Nissan Ariya B6 limited vs Tesla Model 3 Performance; which has better energy efficiency?

As exhibitors at the Tesla Super Summit 2022 in Nagoya on May 14th, we drove our two demonstration cars, a Nissan Ariya and Tesla Model 3, to the venue. We compared their energy efficiency over the 350km journey and found that the Ariya SUV had a superior 6.6km/kWh to the Model 3’s 5.8km/kWh, despite its disadvantages in both weight and aerodynamics.

Nissan Ariya B6 limited vs Tesla Model 3 Performance; which has better energy efficiency?

Here is a summary of our journey, split into three stages. You can also watch a video (link below) for more details.

Ebina Service area to Shimizu Parking area

The Ariya and Model 3 departed Ebina SA at the same time, using their respective driving assistance systems, ProPilot and Autopilot. We were careful to ensure each car maintained similar speeds and experienced similar air resistance. Over the 108km distance between Ebina SA and Shimizu PA, which includes a steep climb over a mountain pass, the Ariya boasted a better energy consumption rate (6km/kWh) compared to the Model 3 (5.5km/kWh).

Shimizu Parking area to Nagashinoshitaragahara Parking area

This stage of the journey is flatter so both cars experienced improved efficiency, but the Ariya was still a clear ~15% better (6.7km/kWh compared to 5.9km/kWh). It was on this stage that we were reminded again of the Ariya’s comfort, both in the suspension and reduced road/wind noise. The Model 3 Performance, unsurprisingly for a sports sedan car, offered a less serene driving experience through central Japan’s mountain highways.

ProPilot is affected by weather…a lot

During the first stage, Nissan’s ProPILOT automatically disabled itself several times, but usually enabled itself again quickly enough to avoid being troublesome. As the second stage progressed, however, we experienced some rainfall which, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, was quite mild at a rate of just 3mm/hour. Unfortunately, this was just too much for ProPILOT, which became unavailable for most of the stage, despite visibility remaining very good.

The Model 3’s Autopilot, by contrast, remained enabled for the entire journey. This is consistent with our prior extensive experience with this system, which has no difficulty with even heavy rain and poor visibility. This stark difference in Ariya’s capabilities often leaves me completely bewildered, but likely highlights Nissan’s far more (and perhaps excessively) conservative approach to safety compared to Tesla.

Nagashinoshitaragahara Parking area to Nagoya

The rainfall forced me to drive without driving assistance in the Ariya to our final destination. On the final route, energy efficiency was 7.1km/kWh for Ariya and 6.1km/kWh for Model 3.

RouteModelEnergy efficiency
Ebina SA to Shimizu PA
Ariya B6 limited
Model 3 Performance
Shimizu PA to Nagashinoshitaragahara PA
Ariya B6 limited
Model 3 Performance
Nagashinoshitaragahara PA to Nagoya
Ariya B6 limited
Model 3 Performance
Ariya B6 limited
Model 3 Performance

Over the entire route from Ebina to Nagoya, we calculated the Ariya to be 14% more efficient than the Model 3. With excellent luggage capacity and comfort too, the Ariya looks like a great option for those looking for an SUV on long journeys, as long as the weather is good…

Report by Teskas


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					杉田 明子

杉田 明子