Our test of the Tesla Model Y: The magic is still there!

Specializing in the rental and sale of EVs, our member La Voiture Electrique, based in Saint-Brieuc (22), has just received a Tesla Model Y. A big thank you to Gabin and Sabine for offering it to us for testing .

Based on Model 3

The Model Y is to the Model 3 what the Model X and the Model S. That is to say an SUV derivative on an electric sedan base. In the Tesla range, it is to be seen as a compact model. Its dimensions (L x W x H = 4.75 x 1.92 x 1.62 m) however agree a little badly with this designation.

We had the High Autonomy Dual Motor version, which currently coexists in France with the Performance. Its 2 engines give it all-wheel drive: 137 kW of power for a maximum torque of 219 Nm at the front; 194 kW and 340 Nm at the rear.

Enough to perform the exercise of 0-100 km / h in 5 seconds, before spinning towards the maximum speed of 217 km / h. In the combined cycle, the WLTP autonomy communicated by the manufacturer is 533 kilometers.

Clean style

If I had not been very convinced by the interior finish of the Model 3 when it was released, the Model Y shows a clear evolution in the field. The style remains refined with a great sobriety of presentation. But the materials appear qualitative and combine well together. Thus the various dark synthetic coatings with wood inlays. I just have a doubt about the faux leather upholstery in the summer, which could get hot before the air conditioning does its job.

Tesla Model Y interior

Behind the wheel, the usual handset dedicated to important information is, as on the sedan, absent. It will therefore be necessary to look for the instantaneous speed at the top and left of the tablet. I’m not a big fan of this solution. But we have to admit that we get used to it very well and quickly.

The ideal would probably be for the manufacturer to offer an optional display for those who would prefer to have such instrumentation. It would avoid risking installing gadgets made in China. Anyway, the choice made by Tesla contributes to bringing an overall impression of simplicity to the Model Y.

A map and a tablet

To unlock the Tesla Model Y, unless you use your smartphone, you have to pass an identification badge on the B pillar of the vehicle. Once seated on board, a new action with this badge on the console, while pressing the brake pedal, allows the vehicle to be started. At this time, at the top and left of the horizontally installed tablet appears the “0” of the speedometer.

With this screen, it is possible to adjust the operation of the vehicle. Thus the hardness of the steering wheel, the liveliness of acceleration and the behavior of regeneration when lifting the foot from the accelerator. It is thus possible to opt for a complete stop, without having to touch the brake pedal, or a ramping mode.

The tablet is also used to intervene on lighting and ventilation. Note that the latter is particularly effective, with the possibility of directing the airflows in a simple way on the screen. Unlike other electric cars, the heater leaves a really even temperature inside, not a feeling of dropping and then reactivating.

It is also with this tablet that we intervene on the settings of the driving assistance devices and that we find information on the journeys made.

Space on board

Thanks to a wheelbase of 2.89 m, 5 people can be carried in the Tesla Model Y, with a real feeling of space and comfort. Those in the back will benefit the most from the fixed panoramic roof. They also have 2 positions to adjust the inclination of the 2-part bench seat and are not likely to be hindered by a central service tunnel on the ground.

The driver and the passenger next to him will not be cramped either. If necessary, they both have the option of switching on the heated seats (3 power levels).

One of the most impressive points with the Model Y is its trunk. In our photo, the elements that we have deposited fill that of a Kia e-Soul (315 liters), under the shelf. That of the Tesla, credited with 854 l (363 in 7-seater configuration), has no luggage cover. And under the hatch, you can store things, including a backpack in addition to charging cables, without filling it.

Thanks to 2 buttons which make it easy to fold down the bench seat back, the volume increases to 2,041 l. Still remains the trunk at the front, which adds a reserve of 117 l. And if that wasn’t enough, this model can tow a trailer up to 1,600 kg.

Cool or brutal driving

I have often wondered why Tesla Model 3 or Model Y drivers drive less than 110 km/h on 4-lane roads. By trying the vehicle, I understood. Where I struggle to stay under the speed limit with other electric cars, I was easily 6 mph under with Tesla’s SUV. Why ?

Hard to say. Undoubtedly the adjustment of the accelerator pedal, and the feeling of well-being that one feels on board, increased by the little noise of air on the bodywork, even at high speed. Let’s put it all down to Tesla magic. On the other hand, if it is a question of inserting itself on a fast lane or a motorway, the vehicle knows how to impose itself and it may be necessary to warn the passengers beforehand.

With its 4-wheel drive and its firm suspension, the behavior of the Model Y is very neutral and reassuring, served by brakes that are also very effective. On winding roads, the machine precisely follows the route given to it by the driver. In town, the depreciation appears excessively harsh. We get used to it or we adapt to it, if the roadway is not too degraded.


What stands out about the Tesla Model Y is its efficiency. The consumptions that we have noted are really low for a vehicle that exceeds 2 tons on the scale. In the combined cycle, it is given by the manufacturer for 14.4 kWh/100 km.

During my usual test trip, at a leisurely pace, between Dinan and Saint-Cast, I precisely obtained an average of 13 kWh/100 km. In summer, this figure would already have been remarkable. Except that the test was carried out at an external temperature of 4° C, with the on-board heating programmed at 18° C. The battery was not hot before leaving, because the last recharge was more than 24 hours ago and the last use at more than 5 p.m.

test Tesla Model Y

Under the same conditions, for the round trip between Dinan and Saint-Brieuc, with 75% of 4 lanes at 110 km/h, the figures have just risen to 16.4 kWh/100 km. What car available on the electric market is capable of displaying similar values ​​for the same size and similar weight?

Don’t always take yourself seriously

Driving a Tesla is first and foremost a state of mind. The Model Y, perhaps even more than the other 3, fully deserves to be presented as a serious electric car that does not always take itself seriously. Let’s move on to the whooping blinker which will amuse the youngest of children for a while, to come to some rather nice animations.

Cocooning with a wood fire on the table and heated seats can make you smile when you think of the setbacks of the characters played by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Sophie Marceau in ” Happy Easter », or the duo Claude Brasseur / Josiane Balasko in « Outward Signs of Wealth “.

The play of light, on the other hand, offers a real little outdoor spectacle that will have its effect for a wedding, a birthday or the transition to the new year. Apart from the cinema, we rarely see a car come alive in light to the sound of the music it produces, playing with the opening of the windows, the trunk and the mirrors.


The superiority of the Teslas is found in the network of superchargers which gives confidence to engage in long destinations. As a precaution, certain stations should be avoided at certain times when Bison Futé sees red.

Presented in pearly white multilayer, the default color, the Model Y Grande Autonomie starts at 59,990 euros. For 1,190 euros more, it is possible to request black, ultramarine blue metallic or midnight grey. It’s more expensive for red: 2,100 euros. Or the same price as the 20-inch Induction alloy wheels which can replace the 19-inch ones fitted as standard.

Preferring the white interior to the standard black will cost 1,190 euros. Then remains to make a possible choice concerning the faculties of autonomous driving: 3,800 euros for the improved Autopilot, or 7,500 euros for the complete piloting on the road. The Performance version starts at 66,990 euros.

For its part, our member La Voiture Electrique offers the car we tested for hire: 159 euros per day with 200 km included, or 315 euros for the weekend with 400 km. The additional kilometer is charged 0.15 euro.

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