Road Trip to Big Sur - 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test
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2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
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  • Long-Term

2016 Tesla Model X: Road Trip to Big Sur

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on July 8, 2016

2016 Tesla Model X

When I signed out the 2016 Tesla Model X for the weekend and realized I had no plans, I did what any reasonable car nut would do.

Checked the Supercharger network and headed for Big Sur.

Why? Because a major selling point of the Model X, like the Model S before it, is range. Real, usable, road-trippable range. Pump in a maximum charge and the Model X's battery display says 245 miles to empty, or sometimes a few more.

And the drive along Highway One past Big Sur is pretty much the best road trip in the world, so it just seemed like a sensible idea all around.

2016 Tesla Model X

My Supercharger-limited itinerary took me from Oxnard to Atascadero, then west on the 46 and all the way up Highway One to Monterey (technically Seaside), then to a friend's place in Fairfax (north of San Francisco), then back to L.A. via San Mateo, Atascadero (skipping Big Sur on the return) and Oxnard.

2016 Tesla Model X

In terms of range and charging, I'll give you the blow-by-blow in a separate post, like Dan did. For now, I can tell you that I never really came close to running out of juice, and the range anxiety decreased as the trip wore on and I got to know the car. Still, I couldn't do better than 195.3 miles on a single charge despite having thoroughly de-leaded my foot for this experiment, and I had to stop at six Superchargers over the course of 1,000 miles, averaging an hour-plus per charge with one 2.5-hour outlier.

Translation: You can road-trip a Model X up and down the California coast if you feel like it, but I would advise budgeting twice the usual amount of time to be safe.

2016 Tesla Model X

I'm not knocking it, though. Frankly, I'm amazed that this 5,600-pound jellybean full of batteries, built by a company still in its infancy, can accomplish this mission and also carry three rows of adults in comfort, get you to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and handle more like a nimble sport sedan than a nearly three-ton people hauler. Haters have been heckling the Model X from the get-go, but to me, it's another astonishing achievement by a remarkably innovative American company. The trip had its annoyances, sure. But overall, it's an honor and a privilege to drive this car.

Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor @ 6,182 miles

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

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