Out of topic. At least for now. I want to start transitioning away from Software. I almost reached 30 and I just bought my first 4-plex. I have a very long-term detailed plan on how I want to proceed with my life and hopefully, I can document that in this zero-visibility blog.
Back to the topic. Yes. I was a loud Tesla guy in the office, almost obnoxious level, but I am always self-aware and proactively transition the topic to something else as I am getting sick of it when someone brings it up. I was there in 2018 when even in Vancouver, you wave with fellow Tesla drivers. A place now littered with Teslas. Fast forward to December of 2020, we bought a 2021 Model X (the last pre-refreshed Model X sold in Vancouver as we were told). Fast forward again to September of 2023, and we added the dreaded by many, BMW iX.
In this blog entry, I’ll compare the BMW iX with the Tesla Model X for each category, starting with most important, the range. We will work our way down to things like rattle. Let us start.
Range – Tesla Model 3 Long Range
I have owned two Teslas. A 2018 Model 3 Long Range and later, a 2021 Model X Long Range Plus.
I lived in an apartment when I owned the Model 3. I have always wondered why I have to “touch up” twice for a car rated for a 500-something km range car. Despite only driving 200 or so km a week, all city driving, I will be kissing sub 10% charge in the middle of the week, requiring us to drive to Tsawassen Mills Mall, and later much nearer Richmond, BC. Spending 20-30 minutes to top up to 80%.
Very expensive, especially since the supercharger charges around 3x the utility rates, and really misleading. On road trips, I never remember achieving a 500km drive.
Range – Tesla Model X Long Range Plus
Before we moved to Saskatchewan Canada, we decided that the Model 3 was too small for us and upgraded to a Tesla Model X.
Same situation. Never achieved the rated 597km or whatever. We have the 20-inch wheel, as the default. I ensure tires are properly inflated all the time. We have taken this car multiple times to the service center. I can see how it can achieve the rated range when driving at a grandma, at 85kph/55mph. Something that is very dangerous on even the slowest highway, which has a speed limit of 100kph, so people drive at 110kph.
Being in the prairies, the nearest city, Regina, is 169km away. The roundtrip is 340km. Despite the rated range of 597km. Despite being some ideal summer temp. Despite having no headwind/tailwind. At 120kph at TC-1 highway, Canada’s main highway, we always arrived in Regina at best at 50%. But usually at 30%-40%. So we have to touch up for at least 15 minutes to gain another 30% to give our self some safety going back home. That is around 20CAD as supercharging in the prairies cost 0.48c/kwh. A crime.
Range – BMW iX xDrive50
We bought the BMW iX as our lot in life got even better. Now with multiple income sources, we decided to pamper ourselves. We want to try something else other than a Tesla. Boy, I wish I never drove this car. It destroyed Teslas for me. Range.
We have a fully loaded with ridiculous 22-inch wheels, where Nokian doesn’t even offer a tire (at least in the KalTire catalogue as of 2023). Big tires decrease the range. But even with that, we achieve the 500km, in late fall when temp are kissing 0C or 33F. Cold.
This observation is consistent with online reviews where reviewers review with non-ridiculous wheel size consistently achieve more than 500km of range.
In our city errand of 380km, I don’t touch up anymore and still have 20%. I travel 340km on, the highway, another more than 50 or so in city driving. This leaves me around 100km by the time I get home. That is with the BMW iX recorder also active, where Tesla Sentryt is notoriously inefficient. Probably cause they try to be so smart, that instead of some PIR low-energy sensor, they have some fucking overpowered CPU doing image recognition for humans to activate recording.
Range – Conclusion
Tesla Model X Long Range Plus: Summer. Normal rims/tires. Can’t do 340km roundtrip without touch up.
BMW iX xDrive50: Late fall. Ridiculous 22-inch rims. Can do 340km roundtrip. Plus some 50km or so city driving. And still arrive with 20% left.
I am sure you can make your own conclusion.
Cabin Luxury – Teslas
All Teslas here as we all know how they look. Minimalistic. Tesla Model X though has an all-powered door, which is a massive flex. The soft close is very nice.
That is where it ends. No massage seats. Very loud road/wind noise at high speed, making conversations hard. The heated components are only the chair and the wheel. Rear passenger space is acceptable, but very average, or slightly below average. As a not-so-tall 5ft 11inch man, I have a hard time sitting in the rear seats without feeling claustrophobic.
Overall, Tesla cabin is average, but somewhat underfeatured for its price value of 130K CAD.
Cabin Luxury – BMW iX
The moment you get in the BMW, you know someone thought hard about how things should look and be positioned. In addition to a front dash and infotainment like Model X, you also get a HUD. I got so spoiled that I now considered the dash unsafe. The diamond stitching on the red leather is art. The crystal controls. The limo level rear passenger space. Massage. Heated armrests in addition to seats and wheel. You are cradled.
The downside is the lack of powered doors and although soft-close exists, it is not as quiet as Model X. Other than that, BMW iX reigns over Tesla in terms of luxury.
Cabin Luxury – Summary
Other than a few advantages of Model X over the iX. They are very minor. Soft close is nicer in Model X, but you only close the door for the first few seconds. The rest of luxury, the 99%, is judged by how well your car cradles you in the metal cocoon (in BMW’s case a carbon fibre cocoon), which BMW is unmatched by Tesla.
Driving Assitance – Tesla
Tesla offers Autopilot on all their vehicles, which involves lane keep and smart cruise control (sets a following distance to vehicles in front). Really nice for highways. Then they have FSD, which we have, which in addition to Autopilot, also provides city driving. At least that is what they claimed.
Tesla has been very vocal about their driving assistance. Their fans especially. I must admit, I was duped. I haven’t been duped many times in my life, but I am ashamed to admit I was duped in this case. FSD is very dangerous. Turns are always a gamble if they will work or not. Whenever I drive it in my town:
- Always ignore yield signs.
- Embarassingly timid on stop signs.
- Hugs too close to ditch or too close to center.
This is from build from the summer of 2023.
Furthermore, FSD computer now broke twice due to overheating. Despite living in one of the coldest countries in the world. Despite the promise back then of indefinite hardware upgrades until FSD is achieved to justify the extravagant price. Despite paying 10K CAD (probably more expensive now) in December of 2020. This thing is a MASSIVE SCAM.
Phantom brake: Plenty of this since Model 3 and 6 years later today in Model X. This has never been fixed. Tesla fans argue that it is your fault if this thing causes damage. Is it though? Because now I developed the habit of hovering over my gas pedal when someone is following me to anticipate for things to go wrong.
Slight Digression: The ping-pong of bug fixes and fixes. The phantom break this release, then lack there of next release, and vice-versa. This is evident of over reliance on vision and neural nets:
- Version 1: Phantom brake occurs on some scenario A.
- Version 2: Trained on scenario A to identify it as an obstacle, thus reducing the neural net for an obstacle for Scenario A. This causes a bug that some obstacles are now not recognized because the nature of neural net, the “fix” didn’t just fix Scenario A, it affected the activation of nodes for other things. This is evident in how FSD doesn’t recognize some intersection/stop/yield signs suddenly in the next update.
- Version 3: Fix for Version 2 for a more general blob of obstacles, making the system susceptible again for phantom braking.
Driving Assistance – BMW iX
For only 2K CAD, I have what FSD can do without the phantom braking. It doesn’t have city driving, but neither does FSD really. I don’t have a single phantom brake, probably thanks to radar, but then again my pre-refreshed Model X still have radar (who knows if they use them or not).
I do not have to tug on the steering wheel as they have a very smart solution for making the steering capacitive. Way less stressful compared to tesla bothering you to tug on the steering wheel every 10 seconds or so.
Furthermore, the next update is supposed to not even require hands and just use your eyes to activate change lanes and such.
Parking: Tesla has become a disaster, especially with their all-vision approach. Autopark was too timid before the all-vision approach, now it has become useless. BMW reigns over them big time with a surround camera, front camera (for the love of god, why not), and really nice radar visualizations. For fuck sake, it can park from the city street straight to my garage without my intervention, requiring centimetre accuracy on everything. It has never failed.
Driving Assitance – Conclusion
I have come to hate Tesla with their scammy promises. I believed on them, but they broke their promise. If they even replaced the hardware that keeps overheating like they promised, I would overlook things. But I have come to learn that they are fishy.
Beware of the influencer akin to Dubai Instagrammers, posting as if FSD is doing everything right. Try it yourself.
As you can tell, I have come to hate Tesla, the brand. I was, relatively one of the first few folks who bought a Model 3. Then Model X. Clocking-in an impressive 250,000km on both of them. But the range lies. The FSD lie. I had enough.
When I saw the Out-of-spec review iX and how it is a range king, my family decided to test drive it after a grocery one day. We decided we could not leave the dealership without that car. We were gonna buy the new Tesla Model 3 Highland, but boy, we did not. Driving Teslas for many years, we forgot there are other brands. Better brands.
If I were you, test drive first. Give other brands a try. I eyed an e-tron and almost bought one, but so glad with BMW iX with its superior range and honestly more modern interior for us millennials and younger.