2020 Lexus ES Series vs. 2020 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

The ES Series has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The ES Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model 3 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the ES Series’ 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 ES Series’ 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 ES Series 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 ES Series 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 and rear 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 and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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

There are over 74 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ES Series’ warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

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 ES Series’ reliability 25 points higher than the Model 3.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Tesla is ranked 23rd.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The ES 300h’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 580.8 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model 3’s range is only 250 to 330 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 8 hours and 30 minutes for only a partial charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The ES Series 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.

The ES Series stops shorter than the Model 3:

ES Series

Model 3

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

The ES Series 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

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The ES Series offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Model 3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

Chassis

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The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Model 3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The ES Series has 2.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Model 3 (99.9 vs. 97).

The ES Series has 1.6 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model 3.

Cargo Capacity

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The ES Series has a much larger trunk than the Model 3 (16.7 vs. 14.6 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the ES Series offers cargo security. The Model 3’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the ES Series’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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A maintenance reminder system is standard on the ES Series to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid replacement, vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model 3.

Ergonomics

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The ES Series offers an optional 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.

If the windows are left open on the ES Series 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. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Model 3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ES Series offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Model 3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The ES Series’ standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model 3 doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the ES Series has standard extendable sun visors. The Model 3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the ES Series and manual rear side window sunshades are standard in the ES Series Ultra Luxury to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

The ES Series’ 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the ES Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Model 3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the ES Series’ 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lexus ES Series offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Model 3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the ES Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the ES Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the Model 3 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ES Series is less expensive to operate than the Model 3 because typical repairs cost much less on the ES Series than the Model 3, including $494 less for a water pump.

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