2016 Tesla Model X: Monthly Update for September 2017
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Following an eventful and entertaining month in August with Dan Edmunds' extensive round trip towing test to Lake Tahoe, California, our long-term 2016 Tesla Model X eased back into a more normal routine, hanging around town and switching hands between other Edmunds staffers.
This month, our Model X received another over-the-air software update that now displays Supercharger availability and charging rates. These updates are still sort of mind-blowing when you think of it. It's like receiving miscellaneous new features for your car from Santa Musk whenever he feels like dropping by.
The update was even accompanied with an electronic card:
"Supercharging your Model X isn't always just about finding the nearest Supercharger. Sometimes it's about finding the one that will get you back on the road the quickest, even if it's a little farther away. Model X now displays the maximum power available for each location, so you can choose one that best fits your needs."
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Unlike last month where we fully exercised our privilege to guzzle free electrons at the Tesla Supercharger well, the majority of recharging was done at Edmunds' headquarters where we can better monitor our consumption.
A relatively leisurely month had us plugging in a total of seven times, six of which were at our metered high-power wall unit. This month's energy consumption is an improvement over last, though still a ways off the EPA estimates.
Miles added this month: 740
Miles with complete data: 652
Consumption over those 652 miles: 50.6 kWh/100 miles (66.5 mpg-e)
EPA consumption rating: 38 kWh/100 miles (89 mpg-e)
Best lifetime observed range: 212.6 miles
Best lifetime projected range: 267.6 miles
Average lifetime projected range: 168.9 miles
Current odometer: 23,754 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I've long been a fan of album artwork on devices since the iPod video. It's a gimmick that gives infotainment systems a modern feel, and it's one of the rare times today we are able to actually admire the work that went into the album design. Since our Model X has a cellular connection, it is able to recognize the artist tag and download the artwork. I tested this on the Apple music app and with Spotify via Bluetooth. I'd say it's about 98 percent accurate, in terms of getting the correct artwork.
"Podcasts, on the other hand, seem to stump the system. Even if they aren't in the database, the system tries to find a music album equivalent and the resulting matches can be pretty entertaining.
"I was listening to Cast of Kings, a Game of Thrones podcast, and the Model X's infotainment system came up with artwork for the soundtrack to Victorious, a hit Nickelodeon show starring Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice. Later I listened to a video game podcast called DLC, and the artwork that appeared was Mozart: Sonatas for Piano and Violin, by Yefim Bronfman and Isaac Stern.
"Maybe our Model X is trolling me. ..." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"There's a new over-the-air update that added functionality to the Supercharger network. Now you can see the availability of chargers at a location as well as the charging rate. This can optimize the time and location of your charges on a road trip. Smart update, I say." — Mark Takahashi, senior writer
"I was calling my daughter from the Model X one day as I rolled the window down to get some air because the weak air conditioning wasn't keeping up. The sun beats down through the helicopter windshield something fierce.
"As I did so, I heard the dog bark on the other end of the line. My daughter said, 'Rosella just went nuts over that sound. What did you do?'
"'This it?' I asked as I rolled the window down some more. 'Or how about this?' as I rolled down the passenger side. Both front windows squeak like a 1972 Plymouth. Honestly, I don't know how Tesla manages to screw up the obvious stuff." — Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing
"The climate control in the Model X is maddening. The fact that there are no knobs or buttons is nice aesthetically, but it requires you to take your eyes off the road for a period of time to even find the climate controls on the touchscreen, and then again to use them. The cost of form over function, I guess." — Travis Langness, staff writer