How the 2018 Honda Accord and Tesla Model 3 Stack Up

The new Tesla Model 3 still isn't quite "ready", it seems, as Tesla has yet to put the full specs out to the general public. We now have most of the specs for the 2018 Honda Accord EX-L.

Still, when you look at the curb weight, horsepower, wheelbase, seating and cargo capacity, it's pretty clear these two cars are comparable. However, the standard HondaSensing safety features outweigh Tesla's base features. While the Tesla is more of a luxury car - at least that's what they're trying to be - we think a lot of consumers will compare the Model 3 to the newest Accord.

Here's how they stack up.

Accord v Tesla IG

Some key points from our chart:

  1. We could have reduced the trim level on the Honda Accord, lowering the price even more. However, we wanted to get as close as we could to the cost of a new Tesla, even if it is the base model.
  2. We don't have full testing data for either car, and when we do, it will be interesting to see how they compare on the slalom, how they compare in terms of braking distance, and how they compare in the quarter mile. The Tesla wins the 0-60 but only by a tenth of a second. We're not convinced it will win any of the other metrics (at least in the base configuration).
  3. This comparison doesn't say a word about reliability. Frankly, if the Tesla Model 3 has a question mark, it's here. Nothing against Tesla, but they've had a number of problems with quality and reliability. You can all but guarantee the Honda will win in terms of quality.
  4. This comparison also doesn't compare resale value, mostly because it's anyone's guess how the resale value of these two cars will hold up. History shows that the Accord is great in this department, but there's no history for the Model 3.
  5. The chart also doesn't consider the federal electric car tax credit. We're not sure that the tax credit should be included, as it might not be available based on how many cars Tesla sells between now and when someone takes delivery of their Model 3.
  6. Speaking of tax credits, the Accord's trim level could be reduced from the EX-L and still offer many of the same features and specs at a much lower price...this would likely make up for the value of the tax rebate completely.

Ultimately, these cars are similar in size, features, and performance, with the key difference being that the Tesla is undoubtedly the "green" choice. Tesla certainly deserves credit for this.

However, it's clear to see that the 2018 Accord EX-L is a nicer, more reliable car for a lower price. While the Model 3 has some tax incentives - and perhaps a lower long-term operating cost (depends on reliability and resale value) - you just can't go wrong buying a Honda.