2020 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Prius Prime has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the Prius Prime Limited’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 Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime 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 and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Model 3 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 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 Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

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 Prius Prime’s reliability 61 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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Model 3:

MPGe

Prius Prime

FWD

Electric Motor

145 city/121 hwy

Model 3

RWD

Long Range Motor

128 city/117 hwy

Mid Range Motor

136 city/123 hwy

AWD

Dual Motors

120 city/112 hwy

Performance

120 city/112 hwy

The Prius Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 652 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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (33.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 750 pounds less than the Tesla Model 3.

The Prius Prime is 6.8 inches narrower than the Model 3, making the Prius Prime easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The front grille of the Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime Limited is quieter than the Model 3:

Prius

Model 3

At idle

27 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Prius Prime has .5 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more front hip room than the Model 3.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Prius Prime has a much larger cargo volume than the Model 3 (19.8 vs. 15 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Prius Prime Limited’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.

The Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime Limited’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.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Prius Prime is less expensive to operate than the Model 3 because it costs $145 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Prius Prime than the Model 3, including $194 less for a water pump, $28 less for front brake pads and $621 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Tesla Model 3 isn't recommended.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos