2016 Tesla Model X: Monthly Update for June
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
We've crested the 20,000-mile mark in our 2016 Tesla Model X. Compared to May, our Model X was relatively drama-free. We say relative because, while the Model X didn't require a visit to any of the local service centers, a troublesome suspension noise did resurface, which of course will require a visit to a service center. So it goes.
Now that we've passed the 20,000-mile mark, it's time to prepare for the Model X's departure from our fleet. I'm not sure anyone will miss it terribly, least of all our fleet wranglers. The Model X has been a mixed bag of utility and gadgetry, seemingly more of the latter.
Ultimately the Model X still feels like a proof of concept, guided by the Reid Hoffman maxim that, "If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." Lucky for Tesla, it still has a customer base willing to trade some product shortcomings for early adoption.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We added 1,174 miles to the Model X in June, almost exactly the same number we added in May, and charged it to full 11 times. Most of our trips were short-commute hops, with our longest distance between charges coming in at 138.3 miles. Our best projected range was 196.6 miles, with our average projected range coming in at 161.4 miles.
Current odometer: 20,053 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Torque is quite impressive. Slight push of gas pedal and off it goes without hesitation. The brake assist took some time to get used to, but it's a nifty feature. Smooth ride and good handling." — Sal Meda, imagery production specialist
"Our Model X has a tiny rearview mirror, with a view obstructed by the tops of the rear seats and a spoiler that cuts across horizontally. Dark-tinted windows make things worse and are hard to see out of even on a bright day. And if you're wearing sunglasses? Good luck." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"The comfort level far exceeded my expectations. The seats are so comfortable that you actually forget you're sitting on a vehicle seat. For me, this is a big plus because of regular hourlong commutes. I'm not a huge fan of leather seats because they tend to get really hot if the car is left in the sun. Wasn't the case with the Model X. The seats were a little warm, but not lava hot." — Sal Meda
"My everyday commute involves taking two highways, neither which offers an HOV lane in the sections I normally drive. But some recent atypical midday excursions necessitated taking a different route home on highways that offer HOV access to solo drivers in pure EVs like the Model X.
"I don't know how much time I saved by choosing the Model X over one of the gas-powered cars in the fleet, but the carpool lane was clear almost the entire way while traffic in the normal lanes was already clogged at 3 p.m. In these specific instances, driving an electric car was a boon to my commute.
"But other times, I've also left the office later in the day in an EV in an attempt to outsmart traffic patterns, and it doesn't work. At that time of day, the carpool lane is bumper to bumper, just like every other lane. At that point, it's easier just to take a normal car and grind through downtown L.A. and its HOV-less freeways to get home." — Cameron Rogers, automotive editor
"Yes, the oversized center display is breathtaking, but the instrument panel is impressive as well. I planned a trip to downtown L.A. from the Valley over the weekend. I punched in my destination and the navigation decides to take up the left-hand part of the instrument panel with a real-time 3D environment. It actually displayed the exit signs with directional arrows to follow. Thumbs-up!" — Sal Meda
"Simple, elegant and roomy. Just the right amount of wood trim and a splash of satin metal to complement it. At night, the ambient lighting feature gives you the sense that you're on a cruise liner. The touch-activated dome lighting is also a cool feature as passengers don't need to hunt for the lever switch anymore." — Sal Meda