2019 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2019 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Volt’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Volt has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen 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 Volt 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and front and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” to “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Volt the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Model 3 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Volt’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and 50,000 miles longer than the Model 3’s (6/100,000 vs. 4/50,000).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Volt. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance during the first 12 months. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model 3.

There are over 47 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Volt’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 4 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Volt’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 435.7 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model 3’s range is only 220 to 310 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 8 hours and 30 minutes for only a 45% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Volt has a standard Intelligent Brake Assist 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.

The Volt stops shorter than the Model 3:

 

Volt

Model 3

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Volt has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Model 3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Volt’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Volt is 4.4 inches shorter than the Model 3, making the Volt easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Volt uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Model 3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Volt Premier is quieter than the Model 3:

 

Volt

Model 3

At idle

30 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

66 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The Volt has .3 inches more front hip room and .2 inches more front shoulder room than the Model 3.

Ergonomics

On a hot day the Volt’s driver can lower all 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.

The Volt’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.

On extremely cold winter days, the Volt’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Volt is less expensive to operate than the Model 3 because typical repairs cost much less on the Volt than the Model 3, including $453 less for a water pump, $123 less for front struts and $307 less for a power steering pump.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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