Tesla Model Y Review 2024
Tesla Model Y At A Glance
Tesla is a company that prides itself on doing things differently to traditional carmakers, innovating and driving the EV revolution. Yet even Tesla can't resist the march of the SUV, with the Model Y joining its larger, fancy-doored Model X in the ever-crowded electric SUV space. In this review we'll see if it deserves to be as big a sales hit as the Model 3.
Take one glimpse at the Model Y and it'll confirm that Tesla is engaged in evolution over revolution with this particular model. Whereas the (and still not in production) Cybertruck aims to disrupt the pickup truck market with a wildly outside-the-box design, the Tesla Model Y looks much like a Model 3 after an upward growth spurt.
And that's basically what it is. Tesla claims around 75% of the Model Y's components are shared with the Model 3, which is no bad thing given the latter is one of the best-selling electric cars on the market. But there is a key reason why you might buy a Model Y instead, despite it being more expensive.
Extra practicality is what matters here. That extra 150mm of body height doesn't just take it into the all-important SUV sphere, it also brings more room for passengers and luggage alike. The Tesla Model Y is also a hatchback, unlike the Model 3, which means much better access - and of course you still get a front boot (or 'froot', if you like).
In other markets the Tesla Model Y can actually be had as a seven-seater, which gives it a unique selling point over pretty much every rival bar the Mercedes-Benz EQB. However, right-hand-drive versions aren't offered with the option yet.
In every other respect the Model Y is like a Model 3, but taller. That means you get the same minimalist cabin dominated by a feature-packed touchscreen (and the same ergonomic foibles that result), the same ability to rapid charge at up to 250kW using Tesla's excellent supercharger network and the same electrifying pace.
Alright, so the Tesla Model Y Performance is ever so slightly slower than the equivalent Model 3. But it still has the pace to embarrass many sports cars in eerie near-silence. Even the cheaper Long Range model is hardly sluggish, yet manages an impressive claimed range of up to 331 miles.
That's all well and good, yet given the Model Y's family-friendly intent it's surprising Tesla hasn't put more effort into making it a comfortable cruiser. The ride is pretty firm - sometimes actively harsh - and while that might make it really agile in the bends it also means you're jostled around in your seat over all but the smoothest roads. The darty steering takes getting used to, as well, while refinement falls behind electric SUV rivals.
And that's all a shame, because in most other respects the Model Y has the potential to be class-leading. As it is, it just doesn't work as well on UK roads as we were hoping, and makes it more difficult to recommend over talented rivals such as the Jaguar i-Pace, Audi Q4 e-tron and Kia EV6.