In-depth reviews

Tesla Model Y review

The Tesla Model Y is an all-electric family SUV that offers extra space and practicality over its Model 3 sibling

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

£54,000 to £64,000
  • Reliable range
  • Easy-to-use on-board tech
  • Good charging network
  • Overly firm ride
  • Heavy
  • Lifeless steering

The Model Y doesn’t deviate from the well-trodden, premium electric path that Tesla has made good progress on over the past few years. With a practical and reliable range, fast charging capability, plenty of space and user-friendly onboard technology, the Model Y will appeal to buyers who need to take care of the family basics, but who also want the curb appeal and badge kudos that Tesla provides.

It’s not perfect, though; the Model Y’s two-tonne weight and lacklustre steering won’t necessarily appeal to keener drivers, while its overly firm ride can be uncomfortable over less-than-smooth tarmac. The Model Y is still one to recommend, however, and despite a growing number of capable all-electric SUV rivals, it’s up there with the class best.

About the Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s Model 3 hatchback is 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 is a definite niche waiting to be filled in the manufacturer’s all-electric lineup. 

Say hello to the Tesla Model Y, which is essentially a bigger, more spacious Model 3 and should appeal to buyers looking for extra SUV practicality over the compromises that come with a hatchback-sized family car

Priced from around £55,000, the all-wheel-drive Model Y will go head-to-head with the Audi Q4 e-tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Mercedes EQA and Volkswagen ID.4, although all of these rivals offer cheaper entry prices to their respective ranges than the Model Y. The Volvo XC40 Recharge offers its own brand of Scandinavian sophistication, while the BMW iX3 provides superb build quality and a surprisingly entertaining drive for a family SUV.

The Model Y offers an enticing blend of usable range and straightline performance; Tesla claims that the Long Range version will manage up to 331 miles from a single charge of its 75kWh battery, and an impressive 0-62mph time of under five seconds.

Upgrading to the Performance variant 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, with a 10-80 per cent top up taking a little over half an hour.

These are first-rate figures in isolation, but the wider competition is no longer playing catch-up, and is now able to stand toe to toe with the US automaker. The Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD Extended Range model, for example, is able to cover 335 miles before needing to top up its battery, and will also hit 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. If you don’t mind sacrificing a little power and the sure-footedness of all-wheel-drive, then Ford is able to supply a Mustang Mach-E that will cover up to 379 miles, which is certainly something to bear in mind when considering your next family wheels.

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. The Performance version is differentiated by its larger 21-inch alloy wheels, while all Model Y’s feature a glass roof and the option of specifying an extra two seats in a rear third row.

For an alternative review of the Model Y, visit our sister site

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