Tesla Model Y review - Engines, performance and drive
All-wheel drive and blistering straightline speed will appeal to some, but the Model Y’s ride comfort isn’t the best
Tesla established itself as a maker of super-quick electric cars back in 2009 with the introduction of the Roadster model. The US manufacturer followed this up with the Model S saloon in 2012 and the Model 3 hatchback later in 2017, all offering supercar-rivalling sprinting ability.
The Model Y is no different and, in Performance guise, is capable of embarrassing much more expensive machinery off the line. Even in Long Range form, where some of its raw pace is sacrificed for more miles from the 75kWh battery, the Model Y is still able to post a sub-5.0 second 0-62mph time – not bad for a family friendly SUV.
Of course, the Model Y’s dual-motor/all-wheel-drive set-up helps put the power down but, in everyday driving, it’ll most probably just offer some added reassurance when the weather is poor and the roads are more slippery.
It's best to think of the Model Y as a family SUV that just happens to be extremely rapid in a straight line, because it offers neither the driving engagement you get from, say, the BMW iX3, nor the relative agility of the Jaguar I-Pace. There isn’t much steering feel and the Model Y struggles with quick changes in direction.
The Model Y is a capable cruiser on a motorway or smooth A-road, but once on rougher terrain the car’s overly firm set-up makes itself known, and you’ll notice some harsher crashes and thumps. When we tested the Model Y against the Audi Q4 e-tron, the German rival came out on top for ride comfort.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
Tesla offers the Model Y as either a Long Range or Performance version, with the former managing 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and the latter covering the same benchmark in just 3.5 seconds. Top speeds are 135mph and 155mph respectively.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model Y reviewThe Tesla Model Y is an all-electric family SUV that offers extra space and practicality over its Model 3 sibling
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingAll-wheel drive and blistering straightline speed will appeal to some, but the Model Y’s ride comfort isn’t the best
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe Tesla Model Y has a reliable range and excellent rapid charging ability, 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