Model Y: Tesla has nailed it once again

The electric carmaker’s new SUV crossover, the Model Y, sets the benchmark in the sector.

You could be forgiven for thinking the new electric Tesla Model Y is just a Tesla Model 3, the best-selling car in Britain, “that’s been pumped full of growth hormone”, says What Car magazine. It has a higher driving position and more room inside than its hatchback predecessor. And like the Model 3, there is a Long Range version and a Performance model. The Model Y is not quite as rapid as the Model 3 due to the extra weight it carries, but the Performance version can still hit 60mph from a standing start in 3.5 seconds. As for going the distance, the Long Range can officially clock up 315 miles on a single charge. Sure, you won’t get that in the real world, but 250 miles should be possible if you take it easy. 

Even so, in Performance guise, the Model Y is fully “capable of embarrassing much more expensive machinery off the line”, says Auto Express. “Not bad for a family-friendly SUV.” The dual-motor/all-wheel-drive set-up helps put the power down, while providing added reassurance when the roads are slippery. But it’s inside where Tesla has really outdone itself, says Will Dron for The Sunday Times. The Model Y has kept the Model 3’s minimalist design, with clean lines, lots of space and an “airy feel in the cabin”. The dashboard is dominated by the huge touchscreen, from which most of the car’s functions are controlled. You can check the speed limits of the roads you are driving on, as well as battery range and level. There is also a large satnav that is “nicely integrated with the car”, and an infotainment system for web browsing, music streaming and even playing video games. Tesla has “nailed it” when it comes to keeping customers entertained while waiting for their electric cars to charge. “It’s very, very smart stuff.” Not that you will have much time. Tesla claims the Model Y can “swallow 150 miles of charge in 15 minutes on the punchiest superchargers”, of which Tesla has around 800 in the UK, says Car magazine’s Phil McNamara. 

The first Long Range Model Ys, priced at £54,990, are expected to arrive in Britain in the next few weeks, with the £64,990 Performance arriving in the summer. The price is high for a hatchback/SUV crossover. But if you’re not fazed, you might want to consider getting one. The Performance is “dynamic to drive and addictively fast… [although] the Long Range is plenty quick enough to be honest, and enjoyable to drive”. The Model Y has set the new crossover benchmark. 

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