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Old 06-04-2023, 11:09 PM   #1
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Replacing the Tesla?

As I mentioned elsewhere, it's time to at least start thinking about a replacement for the Model 3. It turns five this year, and the incident that kept it locked to my house for a week has shaken my faith in it. And that's without mentioning the Musk fuckery.

So, here's the problem.

We thought about a Mini Cooper, since my wife likes those, but that would make the BMW the family trip car and it's just not *quite* big enough for us and our luggage. The Tesla has more room--not a lot, but enough for one extra carry-on, which makes all the difference.

If you restrict your search to things that are bigger than the BMW, but still small enough to not be a nightmare to park downtown, you end up with a very limited range of vehicles.

In fact, you end up with, near as I can tell, two.

Audi A4 Allroad

This is a very pleasant car. It drives mostly like an A4; with a 261 hp version of the VW corporate 2 liter and a 7 speed DSG, it's responsive enough if not particularly fast. When optioned correctly, the interior feels quite nice in a German luxury sedan way. It has decent space inside, an actual spare tire, and things like optional rear window shades. In short, it's a really well designed all-rounder.

There are a few negatives, though. The infotainment system is a bit puzzling and restrictive (no moving the map while driving!). The lifted suspension needlessly makes the ride and handling worse than the sedan. But most importantly, it burns gas. I don't have an environmental objection to this, since all of my other cars do, too--but given my wife's commute, that's a non-trivial expense that we don't have in the Tesla, and she's gotten used to not going to gas stations.


Mustang Mach E GT

The Mach E is a really nice car. Ford clearly benchmarked Tesla, and it does most everything the Tesla does with a few nice old-school touches, like an actual key fob, a physical glove door latch, and real mirror controls. It's fast and feels better at higher speeds than the Tesla does. The giant screen works well, and everything is generally pretty intuitive.

At the same time, there are a few flies in the ointment, too. The interior materials are simply not as nice as the Audi, despite costing a good bit more. Unlike the Tesla, the Mach E has a bit of torque steer when you get on the accelerator. The range isn't quite as good as the Tesla, either, at least on paper, though real world they're likely quite similar. The suspension is stiff but it's a crossover so the handling is mediocre. And the crossover form factor means the car feels needlessly big, with little payoff in terms of cargo or people space.

Mostly, though, the thing that gives me pause about the Mach E is the charging network. Yes, it will have access to the Superchargers sometime next year (assuming Tesla meets the deadline for developing an adapter LOL). In the meantime, I'd be stuck with a charging network that is so thin and unreliable that a roadtrip in a Mach E literally made Jim Farley decide to do a deal with Tesla. If the CEO of Ford finds traveling in a Mach E frustrating, how am I going to feel about it?

There are other cars I considered and mostly ruled out for various reasons, like the A5 Sportback (no rear headroom), the i4 (too ugly, according to my wife, plus the range is too short), the 440i Gran Coupe (see i4), the Rivian (too big, too expensive), the Lucid (ditto), a used Panamera (too expensive, profoundly awful gas mileage), and probably some others I'm not thinking of.

I don't know. It's pretty hard to get excited about spending 50-60K on either of the cars above. Nothing about either really moves me, and neither really offers many advantages over the Tesla.



NB I have ruled out all gasoline powered crossovers because I just haven't been impressed with any of the ones I've driven; they've all been pretty bleh to drive, don't offer much in the way of cargo space beyond what I can find in the Audi wagon, and get shit for gas mileage. By far the worst was the Cadillac XT4, which rides like a Conestoga but has luggage room smaller than most saddlebags.
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:44 PM   #2
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Is the cargo space comment ruling out other mid-sized sedans (5 series, E class, A6,Ö)? Also is the budget in the 50-60k range based on options you listed or open to spending more?
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Old 06-05-2023, 12:04 AM   #3
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I donít particularly want to spend more, but thereís no hard cap. Sedans like the 5er and the A6 are a possibility but again the bigger the car, the more it bumps up against my other constraints about parking and whatnot.
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Old 06-05-2023, 12:22 AM   #4
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Replacing the Tesla?

Allroad probably checks alot of your boxes. Another wildcard would be a V60 T8 aka Recharge (the non Cross Country model - very rare since they are special order only)

Know you said you arenít pleased with SUVs, curious what you have/havenít driven in that class? SQ5, X3 M40, GLC43?
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:45 AM   #5
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Its really too bad that non-Tesla charging is such a mess.

I drove a Mach E about 2 years ago -- just a standard test loop. It is a good product, but I felt it would be tough going from a Tesla to it.

Have you tested the Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ionic 5? They are surprisingly roomy and less of a crossover. What about the Ionic 6?

Both still have the CCS charging issues, but have you thought about doing a test run for the typical road trips you'd drive? Your 3 would need a hardware upgrade to use the adapter (I did the upgrade on mine -- hardware was ~$200 and I did it DIY, and we already have the CCS adapter for the Y). But you could rent a Polestar or other CCS car from Hertz for 1-2 days and give it a shot...
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:00 AM   #6
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Allroad would be my choice from the group.

It’s really a shame that BMW pulled the plug (pun alert) on the X3 PHEV, because I’ll bet it handles better than the Allroad.

Kia Stinger is another outlier. It is kind of my 4 GC—four doors with a hatch—but may have more headroom?

And re: the headroom in my GC: My 6’2 son’s tall friends ride in the back (at least for short distances) with no issue.

If you could stand going to X5 size, the PHEV is a great all-around SUV. Although, admittedly, I prefer the X3 size when alone, but the X5 size is better at family trips/highway duty.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:16 AM   #7
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how much bigger is the g80 m3 vs yours (could you get that extra suitcase in the trunk)? If so, maybe swap the F30 for a new manual M3 and the Tesla for the Mini? When you say Mini Cooper are you thinking the 2 door our clubman? Just wondering how much extra room you'd be able to get with the "long wheelbase" mini.

Assuming the g80 doesn't work, I agree with FIL, check out the X3/Q5 stuff and if they don't move the needle then buy the allroad.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:20 AM   #8
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jpgurl has the Mustang since January (at least)...maybe reach out to her if she doesn't reply here?

http://forums.carmudgeons.com/showpo...9&postcount=36
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:34 AM   #9
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Another thought: Roof box for the M3?
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Old 06-05-2023, 10:05 AM   #10
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Lol I thought about the roof box but since I have the CF roof, the mounts for the roof rails arenít there. Iíve seen people say you can drill the roof and install them butÖyikes.

Stinger GT is a good call but theyíre EOL; I suspect theyíd be hard to find.

I havenít liked the Q5s Iíve driven. Maybe the S would be different? But they all just feel like even less interesting versions of the A4.

I should try an X3, I guess. Iím opposed to them on philosophical grounds but I suppose theyíre worth a look.

The EV6 is really quite cool but the charging network thing I think would really bum me out. At least the Mustang has the prospect of access to Superchargers.

Iíll have to check TDs M3 when it comes in, but I suspect itís not that much bigger than the F80.
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