2020 Tesla Model Y: What's It Like to Live With?
We bought a 2020 Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Performance. How is the build quality? How fast is it? Is it a true performance small luxury SUV? Follow our ownership experience to find out.
|Miles Driven||Average Electricity Consumption (kWh/100 mi)|
Latest Highlights (updated 05/29/20)
- We give our impressions on the Model Y's interior.
- Ride quality has caused some motion sickness.
- New Video Added: We compare Tesla Model Y, Model 3 and Ford's Mustang Mach-E
2020 Tesla Model Y: Real-World Fuel Economy
We hit the 1,000 mile mark on our Model Y and while we've been able to match the 28 kWh combined EPA rating once, our lifetime consumption is well above that. Remember, lower is better when it comes to kWh ratings. For now, we're chalking this up to our editors wanting to test out the performance credentials of this Model Y and driving it a little faster than normal. The good news is that our best range of 242.8 is right on par with the estimate you get, when charging to the Tesla recommended 90 percent battery mark.
Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 38.3
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 28 combined (26 city, 30 highway)
Best consumption (kWh/100): 28.4
Best range: 242.8
Average range: 127.8
Current odometer: 1,036
"Like with all powerful Teslas, the acceleration is hilarious. Stomp on that go pedal and the resulting thrust pins your head back to the head rest. The effect makes me laugh just about as much as the on-board whoopee cushion.
Steering and handling are likewise impressive for a compact SUV. Like all EVs built this way, keeping all that mass nice and low returns enjoyable handling to the driver.
Combine the acceleration with the handling and our Model Y ends up being very quick on mountain roads. Such that part of the fun is the contrast between what you're understanding of an SUV is and how fast you're actually going." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"Ride quality has never been a Tesla strength, but its perpetuated in the Performance upgrade version of the Y by the retuned suspension and huge (21in) wheel rims. Put simply, the Y never feels settled to the point where my wife complained of being slightly nauseous while riding in the rear about town. It will be interesting to learn whether others have the same experience." — Alistair Weaver, VP, editorial & editor-in-chief
"I've heard mixed things about the ride quality. The mass of the 21-inch wheels is certainly noticeable, but I didn't find the impacts to be too bad. I've heard though of other complaints — both on staff and external — that makes me want to spend more time driving in it. I swear the ride was less busy than our first Model 3, but a guy who goes to the same gym as me is actually returning his Model Y because he found the ride to be that poor." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"Our Model Y is equipped with the "Performance Package," a free upgrade on the Performance trim level. It adds 21-inch Überturbine wheels, performance brakes, a lowered suspension, aluminum alloy pedals and it increases the top speed from 145mph to 155mph. Not bad for a free update. The only drawback is that it reduces your max range from 315 to 280, a decrease of 11 percent. It's a pretty cool value, but I'd honestly skip it. I love the way the 21 inch wheeks look, but they make the car ride a little rougher. It doesn't "beat you up" per se, but you definitely feel every imperfection on the road. For my needs, I'd gladly sacrifice some speed and performance, in favor of a cushier ride and longer range. In this case, maybe the long-range model is really the one for me." — Ron Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor
"I spent a few days in the Model Y to prepare for a video comparison with the Model 3 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. My wife owns a Model 3 and I was particularly interested in how it would compare as a family car (we have a baby daughter).
No doubt as she grows up, our daughter will appreciate the extra rear legroom of the Y, but for now there's ample space for a child seat in either. The extra versatility of the hatchback is useful in the Model Y for throwing in the stroller, but I find the absence of a load cover irritating. Anyone peering through the glass can see what's inside." — Alistair Weaver, VP, editorial & editor-in-chief
"Outside of driving, it appears that the Model Y has three primary attributes: 1) A taller seating position for the perception of improved visibility. 2) A massive second row. 3) Much more storage capacity than the Model 3.
Visibility: The forward view appears strong, but for some reason I have a heightened awareness of the overhangs. My theory is that is has to do with how I can't see the hood from my ideal sitting position. The a-pillars are pretty thick. But worse, the rear view is abysmal. I'm calling it Camaro-like. Other coupe-style SUVs have similar problems, but that doesn't forgive the poor rearward view. You really have to rely on the array of sensors and alerts to safely reverse in this thing.
Second row: It's massive. Tons of head and leg room. Really like the reclining second row as well. USB-C charging ports will be great for those who have phones/devices that use them; otherwise you'll have to get an adapter. Standard heated rear seats is something you wont find standard in other small luxury SUVs, but there are no physical controls back there — odd. Also, you can adjust the rear vents but three-zone climate is not available.
The second row can be folded down from the cargo area, but in our car only the passenger side drops without a nudge. The second row is also pretty darn heavy too, especially the driver side. My wife actually might have trouble putting it back in place — still need to test." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content