Title: Tesla Model 3 vs BMW 3 Series: A Battle of Performance and Technology
The BMW 3 Series has long been considered the benchmark for luxury sedans, but in recent years, it has faced criticism for losing its edge. However, with the latest generation, BMW seems to be heading in the right direction. On the other hand, there’s a new challenger in town – the Tesla Model 3. While not a traditional gas-powered rival, the Model 3 shares many similarities with the BMW 3 Series, including power, dimensions, and price. In this comparison, we will explore how these two cars stack up against each other for the discerning buyer who is considering crossing the gas-electric divide.
The BMW 3 Series takes an evolutionary approach to design, with several design elements carrying over from the previous model. The sedan’s front fascia features laser headlights, a lower grille, and a hood that are updates rather than a complete redesign. However, the back of the car is better evolved, with smoked lighting elements and a ducktail spoiler. The BMW 3 Series has a premium presence, with its short overhangs, sharp beltline, and sleek profile, especially with the optional M Sport package.
In comparison, the Tesla Model 3’s styling is less successful. Despite having similar dimensions to the BMW, it looks stubby, thanks to its massive greenhouse and lack of a gas engine. The Tesla shares the “surgical mask” front fascia with its siblings, the Model S and Model X, which gives it an off-putting appearance. However, the rear of the Model 3 is more attractive, with clean LED taillights and a tiny lip spoiler. Overall, the BMW 3 Series has the edge in terms of styling.
The BMW 3 Series has a reputation for lacking in interior quality compared to its more upscale rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. While the current generation uses nicer seat materials, the rest of the cabin feels less inspired. Faux leather and soft-touch plastic cover the dash and door panels, and the Aluminum Tetragon trim doesn’t add to the premium feel. In contrast, the Tesla Model 3’s interior, which uses faux vegan leather, feels upscale and cohesive. The clean design, combined with light wood and aluminum trim, gives it a higher-end look and feel. Both cars have their merits, but the Model 3’s interior is more appealing.
The BMW 330i, with its M Sport package, provides a satisfying driving experience. Its M-tuned suspension and stiffer spring rates enhance its agility, while the accurate steering offers quick turn-in and excellent balance. However, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine may feel underpowered, especially in Normal mode. Switching to Sport mode improves throttle responsiveness and steering, but the 330i won’t wow you in a straight line.
In comparison, the Tesla Model 3’s straight-line speed is staggering, thanks to its rear-mounted electric motor and instantaneous torque delivery. It feels much quicker off the line than the BMW, and its acceleration to 60 mph is 0.3 seconds quicker. However, the Model 3’s suspension and low-grip tires make it less enjoyable in faster turns. In terms of overall performance, the BMW 330i takes the lead.
The BMW 3 Series features an eye-catching iDrive infotainment setup with a seamless 10.3-inch touchscreen and a massive 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The graphics are sharp, and the backup camera’s clarity is impressive. However, the abundance of settings and options can make the system feel cluttered compared to Tesla’s streamlined setup. The Tesla Model 3’s 15.0-inch touchscreen may not be as visually appealing, but it offers bold icons and excellent touch responsiveness. The navigation system is flawless, and the screen is better integrated with the dash. While both cars have their strengths, the Tesla’s infotainment system takes the win.
BMW equips the 3 Series with a fantastic suite of driver-assistance features, including lane-departure warning, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and low-speed automatic braking. The optional Professional package adds rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. The BMW system performs well in high-traffic situations but has room for improvement in the city.
Tesla’s AutoPilot, which comes standard on the Model 3, takes the lead in safety features. It offers advanced lane centering, adaptive cruise control, and stop-and-go technology, which make highway driving smoother and more convenient. The Model 3’s AutoPilot even automatically changes lanes at the flick of an indicator, something the BMW can’t do. While AutoPilot has some limitations, it excels in city driving. Overall, the Tesla Model 3’s safety features are more advanced.
The base BMW 330i starts at $40,750, making it more expensive than the base Tesla Model 3, which starts at $38,990. However, when it comes to options, the BMW can quickly become pricey. Our fully-loaded BMW 330i test car costs nearly $60,000. In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, with its limited options, has a final price of $39,740. The Tesla provides better value for money with its standard features and lower price.
Both the BMW 3 Series and Tesla Model 3 are impressive cars with their own strengths. While the BMW excels in driving dynamics and styling, the Tesla wins with its interior quality, technology, safety features, and affordability. The Model 3 is designed with the modern buyer in mind, making it the ultimate winner in this comparison.
– Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I4
– Output: 255 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
– Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
– Drive Type: Rear-Wheel Drive
– Base Price: $40,750
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus:
– Engine: Single Permanent Magnet Electric Motor
– Output: 258 Horsepower / 307 Pound-Feet
– Transmission: Single-Speed Automatic
– Drive Type: Rear-Wheel Drive
– Base Price: $38,990
Note: The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus has a battery capacity of 50-kWh and an EV range of 250 miles. Fuel economy and cargo volume specifications are not applicable for the electric vehicle.
– Motor1 Article: “2019 BMW 3 Series: Comparison”
– Motor1 Image: [insert image links here]