2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2018 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Model 3 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

To help make backing safer, the Mirai’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 Mirai’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Mirai has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Mirai 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Mirai 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 Mirai’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model 3’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model 3.

There are almost 20 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mirai’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Mirai’s reliability 21 points higher than the Model 3.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Tesla is ranked 27th.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Mirai’s maximum driving range is 312 miles with a full tank of fuel of hydrogen, 40% further than the Model 3’s 220 mile range. After it exhausts its range, the Mirai can then refuel in five minutes, while the Model 3 has to recharge for much longer.

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 Mirai 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.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Mirai’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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

 

Mirai

Model 3

At idle

36 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

67 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

69 dB

Ergonomics

The Mirai’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 Mirai’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 Mirai’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Model 3’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Mirai has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Model 3. The Mirai also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Model 3.

On extremely cold winter days, the Mirai’s standard 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.

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

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