Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Traded my M3P for an RS3 - My thoughts on both cars for what it's worth

In all honesty, I think most modern-day BMWs fall into this trap as well. Most of BMWs "sports"/sport-y cars are simply deconstructed from their sports sedans (rather than built from the ground up.) That is why the weights have been so insane on the previous and current-gen M-series vehicles (the new M2 weighs almost as much as the M4.) There are very few companies making dedicated sports car platforms today.

This might be sacrilegious, but I find the ND Miata to be more enjoyable to drive than my previous-gen M2; I autocrossed/tracked both vehicles as well. I switched to the M2 mostly to still have something fun to drive that was also a bit more practical (the 2+2 setup is perfect for me really.) The M2 was fun to drive (moreso than my Model 3), but I find the ND to be more engaging when cruising through backroads/track/whatever; for commuting, the ND is a chore lol. I'm a bit biased though in that up until my M2, I had mostly driven/owned sub 2800lb vehicles.
Well, I do not disagree with you about the Miata, I have not driven one, but I have heard this same thing over and over from virtually everyone that has driven one. Also, slow cars are more fun to drive fast lol, so that probably also makes a difference on top of the fact that it is incredibly light to today's standards. However, I am not sure about the safety of the Miata lol.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: randmness

afadeev

Active Member
Feb 28, 2019
1,271
1,452
NYC
I used the Tesla navigation system the whole way and it forced me to a supercharger 15 miles past my destination in bumper to bumper traffic. It was maddening and this was near an urban area. So either the Tesla navigation system was wrong or it was the best possible path even with the traffic. All I know is what should have been a 4 hour trip turned into a 6 hour trip.
I ALWAYS double-check Tesla navigation instructions with Google Maps, especially in areas with heavy traffic.
Nothing beats Google Maps for real-time adjustments to the routs as congestion areas come and ago during a rush hour.

Tesla is (supposedly) using Google for data, but Elon's touch adds too many surprises and limitations.

a
 
This weekend, I parted ways with my beloved 2021 M3P for an RS3. This transaction was not really on my radar but I received an unsolicited call from my local Audi dealer that they had an unspoken for allocation for a 2023 RS3 (Kayalmi Green no less) and gave me about an hour to decide before moving on to the next person. The RS3 is extremely hard to come by and I was told previously wait times were upwards of 2 years. Prior to my M3P, I have owned Porsche, BMW and Audis. I very much enjoyed my M3P and believe electric is the future. However, when given the opportunity to grab an ICE (perhaps for the last time), I felt compelled to do the deal. That and the fact that I was given an excellent trade in value on my Tesla made the math work for me. Here are the things I will miss and not miss about my Tesla for those considering similar trades:

Pros
1. Jaw dropping acceleration. The Tesla is just a freaking rocket ship and it's very apparent compared to the RS3 that the Tesla is faster. Instant torque on demand that never ends. The Audi, by comparison, feels slow. Hard to believe given it's a 3.5 second car.
2. Quick steering. This was my favorite feature of the Tesla. The steering is quick, precise and perfectly weighted. The RS3 is no slouch but the steering is lighter in feel and doesn't provide as much feedback.
3. Never filling up for gas. Not elaboration needed. I'm already sick at the thought of needing to go to a gas station.
4. OTA updates, new features and amazing infotainment. The Audi MMI is cooler but nothing beats the OTA updates and superb navigation of the Tesla. I found using android auto annoying and clumsy by comparison.

Cons
1. Rough ride. The suspension on the M3P is pretty rough. I did have mine lowered on eibach springs but tbh it was just as bad before as well. The RS3 is plenty firm as well but it does not crash over bumps like the Tesla did. Even this weekend, I prepared myself to cringe over typical road hazards only to find the Audi dealt with them far better. Tesla needs to improve this.
2. Interior. Here is probably the biggest drawback to the Tesla IMHO. The interior build is just not up to par for a $55k car. Tesla desperately needs to improve this going forward. I know this is news to no one but honestly if the interior were better, I might have kept it. In comparison, the RS3 is like a dream. Sport seats with quilted leather, interior led lighting, carbon fiber trim. All of this and the base price for an RS3 is only 5k more than the M3P. Just an entirely different experience. I will not buy another Tesla until they up their interior game.
3. Range anxiety. Yes, it's real at least for me. I only took a couple of road trips and despite the easy process of finding a supercharger, I found each trip to be a PIA due to having to plan around stops. On a recent trip, the nearest supercharger was 15 miles past my destination. That destination was 45 minutes away due to traffic and added 3 hours to my trip overall. This is obviously part of the EV game and its fine but it was far from ideal.
4. Decreased performance on lower charge. This always bugged me after I took delivery. I did my research but did not realize that performance would degrade so quickly as SOC reduced. For a performance car, I found this bothersome and it was very prevalent in the cold months. Not being able to get 100% performance out of my 55k after 70SOC was a bummer. Yes, the car remained quick at all times but it wasn't the same as 90 SOC.

All in all, I very much enjoyed my M3P and will own one again someday. I have nothing but praise for the car overall - despite my list of complaints above. The RS3 is on another level in terms of interior feel and driving engagement. Yes, I missed shifting (dual clutch) and breaking. This is probably my last hurrah with an ICE. I'll probably keep stopping by here from time to time to check in. If you own an M3P or have one on order, it's an awesome car and you can't go wrong with one. I'll add some pics shortly. View attachment 851659
Agree with most of what you pointed out. On top of that, my biggest hassle is the nearest SC is 2 hrs 40 minutes one way. It's so bad back log that they only allow to drop off and pickup a few days later. Mobile service can not do everything. Tesla is not on my list of next car until it has a SC in my town.
 
In all honesty, I think most modern-day BMWs fall into this trap as well. Most of BMWs "sports"/sport-y cars are simply deconstructed from their sports sedans (rather than built from the ground up.) That is why the weights have been so insane on the previous and current-gen M-series vehicles (the new M2 weighs almost as much as the M4.) There are very few companies making dedicated sports car platforms today.

This might be sacrilegious, but I find the ND Miata to be more enjoyable to drive than my previous-gen M2; I autocrossed/tracked both vehicles as well. I switched to the M2 mostly to still have something fun to drive that was also a bit more practical (the 2+2 setup is perfect for me really.) The M2 was fun to drive (moreso than my Model 3), but I find the ND to be more engaging when cruising through backroads/track/whatever; for commuting, the ND is a chore lol. I'm a bit biased though in that up until my M2, I had mostly driven/owned sub 2800lb vehicles.

Yeah, there's a lot to be said about lighter weight vehicles. To me, they are always more fun than heavier vehicles. Unfortunately, cars are getting fatter every year and EVs are no exception. A Miata is a lot of fun to drive, but I just wish they had a little more power to go with that lighter weight. Another 50 HP and the ND Miata would be an exceptional car.
 
Yeah, there's a lot to be said about lighter weight vehicles. To me, they are always more fun than heavier vehicles. Unfortunately, cars are getting fatter every year and EVs are no exception. A Miata is a lot of fun to drive, but I just wish they had a little more power to go with that lighter weight. Another 50 HP and the ND Miata would be an exceptional car.
I think we're a long way from light evs, unless someone makes much lighter batteries (although not sure if that's the heaviest thing in teslas).
 
3650lbs is their current goal. Will see what happens. the 4 cylinder version is a little over 3,000 lbs. maybe 3,100 depending on the configuration.
 
I think Tesla did an awesome job with the original roadster on trimming weight, but they had to start with the lotus elise to do it, and I'm not sure where that left them in terms of safety ratings. Cars are just getting bigger and bigger outside of the EV market, and I think there would need to be a revolution in battery tech to get that light again.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,419
2,114
USA
I think Tesla did an awesome job with the original roadster on trimming weight, but they had to start with the lotus elise to do it, and I'm not sure where that left them in terms of safety ratings. Cars are just getting bigger and bigger outside of the EV market, and I think there would need to be a revolution in battery tech to get that light again.
Tesla has done a solid job keeping the weight down on the S3XY lineup too for what the cars are - obviously much bigger and heavier than the Roadster was of course. Every single competitive EV in each segment is heavier, often significantly so.

The S did get excessively heavy around the 100D era but they lightened it up again with the Palladium.

The light weight (as EVs go) pays dividends in handling dynamics and in efficiency. Granted Tesla suspension tuning has been very hit and miss over the years so the majority don't handle well out of the box, but the potential is often there. See the Plus suspension Model S (2013-2014 ish option), and any Model 3 with good aftermarket dampers/coilovers installed (stock suspension is mediocre sadly).

Of course the heavier EVs out there often have better NVH refinement. There are tradeoffs, same as with lightweight vs heavier gas cars.

For sheer driving fun on a twisty road I'd love a BRZ. I'm way faster in my M3P (with suspension upgrades), but for smiles-per-mile that car is tops on my list for affordable sports cars. I respect the Miata but it's uncomfortably small for me and I'm not into convertibles.
 
I respect the Miata but it's uncomfortably small for me and I'm not into convertibles.

The small thing is a bit of an issue for me too (I'm tall, so small cars can be a challenge). And I'm also not big on convertibles, but the Miata now comes in the hardtop version, which is for sure the one I'd get if I decided to buy the car. It's a little heavier, but it looks so much better to my eyes.
 
Yeah, there's a lot to be said about lighter weight vehicles. To me, they are always more fun than heavier vehicles. Unfortunately, cars are getting fatter every year and EVs are no exception. A Miata is a lot of fun to drive, but I just wish they had a little more power to go with that lighter weight. Another 50 HP and the ND Miata would be an exceptional car.
Buy a used ND and turbo it, you will be in the 300whp range, more than enough for a lightweight car.
 
I chose between a RS3, Hellcat Charger, and an M3P 2 years ago. I sometimes regret not going with the former 2, but I was looking for a daily driver, road trip car, and given Cali's premium gas prices, I think I made the right choice.
There's no wrong choice among these 3 man. I've had my RS3 for over a month. It's a blast to drive but I'm not going to lie, what seemed like an obvious choice at the time appears to be a much closer call in retrospect. Buying gas sucks - plain and simple. And while I don't regret my choice as this is my last hurrah with an ICE, I'd say the say the M3P is a very worthy competitor to the RS3 and probably a more reasonable choice for a daily. Since buying cars has nothing to do with reason for me and is pure emotion, I'm going to enjoy this for a few years until the upgraded M3P arrives and then I'll be back.
 
There's no wrong choice among these 3 man. I've had my RS3 for over a month. It's a blast to drive but I'm not going to lie, what seemed like an obvious choice at the time appears to be a much closer call in retrospect.

I'd be interested to hear a little more of your perspective on this. Are you saying the RS3 isn't a significant enough departure?

I've been knocking around something along the same lines ...
 

Apprunner

Active Member
Jul 2, 2019
1,040
1,335
So-cal
I've been in some fast ICEs and still appreciate the sounds and experience of a really great engine. My friend's SVR Jag is wonderful and my buddies have M3s and M340s and all kinds of other nice ICEs. But none of those cars appeal to me as much as my M3P. I just love the performance EV attributes...the silent, effortless pull, and the instant throttle reaction like the car is plugged into my brain. The M3P just makes me want to drive fast all the time as there are no downsides...the complete lack of mechanical sympathy at any speeds, the completely free fuel (w solar), and almost complete lack of maintenance.

Some people are the complete opposite from me though and I can understand that. Nothing wrong with preferences.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ODWms and one2many
I'd be interested to hear a little more of your perspective on this. Are you saying the RS3 isn't a significant enough departure?

I've been knocking around something along the same lines ...
If buying gas is no issue, then the RS3 is better full stop. It looks better, handles better, has better interior, sounds better and is a more engaged driving experience. The only thing it lacks is pure Tesla speed but its hardly slow. Once you put gas/charging into the equation, things get more interesting. The Tesla is fast as hell. It handles pretty well too - like a go cart (suspension sucks however). Everything else is a downgrade including the all important fun to drive factor.

For me, my daily drive consists of many shortish trips around my town. Most trips are 5 to 10 miles. Very little highway. No long trips so no range issues. And all of those miles are nearly free in the Tesla. I'm still having a hard time adjusting to paying $60 a week for gas when I was probably charging my M3P for $15 a week. Now, I will think twice about unnecessary trips whereas in the Tesla it never would. Do I need to drive 45 minutes to the brewery I like to get a 4 pack? In the Tesla, yes. In the Audi, we are probably talking a quarter of a tank so I think twice about a needless 50 miles.

In many ways, the Tesla was the better car for me given my current driving needs. It delivers 80 percent of the experience for less money as well as virtually no maintenance. So I certainly miss those aspects of the car. As I mentioned, cars aren't rational and I don't regret my choice but there are some drawbacks. I'm currently getting around 19 MPG since I'm never on the highway. If you do a lot of highway miles and long trips, the balance shifts in favor of the ICE.

You asked if it is a significant departure for it to be worth it. I think it is, yes. It's hard to describe but you just can't replicate the feel of an ICE sports car in an EV. Sounds cliche I know but it’s true. The M3P is plenty fun to drive but single pedal driving just isn’t the same for those of us raised on manual transmission sporty cars. The reality is we will all be driving EVs in 10 (if not 5) years so if you’re thinking about making one last switch, I say go for it.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top