BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

From the way it drives to the long list of wonderful & unique technology, this electric car really hits your senses.

BHPian mobike008 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Likes

  • Acceleration- Ferocious, mind-numbing & guaranteed tunnel vision due to ~ 550 HP and 700 NM of instant torque. Friends who never drove a Tesla are in shock when they drive it. My wife almost passed out the first time she drove it.
  • Design – It’s pretty damn gorgeous. I love the body style and probably the 2nd best-looking model in their lineup after the Model S.
  • Drive- It’s like a toy and a super fun car to drive. Speed, cornering, and overall ride comfort are excellent.
  • Supercomputer on wheels- It’s auto-almost-everything- Auto Boot Open, Auto Charge Port Open, Strange way to open glove box and most importantly Auto-Car Lock & Unlock with the phone… no more looking for keys! And many more.
  • Auto-Pilot- I’ve used it just a few times and it works like a charm. It’s adaptive cruise control on steroids.
  • Sound System- This is the best stock music system that I heard in a stock car. BMW’s H&K pales in comparison. Clean vocals & treble and deep bass and does not crack even at the highest volume which is super loud.
  • Center Screen- It’s the heart of the Tesla. Everything about it is snappy, intuitive and has never-ending features.
  • Over-the-air updates- Make the car better over time.
  • TeslaCam and Sentry mode- This is literally cool and so futuristic.
  • Order process to delivery- Smooth and literally no human interaction.

Dislikes

  • Range Anxiety- This is the biggest worry when driving an EV.
  • Cabin noise- Tesla added 2-pane windows in new models, but it’s still not the quietest and has wee bit of wind noise. My BMW in comparison has tomb-like silence inside.
  • Ride Quality- Smooth even on 20” Ubertine Wheels but, if roads are bad, it becomes harsh.
  • Range in Performance Model- Due to 20” tires & Ubertine Wheels, Range is compromised in performance models and is far from Tesla quoted figures- Real Life is 260-270 Miles vs. 315 miles quoted by Tesla.
  • SUV to Sedan transition- Been away from Sedans for about 5 years and it feels very different. Will probably get used to it in a few weeks as now I will be shifting between SUV and Sedan more regularly.
  • No CarPlay or Android Auto- Come on Tesla, is that for real in this age?
  • Door Handles, FRUNK, Trunk, Glove Box- It’s all futuristic and requires some getting used to as it’s so different from regular cars. In the initial days, my wife struggled to get inside the passenger seat from outside as she could not press the door handle the right way.
  • Paint Quality- Tesla has improved by leaps and bounds but is still behind the traditional car makers as there is the anxiety about it losing sheen or when/how you wash the car.
  • Expensive- Prices have risen sharply over the last 12 months of the car as well as FSD (Full Self Driving).

Credits

  • Pictures- Seattle BHP’ian Abhiram90 despite having a bad backache accompanied for a couple of hours during a work week to take some lovely shots of the Rosso Diablo. You can easily distinguish the ones that are from DSLR and the rest from my humble “iPhone 13 Pro max”. Thanks, Bro!
  • Tesla Information- BHPians Carthick1000 and LexusES350 for their inputs and a big shout out to Carthick1000 for proofreading the review as I didn’t want to publish any incorrect information.
  • Car Name- Our overactive Hyderabad Team BHP group which generates over 1000 messages each day was on fire when I requested some suggestions for the name. BHPian Himanshugoswami won the coveted trophy (need to give him a nice treat when I am in Delhi next) by suggesting this beautiful name “Rosso Diablo” which means “Red Devil” as the Tesla accelerates as the devil’s got into it.

I can’t close credits without thanking BHP’ian Nellikode for trying hard and dishing out quite a few names. Will pick one of those names for my next car, buddy. Haha!

A few pictures of the “Rosso Diablo” against the PNW background.

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

And, a final one with the most iconic landmark of Seattle- Space Needle

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

  1. Background
  2. Tesla Delivery & Pooja
  3. Performance
  4. Ride, Handling, NVH & Regen Braking
  5. Battery & Range
  6. Autopilot
  7. Interior & Infotainment
  8. Exterior
  9. Tesla “Fun Facts”

This might be the most extensive review that I have ever written of a car after my BMW, which probably tells how much of an impact it has made on me.

I decided to break the whole review into multiple chapters so it’s easy to write a few details about each of these key parameters.

My style of writing is informal and hopefully fun and brings a “smile” to your face.

With that said, let’s begin…

Background

Some abbreviations to be aware of which is universal and known to most car aficionados:

  • M3P : Model 3 Performance
  • MYP : Model Y Performance
  • ICE : Internal Combustion Engine (not, In-Car Entertainment.)
  • EV: Electric Vehicle

Before I get started, I would recommend you dig into your pocket and take out your sunglasses/glares as you will see a lot of “RED” in this entire review. It may hurt your eyes when you are reading this review but, trust me it looks gorgeous in flesh and makes everyone turn and take a look at it at least once. However, a downside is that it’s a cop magnate which makes me keep a leash on the A-pedal.

Sometime early this year, I thought of adding a second car to our garage and my automatic choice was to buy a fast electric car to give company to my ridiculously fast BMW.

For those who are new and not aware, you can read my BMW ownership report here.

For me personally, I like everything fast and performance-oriented as I love driving and being aggressive at that too.

You will see me compare the Tesla to my BMW in many aspects of this review. They are like chalk & cheese. Both are completely different cars and astonishingly good in their own way.

However, this comparison stems from habit and sometimes involuntarily so you will have to take it with a pinch of salt and ignore sometimes the apples vs. oranges comparison of an ICE vs. EV

I drove a Tesla for the first time back in March 2018, it was a top-of-the-line Tesla Model X of my sister’s friend in Boston. That was an experience that I can never forget. It blew me away from the autonomous driving, acceleration, technology, sheer luxury of the car and not to mention the Christmas song it plays.

Here is a video of the Christmas Song that I shot back in March 2018.

It also amazed me that it drove so differently from an ICE car. I was in awe of this super expensive luxury electric car from Tesla that cost over $120,000.

Every time I am in Boston which was literally every 3 months, I would take it for a spin or be a passenger so my love for Tesla grew slowly and steadily. Down the line, I drove a Tesla Model 3 (RWD) of a friend in New Jersey in 2021 and was equally impressed.

Basically, after having the experience of a Tesla, I wanted to check the competition and see if they are better. I kept a budget of $50,000-$60,000 and started a hunt for EVs in this range and obviously the performance was my primary criteria that would impress and influence me towards a purchase.

I test drove the following cars which were powerful versions of the respective manufacturers and I have briefly documented these test drives on the forum (a simple search will get you the below reviews).

  • Polestar 2 (400 BHP)
  • Kia EV 6 (320 BHP)

Then immediately afterwards, I arranged for a Tesla Model Y performance (MYP) overnight and also a Tesla Model 3 Performance (M3P) was tested thoroughly.

Tesla normally doesn’t give their test drive cars overnight but, my friendly sales advisor and my convincing skills helped achieve this and keeping the car overnight gave me a very good perspective about the car and whether I can live with it for a long time.

Polestar and Kia despite being powerful versions were just “nice” cars to drive and were underwhelming from a performance aspect. After these test drives I asked myself:

  • “Did you get blown away?”
  • “Nope. Not at all “
  • “Will I settle for them?”
  • “Yup, if I win a lottery or someone else is paying for it. Definitely not, if I am paying.”

If I am spending so much, I will never settle for the average Joe. It has to be thoroughly impressive and something that would not bore me for the next half a decade.

Coming back to Tesla test drives, the moment you sit in a Tesla, you will immediately know it’s special. From the way it drives to the long list of wonderful and unique technology, it hits your senses and within a few miles of driving, you know that this is 3X or maybe even 5X leagues above other EVs in the market.

I immediately decided it has to be a Tesla. Nothing else comes close to it in this price range (at least as of now).

Now, I was confused between Model Y and Model 3 (my consideration was only the performance models) when I test-drove both of them. I fell in love with Tesla Model 3 driving characteristics more as it drives like a sports car from every aspect (acceleration, cornering and handling). Since we already have the BMW X3 M40i, we didn’t need another SUV.

Besides the slightly additional space at the back and a little more headroom, Model 3 and Model Y are exactly the same car.

Tesla M3P drives much better than the Model Y for obvious reasons. Besides these points, it was an additional cost of $8,000 for the MYP.

Despite my wife pushing me to get the Y (she loves SUVs and is not a fan of Sedans… Sigh!). I convinced her this is a better choice and placed an order for Tesla Model 3 Performance. (It’s a different story, that I went hungry for a couple of days as my wife refused to serve food due to this decision… LOL!).

Isn’t she a beauty?

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Tesla M3P Delivery & Pooja

Like many things in my life, everything happens with a little bit of tadka (drama) and taking delivery of our Tesla was no different. As you can see from my car booking thread.

I booked the car back in July. One of the primary reasons a few people (who have the extra cash) are buying the performance version is purely from a quicker delivery timeline perspective.

Most popular is the cheapest Tesla (RWD version) and then it’s Long Range and both of which have nearly 7-8 months to 12 months waiting periods.

I genuinely wanted a Performance car and was in no hurry for delivery (as I have my BMW for daily duties) and saw that it will be delivered in 6-8 weeks. However, over the course of time, the Tesla app would continuously update the delivery timeline and it changed 7-8 times and after a point, I stopped feverishly checking the updates every day.

And it happened when I was least expecting it.

I was on a work trip to Dallas, TX and was supposed to spend the whole week there (Left on Sunday night) and on Wednesday afternoon (CST time zone is 2 hours ahead of PST time zone), I get a text and it gave me literally 3 options (Same day, Thursday, Friday).

I had no option but to choose Friday and in between meetings, I was doing the paperwork which is pretty simple and cancelled some of my internal meetings and flew back to Seattle a day before (on Thursday).

D-Day- We were supposed to pick up the car at 3:00 pm on Friday (October 21st, 2022) and it was raining and we reached on time (a couple of my close colleagues also joined us).

I spent 10 mins in a detailed walkthrough of the car (it was parked in the lot with my name on the dashboard facing outwards) and asked everyone to highlight anything out of the ordinary. Luckily, not a single thing was out of place.

I went inside and it was a simple matter of signing in exactly 3 places, taking the 2 card keys and driving away. The whole process was completed in < 15 mins. It would be the fastest delivery in my car-owning history and the most pleasant one too.

We were like excited puppies; we just drove around and did Diwali shopping and clocked almost 100 miles on the first day itself. Next day morning, we did a simple pooja outside our home and prayed to god that it keeps us Safe, Happy, and Smiling for a long time.

Happy Owners

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Confettis fall when you accept the delivery of the car on the app

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Welcome to your Tesla- Such a nice feeling

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

My car had 5 miles on odometer when I took delivery- I clicked this after taking my colleagues for a short spin.

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Big Happy Puppy

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

This was stuck to the front windshield from the inside- This is how I recognized my car in the lot.

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

With my colleagues who joined me for this happy and momentous occasion.

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Pictures from delivery day

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Simple Pooja Ceremony at home

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review
BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Tesla gave me these 2 card-type keys- I kept one in my wallet and the other at home as I don’t need either of them. My iPhone is the “Key”.

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

AMD Ryzen Processor- Powerful & Snappy

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

Ran it over “Lemons” to ward off evil eyes

BMW X3 M40i owner buys Tesla Model 3 Performance: Detailed review

A quick video from the delivery day

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