2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vs. 2019 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Clarity Fuel Cell has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Clarity Fuel Cell and the Model 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model 3’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are almost 17 times as many Honda dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Clarity Fuel Cell’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 12 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s maximum driving range is 360 miles, 16% further than the Model 3 Long Range’s 310-mile range and over 63% further than the standard Model 3’s 220-mile range. After it exhausts its pure electric range, the Clarity Fuel Cell can then refuel in minutes at a hydrogen station, while the Model 3 has to recharge for 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 Clarity Fuel Cell 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.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Clarity Fuel Cell is quieter than the Model 3:

 

Clarity Fuel Cell

Model 3

At idle

34 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

69 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The Clarity Fuel Cell has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Model 3 (101.5 vs. 97).

The Clarity Fuel Cell has 2.4 inches more front hip room, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model 3.

Ergonomics

The Clarity Fuel Cell has a standard heads-up display that projects speed 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 Clarity Fuel Cell the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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 Clarity Fuel Cell’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Model 3’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Tesla charges extra for heated mirrors on the Model 3.

The Clarity Fuel Cell’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.

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

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