The Tesla Model Y tried to capitalize on the red-hot success of the Model 3, but the all-electric crossover is more fizzle than sizzle. While Model 3 nails its mission by delivering a dynamic handling experience and has a huge range and range, Model Y, which is due in 2022 Model Y, feels like an ineffective attempt to appeal to the people who buy SUVs. Its handling isn’t as engaging as the 3’s, and its interior. At the same time, mostly a carryover from the sedan doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from the competition and only serves to increase our criticism of its design and fit-and-finish and the issues that an all-digital environment brings. The car isn’t entirely devoid of worth, however. The estimated range of its driving is impressive compared to competitors like those from the Ford Mustang Mach E and the Volkswagen ID.4, and the Long Range trim promises up to 330 miles on a single charge. In addition, it is the only model that Tesla has the option of a third-row of seating that isn’t widely available within the realm of EV SUVs.
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The Model Y lineup no longer includes a Standard Range cost-leader trim. No loss there; the Model Y’s Long Range and Performance models are more compelling than a Standard Range trim anyway. Thanks to an incredibly kind reader and a generous Driver reader, we had the opportunity to test an all-wheel-drive Long Range, which zipped from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, just 0.4 seconds slower than our longer-term Model 3 sedan. During our tests, the Performance model sped up an even faster 3.6-second sprint to 60 mph. Although the Model Y indeed offers impressive acceleration, it’s not offering an equivalent level of driver satisfaction as it does the Model 3. The SUV’s body has an elevated center of gravity, which reduces the sharp edges in the handling of the Model 3. The ride is significantly rougher when it comes to road imperfections, too.
Charging, and Battery Life
The all-wheel-drive Long Range offers 330 miles of range; the Performance model’s estimated range drops to 303 miles. But the latter comes with 20-inch wheels, a lowered suspension, a higher top speed (155 mph), quicker claimed acceleration, and a dedicated Track mode.
The EPA estimates that the Long Range model is good for 131 MPGe in the city and 117 MPGe on the highway, while the Performance model’s fuel economy estimates are 115 MPGe city and 106 MPGe highway. This Long Range model that we tested over our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route recorded only 94 MPGe, and an estimated highway driving range of 220 miles. In contrast, the Performance model produced the result of 98 MPGe with a range of 230 miles. For more information on the Model Y’s efficiency in fuel, visit the website of the EPA.
The Model Y doesn’t come with the larger Model X crossover’s complicated Falcon Wing doors; its interior is mostly carryover from the Model 3 sedan. Like the car, this one is mostly uncluttered and relies on the large infotainment display around a simple dashboard. A glass roof gives an airy feel to the cabin, but it is heavily tinted to prevent burning passengers within Sun Belt states. The 3rd-row seats cost a high $3000 to the price of the Model Y. We don’t think they’ll be large enough to allow adults to travel in comfort.