Tesla Model Y review - Reliability and safety
The Model Y shares much of its tech with the Model 3 hatchback, which means the family SUV should be dependable and safe
Tesla is a company that likes to do things differently, with traditional dealer outlets replaced by smaller bespoke Tesla Stores and mobile servicing technicians. All electric cars have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance than their petrol and diesel-powered alternatives, while Tesla has stated that its schedule of over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics should remove the need for a typical servicing plan.
The Model Y’s Autopilot system uses rear, side and forward-facing cameras to enable its various driver assist functions, helping to detect other cars, prevent potential collisions and assist with parking manoeuvres.
In 2022 the Model Y survived Euro NCAP’s battery of crash safety tests and earned the maximum five-star rating, which isn’t surprising considering the Model 3’s identical rating and Tesla continuing to lead the industry in semi-autonomous driving systems. That also explains the Model Y’s 98 per cent score in the Safety Assist category, with the electric SUV also receiving 97 and 87 per cent ratings for adult occupant protection and child occupant protection respectively.
If you want to upgrade from the basic version of Tesla’s Autopilot system that comes as standard in the Model Y, there are two more levels available. Enhanced Autopilot will maintain lane position with steering, acceleration and braking, and it can also change lanes. It includes auto parking tech and a ‘Summon’ feature, which can drive the car out of a tight space. Full Self-Driving builds on this package by recognising and reacting to traffic lights.
Customers seem to be happy with their Tesla experience, as owners’ feedback from the 2023 Driver Power satisfaction survey propelled the manufacturer into third place in our best car manufacturer rankings – behind Porsche and Polestar in first and second. The Model Y didn't feature on our list of the best cars to own, but the closely related Model 3 finished 22nd (out of 75 cars).
The Tesla Model Y is covered by a four-year/50,000 mile factory warranty, while the battery and drive system is covered for up to eight years and 120,000 miles, whichever comes first. Model Y buyers also get four years of free roadside assistance, and you can get an extended warranty for your car if you wish.
Tesla doesn’t offer any sort of service schedule for the Model Y, claiming that the low-maintenance motor needs little to no attention for the first few years of ownership at least. The only recommended work is a brake fluid check and pollen filter replacement every 24 months, with the car alerting the driver as and when maintenance is required.
Over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics help make some smaller maintenance jobs more convenient, as do Tesla’s Mobile Service technicians. Fixed-price Tesla Maintenance Plans are available and can be transferred from owner to owner when required.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model Y reviewThe Tesla Model Y is an all-electric family SUV that offers plenty of kerb appeal along with useful interior space and practical touches
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe Model Y’s ride is now significantly less firm than it used to be, and the range-topping Model Y Performance could be the ultimate all-electric sleeper
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe Tesla Model Y has a reliable range and class-leading rapid charging capabilities, 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 safety - currently readingThe Model Y shares much of its tech with the Model 3 hatchback, which means the family SUV should be dependable and safe