In-depth reviews

Tesla Model X review

If you want a ludicrously quick crossover with all-electric drive and quirky doors, the Tesla Model X is it

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£98,480 to £131,080
  • Strong performance
  • Practical body style
  • Cheap to run
  • Too expensive
  • Annoying rear doors
  • Reliant on charging infrastructure
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The practicality of the Model X’s bodystyle means it will appeal to even more customers than its Model S sibling, while its stunning performance and useful range mean there’s little in the way of compromise.

There’s loads of space inside and the quiet, smooth and quick powertrain means it’s a great way to travel. It won’t appeal to keen drivers, but if you can afford the high prices then the Model X could just be the SUV for you.

About the Tesla Model X

Although Tesla calls the Model X an SUV, the car-like profile with sweeping rear roofline means it’s more like a crossover. All versions are four-wheel drive, but there’s no intention that the Model X should be driven off-road. On tarmac its acceleration is nothing short of astonishing, which forms a big part of the appeal.

Unusually-styled, the Model X's signature lifting ‘Falcon’ rear doors allow very good access to the second and third rows of seats – albeit with some significant compromises outlined below. Talking of seats, you can configure your Model X as either a five-, six- or a seven-seater depending on your family needs.

At a little over 5m in length, the Model X is an imposing sight although its bulky volume is less elegantly disguised than the Model S saloon which manages to look svelte. In spite of its extra size the two models share a platform and all their core engineering, from batteries to motors to the Tesla Autopilot self-driving tech.

The fact it’s such a unique proposition means it’s hard to match the Model X up to rivals. Expensive full size SUVs with high performance and fuel-saving plug-in hybrid tech include the Audi Q7BMW X5Mercedes GLEPorsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport. Buyers on the hunt for an SUV with electric-only power also have the option of the Audi Q8 e-tronMercedes EQCJaguar I-Pace and the BMW iX.

Tesla updated the Model X in early 2021, and the most notable change was the replacement of the Performance trim-level with the 1,006bhp Plaid model - which now sits alongside the standard dual-motor car in the lineup. The Plaid powertrain is a three-motor set-up and was originally developed for the revised Model S saloon but, as the two cars use the same platform, it's ready and able to go straight into the Model X.

A light exterior makeover also kept things fresh with a redesigned front bumper and diffuser, along with new 22-inch alloy wheels, while the cabin received new tech such as a revised digital gauge cluster, a 17-inch infotainment screen and four wireless smartphone charging pads.

In 2023, Tesla made the decision that the Model X and Model S would no longer be sold in right-hand-drive form. These models are still being sold in the UK but only as left-hand-drive cars. This could dissuade some potential buyers, but used right-hand-drive examples are likely to see a sharp increase in desirability.

With the Model X being an exclusively electric car, there are no other powertrain versions available: your only choice is how fast and how far you want it to go. There are plenty of options to choose from, though, including the strangely named Bioweapon Defence Mode, which filters impurities from the air coming into the cabin, including, it is claimed, bacteria and viruses.

Frequently Asked Questions
We think the Tesla Model X is a practical and highly unique offering in the electric SUV market, and that it offers solid levels of real-world battery range. It’s not without its flaws, though, and is very pricey compared to some rivals like the BMW iX and Audi Q8 e-tron.

For an alternative review of the Model X, visit our sister site drivingelectric.com...

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