New Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar XE vs BMW 3 Series: interiors
The electric Tesla Model 3 provides a genuine alternative to petrol and diesel power for executive saloons. Let’s see if it can beat the fossil-fuelled BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
The 3 Series and XE have traditional saloon driving positions – which is to say you sit fairly low with your legs stretched out. Our only real gripe with the XE is that its seat doesn’t provide enough shoulder support to stop you sliding around in corners. That said, BMW is alone here in charging extra for electric driver’s seat adjustment and adjustable lumbar support. You’ll want to add the latter, at least, for £265.
You sit much higher up in the Model 3, something you’ll either like or you won’t. It has a more supportive driver’s seat than the XE, although it still doesn’t hug you or support your thighs as well as the 3 Series’. Our main bugbear, though, is that you have to use a combination of the touchscreen and buttons on the steering wheel to adjust the steering wheel or door mirrors. It’s all a bit of a faff.
Interior quality in the Model 3 is decent rather than outstanding. There aren’t any cheap-feeling plastics and the gloss black covers look suitably premium, but the dashboard panels don’t feel quite as solidly screwed together as they do in the 3 Series. Or the XE, for that matter; it’s much classier inside since its recent facelift.