In-depth reviews

Tesla Model X review - Interior, design and technology

The styling isn’t as cohesive as that of the Model S, though the interior is smart

While the Tesla Model X is certainly distinctive to look at, with its rounded nose, swooping roofline and raised stance, we’d argue that it isn’t as slick as the Model S it’s based on. It looks more like a jacked-up saloon than a true SUV, and the blank nose looks oddly unfinished. 

A refresh for 2021 brought slight changes to the exterior with a redesigned bumper and diffuser, as well as new 22-inch alloy wheels. Interior updates added a revised digital gauge cluster, a 17-inch infotainment system and four wireless smartphone charging pads. Passengers in the rear also benefit from a screen mounted in the central tunnel, so they can play video games or watch films.

Of course the most unusual detail about the Model X is the rear doors, which open outwards and upwards in a ‘falcon wing’ shape. It’s certainly a unique design choice, and some will love the oddball arrangement, but it does seem slightly out of place on a car like this.

Inside you’ll find the huge touchscreen display in portrait orientation on the dashboard, plus some Mercedes switchgear and a plush set of seats. There’s lots of room inside and the materials used look good, but the design is very plain. There’s none of the flair you’ll find in a Mercedes, despite some of the same parts being used here.

The large panoramic windscreen gives you a great view of the road and sky ahead, extending almost over the driver’s head. A special tint means there’s only slightly more glare from the sun than in a normal SUV, too.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The central screen is easy to use, and you control a huge amount of the car’s functions with it - including opening and closing all of the doors, moving the seats and changing the climate control. Doing so on the move is a pain, though, and we prefer using buttons and switches in that situation. There are almost no buttons inside the car, in fact - and that frustrates when the screen is booting up and you want to set up the air-conditioning straight away.

Sat-nav gets real-time traffic information, and there are regular over-the-air updates from Tesla to keep things up to date. In some cases these updates even add new features to the car. You can pair your phone with the quick-connect system in the centre console, too. 

A large and powerful stereo system stretches across the top of the dash, and it sounds good - but on sunny days the perforations reflect onto the huge windscreen and reduce visibility.

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