Let's say you had $30,000 or so for a mid-size family car and unlike many folks these days who have eyes only for SUVs, you wanted a sedan. Would your shopping list include Honda's new 2018 Accord (read our first drive here) and Tesla's Model 3?
Suffice to say, these two vehicles share nothing in common when it comes to powertrains, but some people seem to think they're surprisingly, though perhaps irrelevantly, similar in other aspects.
Thanks to HondaPartsOnline, we can see how a 2018 Accord EX-L compares to a base spec Tesla Model 3, with the wheelbase, cargo capacity, curb weight and performance figures being fairly compatible.
"Based on how closely these two cars align in terms of specs, I'd be shocked if Tesla didn't benchmark the Accord when they developed the Model 3," says HondaPartsOnline director, Angel Vigil. "The conventional wisdom is that Tesla positioned the Model 3 to go after the mid-size luxury segment, but I think that's incorrect. To me, the Model 3 looks like Tesla's version of the Accord."
While it's true that the 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol unit in the Accord gives it a 0-60mph (96km/h) time that's within a tenth of a second of what the base spec, all-electric Model 3 can do, just because something is comparable on paper, doesn't mean it's cut from the same cloth when it comes to real world applications. In other words, don't expect a 2018 Accord to actually drive like a Tesla.
Still, if for some reason you're rooting for the good old combustion engine, you'll probably be glad to know that the 2018 Accord has other tricks/arguments up its sleeve. For instance, it features HondaSensing, which means it gets traffic sign recognition, collision avoidance and automatic braking systems, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. In base spec, the Model 3 offers just collision avoidance and automatic braking, while other safety features require a $5,000 upgrade.
"Tesla has said they want the Model 3 to be a mass market car. If you were going to build a mid-size car for the masses, wouldn't you have to start by benchmarking the Accord?" added Vigil, who's also in favor of considering things like resale value or reliability when it comes to doing model comparisons. To be fair to Tesla, there's no data for the Model 3.