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

This is in no way intended as criticism - it's just commentary:

The quilted leather seats and real carbon fiber trim in my previous Audi S6 LOOKED great, no doubt about it. Thing is, I find the seats in my Model 3 FEEL better, especially on longer drives. Something about the cushioning that is "just right". The Audi's seats gave me the squirms after a couple of hours.

As for the CF trim, I personally didn't like it as well as the open-pore wood on my Model 3. The other thing about the Audi interior was the various bits of chrome on the center console that reflected sunlight into my eyes - happened more often than one might think.

As far as materials quality, I recently had the chance to go a long ride with a friend in their MB GLC 300 SUV. Nothing in that interior seemed as solid as the interior of my Model 3. Flexy door cards, cheap-feeling console lid, steering wheel not great, etc. Again, it looks nice enough from a distance, but the reality is less than the initial impression.

All that to say: Audi's interiors are very nice. They're (IMO) not as far ahead of the industry norm as they used to be.

That said, the Scandinavian minimalism of the Tesla's interior fits my style better. and though some might think it looks like it's not as well built, the reality is that the materials are high-quality.
Yeah, I'm with you on this. 2 weeks in with the RS3 and while the seats sure look cool, they are not as comfortable as the Tesla.
 
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Good point. I'd rather have both.

I think its easier for Tesla to make a tri-motor Model 3 than it is to get a better interior ;)

I'm playing to Tesla's strength here 😁

I like a digital interface like Teslas BUT I wish it had a windshield wiper stalk. The turn signal stalks are super useful too....i think the Model S setup would be annoying AF.

BTW, the only 2 cars I was interested in 3 years ago was the RS3 and M3P. I chose the M3P because it has absolutely no mechanical sympathy...i can drive it as fast as I want because fuel is free (for me) and it never feels like i'm abusing it :D The Audi maintenance schedule was also pretty pricey where I live so that was a contributing factor. Overall, I reckon I saved over $20k over 3 years given the price difference and the fuel / maintenance savings.
 
I went from a 718 Porsche Cayman GTS to a 2022 M3P. The quality on the Porsche is better of course. But like the console layout better on the M3P. To me the RS3 while better quality interior, the layout design is kind of dated. For a better layout I like the Mercedes new high end layout on their top end electric car as well as the Porsche Taycan. The one thing I miss is the engine sound, but a 4 banger so I switched. Maybe if it was the 6 I would of stayed gas a little bit longer.
How about 5? Yeah something about a 4 cylinder Porsche doesn't add up to me either. Sweet car though. Sure the interior of the MB and Taycan are killer but those are not 68k cars either.
 
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If I were buying a new EV today, and I want a sports sedan, I'd probably take a hard look at the i4 M50. I had one on order before the RS3 popped up.

Having driven an i4M50, my view is that it's a compact luxury sedan with a decent turn of speed. However, if you enjoy driving for the fun of it, it's not the car for you. The Model 3 is a performance sedan that happens to be electric. The difference is in the focus/intent - the i4M50 is an electric 440i Xdrive. The Tesla Model 3P is an electric BMW M3.

Eventually there will likely be a "full-fat BMW M" EV sedan, and THAT car will be better competition for the Model 3P, IMO. By that time, though, there may well be a revised Model 3.
 
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I think its easier for Tesla to make a tri-motor Model 3 than it is to get a better interior ;)

I'm playing to Tesla's strength here 😁

I like a digital interface like Teslas BUT I wish it had a windshield wiper stalk. The turn signal stalks are super useful too....i think the Model S setup would be annoying AF.

BTW, the only 2 cars I was interested in 3 years ago was the RS3 and M3P. I chose the M3P because it has absolutely no mechanical sympathy...i can drive it as fast as I want because fuel is free (for me) and it never feels like i'm abusing it :D The Audi maintenance schedule was also pretty pricey where I live so that was a contributing factor. Overall, I reckon I saved over $20k over 3 years given the price difference and the fuel / maintenance savings.
Me too. I went through this exact same exercise and chose the Tesla for the reasons you post. The difference in running costs is not insignificant as you point out and now having had to fill up a few times, there are certainly parts of me that wonder wth I was thinking! 20k difference over 3 years seems high to me. At 10k miles per year, I'm pegging it closer to about $150 per month in extra gas, plus 1 oil change per year at $150 so more like 5k over 3 years. Tires will probably be a push and yes, the Audi will need a brake job before the Tesla. Not sure how your'e getting to 20k over 3 years but don't tell as I don't want to know. Maybe you drive a lot of miles or something.
 
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Me too. I went through this exact same exercise and chose the Tesla for the reasons you post. The difference in running costs is not insignificant as you point out and now having had to fill up a few times, there are certainly parts of me that wonder wth I was thinking! 20k difference over 3 years seems high to me. At 10k miles per year, I'm pegging it closer to about $150 per month in extra gas, plus 1 oil change per year at $150 so more like 5k over 3 years. Tires will probably be a push and yes, the Audi will need a brake job before the Tesla. Not sure how your'e getting to 20k over 3 years but don't tell as I don't want to know. Maybe you drive a lot of miles or something.

I got my M3P for around $58k with incentives. The RS3 would have cost about $10k more where I live and I save about $3k per year on fuel.

Also, my Audi dealer charged an arm and a leg for the 3rd year maintenance. Audi dealers completely rip you off in so-cal
 
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Before I even scrolled down, I figured you bought the green one. (I usually go for press release colors also)

Had a 2018 RS3 that I loved, but I agree the 0-60 comparison is further apart than the published times make it seem to be.

Interior quality, track performance and better looks go to the Audi all day.
Yes compared to a Telsa but the new A3/Q3 has the cheapest Audi interior in decades. I spent a week in a new Q3 and it was an eye opener for sure as Audi used to make some of the highest quality interiors for the money. A high spec Honda Civic interior feels arguably higher quality IMO.
 
I got my M3P for around $58k with incentives. The RS3 would have cost about $10k more where I live and I save about $3k per year on fuel.

Also, my Audi dealer charged an arm and a leg for the 3rd year maintenance. Audi dealers completely rip you off in so-cal
Gotcha - you are including the price difference in the math. That makes sense. But you will likely recoup that price difference (or at least some of it) on the sell side. Yes I know used Teslas are hot right now but that's not going to last indefinitely. Regarding maintenance, yeah, stay away from Audi dealers for basic stuff like oil changes, DSG, Haldex. They probably charge 2x. $3k on fuel sounds like a lot annually not knowing your driving habits.
 

tm1v2

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Oct 18, 2021
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When I last ballparked our fuel savings with our Model S vs a similarity powerful large gas car, I guessed around $20k, maybe $25k. That's ignoring maintenance and tires and other consumables. That was over maybe a 6-7 year period though. We've put many more miles on it since then, but now the fuel savings are being offset with out-of-warranty repair costs.

The S has free supercharging though which plays a notable part in those numbers. New Tesla's like our M3P obviously don't have that and Tesla charges almost as much as gas in terms of $ per mile for supercharging. Also our home electricity rates have gone up a higher percentage than gas prices last I checked (comparing with when we bought our S as a baseline).

Our brand new M3P was cheaper than our used S P85 (1 year old at the time), but in terms of fuel savings we will NOT save that much with our M3P (even though it's much more efficient). Still I can barely express how satisfied I am with how our M3P drives, after upgrading the wheels and suspension to fix its most glaring flaws. 2021 M3P interior quality isn't special but it's totally fine by my book. I certainly notice high quality interiors, especially as a passenger, but it's not a priority for me in my own car as long as it's fun to drive. :)

If I could improve two things about the M3P interior, it would be better bolstered seats, and replacing the vinyl upholstery with something nicer, either a good fabric or real leather. It is as good as any vinyl / fake leather I've experienced, it doesn't bother me, but since it's a constant touch point I would appreciate something nicer.
 
Gotcha - you are including the price difference in the math. That makes sense. But you will likely recoup that price difference (or at least some of it) on the sell side. Yes I know used Teslas are hot right now but that's not going to last indefinitely. Regarding maintenance, yeah, stay away from Audi dealers for basic stuff like oil changes, DSG, Haldex. They probably charge 2x. $3k on fuel sounds like a lot annually not knowing your driving habits.

So-cal premium gas was running $6-$6.50 per gallon. I drive around 15k miles per year and the way I drive, I wasn't going to get anywhere near EPA. I averaged around 350 wh/mi in my M3P for a couple years before my switch to 18s.

Of course if I really wanted to get the RS3, none of the above costs would have really impacted me...the extra cost savings is just a bonus. In the end, I wanted the Tesla simply because there were very few of them where I lived and it was fun picking on ICEs that first year 😆

You've made a wonderful choice in that RS3...its a damn fine car.
 
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So-cal premium gas was running $6-$6.50 per gallon. I drive around 15k miles per year and the way I drive, I wasn't going to get anywhere near EPA. I averaged around 350 wh/mi in my M3P for a couple years before my switch to 18s.

Of course if I really wanted to get the RS3, none of the above costs would have really impacted me...the extra cost savings is just a bonus. In the end, I wanted the Tesla simply because there were very few of them where I lived and it was fun picking on ICEs that first year 😆

You've made a wonderful choice in that RS3...its a damn fine car.
Thanks man. Yes, California is a different animal for sure. I was lamenting $5.00 premium gas the other day and wondering if I made a mistake. 350 is about what I averaged over my 18 months ownership. Don't understand how you could on a beast like an M3P and get 280 wh/mi.
 
Congrats on the RS3! I was actually on the fence waiting for the RS3 to become available Stateside when I couldn't wait any longer and pulled the trigger on the M3P. Ultimately very happy with my purchase but I'm sure I'll be shooting some longing glances at the RS3 whenever I actually see one on the road!
 
These people who are enamored with "engine sound" ought to just buy recorded sound. I don't get why people think NOISE is so wonderful. It is purely wasted energy, and totally unnecessary. That's like me liking the sound of rain dripping from my ceiling. It's a sign that something's wrong and should be fixed. I listen to the noises the car makes, and if it starts tapping, pinging, rattling, it's not good. My S does what a good car should. Slides down the freeway at 80+ mph at a whisper.

Had a MB diesel once for about a month, until I could sell the thing.
 
These people who are enamored with "engine sound" ought to just buy recorded sound. I don't get why people think NOISE is so wonderful. It is purely wasted energy, and totally unnecessary. That's like me liking the sound of rain dripping from my ceiling. It's a sign that something's wrong and should be fixed. I listen to the noises the car makes, and if it starts tapping, pinging, rattling, it's not good. My S does what a good car should. Slides down the freeway at 80+ mph at a whisper.

Had a MB diesel once for about a month, until I could sell the thing.
Lots of m3p owners are gearheads coming from performance cars. I am actually surprised at how many.

Many of us miss the visceral engagement an ICE offers. That’s not to say the m3p doesn’t have its virtues but so do ICE performance cars. Engine noise, exhausts, gearboxes, shifting are all part of the driving experience to me. It’s glorious! I missed those things when I owned my Tesla just like I miss certain things about the tesla like the blistering acceleration and ultra quick steering.

Batteries aren’t perfect either. They are heavy and expensive and have their own set of compromises and drawbacks.
 
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Can't blame you for going with the RS3....they are fantastic little cars. And if speed is your thing, it's quite easy to make them much, much faster than stock. But even stock, a new RS3 will run 11.8 quarter mile time, which puts it in the same range as the Model 3 Performance. Just tune the Audi and you'll have a faster car than your old M3P. Not to mention, the little Audi will run 180 mph bone stock if you really wanted to push it.

As an Audi guy, I think you made a great choice. My own Audi is pretty highly modified and really rips. It's my toy and I love it.
 

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In my opinion, swapping an EV for an ICE is just socially irresponsible. But I guess constant extreme weather and droughts are worth the better interior.

There are a lot of people who like and own both EV and ICE. Personally, if commuting, then EV is great. But if I'm driving for pleasure/fun, it's 100% ICE all the way. Does that make me socially irresponsible?
 
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... Also note that a turbo will not always provide full power, the intercooler will heat soak in traffic for example....

Intercoolers don't heat soak on an unmodified car. Design engineers ensure excess cooling capacity to remove the possibility of heat soak. But of course if you're going to modify a turbo car, then you might want to upgrade the intercooler as well, as increased boost pressures and/or a larger turbocharger bring more heat and will need better cooling. Of course I'm talkinb about air-to-air intercooling. Air-to-water may be an entirely difference story.
 
Can't blame you for going with the RS3....they are fantastic little cars. And if speed is your thing, it's quite easy to make them much, much faster than stock. But even stock, a new RS3 will run 11.8 quarter mile time, which puts it in the same range as the Model 3 Performance. Just tune the Audi and you'll have a faster car than your old M3P. Not to mention, the little Audi will run 180 mph bone stock if you really wanted to push it.

As an Audi guy, I think you made a great choice. My own Audi is pretty highly modified and really rips. It's my toy and I love it.
A 100% stock Model 3 Performance is an 11.55 1/4 mile car with any reasonable battery percentage. With preheating it is an 11.4s car even on the 20” wheels. With 18” wheels and optimal battery temps it is an 11.3s car all day long.

I have done almost 40 1/4 mile passes below 11.40 in mine this summer alone.
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Intercoolers don't heat soak on an unmodified car. Design engineers ensure excess cooling capacity to remove the possibility of heat soak. But of course if you're going to modify a turbo car, then you might want to upgrade the intercooler as well, as increased boost pressures and/or a larger turbocharger bring more heat and will need better cooling. Of course I'm talkinb about air-to-air intercooling. Air-to-water may be an entirely difference story.
Any car will heat soak if you idle in it. Heat soak has less to do with how hard the car is being pushed and more to do with how little airflow it has going through it. The cure for heat soak is airflow.
 
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