Comparing Tesla Model 3 To Honda Accord — From An Engineer’s Perspective


Published on Jan 12th, 2019
by Paul Fosse


January 12th, 2019 by  

Henry Garfield (age 4) during Florida’s Melbourne Supercharger

For today’s article, I’m going to go over all a vital areas of any automobile (Driving Dynamics, Interior, Exterior, Safety, Technology, and Costs), though before we do, I’m going to tell we given we bought a Honda Accord in 1998 and given it was my favorite automobile (until we bought a Tesla Model 3 final year).

It was a tumble of 1998 and we was operative on a new program engineering agreement 30 miles from my home that was going to need a lot of hours in a office. You see, we was operative on a complement that usually couldn’t slip. we was operative to implement a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) complement that was pivotal in permitting a quick flourishing networking use multiplication of Wall Street’s darling, Lucent Technologies (the association that never missed Wall Street’s gain expectations, until it did), to run a business in a year 2000.

The direct for program engineers was high in a late 1990s, given there had been a lot of broadside that systems would usually stop operative on Dec 31, 1999, given many programmers had used a two-digit year margin and when a year rolled over from 1999 to a 2000, a complement would fail. The story that everybody tells we is that a hype was artificial and a explanation of this is there were no widespread reports of problems in early 2000. As a developer ancillary a accumulation of systems and also friends with many other support engineers, we can tell a we a “real” story. We had over 100 systems and reports that unsuccessful in early 2000 due to date issues. Many other companies had many problems too.

So, given didn’t we hear about this on a news (especially when a ton of reporters wanted 0 some-more than a Y2K disaster story)? There are 2 vital reasons for this. The initial reason is we have many jobs destroy any day and regulating bugs is what developers do any day. I’d contend we had about 30% some-more than common given of Y2K, though it was manageable. The second reason is given a companies had spent millions (or maybe billions) on ensuring there would be no Y2K problems, and given there was heated media seductiveness in a subject, we were educated not to discuss to anyone outward a association that a failures were caused by Y2K. (I consider it is fine to tell we roughly 20 years later. You won’t tell anyone, will you?).

But we digress. Before shopping a installed V6 Honda Accord with any choice available, we had driven some unequivocally good cars, such as a Lexus GS400 and a top-of-the-line Camry. we had a 10 year aged Camry that my father had given me, though it was starting to strike and have other issues. we wanted a good automobile with a bit of peep and something that would be means to keep adult with other cars on a Howard Franklin overpass opposite Tampa Bay. My aged 4 cylinder Camry unequivocally stretched during a 75 mph speeds common on this overpass and had difficulty flitting other cars when we indispensable to change lanes. With this Y2K job, we was creation roughly double a income we had perceived in my prior pursuit (about $140,000 a year) and we felt that we could unequivocally means a Lexus.

The particular trait of a Lexus GS400 (and a Honda Accord V6) was clever acceleration from a unequivocally well-spoken engine that had energy during any speed. What we remember about both cars is that they did not have a prolonged loiter between when we pulpy a accelerator and when we perceived a clever pull of power. Some of a cheaper cars we was looking during had good acceleration, though we usually got a acceleration after a automobile downshifted. This meant 3 bad things. The initial was a loiter from a ask for energy and a smoothness of power. The second was a jerky surge when a energy came. The third was a terrible hubbub of a severe 4 cylinder engine straining to give we all it has.

The Honda also met my other needs. we had a behind chair a tiny wider than a Camry that year. This was unequivocally critical given we had 2 kids and a 3rd on a way. we indispensable to be means to have room for 2 automobile seats in a behind and still adequate room for my 3rd child. At that time, we didn’t wish to put kids in a front seats, given a atmosphere bags didn’t close off. we also was bustling with my job, so we didn’t wish a adorned though dangerous automobile like a Jaguar, and Honda had a repute for reliability. we could means a Lexus GS400, though got a same disturb from pushing a V6 Accord during about half a price. we wasn’t in a pursuit where it was critical to stir clients, so it didn’t make clarity to spend a additional income usually to uncover people that we had “made it.”

I finished adult owning that automobile for 14 years and roughly 170,000 miles. It had unequivocally few issues, though during a finish it was leaking and blazing a lot of oil, a delivery was slipping, a check engine light was always entrance on, and we were always being asked to reinstate oxygen sensors or catalytic converters or a muffler. The automobile seemed to need about $400 in stop work any year or two. The automobile had glorious energy and it so went by a lot of tires.

I now comprehend that EVs will never trickle or bake oil, they don’t have a delivery to slip, they don’t have oxygen sensors or catalytic converters or even mufflers. Elon recently tweeted that Tesla’s never need new stop pads. The partial that will be identical is tires. Although I’m happy that my tires in my Model 3 are wearing well, we will need a new set before we strike 30,000 miles.

Anyway, that should be adequate about my Honda Accord. we usually wanted to settle that I’m not a Honda hater. Rather, we have lustful memories of my Accord and would not have kept it that prolonged if we disliked a car.

Driving Dynamics

For this review, I’m going to use my this Car and Driver review as a categorical source for Honda information.  I’ve also watched this YouTube video, that positive me there are few differences between a 2018 and 2019 models. Although a Accord has recently changed from regulating a V6 in a tip trim indication to a turbo 4 cylinder, they still value a same things we remember being pivotal to my shopping welfare 20 years ago, well-spoken still energy during all speeds.

Car and Driver also tested a Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD during about a same time, so we have exam formula that are easy to compare. Looking during acceleration, during initial glance, we would contend a cars are unequivocally comparable, given a Accord and a Model 3 both go from 0 to 100 mph in 13.6 seconds. But this figure misses a outrageous advantage that electric vehicles have called present torque. This means that when we press on a accelerator, a automobile reacts instantly.

Luckily, Car and Driver has a ideal exam for that (well, not as good as a exam drive, though we warp again). It is called a “Top gear, 30–50 mph.” This tests how quick a automobile accelerates when we are cruising in tip rigging during 30 mph and wish or need to get adult to 50 mph to change lanes. The disproportion is intolerable and dramatic.  The Honda takes 3.4 seconds, a Tesla somewhat some-more than half a time during 1.9 seconds.

All other exam formula are comparable, including braking and highway doing as totalled on a 300 feet hole skidpad. This is with a 18 customary wheels. If doing opening is critical to you, this 3 notation video from Edmunds explains that a $1,500 ascent for a 19 in. opening wheels is value any penny! It drops an considerate 2 tenths of a second from a 0 to 60 time and an equally considerate 5 feet from a interlude stretch (60 to zero), though improving a skidpad rating from .85 to .93 is a diversion changer. These wheels and tires — in multiple with a Model 3’s suspension, intensely low core of sobriety due a complicated battery being unequivocally low to a ground, and ideal 50/50 weight placement — meant that many people review a doing of a Tesla Model 3 to a Porsche Boxster or Cayman.

Although a Honda Accord Touring handles unequivocally good in a class, a Model 3 is in a opposite joining if we select to ascent to a 19 in. tires and wheels. Many people also cite a demeanour of a 19 in. wheels, though be wakeful that a batch aero wheels do give we about 4% softened potency and operation during high speeds. If that is some-more critical to we than handling, we suggest adhering with a batch 18 Aero wheels and tires.

I have to give a win to a Tesla Model 3 in this area, given real-world acceleration and doing are roughly softened than even a best Accord we can get. If we don’t expostulate your automobile aggressively, we competence never notice a disproportion in handling, though everybody will notice a present torque of a Model 3 in a initial 30 seconds of a exam drive. Once we have driven a Model 3 (or other decent opening EV like a Chevy Bolt), it tends to hurt a delight we formerly felt pushing gas cars. You are usually spoiled.


This is going to be short. Both cars have a good interior and plenty room for 5. They both have good trunks, and nonetheless Tesla has a front case that looks cute, we unequivocally don’t use it for anything.

The one advantage that a Honda Accord has that we competence suffer (living in Florida) is a ventilated seats. On a other hand, a Model 3 has remote entrance to a meridian control from my phone, so when it is prohibited (which is a lot of a time in Florida), we tend to pre-cool a automobile as we am walking adult to it. It usually takes about 2 mins to cold a interior, so that works.

The all-glass roof is beautiful, generally from a outward when wet, and it also is good for rear-seat passengers.

Both have good controls. The Tesla’s are ultra complicated and take some removing used to while a Honda’s are good and need no meditative to use.

Overall, I’ll call this area a draw. we don’t have a clever welfare for possibly interior, given they are both fabulous.

Photo from Honda

Photo from Honda


Photo from Tesla

Photo from Tesla

Photo from Tesla


This is going to be even shorter. The extraneous styling is unequivocally subjective. If we like complicated and sporty, we competence preference a Tesla. If we cite to fit into a throng and don’t like to be noticed, we competence preference a Honda. I’ll call it a pull for many people, though we cite a Tesla. Look during a cinema and decider for yourself.

Photo from Honda

Photo from Honda

Photo from Tesla

Photo from Tesla


When we speak about reserve these days, we need to speak about it in dual ways. First, normal pile-up contrast is all about your chances of flourishing a crash. The second form of safety, that is harder to measure, is all about avoiding an collision in a initial place.

I wrote about the Model 3’s formula in pile-up reserve a few months ago. In Tesla’s third entertain gain call, Madan Gopal (Principle Safety Engineer during Tesla) stated that a Model 3 has a lowest luck of damage of any of a 943 vehicles tested by a National Highway Traffic Safety Association given 2011! That being said, a Honda Accord has an altogether 5 star rating and 5 star ratings in any subcategory also.

Moving on to avoiding accidents, it appears a information that we prisoner on a NHTSA website is inaccurate. The Accord now includes full Honda Sensing in any Accord, that includes identical reserve facilities to Tesla’s Model 3, including brazen collision warning and braking line depart warning.

I would give Tesla a slight corner in reserve today, though Tesla’s ability to urge a reserve of a automobile with over-the-air updates means that it is expected a Tesla will be significantly safer than it is currently in 5 years and significantly safer than cars like a 2019 Honda Accord that don’t have a ability to urge over time.



The Honda Accord Touring is a unequivocally complicated automobile with a latest state of a art record in a engine, entertainment, and safety. It wouldn’t be rated so rarely in all a reviews if it wasn’t state of a art. It came out in 2018 (the same year a Model 3 came out). The Model 3 matches many of a Honda’s features, though afterwards adds value in 3 major areas.

Autopilot and The Promise of Full Self Driving

Tesla’s AutoPilot and generally Navigate on Autopilot, that was recently pushed out to owners that have purchased that option, is life changing to many who have attempted it. It doesn’t drive for you, given we do need to compensate courtesy and scold a automobile when it creates mistakes, though I’ve listened it is identical to pushing in a newcomer chair with a new driver. You have to compensate attention, given a motorist will creates some mistakes, though it is rebate stressful than pushing yourself, once we learn how a complement works.

Whenever someone asks on Facebook or a Tesla Motors Club if it is value shopping Autopilot, it comes behind about 10 to 1 that is was a life-changing purchase. It works unequivocally good on Interstate highways and on vital roads in stop and go traffic. On brief trips, a automobile is so fun to drive, we hatred to put in on Autopilot, and it is not unequivocally meant for a city nonetheless anyway. On longer trips, we suffer holding a break.

Tesla vehicles are a usually vehicles sole currently for that a association claims they will have full self pushing capability in a few years though carrying to buy a new car. Now, let’s be clear: nobody knows for certain if Tesla will be means to broach on that claim, and that ascent will cost we between $0 and $12,000, depending on when we bought your automobile and if we purchased Autopilot and Full Self Driving when we purchased a car.

When we bought my Model 3, we purchased Autopilot for $5,000 and upheld on a $3,000 Full Self Driving option. When it comes out, we will ascent to Full Self Driving for $4,000. Not usually does this have a intensity to radically change both daily commutes and prolonged trips, though it will severely impact a resale value of both cars that have it and cars that don’t. Cars that possibly have self pushing or can be simply upgraded to self pushing will expected boost in value. Cars that can’t be upgraded to self pushing will decrease some-more fast than before. This record will change a costs of regulating a ride-hailing use like Uber or Lyft dramatically and many people who possess a automobile to get around will now find it some-more careful to usually call a ride-hailing service. Stanford University futurist Tony Seba describes a prophesy softened than anyone else that I’ve seen.

Integration of Almost Everything

In a Model 3, a automobile is like a smartphone. In a aged days of dungeon phones and cars, there was a dedicated symbol for any duty we indispensable to use. When smartphones came on a stage 10 years ago, a phone manufactures reduced a series of buttons to a few pivotal functions, like volume, power, and silence. Everything else was finished on a touchscreen.

That is accurately what Tesla is doing with a Model 3. The Silicon Valley association is relocating 95% of a functions to a touchscreen and usually gripping a few vital controls like a steering wheel, 2 multi-function wheels on a steering wheel, a horn, a stop pedal, a accelerator, window controls, spin signals, a rigging change stalk, beyond lights, and jeopardy lights. This is given the Model 3 is called a iPhone of cars.

Over-The-Air Updates

All Tesla vehicles sole currently get giveaway updated program for a life of a vehicle. Even a initial 2012 Model S still gets new updates any few weeks. You don’t have to go to a play to get these updates — they are automatically downloaded to your automobile and we mention when to implement them (the automobile can not be driven for a 45 mins many program updates take to apply). Updates frequently supplement new facilities or scold teenager issues. They have softened safety, done a automobile work softened in cold weather, vastly softened Autopilot, combined fun Easter eggs and so many more!

Overall, a Tesla record is years forward of Honda’s, so I’m giving it a win in a category, though before shopping a Tesla, we have to answer if we are prepared for a destiny or not. Not everybody is prepared for it. Were we one of a initial to get a smartphone in your round of friends? If we were, we will wish a Tesla. If we are still regulating a flip phone, it competence not be a automobile for you.


For costs, we used a Edmunds TCO calculator to find a estimated 5 year costs of a Honda Accord Touring. From prior articles, we had costs for a low-end Accord and a Tesla Model 3. we practiced a Model 3 guess to take into comment a $2,000 cost dump and a $3,750 rebate in a intensity sovereign taxation credit.

You can see a vital differences between a Accord and a Tesla are debasement and financing, fuel, maintenance, and a taxation credit.

The reason debasement and financing are aloft for a Tesla is a money cost is higher. If full self pushing is delivered as betrothed in a subsequent 5 years, I’m assured that a Tesla will not decrease during a a expected rate, though we used a rate that is some-more regressive to be … conservative.

The Tesla creates behind many of a increasing cost of a automobile in fuel assets given a Accord Touring gets and EPA-estimated 26 mpg, tiny softened over a 21 mpg my Accord V6 was rated during 20 years ago. The Model 3 is rated during 123 MPGe, so it is roughly 5 times as efficient.

Maintenance costs are reduced on a Tesla, given oil, oil filter, engine atmosphere filter, delivery fluid, and hint plugs don’t exist in a car. There is also some worry about a trustworthiness of tiny turbo engines.

The taxation credit creates a expected 5 year costs of a Model 3 rebate than a Honda Accord Touring.

The guaranty is also many softened on a Tesla. The fender to fender guaranty is 3 years and 36,000 miles on a Honda and 4 years and 50,000 miles on a Model 3. The drivetrain guaranty is 5 years and 60,000 miles on a Honda and 8 years and 100,000 miles on a Tesla. Extending a Honda guaranty to compare a Tesla guaranty would cost over $2,000 in my experience. On a other hand, Tesla charges $1,500 to $2,500 if we wish a tone other than black, given Honda doesn’t assign additional for colors. So, overall, I’ll call this a draw.


So, by my scoring, Tesla won a pushing dynamics, safety, and record areas and approximately tied in a areas of interior, exterior, and costs. Is that a reason that Honda sedan sales have forsaken as Tesla Model 3 sales have jumped?

Each chairman has opposite mandate for their car, and if your categorical criteria for shopping a automobile is how prolonged it takes to fill it adult on a 500 mile highway trip, a Honda Accord is going to come out on top, given to stop during a Supercharger on a prolonged outing competence take an additional few minutes. But if we value sporty driving, safety, and carrying a latest technology, a expected we will cite a Tesla Model 3.

Let me know in a comments what we think! we competence do a comparison with a Camry next, though let me know what other cars we would like to see compared.

You can use my Tesla mention couple to get adult to 9 months giveaway Supercharging (6 months if we have exam driven a automobile with Tesla) on a Model S, Model X, or Model 3. Here’s a code:



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About a Author

I’ve been a program operative for over 30 years, initial operative on EDI program and some-more recently building information room systems in a telecommunications and medical industry. Along a way, I’ve also had a possibility to assistance start a program consulting organisation and do portfolio government for several investment trusts. In 2010, we took an seductiveness in electric cars given gas was removing expensive. In 2015, we started reading CleanTechnica and took an seductiveness in solar, especially given it was a hazard to my oil and gas investments in my investment trusts. Tesla investor. Tesla mention code:

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