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Tesla Model X Review

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No automaker in recent history has captured the driving public's imagination like Tesla. It all started with the Model S (though some might quibble that it actually started with Tesla's Roadster), and the fascination has continued most recently with the Model X and more affordable Model 3. Like the S, the X is fast and futuristic, with its unique falcon-wing rear doors, massive panoramic windshield and promised self-driving abilities. The Model X can even tow up to 5,000 pounds, though doing so has a detrimental effect on range, more so than in a fuel-powered SUV.

Although the Tesla Model X is the size and shape of an SUV, one might question how much utility it actually offers. Cargo space is not terribly generous, even taking into account the front trunk, and some of its seating configurations lack a folding second row. Note also that the fancy articulated rear doors preclude the use of a roof rack.

The Tesla Model X has other faults as well. The lofty price is hard to justify unless you spend even more on some of the option packages, and to say the Model X has had some teething problems would be a major understatement. Virtually all car manufacturers work out the bugs on preproduction vehicles that aren't sold to the public, but Tesla seems content to use its customers as beta testers. Early Model Xs were fraught with quality control issues, and the problems persist to this day. Tesla owners are quick to jump to the company's defense, pointing out that dealers are eager to remedy faults, but we expect much better build quality from a car this expensive.

Current Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is sold in three versions, called 75D, 100D and P100D. The numbers refer to the capacity of the battery pack in kilowatt-hours, and acceleration is quicker in cars with larger battery packs (which is largely a function of software programming rather than the battery itself). At the time of writing, every Model X came standard with an air suspension, keyless entry, navigation and a power liftgate. Tesla makes running changes to its products throughout the model year, so standard equipment levels are subject to change at any moment.

The Model X is an expensive vehicle, and its options carry a high price tag as well. The Premium Upgrade package includes an upgraded climate control system, an upgraded stereo, a cold weather package, and doors that open automatically when you approach the vehicle. You can also get a six- or a seven-passenger seating arrangement and enhanced auto-driving features.

Second-row legroom is tight, and the hard plastic backs of the front seats are not friendly to knees. The third-row seat is cramped and best suited for children. The rear door openings are huge, and while the falcon wing doors are bound to impress your friends, their slow operation turns into an annoyance once the novelty wears off. Once inside, the Model X's front seats are comfortable, and visibility for the driver is excellent. The ride is quiet and comfortable, though ride quality degrades somewhat with the optional 22-inch wheels.

All Tesla Model X versions use a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive system with one electric motor driving each axle. Tesla does not publish power figures for its electric motors, but the claimed zero-to-60 mph times are impressive, ranging from 4.9 seconds for the 75D to 2.9 seconds for the P100D, which includes the Ludicrous Speed package. Range is a strong point: The EPA rates the Model X 75D at 238 miles and the P100D at 289 miles.

The Model X's acceleration belies its numbers, thanks to the right-now torque delivery of the electric motors. Model X P90 and P100 models with Ludicrous mode have been described by our reviewers as "face-flattening," and braking is equally excellent. Stability is good considering that the Model X weighs nearly as much as a Chevrolet Suburban, though calling it agile would be a stretch.

In terms of efficiency, the Model X is the electric equivalent of a gas guzzler. The EPA publishes electric car efficiency in mpge (miles per gallon equivalent), and ratings for the Tesla Model X range from 93 mpge for the 75D down to 86 mpge for the P100D. For comparison, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is rated at 119 mpge, and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric returns 136 mpge.

Charging a Tesla Model X can take six to 10 hours using a standard Level 2 EV charger. Quick charging is provided via Telsa's proprietary Supercharger network, which Tesla says can add 170 miles of range in about 30 minutes. Tesla no longer provides unlimited free Supercharger access, instead giving Model X buyers a complimentary annual allowance of 400 kWh (about 1,000 miles' worth). Charges for Supercharger use vary by region, and Tesla has implemented a per-minute "idle fee" to address complaints about owners leaving their cars plugged in at crowded Supercharger stations once charging is complete.

Used Tesla Model X Models
Tesla introduced the first-generation Model X for the 2016 model year. Tesla does not stick to the traditional new-model-year-change schedule, and as a result there have been changes throughout the model run. Most significant among these was the discontinuation of the 90D model.

Read the most recent 2017 Tesla Model X review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Tesla Model X page.

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