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

T3SLAROD

Active Member
May 14, 2019
1,497
1,940
SoCal
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.

Agreed with everything you posted. I also think one of the biggest disappointments with the M3P is that it looks exactly like the RWD that goes 5.8. There is nothing unique to it visually, but that’s every Tesla model which I believe might be intentional by the company.
 
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.

Really terrific reply, thanks for taking the time.

I definitely get it, I'm an enthusiast, heck, up till '2019 I had a run of nothing but manuals, I used to do a decent number of HPDEs every year, I've built, tuned, showed, and enjoyed my cars way beyond just transportation.

In my case, I might have the opportunity to replace the M3P with something that has pretty close performance parity around town, and everywhere else, exceeds it a good bit, plus has additional perks with adjustable suspension, etc., that being an M3 Comp xDrive. Also keeps what I've found to be super handy, a nice, fast, comfy 4-door for road trips. Of course we're talking about a car that's a good $20K more than an M3P, so it should be better in some capacity :D

On long highway trips, if you're factoring in Supercharging costs, the BMW would actually be cheaper (obv. very dependent on gas prices at the moment ...) vs. the M3P, but around town that's completely flipped, though this car (i.e. mine, the M3P or replacement) tends to get more highway miles (we mostly use the 4xe around town). For long haul, the logistics of gas can be a bit easier, I can run the ICE car down to empty without any concern I can fill it back up (a trip to the Keys last year in the M3P wound up being a bit of a chore).

But in general, home charging is hard to beat.

And it's that last point, I think might be a disappointment for me, not going to the gas station, always being "topped off", and in many cases having access to do the same at many of our destinations (like most of the resorts at Universal/Orlando).

It's probably just a thought experiment for now, like I said, we're going to be in a situation where the car change wouldn't be a huge issue from a financial perspective, and without getting into it in this thread, Tesla continues to do some stuff (ex: USS removal ...) I'm not too keen on, but going back to ICE may not be the answer either.

Thanks again!
 
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Agreed with everything you posted. I also think one of the biggest disappointments with the M3P is that it looks exactly like the RWD that goes 5.8. There is nothing unique to it visually, but that’s every Tesla model which I believe might be intentional by the company.
I personally really appreciate the “sleeper” aspect of my M3P.

Those that know what it is, know.

My previous Audi S-cars were that way too - unless you looked really closely or knew what to look for, my 500-plus S6 looked very similarto 220-hp A6 2.0T!
 
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T3SLAROD

Active Member
May 14, 2019
1,497
1,940
SoCal
I personally really appreciate the “sleeper” aspect of my M3P.

Those that know what it is, know.

My previous Audi S-cars were that way too - unless you looked really closely or knew what to look for, my 500-plus S6 looked very similarto 220-hp A6 2.0T!

The RS3 still has a sleeper look while looking different than an S3 or A3. It’s not hard to make it special without making it look like a Civic Type R. Although I will say the M3P overall look is already somewhat exotic.
 
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The RS3 still has a sleeper look while looking different than an S3 or A3. It’s not hard to make it special without making it look like a Civic Type R. Although I will say the M3P overall look is already somewhat exotic.
RS3 has a wider front track and wider front bodywork than the A3/S3. That’s some serious effort and differentiation to make it look quite different.

It’s the opposite of Audi’s S-cars and the M3P, which is what makes them and the M3P sleepers, which is what I prefer.
 
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T3SLAROD

Active Member
May 14, 2019
1,497
1,940
SoCal
RS3 has a wider front track and wider front bodywork than the A3/S3. That’s some serious effort and differentiation to make it look quite different.

It’s the opposite of Audi’s S-cars and the M3P, which is what makes them and the M3P sleepers, which is what I prefer.

Right but the common person who isn’t looking for that wouldn’t be able to tell the difference looking at the vehicle from different angles.

And the M3P is not a sleeper unless you are trying to surprise the soccer mom in a Minivan. Every enthusiast is already aware of every Tesla’s capability.
 
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Right but the common person who isn’t looking for that wouldn’t be able to tell the difference looking at the vehicle from different angles.

And the M3P is not a sleeper unless you are trying to surprise the soccer mom in a Minivan. Every enthusiast is already aware of every Tesla’s capability.
I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

A sleeper is a car that doesn’t look especially fast, but is.

An RS3, with different bodywork, bumpers, valances and track isn’t isn’t a sleeper, IMO.

The only visual differences on the M3P vs other Model 3s are wheels and a spoiler. That makes it a sleeper in my book.
 
Really terrific reply, thanks for taking the time.

I definitely get it, I'm an enthusiast, heck, up till '2019 I had a run of nothing but manuals, I used to do a decent number of HPDEs every year, I've built, tuned, showed, and enjoyed my cars way beyond just transportation.

In my case, I might have the opportunity to replace the M3P with something that has pretty close performance parity around town, and everywhere else, exceeds it a good bit, plus has additional perks with adjustable suspension, etc., that being an M3 Comp xDrive. Also keeps what I've found to be super handy, a nice, fast, comfy 4-door for road trips. Of course we're talking about a car that's a good $20K more than an M3P, so it should be better in some capacity :D

On long highway trips, if you're factoring in Supercharging costs, the BMW would actually be cheaper (obv. very dependent on gas prices at the moment ...) vs. the M3P, but around town that's completely flipped, though this car (i.e. mine, the M3P or replacement) tends to get more highway miles (we mostly use the 4xe around town). For long haul, the logistics of gas can be a bit easier, I can run the ICE car down to empty without any concern I can fill it back up (a trip to the Keys last year in the M3P wound up being a bit of a chore).

But in general, home charging is hard to beat.

And it's that last point, I think might be a disappointment for me, not going to the gas station, always being "topped off", and in many cases having access to do the same at many of our destinations (like most of the resorts at Universal/Orlando).

It's probably just a thought experiment for now, like I said, we're going to be in a situation where the car change wouldn't be a huge issue from a financial perspective, and without getting into it in this thread, Tesla continues to do some stuff (ex: USS removal ...) I'm not too keen on, but going back to ICE may not be the answer either.

Thanks again!
Before prices got nuts, the M3 Xdrive was my dream car. I remember when the m3 used to be accessible. Those days are over. Most seems to be specced in the 90s which is way over my budget. What an amazing car. I waited 20 years for BMW to bring awd to the M3. Oh well maybe someday I’ll get one used. If you have a chance to get one and can afford it do it! That’s a once in a lifetime vehicle. Plenty of time for mass produced Teslas.
 
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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.
I couldn’t agree more to all points here. I will say, I was one who appreciated the growls and snarls of HP gas engines. Got over that real fast with this car, and have never looked back.

My son and his wife both have driven Audis for the last 3 buying cycles. They both now have RS5s, which they picked up in the last 2 months. They’re beautiful. But i admit, I’m not interested in even test driving one of them, where years ago I’d have at least had the curiosity.
 
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If you have a chance to get one and can afford it do it! That’s a once in a lifetime vehicle. Plenty of time for mass produced Teslas.

Yeah, it has a lot going for it (the M3CX), but I'm wondering if around town, the TM3P isn't better (i.e., < 50MPH) and the only time I'd really stretch the legs of the M3 is just boring highway miles down to Orlando.

The real barrier is I've grown to really love the EV experience in terms of "fueling". I just don't know if I'm going to tolerate going back to gas stations, and I'm hesitant to perform a $85K experience :D

We'll see, heck, maybe I'll just lean into the Tesla for another couple of years, do some coilovers, wheels, set it up for maximum enjoyment and wait to see what BMW does for their EV specific platform for the up coming (~MY24-25) real M version.
 
but I'm wondering if around town, the TM3P isn't better (i.e., < 50MPH)

The real barrier is I've grown to really love the EV experience in terms of "fueling". I just don't know if I'm going to tolerate going back to gas stations, and I'm hesitant to perform a $85K experience :D
Same boat. Depends on your definition of "better" I suppose. The Tesla will accelerate faster at those stop signs in town. It will do so with no sounds, no shifting and no fuss. Whether you think that is better is personal. Is it more practical? Yes. Is it more fun? No.

The fuel barrier is real. Can't argue with that. Gas stations suck.
 

nate704

Active Member
Apr 20, 2021
2,024
2,025
Virginia
Same boat. Depends on your definition of "better" I suppose. The Tesla will accelerate faster at those stop signs in town. It will do so with no sounds, no shifting and no fuss. Whether you think that is better is personal. Is it more practical? Yes. Is it more fun? No.

The fuel barrier is real. Can't argue with that. Gas stations suck.
I think M3P is extremely fun to drive. more fun than any ICE cars.
1. no need to worry about turbo blowing up
2. need to wait for the oil temperature to proper temp to get max performance without damaging ICE components
3. constant fight with heat soak during hot months with stock cooling for ICE components
4. Instant max torque and lower center of gravity of EVs will make day-to-day driving much more fun
5. Being able to pre-cool/heat the car is one of the best benefits during hot and cold months.
6. Being able to charge at home is priceless (can't have gas station at home).
 
I think M3P is extremely fun to drive. more fun than any ICE cars.
1. no need to worry about turbo blowing up
2. need to wait for the oil temperature to proper temp to get max performance without damaging ICE components
3. constant fight with heat soak during hot months with stock cooling for ICE components
4. Instant max torque and lower center of gravity of EVs will make day-to-day driving much more fun
5. Being able to pre-cool/heat the car is one of the best benefits during hot and cold months.
6. Being able to charge at home is priceless (can't have gas station at home).
Meh, that is just your opinion. I would not call an Audi a fun driver's car, but I would say that it is slightly more fun than the M3P due to having the glorious 5cyl.

Also, "no need to worry about turbo blowing up," is a shitty cheap tune type of problem, not something that you will ever encounter on a stock car. You can pre-cool and pre-heat other cars as well, it is not a Tesla-exclusive feature.
 
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T3SLAROD

Active Member
May 14, 2019
1,497
1,940
SoCal
I think M3P is extremely fun to drive. more fun than any ICE cars.
1. no need to worry about turbo blowing up
2. need to wait for the oil temperature to proper temp to get max performance without damaging ICE components
3. constant fight with heat soak during hot months with stock cooling for ICE components
4. Instant max torque and lower center of gravity of EVs will make day-to-day driving much more fun
5. Being able to pre-cool/heat the car is one of the best benefits during hot and cold months.
6. Being able to charge at home is priceless (can't have gas station at home).

Why would a stock turbo Blow up? You don’t need the batteries to get to operating temp before max performance?

You don’t right heat soak but you do fight SOC. I would say heel-toeing a manual is much funner than instant torque.

ICE vehicles have remote start for pre-cool/heat

6. That’s the biggest difference to me and the Winner in this argument. Even when gas prices are low.
 

nate704

Active Member
Apr 20, 2021
2,024
2,025
Virginia
Why would a stock turbo Blow up? You don’t need the batteries to get to operating temp before max performance?

You don’t right heat soak but you do fight SOC. I would say heel-toeing a manual is much funner than instant torque.

ICE vehicles have remote start for pre-cool/heat

6. That’s the biggest difference to me and the Winner in this argument. Even when gas prices are low.
You may not know this, but it takes about 2-3 miles of city driving to get the engine oil temperature up to the operating temp where oil can freely flow through all the components, especially through the turbo(s). If you constantly drive hard right after you start it, your turbo(s) will not last long time and accelerate the wear on the ICE components.
During the summer months you get heat soak during 20-30 minute city traffic driving. You don't need to worry about SoC for 20-30 mins of driving in that condition.
Try to do heel and toe in I-95 during rush hour traffic for 1-2 hours every day.
You do know that running engine while park will wear out the ICE components and produce the most emissions, right? It is bad for the timing chain/belt components. Also, try to do that in your house garage. I hope your house is air tight, so that all the exhaust fume doesn't seriously hurt your family.
 

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