Heat Challenge – Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF, & ICE – Video

2 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 14

Check out this unique cabin heating test that compares a Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF (gen-1), and a Honda Civic (ICE).

The guys over at Now You Know (father and son duo, Zac and Jesse) have been making a multitude of videos, many of which feature their new Tesla Model 3. They got the car just before the holidays and ran the “12 Days of Model 3” series. Their videos tend to be fun, up-close and personal, and a bit less mainstream than much of what’s out there.

Tesla Model 3 rival

Nissan LEAF in the snow

In this video, the team races to the vehicles because it’s relatively cold outside (11F/-12C) and they’re wearing t-shirts. None of the cars have been pre-heated. They don’t actually start the vehicles until they’re inside, and then they give us a first-hand account of how the heating system, heated seats, etc. are working. Added to this, they have a timer running and they continuously take temperature readings from various areas inside of each car.

In general, they come to an obvious conclusion that any car really needs a good ten minutes of warming up before you will begin to experience comfortable temps. They find that the Honda Civic takes longer than the Tesla Model 3 to warm up, however, it doesn’t have heated seats, so that puts it at an immediate disadvantage. Nonetheless, temps coming from the HVAC system are still colder for a longer period of time than they were in the Model 3.

The first-generation Nissan LEAF does a really nice job heating up. In fact, it appears that it gets hotter quicker than the Model 3. However, there’s a significant amount of battery loss in a very short period of time. Considering the fact that the car already has a more limited range than the Model 3, you may not be able to heat it for long periods of time in cold weather if range is a concern for you.

Keep in mind, however, that you could pre-heat the LEAF (as well as the Model 3) while it’s plugged in, which is the intelligent way to do it if you have the option. The Civic will burn gas while it’s warming up, as there’s no way to pre-heat an ICE car without starting it up. Additionally, you can heat up your electric car while it’s sitting in your garage, without the typical carbon-monoxide issue associated with ICE vehicles.

Keep the conversation going in our Forum. Start a new thread about this article and make your point heard.

Video Description via Now You Know on YouTube:

Welcome back for another episode of Now You Know! On today’s episode, Zac & Jesse go out in the cold to test the heater in the Model 3 vs. a Honda Civic and a Nissan leaf! Now You Know!

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14 responses to "Heat Challenge – Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF, & ICE – Video"

  1. theBrandler says:

    Correction, you can plug in an ICE car, though you have to pay to have the optional block heaters installed.

    Doing so considerably shortens the time it takes for the coolant to reach temp and provide cabin heating.

    1. Mikael says:

      And it’s often combined with a cab heater so that you step into a warm car.

      Either running on fuel or by plugging in.

      (and there are people saying that you can’t plug in an ICE 😛 )

    2. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      You have to pay to have block heaters installed?

      Oh wait, you’re American, aren’t you.

      Well, I guess now I know.

    3. Steven says:

      When I lived in Massachusetts, I found that the “Winter Package” was a common dealership installed option.

      Generally, all it was, was an engine block heater. It was common to see cars with an electrical plug hanging out of the grill.

  2. James Looker says:

    As has been widely demonstrated, driving a car is how to warm it up.

    1. Jim says:

      Except for electric cars which don’t use engine heat. That was what the test was about.

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    The Civic will warm up much faster if it’s bejng driven. The Tesla and Leaf will not.

    1. Kdawg says:

      That is what I was going to say. They should do a new test by jumping in cold cars and driving 10 miles.

      They should also use a thermometer measuring the air temp in the car vs. lasers measuring surface temps.

  4. I’m pretty sure that a Chevy Volt would win this challenge at -12°C.

    First, there is a electric heater of about 6 kW.

    Furthermorre, the gas engine (generator) is under load to supply about 6 kW plus about 2 kW for battery heater. After fews minutes, the coolant becomes hot and contributes to heat the cabin.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Yeah, it would’ve been interesting to have a Volt be part of this test.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      The Volt is a great solution in colder climes. The new coolant jacket, in the exhaust manifold of V2, should heat faster and very little gas warms the coolant & cabin (.1 gallon, in my experience). The 6KW heater, however, cuts both ways.

      Zac and Jesse, at one point, showed the 79F setting on Model 3’s dash, while talking at the camera, in jackets. In Model S, settings below 78 can seem like nothing. Sort of like the volume control scroll wheel needing a lot of spin to achieve not a lot of volume, it could use a fix.

      The knurled scroll wheels, on Model 3’s SW? I loved those. Great feedback.

  5. John Hansen says:

    Electric cars (including my Chevy Volt) can be preheated in an attached garage without fumigating the house.

    1. The Dude says:

      +1. I can set go times for my Ford plug-in and have a toasty warm car in my garage. Good luck doing that without a plug.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    Did they mention how much electricity the “3” heater was using?

    I agree with Clarkson that the ICE tests were dumb as the engine needed to be under some load to make the heater work.

    Maybe these aren’t technical dudes, but you’d at least you’d think there would be some objective benchmarks someplace. They do love to talk about nothing though.

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