Car test: Tesla Model Y, always one step ahead?

Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is Tesla’s new electric family SUV. (©DR)

How far will Tesla go? While the brand dear to Elon Musk only marketed its first real car in 2012, the Californian manufacturer almost reached one million vehicles sold worldwide in 2021.

And this level of production will increase further now that the Model Y is launched on the market… Equipped with the same basic technical elements as the Model 3 sedan, this new electric family SUV should quickly become the best-selling model in the range given the appeal of customers for this type of bodywork.

It displays chubby but very simple lines, like all Tesla models since the Model S appeared ten years ago. A simplicity all the more visible inside, with a clean dashboard to the maximum which centralizes all commands and driving information in the large 15 inch touch screen.

Impressive performance

Tesla Model Y
Inside the Tesla Model Y, the dashboard is as refined as possible and a large 15-inch touch screen centralizes all commands and driving information. (©Tesla)

In its basic “Grande Autonomie” version, this new Model Y already develops a little more than 350 horsepower. Its handling reaches a level of performance and agility worthy of real sports cars. Straight-line acceleration makes passengers dizzy and the car’s dynamic efficiency is downright impressive.

In the end, we don’t lose much in this register compared to a Model 3 Performance, Tesla’s ultra-sporty sedan that captivated us last year.

The brand announces a maximum range of 533 kilometers but, as usual, this figure can only be reached by driving in town. Otherwise, as soon as you add the highway and you drive in winter (the batteries work less well when it’s cold), this actual maximum range will slightly exceed 300 kilometers.

The only criticism of the Model Y’s driving: a damping firmness probably amplified by the optional large 20-inch rims of our test model.

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Very competitively priced but…

Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is expensive but it remains the best value for money in the 100% electric segment. (©Tesla)

At 59,990 € (with 2,000 € of ecological bonus to be subtracted if you do not take options), the Model Y is expensive. But its equipment – plethoric in series – and especially its level of performance make the addition much more digestible with regard to competition.

the Volkswagen ID4 GTX for example, less efficient and less spacious, is trading at €54,450. the Hyundai Ioniq5also less powerful and smaller, reaches 56,000 € with top-of-the-range equipment and such large batteries.

There remains a pragmatic question: do you really need an SUV?

Certainly, the tailgate of the Model Y, its gigantic space in the rear seats and its enormous trunk will make life easier for families. Otherwise, the cheaper Model 3 sedan (€55,990 with the same engine) is already very spacious and enjoys greater autonomy.

Cedric Pinatel

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