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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A number of people are asking themselves this question. I thought since we actually own both cars, I would be in position to share my experience. We have a Oct 2015 70D AP1 and a M3 LR.

In no particular order:

Handling: The S feels more stable at higher speed, a more luxurious, sedate drive. The 3 more sporty, aggressive, better cornering and road holding. When you floor the 3 especially round a curve, you can feel the car skip as the traction control kicks in. My S has lower power/weight so I don’t see this behaviour. At high speeds on my private road the 3 does bounce around, I have had some pilot induced oscillations/brown trouser moments.

Steering: Even on Comfort mode the 3 feels tight, feels like less turns lock to lock (I need to check). So much more a sports car, whereas the S is like driving Grampa’s XJS even on Standard mode.

Noise: More road noise from the 3 at lower speeds and similar levels of wind noise at higher speeds. The S may be slightly quieter, but they are both noisy cars.

Smell: The 4 year old S still smells of leather, whereas the 3 has more of a synthetic/plastic smell. So subconsciously feels less luxurious.

Seats: The 3’s seats are softer, hug your body, whilst the S feel more like a firm leather sofa. The S would suit a larger driver more.

Boot: I miss the hatch on the 3. Not because of needing to fit washing machines in the back, but ease of access. The Y will be much better in this respect. I love the powered boot of the S.

Road presence: People move out of the way for the S, Audis/BMWs are more likely to give you space. With the 3 you feel more ordinary, nobody notices you in the same way as the S. You don’t get any Tesla waves...

AP1 and 3: I have spoken about this on another thread. In short I prefer AP1. More consistent, less twitchy than the 3. Less false positives (bridges). Lane change a joke with the 3. No summon.

User interface: The 3 clearly has the lead, speed, computer games, Netflix, fires up quicker. 4 years makes a big difference.

Ease of access: The 3 has better access/less complaints from ageing parents.

Size: The S feels too big for UK roads and car parks. The 3 is much better in this respect. The inside does not feel much smaller. It seems like Tesla have made better use of inside space with the 3.

Storage: Much better in the 3, side pockets, better centre console, coat hooks.

Inside lighting: The S has nicer ambient lighting. A great reading light at the rear, great for kids who like reading and does not disturb the driver.

Charging: 3 much faster on the Superchargers, but not free! Powered port, nice to have.

Navigation: I like the fact that on the S you get the detail on the small front screen. This means I can have the audio nag off. The centre screen on the 3 does not give enough detail.

I thought when we got the 3 I would become disillusioned with my old S, but actually I still love it. The 3 may be newer but it feels like the cheaper car it is. I enjoy the luxury of the S.

Clearly a lot of the comments above would not be relevant to the new S, but that is not the comparison I am making here. A new S is nearly twice the cost of a M3.
 

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Very useful read and also quite interesting. Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick one which one would it be?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Very useful read and also quite interesting. Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick one which one would it be?
Very hard question and it’s very close. However I think I would choose the newest 2nd hand S I could afford and I would buy from Tesla to get the extended warranty. The idea of an ageing MS out of warranty does worry me. I will (virtually) put aside money I am not spending on luxury car tax, petrol, oil changes, free charging etc to offset future repairs. As well as doing simple stuff myself if possible.
 
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