The BMW 3 Series is no longer a standard-bearer in the automobile industry. The four-door sedan has lost some of its lusters as it has aged, becoming clumsier and less sporty. However, there are some positives to take from the present generation. From style, technology, and performance, the new 3 Series has a substantial improvement over the previous model.
Everyone is trying to get their hands on it. The Tesla Model 3 is a new battery-powered predator aiming to unseat the previous front-runner. To give you a clear idea of these two car models, we have jotted down the primary differences.
Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 3 Series
|Tesla Model 3
|BMW 3 Series
|There is no other vehicle like the 2021 Tesla Model 3 in sport sedan efficiency leadership and technological innovation.
|It is a sport sedan triathlon for the 2022 BMW 3-Series with blistering acceleration, hair-raising grip, and a luxurious, tech-filled interior.
|Incredibly fast engine
|Engines are spectacular
|Handling in a sports sedan. Great car to practice your driving range
|Balanced Ride and Handle
|The interior design of high quality
The electric Model 3 and the gas-powered BMW 3 Series have a lot in common. They are not conventional gas-powered rivals like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or Lexus. It is hard to tell which one is better since they have identical power outputs, size, and safety features.
For an acute cross-shopper willing to cross the gas-electric barrier, how will they rank them up? We have compared the BMW 330i M Sport with the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range.
BMW has designed the modern 3 Series as an evolution rather than a revolution. The front fascia seems to have a lot of the same design components as the previous model.
The 2019 3 Series’ laser headlights, lower grille, and hood all appear like upgrades to the previous model rather than a complete overhaul. It has an advanced ducktail spoiler and smoked lighting features on the rear end.
The style of the BMW 3 Series will not blow you away, but on the whole, it is attractive. The BMW has a luxury appearance due to its short front and rear overhangs, crisp beltline, and sleek silhouette.
BMW’s 330i sports sedan has an understated design with the optional M package, including 19-inch wheels and reduced ride height.
When it comes to design, the Tesla Model 3 comes up short. The Tesla Model 3 seems stubby in contrast to the BMW, even though the two vehicles have almost identical proportions.
There is no gas engine in Tesla, causing it to have an enormous greenhouse. When compared to the sleek 330i, the Model 3’s lower beltline and greater glass area make it seem bulkier than the 3 Series.
Its “surgical mask” front fascia is a carryover from the Model S and Model X models. Even though electric vehicles do not have a gas engine, they may utilize a fake grille or stylistic aspects to make up for the large amount of sheet metal they have. When compared to the Tesla Model 3’s bulging snout and crease line, the Tesla is less appealing.
The Model 3’s back is one of its most appealing features. The trunk lid and LED taillights are seamlessly integrated.
In addition, the aero wheel covers offer the automobile a more aerodynamic appearance by reducing the car’s stubbiness. It is a BMW, after all, that takes the prize here.
In comparison to more premium and modern options like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, the BMW 3 Series’ interiors are lacking. High standard materials are used in the 3 Series, but the remainder of the interior does not have the same oomph as the $1,450 Vernasca leather seats.
Most dashboard and door panels are covered in faux black leather and soft-touch plastic, which is not as excellent as the real thing. The dash’s Aluminum Tetragon trim does not help it feel any better. Moreover, the jumble of materials and patterns does not seem well-organized.
There is no leather trim on the Model 3 as part of Tesla’s environmental commitment. Instead, it employs fake vegan leather.
Even without genuine leather, this is still a considerably more comfortable place to sit than the BMW’s interior. The Model 3’s interior has a clean, coherent look thanks to the imitation black leather used on the dash and light wood and aluminum trim.
The dash’s lone 15-inch center screen seems to be an afterthought. As a result, the black plastic-coated cubbies between the screen and the middle armrest accumulate fingerprints.
They are also difficult to open and close. However, the Model 3’s interior utilizes superior materials and has a more premium appearance and feel.
For the first time in the 330i’s long and successful history, BMW has brought back some of its sports sedan origins with an M Sport differential, bigger brakes, and variable-ratio steering rack.
The 3 Series is nimble and responsive. Slightly lower ride height and 20 percent stiffer spring rates provide the vehicle with better lateral reactions and make the ride more uncomfortable.
The BMW is a pleasure to drive through curves, thanks to its precise steering and near-perfect weight distribution, which results in an incredibly rapid turn-in. Although the BMW 330i’s dynamics have not yet returned to the sector top, it is still a joy to drive.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine does not provide a large amount of horsepower. In normal mode, the engine’s 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque felt a little underwhelming at the start. Besides the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and lots of tire traction, this BMW will never impress you due to speed or distance.
When you switch to Sport mode, everything seems to improve. Low-end throttle response is improved, and the car’s steering becomes more precise. This car can reach 60 mph in just over six seconds.
Although both cars have 255 horsepower, the Model 3 is faster than 60 mph. The Tesla Model 3 reaches its destination in 5.3 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the BMW.
In our butt test, the Tesla feels faster and more fulfilling since it delivers all of its torque right away. If you stick with the basic model, upgrading to the Long Range or Performance variants makes it a threat to BMWs like the M340i. Price is also a significant consideration for Tesla.
The 3 Series easily outperforms the Tesla on even the slightest bend. A low center of gravity helps the Tesla, but the restless suspension and low-impact and limited grip Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires make it uncontrollable in sharper curves. When pushed, the rear gives way, and the high-riding body sways like a ship in rough waters.
There is no doubt that the 3 Series’ BMW iDrive infotainment system is visually appealing.
Driver assistance features, radio settings, and traffic sign recognition are integrated into the enormous 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster present behind the steering wheel. It also boasts a central 10.3-inch touchscreen.
The primary 10.3-inch touchscreen has excellent response and smartphone-like performance. Graphics and readout for the backup camera are crystal-clear and among the sharpest, we have ever seen.
There is a significant visual disparity between the Model 3 Tesla’s 15.0-inch touchscreen and the 10.3-inch display in the BMW M3. It appears like a large monitor is put on the dashboard quickly.
Tesla has the best infotainment home screens out there. The navigation system is sleek and perfect, and the screen response is better than any BMW we have tried. We all know you should adjust items like the steering wheel and side mirrors before you get behind the wheel.
Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 3 Series: which one do we recommend?
BMW is finally taking steps in the right direction in redesigning the classic 3 Series to nearly its former grandeur, while Tesla enters the market with an outstanding package out of the gate.
While the BMW is by far the superior driver’s vehicle of the two and marginally better looking than the Model 3’s egg-like appearance, the Tesla has more redeeming attributes.
With AutoPilot, the Tesla boasts improved safety features, a good cabin, and better technology. While BMW charges an arm and a leg for every comparable feature, the X5 includes all of them as standard equipment.
You will assume it is impossible to compare the two because of their very different powertrains. But the BMW 3 Series and Tesla Model 3 have more in common than you would expect – size, performance, and safety features.
But in the end, although the BMW has four decades of history behind it, Tesla and the outstanding Model 3 are created with the current customer in mind. That is why it has the upper hand.
When it comes to driving with enjoyment, quality construction, and customizability, the BMW beats the Tesla hands out. But even the entry-level Standard Range+ Model 3 is faster, more fuel-efficient, and loaded with features.
If that was not enough, Tesla’s Model 3 has access to the developing Supercharger network, which does a great job of charging the vehicle swiftly. Supercharger access makes owning Tesla significantly more convenient than other EVs.