2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2019 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Kona Electric’s 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 Kona Electric has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Kona Electric 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

The Kona Electric comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Model 3’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona Electric 2 years longer than Tesla covers the Model 3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Model 3 ends after only 8 years.

The Kona Electric’s corrosion warranty is 3 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model 3’s (7/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 13 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona Electric’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 17 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Kona Electric’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 258 miles on a full charge, 17% further than the Model 3’s standard 220-mile range.

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 Kona Electric 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.

Tires and Wheels

The Kona Electric has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model 3; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Kona Electric’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Kona Electric is 1 foot, 8.2 inches shorter than the Model 3, making the Kona Electric easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Kona Electric is 5.2 inches narrower than the Model 3, making the Kona Electric easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Cargo Capacity

The Kona Electric has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Model 3 (19.2 vs. 15 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Kona Electric Ultimate has a standard 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.

The Kona Electric Ultimate’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Model 3’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kona Electric has a standard rear wiper. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Kona Electric’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 Kona Electric’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.

Recommendations

The Kona Electric was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Model 3 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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