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In-depth reviews

Tesla Model Y review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Featuring good storage space, plenty of room for passengers and lots of useful kit, the Model Y is ready for family life

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£44,990 to £59,990
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The Model Y might not have the softest ride of the electric family cars we’ve tested, but Tesla offers a host of kit and tech that should go some way to making journeys more comfortable. The driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable for instance, and all five seats in the Model Y are heated. A Driver Profile function allows you to save seating and steering wheel positions, as well as personalising the infotainment and tech systems you prefer to use. The relatively low dashboard and raised seating position also give Model Y drivers great forward visibility.

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There is decent storage throughout the cabin, with two wireless smartphone charging pads below the central touchscreen and four USB-C charging sockets dotted around the car means there shouldn’t be any family arguments over keeping individual devices topped up.

Another neat Tesla trick is that when you select a Supercharger as your destination to top up the battery, the Model Y will precondition the battery on route, so you spend less time waiting around at the charging station. The Model Y also features a heat pump that can warm the cabin and helps improve the car’s battery efficiency in colder weather.

Tesla’s Sentry Mode is another great feature. Once armed, it will detect if anyone comes close to the car while it’s locked, recording footage from its external cameras – useful if you’re concerned about vandalism or theft.

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The Model Y is only available with five seats here in the UK, unlike in North America where you can get an optional third row and for a seven seat layout. That being said, the low roofline would make things particularly uncomfortable for those in the rearmost row, so we wouldn’t expect anyone other than small kids would be able to use them anyway.

Size

The Model Y is a big family car, measuring 4,751mm in length and 1,978mm across, while its Audi Q4 e-tron rival is 163mm shorter and 113mm narrower. If you’re not a fan of parking up in tight spaces or navigating through crowded urban streets, then the Model Y may feel a little unwieldy, although it's definitely more user-friendly than its bigger Model X sibling.

Legroom, headroom & passenger space

There’s no clutter or fussiness to the Model Y’s interior, with the minimalist cabin providing plenty of space. When we tested the Model Y we found headroom was only a little better than in many family hatchbacks because of the curved roof. It was still ample for adults though, while the completely flat floor provides increased comfort for passengers travelling in the rear seats, as the middle-seat occupant won’t have to straddle the central tunnel that you’d normally find in an internal-combustion-engined (ICE) car.

Boot

Few, if any, of the Model Y’s electric family SUV rivals can match its 854 litres of boot space, though that figure is only when loaded up to the roof. Deep under-floor storage means luggage can be hidden from view, but there are no bag hooks to stop items rolling around the flat floor.

Dropping the 40:20:40 split rear seats opens up a similarly van-like 2,041 litres of cargo space, and it’s a simple task to do; just open the powered tailgate and you’ll find handily-placed buttons located in the boot area that do the job. Tesla has also included a 117-litre ‘frunk’ space under the bonnet, which is a feature missing from many of the Model Y’s key rivals and is an ideal spot for storing the charging cables.

Towing

All three versions of the Model Y can pull a 1,600kg braked trailer, according to Tesla, beating the VW ID. Buzz’s 1,000kg towing capacity for one. However, the Model Y is only offered with a fixed towbar for around £1,000, not a retractable one like the ID. Buzz.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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