Tesla Model X review - Engines, performance and drive
Incredible performance and tidy handling, but not very exciting
The first thing that most Tesla owners will tell you about is their car’s stunning acceleration, and the story is the same with the Model X. The SUV’s combination of instant torque from the electric motors and all-wheel-drive traction means it has incredible pace from a standstill, sending the fastest Plaid version from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds.
Supercars have slower figures than that, so for a heavy SUV to manage such a fast sprint is very impressive. What the figures don’t tell you is how flat the car feels as it’s accelerating, in both senses. There’s less of a feeling of the weight shifting to the back as you might expect when you plant the throttle, thanks to the low centre of gravity, but there’s also an almost complete lack of drama.
So while the figures look impressive, the reality is that the Tesla Model X is not as much fun as you might think - even if it does make overtaking at low speeds very easy. At higher speed the power delivery is less significant, with the car feeling more like a normal, albeit powerful, SUV.
It’s a similar story when it comes to the handling, with the Model X being impressive for its size, if a little clinical. The low centre of gravity (because the heavy batteries are positioned low down in the floor of the car) keeps body roll in check, and there’s loads of grip.
Adjustable suspension and steering, with further options to lower and raise the ride height, are available - but while you can feel the change in height the difference on the road isn’t huge. The steering is well weighted but vague - similar to the Model S saloon’s.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
There are no conventional engines in the Tesla Model X, as it’s electric only. There are different models, however, which give different performance and range figures.
The Long Range accelerates from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and has a 155mph top speed. Despite those impressive figures, it also has a claimed range of 360 miles.
The 503bhp Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio takes 3.8 seconds to reach 62mph, so the 2.5-second 0-60mph time of the top-spec Tesla Model X Plaid makes it one of the world's fastest accelerating SUVs.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model X reviewIf you want a ludicrously quick crossover with all-electric drive and funny doors, the Tesla Model X is it
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingIncredible performance and tidy handling, but not very exciting
- 3Range, charging & running costsNo fuel costs to worry about, and the Tesla Supercharger network is growing
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe styling isn’t as cohesive as that of the Model S, though the interior is smart
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceVersatile and spacious, the Model X is one of the most practical EVs out there
- 6Reliability and SafetyExcellent safety rating is reassuring, although warranty coverage could be better
- 7Used and nearly newA full used buyer’s guide on the Tesla Model X covering the Model X Mk1 (2016-date)