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Tesla Model Y Crossover SUV Review

black tesla model y

The Tesla Model Y may be one of Tesla’s most important vehicles its ever produced. It’s a compact crossover SUV that appeals to larger audience due to its utility and size. So wether you’re a single person who enjoys outdoor adventures or you have a family that needs to haul a lot of groceries the Tesla Model Y has all of those needs covered. On top of this its 100% electric meaning gasoline costs aren’t a factor and it takes up the same footprint as the Model 3 making it great for city driving and parking. It also has AWD enabling you to venture into nature with improved winter performance and safety.

Tesla Model Y Interior

The Tesla Model Y interior can be described as fairly “Spartan” but is nearly identical to the Tesla Model 3 with the exception of additional space. Aside from 3 buttons, everything is controlled from the center console touchscreen. Just like the Model 3 it also has 2 interior options to choose from. The Model Y comes with black interior and wood on the dashboard but for $1,000 USD ($1,300 CAD) you can get stain resistant white seats, white inserts on the doors and a white dashboard.

tesla model y black interior
Tesla Model Y Black Interior Option
tesla model y white interior
Tesla Model Y White Interior with Stain Resistant Seats

Standard Tesla Model Y Features

  • Dual Motors All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • 12 way power adjustable seats and heated (both front and rear).
  • Connect to Music and media over Bluetooth
  • 14 speakers, 2 amps and 2 subwoofer.
  • LED fog lamps
  • Tinted Glass Roof (w/ ultraviolet and infrared protection).
  • Side Mirrors are both power folding and heated.
  • Stores driver profiles.
  • Center storage console has 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones.
  • Second and third row seats fold flat for storage and transport.
  • Power rear lift gate w/ memory settings.

Tesla Model Y Specifications

Performance Version Range: 488 km or 303 miles (EPA estimate)
Performance Version:Top Speed: 250km/h or 155 mph
Longe Range Version: 525 km or 326 miles (EPA estimate)
Long Range Top Speed:217 km/h or 134 mph
Storage Capacity:1,919 liters or 67 cubic feet
Towing Capacity:1,500 kg or 3,500 lbs
Center Display:15 inch touchscreen
Seats: Up to 7 adults
Warranty:4 years or 80,000 km / 50,000 miles whichever comes first. Battery & Drive unit have 8 years or 192,000km / 100,000 miles.
Charging:Supercharger pay per use or charging from any charge point using a Tesla adapter.
Tesla Model Y Full Review by Jon Rettinger

Tesla Model Y Compared to Model 3

While the Tesla Model Y shares nearly 75% of it’s parts with the Model 3, there are a wide variety of benefits that the Model Y has over the Model 3.

  • Loading the car with anything from groceries to furniture is a lot easier for 2 reasons. Unlike the Model 3, the Model Y has a hatchback. So gaining more access to items in the back while also being able to load larger items is a huge plus. Because the Model Y sits up higher, loading items is more ergonomic and saves you from having to bend over as far.
  • Speaking of sitting up higher, the seating position in the Model Y ride height is also higher by 8 inches. This allows for greater view while driving and being able to see over smaller cars. The increase in height also makes it easier for other vehicles to see you.
  • One of the biggest benefits of the Tesla Model Y compared to the Model 3 is storage space. Storage space increases by 53 cubic feet for a total of 67 cubic feet (1,919 liters) of storage space in the Model Y. The Model 3 only has 15 cubic feet (424 liters) of storage space.
  • The glass roof in the Model 3 has a crossbar which obstructs part of the view. In the Model Y this is 1 solid piece of glass with no crossbar for better aerial views that passengers will enjoy.

Road Trips in the Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y may be their best “Road Trip” vehicle made. It has plenty of storage. So much that you could actually put a bed in the back and sleep in it. Tesla also has “Camper Mode” for this specific situation. To enable camper mode in the Model Y, select the Fan Icon > Camp Mode on the far right. This will allow the Model Y to stay on and regulate the air temperature/air flow while camping until the battery reaches 20%. When inside, you can close the tailgate of the Model Y using the Tesla app.

Beyond the vast amount of storage space for all your gear and luggage, the Tesla Model Y has great range. A full charge will get you 326 miles (525 kilometers). For all of you in Canada, you could drive from Vancouver, BC to Whistler and back… then do that round trip again without having to recharge! For everyone in the Unites States, you could drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on 1 charge. So for electric range, it has more than what most people need.

The Tesla Model Y is also all-wheel drive (AWD) so its great for year round fun on almost any terrain. By having AWD with Dual Motors the Tesla Model Y is also a lot safer in terms of traction compared to a crossover SUV with only rear or front wheel drive. Tesla Model Y winter performance is also very similar to the Model 3 so it’s beyond exceptional. It’s also way more affordable compared to the Tesla Model X which starts at $30,000 more than the Model Y.

Tesla Model Y Cost of Ownership

The Tesla Model Y base price starts at $49,900 USD ($69,900 CAD) with the performance Model Y starting at $59,990 USD ($83,990 CAD). The only vehicle on the market right now that compares as a crossover electric SUV is the Audi e-Tron. While its an amazing vehicle the Audi e-Tron starts off at $66,995 which is $17,000 more than the Tesla Model Y. Does $17k get you more range? No, its gets you 124 miles less than the Model Y. The Audi e-tron, Tesla’s nearest Model Y competitor, costs $17k more and only gets you 222 miles (357km) of range compared to the Tesla Model Y’s 326 miles (525 km).

When you compare the price of the Tesla Model Y to other fossil fuel crossover SUVs of the same level, its still more expensive. The Porche Macan (having similar luxury features in this class) starts off around $52,100 USD. So Tesla wins in price but there are also 2 key differences here that make the Tesla Model Y better value for what you’re getting. The obvious one is that it’s electric. So you’ll never have to pay for another gallon of gasoline ever again in your life. If you charge the Tesla Model Y at home it can cost you $6-10 depending on where you live. Charging at a supercharger can cost around $12-$16 depending on how long you stay. Compare those costs to $30-$50 per tank of gasoline for a similar sized vehicle. Those costs when multiplied over the years of owning the vehicle… add up to thousands of dollars saved in the cost of ownership alone.

The amount of repairs that electric vehicles need compared to gasoline powered cars is huge. Since there are few moving parts in electric vehicles the usual things that may need to be repaired are the tires and any cosmetic issues if needed. Regenerative braking also greatly reduces wear on the braking system almost eliminating repairs there. Compare that to tune-ups, replacing brakes, hoses and any one of thousands of parts that break on fossil fuel vehicles and the Tesla Model Y saves thousands more on ownership repair costs compared to fossil fuel competitors.

My Opinion on the Tesla Model Y

Aside from the minor fit and finish issues with the Model Y (that Tesla will refine and improve over time) I think the Model Y will be the most popular Tesla ever made and will most likely outsell any other vehicle in its class for years to come. People around the world are becoming more conscious of their choices and how they impact the environment. When making the decision of a logical vehicle investment, a vast majority of people are going to choose low maintenance, zero gas, no smell and better safety over anything else offered. So until there is another electric vehicle that looks as good or better than the Model Y, with similar range and features… Tesla will own this part of the the auto market.


Jacob Haust

With a passion for design, electric vehicles, engineering and the environment, Jacob is combining his interests to help make the world a more sustainable place for generations to come. He went to University for Industrial Design where he understood materials, processes and manufacturing. This is a key part as a designer in order to understand what can and can't be done when manufacturing with certain materials and what materials to choose when designing for specific applications. So he has a fairly deep understanding of materials used in everyday products and the processes used to make them. As a kid he also lived in Iceland for years where he toured geothermal power plants and gained an appreciation for the engineering and sustainability of this energy source.

jacob haust


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