Cars

BMW i4 M50 vs. Tesla Model 3: comparison test

No puppy protection for the brand new BMW i4: Tesla’s bestseller, the Model 3, is waiting for the debut. The Ami has been enriching our streetscape for three years, is well known thanks to its success and almost looks familiar. The role of the challenger is clearly assigned to the BMW.
Selected products in tabular overview

BMW i4 M50

BMW i4 M50

RRP from EUR 70,800, savings of up to EUR 13,993

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance

RRP from EUR 59,560, savings of up to EUR 9,570


The Bavarian is not a real newcomer, just the electrified version of the 4 Series Gran Coupé. The i4 also seems a bit more conventional, especially after boarding the interior.

The completely new iDrive generation with a large, curved double display draws attention to itself, while the rest of the interior is as usual finely made and particularly accurately processed – but it really knocks nobody’s socks off.

Radically reduced cockpit in the Tesla

It’s different in the Model 3, where Tesla novices are amazed at how radically reduced it is cockpit set up: a large centralscreen, two scroll balls in the steering wheel, the two steering column stalks – that was it. Other buttons and switches elude the view of the occupants.
BMW i4 M50

Not quite as easy as it used to be: the operation of the air conditioning is now in the menu – and the structure can be confusing.

The ultra-modern ambience is reinforced by the glass roof, which, interrupted by two bars, stretches from the bonnet to the rear and does not require an awning. No drawback, even in strong sunlight, the view of the sky remains as pleasant as with a good Ray-Ban. In addition, the dome ensures a better all-round view and a more pleasant feeling of space.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Amazing: Tesla newcomers are amazed at how much a cockpit can be reduced. Except for the speed indicator, this is well done.

In the coupe-like i4, the space above the heads is also slightly tighter. Due to the batteries in the car floor, the passengers squat in both Stromers with bent legs on the back seat. And under the front seats there is little space for feet – not very comfortable. The Model 3 offers more space, at least at the front.
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Engine design in front

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performance in front

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Rear engine design

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rear performance

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Torque front/rear/total

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overall peak performance

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top speed

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transmission

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drive

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Brakes front/rear

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test car tires

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tire type

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wheel size

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Range (WLTP combined)*

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Consumption (WLTP combined)*

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battery type

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Battery capacity gross/net

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Charging power AC/DC

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charging port

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pass-by noise

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trailer load used/unused

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drawbar load

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trunk volume

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Length Width Height

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wheelbase

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basic price

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Test car price (is evaluated)

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rear right (CCS), mechanical

4783/1852-2073***/1448mm

rear left (CCS), electric

4694/1849-2088***/1443mm


As the chassis number reveals, our Tesla was made in China. Don’t be afraid, ladies and gentlemen in the Gigafactory Shanghai master their craft, we do not discover any mistakes in the processing. However, due to simpler surfaces, larger gaps and more unpainted areas in corners and gaps, the quality does not reach that of the i4.
BMW i4 M50

He can, if he should: The BMW i4 can take up to 1.6 tons on the hook if necessary – the Tesla cannot do that.

There is more variability at BMW

The better variability (large tailgate, rear seat that can be divided into three parts), the higher payload (460 to only 377 kg) and the possibility of lifting 1.6 tons also speak in favor of the i4. Speaking of speaking: “Hello, BMW?” As usual, the nice digital lady answers. However, the eighth iDrive generation has a few changes in store. The climate control unit has broken down into bits and bytes. Touch, voice or controller inputs now command ventilation and Co.

The iDrive has become more complicated

In addition, the menu view with a new tile structure is confusing. Things are no longer as uncomplicated and intuitive as they used to be. But everything can be learned quickly. In addition, the favorites view keeps the digital clutter in check, the voice control is good as usual. But that now also applies to the Model 3.

The computer confirms spoken instructions almost in real time on the display, so that the user can see that the communication is working. The command is enough to set the goal: “Drive me to Musterhausen!” And after three seconds is the navigation active, no confirmation necessary – great!

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acceleration

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0-50/60/80km/h

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0-100/120km/h

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0-130/160km/h

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0-180/200km/h

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Quarter mile (402.34 m)

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intermediate sprint

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60-100km/h

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80-120km/h

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curb weight/load

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Weight distribution v./h.

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Turning circle left/right

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seat height

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braking distance

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from 100 km/h cold

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from 100 km/h warm/from 200 km/h

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interior noise

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at 50 km/h

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at 100km/h

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at 130/160 km/h

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consumption

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saving consumption

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test consumption

Average of the 155 km test lap (deviation from the WLTP specification)

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sports consumption

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CO2 (local)

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Range

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There are no buttons in the Tesla even for adjusting the mirror and steering wheel or opening the glove compartment, these things also work by voice and in connection with the scroll buttons in the steering wheel. However, the central brain does not understand commands such as “I’m hungry”, but the BMW does.

But we miss even more in the Tesla Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. And a speedometer behind the wheel. Especially at night, the view of the dark nothingness can be irritating. The only pace indicator: a small field in the top left of the display. No good solution. Incidentally, we are not the only ones who think this is why several tech companies are retrofittingdisplay offer. You can see how the two Stromers drive in the picture gallery.

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BMW i4 meets Tesla Model 3


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