Tesla Model Y review
The Tesla Model Y is an all-electric family SUV that offers plenty of kerb appeal along with useful interior space and practical touches
With a practical and reliable range, fast charging capabilities, plenty of space and user-friendly on-board technology, the Tesla Model Y will have no trouble appealing to buyers who need to take care of the family basics, but who also want the kerb appeal and badge kudos that Tesla provides at this point.
It’s not perfect, though; the Model Y’s two-tonne weight and lacklustre steering won’t necessarily appeal to keener drivers, and the ride might be a bit too firm for some. The Model Y is still one to recommend, however, and despite a growing number of capable all-electric family SUV rivals, it’s up there with the best EVs on sale today.
About the Tesla Model Y
A few years ago, Tesla’s Model 3 hatchback was the US firm’s best-selling car in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why when you consider its competitive pricing, exceptional range and great on-board technology. But, with the Model S saloon and Model X seven-seater SUV occupying the (much) more expensive top-end of the Tesla range, there was a definite niche waiting to be filled in the manufacturer’s all-electric line-up.
That’s where the Tesla Model Y comes in. Essentially a bigger, more spacious Model 3, it should appeal to buyers looking for the extra practicality of an SUV, with all the technology and efficiency you’d expect of a Tesla. It seems there are more than a few Brits that description applies to because the Model Y has been a huge sales hit. It was the third best-selling car in the UK in 2022, behind the more traditional family favourites of the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Corsa.
After Tesla announced a price reduction across the Model Y range in January 2023, its mid-size family SUV now starts from around £45,000. That means the base rear-wheel drive version boasts a particular price advantage over the more premium entries in this class, namely the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Lexus RZ. Some equally family-friendly alternatives like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID.4 are more closely priced, as are the Nissan Ariya and Volvo XC40 Recharge.
The Fisker Ocean is the latest Model Y rival to burst onto the EV scene. The entry-level Sport version undercuts the Tesla by several thousand pounds, while the range-topping Extreme and limited edition One models have a different ace up their sleeves: an enormous range of 440 miles, which none of its rivals can touch, including the Model Y.
Nevertheless, the Model Y still offers an enticing blend of usable range and straight-line performance; the base car gets a 283-mile range and 6.6-second 0-60mph time, while Tesla claims that the all-wheel drive Long Range version will cover up to 331 miles on a single charge, and the same 0-60mph dash in under five seconds.
Upgrading to the Model Y Performance brings a slight drop in range to 319 miles, with more than a second shaved from the benchmark sprint time. And, of course, you needn’t fret about spending too long charging the battery, either – Tesla’s Supercharger network will have you on your way in decent time, as a 0-80 per cent top-up takes less than half an hour.
It’s typically minimalist inside the Model Y’s cabin, with the large touchscreen taking centre stage and controlling most of the car’s functions. There are no trim levels to choose from, just the three distinct variants; the base rear-drive Model Y, the dual-motor Model Y Long Range and the Model Y Performance, which also gets all-wheel drive.
Standard kit includes LED headlights, alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, a panoramic glass roof, heated seats front and rear, adaptive cruise control with speed limit assist, 360-degree cameras and apps like Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, Twitch, and YouTube built-in along with games and Tesla’s toybox. The only options available are the five paint colours, black or white vegan upholstery, larger rims for the base and Long Range Model Y, and two more advanced versions of Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driver-assistance system.
For an alternative review of the Tesla Model Y, visit our sister site drivingelectric.com...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Tesla Model Y is an all-electric family SUV that offers plenty of kerb appeal along with useful interior space and practical touches
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe Model Y’s ride is now significantly less firm than it used to be, and the range-topping Model Y Performance could be the ultimate all-electric sleeper
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe Tesla Model Y has a reliable range and class-leading rapid charging capabilities, but it’ll be pricey to insure
- 4Interior, design and technologyWith an exterior look and cabin design that is undeniably Tesla, the Model Y’s real strength is its first-class on-board technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFeaturing good storage space, plenty of room for passengers and lots of useful kit, the Model Y is ready for family life
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Model Y shares much of its tech with the Model 3 hatchback, which means the family SUV should be dependable and safe