The Tesla Model Y will make perfect sense if you’re liking the look of the Tesla Model 3 but want something a little more substantial. It’s effectively like a more upright and SUV-focused edition of the same car.
Release Date: Available now
Price: From $47,190
Power: Dual motor, AWD
Battery range: 326 miles
0 to 60 mph: 3.5 seconds
Smarts: Autopilot, Optional FSD Autopilot upgrade, Tesla Premium connectivity
Thanks to the similarities this also means you’ll get plenty of range, a car that comes packed with cool and highly practical technology plus easy access to the growing Tesla charging network.
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The latter option adds a whole lot of convenience, but the Tesla Model Y is also a great choice if you’re in need of more space. Especially if you’ve got a family and all of the ‘stuff’ that goes hand-in-hand with having kids.
While the Tesla Model Y has the sort of accommodating interior as other SUVs, like the Mercedes-Benz GLC or BMW X3, there’s the benefit of all-electric power and with rock-solid range to back it up. Here’s why the Tesla Model Y is well worth considering if you’re EV-bound.
Latest Tesla Model Y news (updated July 20)
- Elon Musk has confirmed that the new 'Auto Shift' feature will eventually be available on all Tesla models with Full Self Driving capabilities — which presumably includes the Model Y
Tesla Model Y: Price and availability
The Tesla Model Y costs from $47,190, which makes it over $10k more expensive than the Tesla Model 3. However, the obvious benefit is that you gain all of the additional practicality of the car being SUV focused.
So the ride is more upright, there’s extra space, plenty of capacity for up to seven people and more besides. If you’re happy to spend more, then the Performance model costs $56,690.
Tesla Model Y: Power and performance
Being able to spec your car to suit both your requirements and budget is one of the great things about buying a Tesla. And, even in its relatively basic model guise, the Tesla Model Y is still a potent performer.
Thanks to a 72kWh battery pack the hatchback SUV can still get down the road pretty swiftly. Both Model Y variants pack plenty of punch, with the Long Range battery pack edition delivering a zero to 60mph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 135mph.
As you’d expect, the Model Y Performance edition offers a more muscular power delivery, with a 0 to 60mph time of 3.5 seconds topped off with a maximum speed of 155mph.
Tesla Model Y: Battery and range
Like other cars in the range, the Tesla Model Y comes with a very beefy battery setup that delivers plenty of range from either the Performance or Long Range AWD options. Currently, the latter model can cover up to 326 miles on a single charge, while the Performance model offers a range of up to 303 miles - which is still pretty impressive.
Both models also come with the added benefit of speedy recharging up to 250Kw. In fact, it’s possible to regain 162 miles in just 15 minutes by using one of Tesla’s Supercharger points. And, the benefit with the Supercharger network is that it features a total of 25,000 outlets (and counting) around the globe.
Tesla Model Y: Design and interior
It’s the higher up SUV design that’ll appeal to lots of prospective owners, but at the same time the Tesla Model Y has space and lots of it.
In fact, the Long Range AWD edition can be specced so that it has seating for up to seven occupants. The Performance edition is still pretty capacious though, with seats for five passengers. Either way, you get a panoramic sunroof. There’s also up to 68 cubic feet of storage space too, making the Tesla Model Y an obvious choice for owners with lots of things, and people, to get from A to B.
Depending on the seating configuration it’s possible to fold each second row seat flat independently. That’s actually a great scenario if you frequently need to carry slightly unusually shaped cargo, with things like skis, additional luggage and even furniture all being workable with the adaptable design. Meanwhile, around at the rear there’s a low-slow liftgate that makes getting heavy or awkward objects into the back much more easily.
Tesla Model Y: Tech and safety features
As is the case with any Tesla, the tech features come thick and fast on the Model Y. A big part of the action focuses around the 15-inch infotainment screen, which as a bit of a departure from other Tesla models is fitted with a landscape orientation.
Not only does the screen offer all of the entertainment you’d expect but it can also be used as the central control area, allowing access to many of the car’s systems, right down to the door mirrors.
There’s a party trick too in the shape of the Summon Mode, which lets the Tesla Model Y approach you autonomously. Slightly less madcap is the ability to use your phone as a replacement for the conventional key. In fact, the Tesla Model Y has a solid tech arsenal that also includes Autopilot, App control and wireless charging along with heated seats and steering wheel.
Elon Musk also confirmed that all FSD cars will get the 'Auto shift' feature, which lets the car switch to drive or reverse from park. Logically that means it should come to the Model Y at some point, though it's not entirely clear when that might happen.
Teslas are also developed with safety as a priority, and the design of the Model Y follows that theme. Its safety features are supplemented by the design, which has a low centre of gravity, helped by the low-mounted battery pack. There’s also full impact protection, a rigid structure and large crumple zones, all of which work together to make the Tesla Model Y able to meet all current safety standards.
Tesla Model Y: Outlook
If you’re on the lookout for an EV that delivers performance and offers plenty of space at the same time the Tesla Model Y is a sound bet. The ability to get a car with seating for up to seven people is obviously going to appeal to many, while the current penchant for SUV models also means it’s an in-demand car.
However, aside from the obvious appeal both the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 are currently facing some recall issues. Reports suggest that nearly 6,000 cars will need to be called in to have their brake caliper bolts checked to ensure they’ve been torqued correctly. Models affected are those delivered between 2019 and 2021. According to Tesla, owners will be advised if their model is affected in the coming weeks.
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