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The Cooper SE has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Cooper SE’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Cooper SE has standard Assist eCall, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Cooper SE and the Model 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front parking sensors.
The Cooper SE’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model 3’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper SE for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model 3.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 13 places higher in reliability than Tesla.
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Cooper SE has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper SE can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Model 3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The Cooper SE offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Model 3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For better maneuverability, the Cooper SE’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (35.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).
The MINI Cooper SE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 900 pounds less than the Tesla Model 3.
The Cooper SE is 2 feet, 9.4 inches shorter than the Model 3, making the Cooper SE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper SE’s rear seats recline. The Model 3’s rear seats don’t recline.
A Service Interval Indicator is standard on the Cooper SE to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model 3.
The Cooper SE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper SE the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Model 3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper SE to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Model 3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cooper SE has a standard rear wiper. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper SE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Model 3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Cooper SE’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model 3 doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.
To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cooper SE has a standard extendable sun visor. The Model 3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Cooper SE’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Model 3’s power mirror controls are embedded in the infotainment system, seriously distracting drivers who have to adjust them while driving.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Cooper SE offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Model 3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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