Ride Quality - Existing Model 3 owners experience

Ride Quality - Existing Model 3 owners experience

I am sure we would all like to hear an honest appraisal about ride quality from those who have actually taken delivery of their M3. To make this useful it would help if you also include 2 pieces of information:

1- Does your M3 have 18" or 19" wheels?
2- What car are you comparing this with

My hope is that instead of speculation by those of us who have never been in a Model 3, that these reviews are from existing M3 owners. Since wheel size is the only variable that could impact ride quality, maybe we can draw some conclusions about ride quality and wheel size.

trevorrichards4 | 27. Januar 2018

Similair post below take a look

carlk | 27. Januar 2018

Great idea. No more FUD from those who have never driven one and have no intention to buy one anyway.

AJPHL | 27. Januar 2018

I’d also like to know, for Model S/X owners with air suspension, whether they wish they’d have waited for that option on Model 3...

Carl Thompson | 27. Januar 2018

See this thread:

Owners say it's very agile but a bit stiff and you feel imperfections in the road more than they expected.

carlk | 27. Januar 2018

It really depends. A lot of people did not like air suspension for the cost and the potential maintenance issue which never became an issue. Some prefer 19" with coil which was said to be about the same in handling and ride quality as 21" with air. My S has 21" with air and I've driven loaners with 19" and coil. They are indeed pretty close but I still much prefer the handling of mine. Mine is P85+ (+ is an improved handling version Tesla once made) so I'm not sure if that's another factor in there.

sabbia | 27. Januar 2018

My ride in my M3 is great. 18: wheels. Comparing it to Model S and Toyota Camry hybrid.

My M3 corners well. Noise level is very, very low. Also contributing to the ride is the almost-panoramic view of the world...from the windshield to the almost entirely all glass roof.

The lack of noise and the wide view gives a totally different (and very welcome) feeling.

voss.ken | 27. Januar 2018

@sabbia, thanks, this is what we are looking for. Objective review from an owner

dgstan | 27. Januar 2018

Sabbia, Are you saying it's quieter than an S?

Also, do you know what tire pressures you are running? That has more to do with ride quality than wheel size.

burdogg | 27. Januar 2018

It would be good to get what year the S is we are comparing to as well - as I have heard older S's are louder than the new ones??

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27. Januar 2018

carlk: If they didn't have different bore patterns on-center, would you have tried to mount your Model S' 21" staggered width wheels & tires on your Model 3, just to check it out?

Resrch03 | 27. Januar 2018

@sabbia, another 'thank you' for your feedback. I'm fed up with road noise in my pitiful hybrid and I dream of peace and quiet. I'm also more optimistic about the glass roof thanks to yours and one other post I've read. Several years ago when I first heard of it, I thought, 'no way, uh uh, no thanks', but now I'm looking forward to it.

carlk | 27. Januar 2018

ReD I don't have a Model 3 and may not be having one for a while. I'm a believer in bigger and wider tires which, aside from the look, will likely give one better handling AND better ride. The only down side is fuel efficiency but that's the least concern for me.

vinny_s85 | 27. Januar 2018

We got our Model 3 (18” wheels) in late December 2017 and have had Model S (85 on 19” wheels without the auto adjusting suspension) since 2014 (AP1).

The S even without upgraded suspension is definitely a smoother ride. You feel more of the road in the 3. That said, the 3 is more responsive and nimble. Cornering is tighter and I feel less body roll.

Both are equally quiet.

I am very impressed with the 3, especially at this price point. I feel like Tesla had hit it out of the park with Model 3.

vinny_s85 | 27. Januar 2018

Meant to say I feel like Tesla has hit it out of the park with the 3. The 3 is much lighter which explains a lot (like Elon says: take it down to the physics). Correction to my earlier comment about noise: S is a little quieter.

vladi_shulga | 27. Januar 2018

Mine has 18” wheels and the ride quality is very good. Nice solid feel without being too ruff.

jbrowning1 | 28. Februar 2018

I took delivery of my Model 3 today and I am really happy I also own a S and a X and a roadster the least of comfort.
My 3 is so fun and “QUIET” I think its Quieter than my S. I have the 18” inch wheels and Love the car. I just wish for air suspension for I know I will be bottoming out here in maui soon..
John Browning

Tcloutier5890 | 01. März 2018

Is it true that Tesla will replace springs with softer ones if requested on Model 3? Heard that the springs were harder on early release models.

djharrington | 01. März 2018

I'd call it a firm ride, in a good way for me. It's much less firm that cars where I've updated springs/dampers in the past. It's just right for me, but I can see how many people would say it's too firm.

vmulla | 01. März 2018

I'll believe the info about springs being replaced when a confirmed owner from this forum says their springs were replaced for them, until then I'll treat it as hearsay.

My reason for skepticism is simple - ride quality and handling are something that a car manufacturer would establish after several thousands of hours of testing by industry experts, safety experts, performance drivers, focus groups, weather handling etc etc. The suspension setting is baked into car design. Changing suspension setting based on individual user feedback doesn't seem normal - for any manufacturer.

Software adjustments are understandable, Tesla even prides itself on continually improving software.

I'll let others chime in.

mark.ritter | 01. März 2018

18 inch wheels
The ride is very nice. It is stiff and do feel bumps in the road. The seats are very comfortable. On a smooth road (if you can find one) the ride is awesome. Overall I would rate this car very high. We love it. Nicest car that I have ever owned. It is also very fast and responsive.

California85D | 23. März 2018

Has anyone driven a model 3 with both 18 and 19 inch wheels to compare? I like the look of the 19 but I am very much a function over form person and if there 18s feel noticeably smoother I'll go 18

H271 | 08. April 2018

What's the psi come at and what have people lowered to reasonably to compensate and soften the ride?

lilbean | 08. April 2018

42 and I don't think it's a good idea to adjust that for the ride.

dooger | 08. April 2018

I've had my M3 about 3 months now. The ride quality is quite a bit better than the 328i that it replaced. It's definitely not soft and squishy like my modelX, but it's sporting and stiff without being "hard". Overall I love the car, driving it is kind of addicting.

H271 | 08. April 2018

Lilbean many people have suggested lowering it or indicated that they were inflated higher than stock at pickup

GAGSTESLA | 08. April 2018

19" wheels, tires set at 43 psi. I love the ride. It's a bit "stiffer" than the S but it is also much more "nimble". I would not change a thing.

johnyi | 08. April 2018

An easy option for those liking the more compliant ride of the 18" but not the wheels themselves is to go aftermarket. For the price of the 19" ($1500) you can get some nice 18" wheels and have change left over. Or just have the 18" painted / wrapped, if you're looking for silver / chrome. The 18's come with Michelin MXM's which are very nice touring tires.

Robocheme | 08. April 2018

I have a 3 that was built in 2017 so it has the stiffer suspension that I and others have found too rough. There is an unofficial program (no bulletin no.) of replacing the suspension if you complain about it to Tesla. Others have had this done and I plan to have it done in May.

The 2018 3's have the softer suspension.

MarylandS85 | 08. April 2018

My (wife’s) March build (VIN 71xx) with 18” has a smoother ride than my 2014 Model S85 with coil suspension. Her car’s ride is definitely stiffer than her prior car, a 2012 Nissan LEAF, but that’s not saying much. That thing had zero sportiness.

TBlend | 08. April 2018

What is your avrrage wait time for an m3
Pretty frustrating
Jaguar now has an I pace totally electric and looks great

mos6507 | 08. April 2018

i-Pace is really more of a Model S competitor.

vp09 | 08. April 2018

18" wheels. Drove my Model 3 for the first time yesterday. Comparing it to my Model S90D with air suspension and another 1000 plus pounds of weight.

I liked the Model 3 more!

I plan to trade in my S90D on a Model 3 with all-wheel drive, standard battery, and 19" wheels.

H271 | 09. April 2018

You preferred it more because you like the sportier ride?

dantzb | 09. April 2018

Has anyone driven the model 3 (or any of the Tesla’s) in the snow? If so, how does it handle? I don’t want to wait until they come out with 4-wheel drive but I live in Boston so I might be making a big mistake not waiting.

mos6507 | 09. April 2018

The dual-motor configuration is a real sweet-spot for EV drivetrains. Across the industry I can see this being adopted as standard in the 2020s and beyond. You see this trend with the iPace and Mission-E, but I don't think it will be limited to the high-end.

The long-term effect of this I think is uprated Model 3s that have all the goodies except AWD will have poor resale value, as once AWD becomes available, the LR+Premium+AWD combination will be unpopular. So I think unless you want the absolute base model (where economizing makes sense), wait for AWD.

mos6507 | 09. April 2018

LR+Premium+RWD combo unpopular I mean. (i.e. the one you can order today). I think people are ordering this combo now because that's all that's available when a large percentage would have otherwise ordered an AWD combo, either SR or LR.

Goodman.Larry | 09. April 2018

I have the LR+Premium+RWD combo with 18" wheels. I've had it for little over a week. 814 miles on it, mostly highway. Ride is great. Love it. I'm in Maryland so the need for 2 motors isn't all that critical: A couple of inches of snow a couple of times a year. A 12-24" storm every couple of years. If it's really bad I'll stay home. No heroics for this mid-60 year old.

MarylandS85 | 09. April 2018

If you live in an area with no need for winter driving, AWD is not all positive. You carry greater weight with two motors. There is more noise in the driver’s set with a front motor. Having dual motors costs more up front.

This is not to argue against dual motors. There are definite advantages, such as improved traction and potential for improved performance, efficiency, or both. However, as a RWD Model S driver living in an area with (some) snow, I’m happy with my purchase and don’t think AWD is a mandatory component of a happy long term EV experience. RWD electric vehicles designed with the “skateboard” battery setup have even weight distribution and better traction than ICE vehicles with front weight distribution and RWD. Also, my traditional Model S has an amazing frunk, as a lack of a front motor freed up more room for cargo. I also love never hearing my motor as the driver (unless I “floor it”).

MarylandS85 | 09. April 2018

Here’s a high five from a fellow Marylander. Great minds think alike.

And so do ours. :^)

vp09 | 09. April 2018

H271 I liked the Model 3 more than my S90D because it is smaller. I've just never gotten used to driving the enormous car that is the Model S!

dgstan | 09. April 2018

mos6507 - You say AWD is the "sweet spot" and will retain its value more than RWD, but you offer no reason why. Is it solely due to bad weather? Performance? Why?

0-60 @ sub-5 seconds is at least twice as fast as my current car (5 times faster if I'm trying to keep my Plug-In Prius in electric mode), so the M3's performance is going to be ridiculous. Here in California (where 50% of EVs are sold), there's certainly no call for dexterity on snow/ice.

mos6507 | 10. April 2018

[You say AWD is the "sweet spot" and will retain its value more than RWD, but you offer no reason why. Is it solely due to bad weather? Performance? Why?]

Value is not just a matter of cold practicality. It's about desirability which can be frills that are want-haves more than must-haves. AWD goes hand-in-hand with today's fixation with SUVs. Even with sedans, people like the idea of the extra stability that comes with power going to all wheels. AWD used to be a specialized thing but even with gas cars it is being offered more and more, even with sedans. In the EV space you have the S/X no longer even being available without AWD, and the iPace, Mission E, and the various upstart Tesla-competitors are all dual-motor vehicles. Current Audi e-Tron prototypes have 3. I don't know yet what VW plans to do motorwise with its EVs, but it just seems that dual-motor will be the norm and single-motor will be relegated to the lowest econobox segment only.

Bri | 10. April 2018

I’m going to pass on dual motor, it just adds complexity and cost. Performance and efficiency gains will be marginal at best and we generally keep our cars far enough down the depreciation curve that resale isnt a factor.

baliga | 16. Juli 2018

@dooger What model of 328 do you have? Which year? Also, do you have the 18" or 19" rims?

sbeggs | 16. Juli 2018

Here in California, we do have mountains, snow and ice, so some are opting for dual motor...not us, however.

CharleyBC | 16. Juli 2018

We have two whole days of experience, but we are both impressed with the ride and handling. Our comparison cars are a 98 Honda CRV and a 2008 Prius. It is not the soft squishy ride of a big Buick or something. It’s firm. You’ll feel defects in the pavement. I like it that way, but that’s obviously personal preference. This is on 18” Aeros. You can soften it by reducing tire pressure. We haven’t tried that yet, and might never. We are older (I hate how that sounds) and concerned about comfort, and we’re happy so far!

rkalbiar1EV | 16. Juli 2018

Without a doubt the ride is a little stiff. Sports Sedan stiff, not excessively stiff. Some folks might not like it but it should be OK for most folks.

I lowered the tire pressure to 40PSI. Tesla had them at 44PSI. Did not really notice a difference but I like higher tire pressures for higher range, in any car.

rkalbiar1EV | 16. Juli 2018

Oops, Aero 18" wheels

carlgo2 | 16. Juli 2018

Really wide and low profile tires do bounce around more on typical rough roads and it is actually easier to drive fast more safely with standard sizes that actually contact the road and provide a more progressive feel as the limits are approached.

Big wheels and wide low profile tires are indeed better looking! I plan on 24s with the vegetable dept rubber bands in the junk drawer as tires.

plopeziii | 16. Juli 2018

Coming from: RAV4 to Model 3 (1 month old) and Chevy Equinox to Model X (3 weeks old). Previously owned numerous cars, including mini-vans; Chevy Tahoe; Porsche 911; etc.
Model 3- 18" aero wheels (PSI: 42); new "softer suspension".
Model X- 100D in "standard" configuration.
Experience: I have driven both cars on the freeway (Model 3- Phoenix to Tucson and to and from Tucson and San Diego; Model X- Phoenix to Tucson and on freeways in and around San Diego- my wife has driven it from Tucson to San Diego). I have driven both in city street traffic.

Ride quality: Model 3- responsive, very good handling, quite comfortable ride, front visibility very good, rear and side visibility average. A true joy to drive, my favorite car ever.

Model X- (My wife's car, so I have limited time behind the wheel)- noticeably larger; sits higher on the road; excellent visibility; plusher and more "comfortable" ride than the Model 3, but I still prefer the Model 3; less responsive handling due to its size, but very fast; slightly quitter than the Model 3; side and rear visibility good. A superior car if you need a lot of interior room and you enjoy a "plusher/ very comfortable" ride.

Both the Model 3 and the Model X are excellent cars. I prefer the Model 3 because: it is a roomy mid-size sedan (especially, the trunk and frunk space), and I do not need anything larger; I enjoy the superior handling of the Model 3- I prefer the handling superiority over the size and plush ride of the Model X; the Model 3 is quite compared to the other cars I have owned, even though the Model X is quitter.

I was very concerned that I would be disappointed with the Model 3 after waiting more than two years. After driving it for a month, I am thrilled. It is the best car I have ever owned, and was worth the wait.