In-depth reviews

Tesla Model Y review - Range, charging and running costs

The Tesla Model Y has a reliable range and class-leading rapid charging capabilities, but it’ll be pricey to insure

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Range, charging and running costs Rating

4.7 out of 5

Price
£44,990 to £59,990
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As we’d expect for a Tesla, when we’ve tested the Model Y it has proven itself to be a particularly efficient electric family SUV, offering reliable range figures that are quite literally miles ahead of its closest competitors. 

The base, rear-wheel drive Model Y offers a range of up to 283 miles. We haven’t had a chance to see exactly how efficient it is on UK roads, but on-paper the cheapest Model Y matches the BMW iX3 for range, along with similarly priced versions of the Nissan Ariya

The Model Y Long Range has an official maximum range of 331 miles thanks to its larger battery and dual-motor set-up. Curiously, that figure is when fitted with the optional 20-inch alloy wheels. Tesla claims that if you stick with the standard 19-inch wheels the Model Y Long Range should be able to cover 351 miles before the battery runs flat.

When we first drove the Model Y Long Range in the UK it rode on 20-inch rims, and over a mixture of roads returned 3.8 miles per kWh, so we managed to get 285 miles of range from a single charge. Therefore you should find the Model Y’s range figures pretty reliable – reassuring on longer journeys. That said, during our more recent twin test against the VW ID. Buzz, our Model Y Long Range with 19-inch wheel fitted achieved 3.1 mi/kWh – an OK efficiency figure in our experience, but in comparison equates to a real-world range of only 233 miles. 

Finally, there’s the disconcertingly fast Model Y Performance, which has a slightly shorter 319-mile range. But unlike some highly potent electric cars which sacrifice efficiency for the sake of brute force, we must commend the Model Y Performance for striking a balance between the two. After covering over 100 miles travelling into and out of London, mostly on motorways, loaded with stuff and without any attempt to conserve range, our test car returned an impressive 3.4 mi/kWh. That equates to a real-world range of 279 miles.

When the time comes to charge the Model Y the base version will reach 170kW allowing for a 0-80 per cent charge in as little as 25 minutes. While the Long Range and Performance models can hit 250kW, their big batteries mean the same top-up takes 27 minutes if you use the latest Tesla Superchargers or any suitably fast ultra-rapid public charging point

Tesla’s Supercharger network is still a big selling point for many drivers, especially those who cover long distances. Simply turn up, plug in, and drive off when done, then pay a bill at the end of the month. Fully recharging the Model Y at home from a standard 7.4kW wallbox will take about nine hours for the base version, and 12 hours for the Long Range and Performance models.

Tesla reduced prices for the entire Model Y line-up in January 2023, which means the entry-level, rear-wheel drive Model Y now starts from around £45,000 (previously £52,000). Prices also decreased for the Long Range and Performance versions, with the former starting from £53,000 (down £5,000) and the latter £60,000 (a huge reduction of £8,000).

Both private and business users will benefit from significantly lower day-to-day running costs compared to a petrol, diesel or even hybrid alternative, including an exemption from road tax (VED) and the London Congestion Charge. Rock-bottom Benefit-in-Kind tax rates for the Model Y offer added appeal to company car drivers, too.

Insurance

Each version of the Tesla Model Y has a slightly different insurance rating. The base Model Y falls into insurance group 46 out of 50, while the Long Range and Performance models land in groups 48 and 49 respectively. Those are some of the highest insurance ratings possible, and a lot higher than its electric family car rivals from Skoda, Hyundai, Volkswagen or even BMW and Audi, meaning it will cost considerably more to get coverage for a Model Y.

You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone...

Depreciation

Our expert data predicts that the Model Y rear-wheel drive model should hold onto as much as 65 per cent of its list price after a typical ownership period of three years and 36,000 miles. This means a RWD version will be worth around £30,000 should you choose to sell your car on after the 36-month period. All-wheel drive versions aren't quite as strong, with the Long Range and Performance versions on 58 and 57 per cent, respectively.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

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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