From the Vault: Edmunds' 2016 Tesla Model X

Unlike Rick Astley, We'd Give It Up


This week's short retrospective article has content strategist Will Kaufman looking back at our 2016 Tesla Model X, a vehicle we owned and reported on back when it was new. It was part of our long-term test program, and we drove it about 25,000 miles over the course of a year. Make sure to check out the Model X's original wrap-up article as well as individual blog-style posts. We also have more than 15 brand-new vehicles we're testing in our long-term program right now.

2016 Tesla Model X

What's the Most Memorable Thing You Did With the Model X?
Our long-term 2016 Model X was actually the very first car I drove as an employee of Edmunds. I had just gotten onto the company's insurance plan and my boss asked me to drive from our offices in Santa Monica to Long Beach to pick up some lease paperwork for another one of Edmunds' long-term test cars, a Honda Clarity FCV. It was early afternoon, and the Model X was the only vehicle in our fleet at the time with carpool lane stickers. Without the stickers, the 60-mile round-trip trek from Santa Monica to Long Beach would've taken something like four or five hours.

So I took my shiny new insurance certification and hopped into a $145,000 SUV capable of doing 0-60 mph quicker than most performance cars.

I was giddy. I remember pulling out of the garage and hopping on the freeway. And the thing I noticed was … the Model X sucked. The seats weren't comfortable. The ride was atrocious. The cabin was loud. There were noisy creaks from the falcon-wing doors. There was weird juddering under full throttle. The interior materials didn't feel much nicer than an Accord Touring. The giant windscreen meant I spent the whole drive squinting against the sun, and that giant speaker bar under the windscreen meant the entire soundstage was in front of me. The Model X struck me as both a failure of conception and execution.

I maintain that the Model X was a tremendous wasted opportunity for Tesla. But at the same time, the brand just wasn't ready to make a mainstream vehicle like the Model Y. Maybe if Tesla tried back in 2016 to make the Model Y it would've been just as much of a mess as the X.

So while the Model X was perhaps one of the most disappointing cars I've driven, it's also one I remember with unbridled joy. Being handed the Model X's keys (well, key card) was the moment I became a full member of the Edmunds team.

What Did You Like the Most About It?
My favorite thing was actually our Model X tow test. As the EV market looks to expand more into SUVs and even pickup trucks, the question of how EVs will manage towing becomes increasingly relevant. If you want a window into what the future holds, revisit our past and check out our tow-test recap and three-part video series.

How Much Is It Worth Now?
Our P90D ran us almost $145,000 when we bought it new from Tesla. Now, you can get a 2016 Model X P90D from Tesla for about $60,000. That's a loss of about 58% in four years.

If You Came Across This Model X Again, and You Had the Money, Would You Buy It?
Never in a million years. The Model Y is a huge step up for Tesla. The X's absurd complexity and ridiculous number of failure points make it a hard no-go for me.

2016 Tesla Model X

Read the wrap-up to our long-term test of the 2016 Tesla Model X

Check out our current long-term road tests