In-depth reviews

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.

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