Tesla Model X (2016) Review

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Tesla Model X (2016) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Tesla Model X is the pricey option in this class, but for some buyers - buyers who want either ultimate EV practicality or that desirable Tesla exclusivity - it’ll be worth it.

+Exceptionally strong performance, can seat up to seven people, Falcon Wing doors have real wow-factor.

-Rivals are better to drive, interior quality is disappointing, really expensive to buy.

New prices start from £73,135
Insurance Group 50

The 2016 Tesla Model X gives you things that no other luxury electric car can, namely the ability to seat seven people and theatrical Falcon Wing doors. It also gives you all the stuff EV buyers like, such as emission-free motoring, low running costs, strong performance, a very long driving range and impressive refinement. It’s very expensive, though, and cheaper rivals such as the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC drive better and are far stronger on interior quality.

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Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

You’ve got to hand it to Elon Musk, he’s one heck of a marketeer. It’s incredibly difficult to get any start-up company off the ground, let alone one selling cars, let alone one exclusively selling electric cars at a time when hardly anyone was buying them.

And yet, that’s precisely what he did with Tesla. Amazing what you can achieve when you already have billions behind you, isn’t it?

But how did he do it? Simple. He made Teslas cool. He made it cool to drive a socially-responsible electric car. He made it cool to have pretty much every function controlled through a touchscreen. He made it cool to have a car that was so technologically advanced, it could receive updates and upgrades over wifi, rather than from a visit to the dealership.

Things like these really struck a chord with technology fans the world over, and Tesla soon became a must-have brand for any self-respecting early-adopter.

The Model X is one of the firm’s more aged offerings, and it’s also the biggest. Yet aside from its techy image and desirability, what does it give you that other electric cars can’t? Well, Falcon Wing doors, for one thing.

These lift up, up and away from the car’s body in dramatic fashion, meaning you’re bound to get noticed when you’re getting in or out. Another big tick for Tesla customers.

Unlike any of its rivals, it also has the ability to seat seven people, provided the right box on the options list has been ticked, that is. Interior space is pretty generous, too, although adults will only want to travel in the extra two chairs for short periods of time.

Where the big Tesla can’t match its rivals, though, is on interior quality. The materials, and the precision with which they’re assembled, simply can’t live up to the incredible standards set by the Audi E-Tron and Mercedes EQC, and that becomes even more galling when you consider how much more expensive than those cars the Model X is.

The Tesla trails the rest on the quality of its driving experience, too. It doesn’t handle as keenly as the Jaguar I-Pace, while the jittery ride means it’s not as comfortable as most rivals, either. And while an electric car will always be quieter than a combustion-engined car, it can’t match its direct rivals for refinement, either.

That said, the Tesla does have the edge in a few areas. All of the cars in this class are fast, but choose the fastest version of the Model X, and you’ll have one of the fastest cars on the planet, capable of doing 0-60mph in just 2.6 seconds. What’s more, and importantly for EV buyers, the Model X’s official range figures also have the beating of rivals’.

Ask Honest John

Can electric vehicles tow a trailer?
"Are electric cars able to tow caravans and trailers?"
There are a few electric cars that are able to tow. These include the Polestar 2 (towing capacity 1500kg), Audi e-tron (1800kg) and Tesla Model X (2250kg). EVs have a number of advantages when it comes to towing: they're usually quite heavy (a good thing when towing) and provide instant torque. They also have good brakes with regenerative braking helping to slow down, which will help keep a trailer or caravan under control.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What electric vehicles can tow a 1450kg caravan?
"We are being pressurised into going electric, despite the manufacturing sites not being 'green' for the foreseeable future. Being a caravaner and also towing other trailers from time to time, what electric vehicles will tow a 1450kg caravan? Also what range could I expect?"
There are a few electric cars that'll be able to tow your caravan. These include the Polestar 2 (towing capacity 1500kg), Audi e-tron (1800kg) and Tesla Model X (2250kg). EVs have a number of advantages when it comes to towing: they're usually quite heavy (a good thing when towing) and provide instant torque. They also have good brakes with regenerative braking helping to slow down, which will help keep a trailer or caravan under control. We don't have any data on what range you can expect when towing but, obviously, it'll be considerably less than the standard WLTP range figure. Bear in mind that technology has moved on rapidly over the last 10 years and will continue to do so over the coming years - by 2030, there'll be a much wider range of EVs capable of towing. New plug-in hybrid vehicles will be on sale until 2035 and these are well-suited to towing.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can electric cars tow a caravan?
"It will apparently be possible to tow with the new Nissan Ariya. If so, what weight? Surely the range will be devastated. Also, is anyone planning to provide charging bays for tow cars with their trailers? Can the same be said of any similar priced EVs?"
Yes, the Nissan Ariya will be able to tow up to 1500kg. That's pretty good and enough to tow a small caravan. Electric cars actually make quite a lot of sense for towing - their instant pulling power means it should be a pretty easy and relaxed experience. As you say, though, it'd be interesting to see how much the range is hammered with a caravan in tow. Currently, only expensive electric SUVs like the Tesla Model X, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi e-tron And Jaguar I-Pace are rated for towing. We're not aware of any companies providing charging bays for tow cars with trailers.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can I tow a caravan with an electric car?
"Are any electric cars able to tow caravans?"
Yes - the likes of the Audi E-Tron and Tesla Model X are capable of towing most caravans but they're expensive. You might find a plug-in hybrid like a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV a good compromise.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Tesla Model X (2016) cost?