and am glad to hear you enjoyed the experience.
     
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  13. SlicedBr3ad

    SlicedBr3ad Member

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    Don't get model 3. you and your wife will be fighting who gets to drive it if you do, speaking from experience. Get some crap car neither of you like to drive. :)
     
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  14. gilscales

    gilscales Member

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    My wife did not want anything to do with a "Battery powered car" (her words) and when I stood in line for 3 or more hours before the reveal that morning and I placed 2 reservations for a car we had never seen she told me I was crazy.

    My wife and I had owned 3 previous BMW's, the latest was a 2014 535d which was pretty loaded and at about 70k msrp had a lot of bells and whistles, she always would comment how "nothing drives like a BMW", last July we had to turn in the BMW as it was a lease and I had to convince her to wait for the model 3 before ordering another Beemer, She always said that if she did not like the car then it would be only my car and she would get another BMW.

    We took delivery of a white model 3 with sport wheels and EAP on 4/26, about 5 minutes later my wife asked me when i'm getting mine!

    Her new quote "nothing drives like a Tesla"
     
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  15. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    I hear this a lot from reviewers too, but my immediate response is always the same... you shouldn't be adjusting your mirrors while you're driving. It's unsafe in any vehicle and you're supposed to have adjusted that before the car is in motion since while you are adjusting the mirror you're looking at the mirror and not the road regardless of how you got to the controls.

    The only time I've personally ever adjusted the mirrors while driving in any car was because some bright reflection was in my eye. It probably would have been no big deal for me personally to hit two buttons on a screen and use a scroll wheel to adjust the mirror a few degrees up or down to get the reflection out of my eyes. One might argue not having to look at controls at all would be easier, but meh, it's such a rare occurrence I don't think it justifies the added manufacturing complexity.
     
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  16. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

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    voip-ninja, Your review is more interesting to me than many others because I have noticed that you are skeptical of many things Tesla and you've been "here" a long time. Nicely done.
     
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  17. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Supporting Member

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  18. Dogwhistle

    Dogwhistle Member

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    I set my phone in the docking area, and when I want it to do something, I just say “Hey Siri” out loud. No button pushing required, works great.
     
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  19. pkalhan

    pkalhan Member

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    I agree!
     
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  20. favo

    favo P3D+ owner

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    Just wondering what specific materials you find lacking on the 3 or better on the BMW? Steering wheel plastic? Dash? Some people like a more ornamented/baroque style and equate that with luxury. I'm more in the elegant simplicity camp. Just trying to sort out stylistic preferences from the quality of the materials themselves. I haven't gotten to sit in a Model 3 yet, but pulled the trigger anyway.
     

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