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 05/19/22)
- More firmware updates
- Ride comfort is still an issue
- NEW VIDEO: Hyundai Ioniq5 vs Tesla Model Y
What We Bought And Why
• Our test vehicle: 2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range All-Wheel Drive Performance
• Base MSRP: $61,125
• MSRP as tested: $68,700
• What we paid: $68,700
Our 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long Range had a rocky start. At one point we had so many problems that we dedicated a channel in Slack to it just to document it all. But then last year, we named the 2020 model our Top Rated Electric Car. Clearly, things can improve.
So when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Tesla Model Y, which essentially appeared to be an SUV version of the Model 3, we paid close attention. We also put a pre-order in as soon as the website would accept it. The Tesla Model 3 is great. Wouldn't one with a larger interior and more cargo space be an even better electric vehicle? Buying a Model Y was the best way to find out.
What Did We Get?
After owning two single-motor and rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3s back to back, we decided to go big with our Model Y. Doing so meant ordering the All-Wheel Drive Performance trim, as it's described on our sales documents. When we ordered it, this trim level had a starting price of $61,125 (including destination), though Tesla Model Y prices have changed since we placed our pre-order in March 2019.
We also selected the Model Y's no-cost Performance Upgrade that adds 21-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, a lower suspension and the all-important aluminum alloy pedals. This upgrade drops Tesla's range estimate from 315 miles to 280 miles, but it increases the top speed from 145 mph to 155 mph. The 0-60 mph claim of 3.5 seconds is unaffected.
All the previous Teslas we've owned have muted exterior colors (including our Signature Red Model X), so for the Model Y we went with the Red Multi-Coat paint ($2,500 at the time of our order). It's the fastest color there is, OK? And judging by everyone's reactions so far, this was the right color choice.
Lastly, we went one step above Autopilot and checked the box for Full Self-Driving Capability ($5,000 at the time of our order). Whether this capability will actually be realized during our ownership of the Model Y is a subject of much discussion (and a fair amount of eye-rolling), but we wanted to be ready just in case.
Why Did We Get It?
After owning a Model S, a Model X and two Model 3s, it seems silly to stop now. (We also have a Cybertruck on order.) In all seriousness, Tesla continues to provide one of the most fascinating vehicle ownership experiences out there, electric car or otherwise, and the Tesla Model Y represents an even stronger mainstream offering than the Model 3. With that in mind, we want to see how well it measures up to daily life with our staff. We're also interested in assessing build quality, which has been an issue with the majority of Teslas we've owned. Lastly, the Model Y is a small luxury SUV that Tesla says can do 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and 155 mph. What's not to like?
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.
2020 Tesla Model Y: Real-World Fuel Economy
It's been two years since we first took ownership of the Model Y and we're not close to the EPA-estimated 30 kWh for combined driving. Remember, a lower number is better when it comes to electric vehicle fuel economy figures. We've only beat the EPA estimate on a handful of occasions. We'll chalk this up to the lead feet on staff, as our Performance model has gone through a number of drag tests and spirited driving.
Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 40.9
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 30 combined (29 city, 32 highway)
Best consumption (kWh/100): 25.6
Best range: 242.8
Average range: 105.1
Current odometer: 22,728
One of the perks of owning an electric vehicle is that sometimes you can park in special parking spaces in commercial centers, that are for EV's only. Often they are paired with a charging station so that you can top off while running your errands. This weekend I went to the Getty Center, located high on a hill, facing the west side of Los Angeles. The parking lot seemed full, but I was able to find the EV spaces which were in a prime spot, close to the elevators. This may be an LA thing, because there was a separate section for Teslas (since they have a proprietary charge cord) and then one of other EVs. After my visit to the museum, I returned to find the Model Y on a full charge. The cherry on top was that the charge was free! — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
The Edmunds test team has evaluated a 2021 Tesla Model Y on our real-world EV range loop. It fared better than our long-term performance Model Y, but still failed to meet its EPA estimated range. This has been a common trend when with other Teslas we've tested. Read this story to find out more:
TESTED: 2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range Falls Just Short of EPA Range
Tesla's proprietary DC fast charging network — aka, the Supercharger network — is a huge advantage for driving long distances. It's far and away the most convenient system in my experience. First of all, there are way more charging locations than what other 3rd party charging networks (such as Electrify America) currently have. These locations are all nicely integrated into a Tesla's onboard navigation system, too. To use a Supercharger, you simply back into the space, connect the charger cable and let it do its work. You don't have to fiddle with a charging unit touchscreen, a mobile app or anything else. The per kWh charges for electricity are reasonably priced and are automatically applied to a credit card that you keep on file. Tesla also does a better job of building its stations near convenient locations with shopping and bathrooms. — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
|Total routine maintenance costs|
|Additional maintenance costs|
|Scheduled dealer visits||1|
|Unscheduled dealer visits||1|
|Days out of service|
|Breakdowns stranding driver|
"The right side foglight on our long-term Tesla Model Y had sunken into the bumper. It was something my colleague Carlos Lago pointed out in our one-year summary video 'How Reliable Is a 2020 Tesla Model Y After a Year?' (go to minute 9:07). Yes, that video was shot roughly a year ago, but I think it 'hibernated' sometime before we shot our 'Drag Race! Tesla Model Y vs. Porsche Taycan' video in January 2021. That video marks the first time I was able to spot it on film. So, yeah it's been a while. But there was no rush to get it fixed, so it slid down our priority list until now.
"I requested a service appointment, through the Tesla app, in February of this year (2022). The soonest appointment available was nearly a month later, on March 17. It was a mobile service appointment, so I didn't have to leave home. Pretty convenient. Tesla gives you a five-hour window for their technician to show up. Mine was 7 AM-12 PM. The mechanic arrived at about 9 AM or so.
"I also used this appointment to address other outstanding items. The trim on the interior of the B-pillar, where the seat belt attaches, had not only become loose, but it was also affecting the operation of the sliding seatbelt adjusting mechanism. Finally, the driver's side sun-visor clip had come apart from the headliner. Kurt had pointed this out in April 2021, which we chronicled on this page, in the interior section.
"One problem I realized with Tesla mobile service is that while it is convenient, the repair guy doesn't have access to other parts that might be needed. For example, I was asked to send in a photo of the sunken foglight, before the appointment. Presumably, their techs looked at it and made a prediction of what would be needed. Our guy brought a new foglight assembly.
"But once the mechanic got a look at it in person, a new bracket is what was needed, which is something that is glued to the bumper. He mentioned that it needed a high-strength glue that he had in the shop. But to his credit, he said he'd check what he had in his truck to see if he could find a workaround.
"I went back into my apartment and about an hour later, I received a call from the technician. He was able to install the new foglight and glued the bracket with whatever he had in his truck. He also performed an "Interior Component/Trim/Seal Adjustment" on the b-pillar trim and sun-visor clip. The work was covered under the factory warranty, so we were not charged for the service.
"Days out of service: Zero
Total Cost: $0
"So far the repairs on the foglight and b-pillar trim have held up, but the sun-visor clip popped back out a few weeks later. It'll have to wait until the next service." — Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"My co-worker Ron Montoya and I were wondering how our Model Y's tires are holding up now that we've got, as I write this, about 11,800 miles on the odometer. Our editorial team has certainly done more performance driving than what you might expect from the typical Model Y owner. Pleasingly, the Pirelli P Zero performance tires still have a respectable amount of tread left. I didn't notice any abnormal wear on the inner or outer edges, either." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"We had a front tire go flat on us recently. Luckily, I was at home when I noticed it. The culprit was a nail stuck in the tread of the tire. I called Tesla's roadside service and they gave me a two options: Get towed to the Tesla service center, where they'd provide a "loaner wheel" while they repaired our actual wheel. This option would get me back on the road that same day. Or wait for the following day, when there was an opening for Tesla's tire repair service. The latter seemed more convenient and I didn't have anywhere important to go that day, so I opted for the mobile repair service.
Tesla gave us a three hour window and the repair main arrived on time. He drove a Ford cargo van that was practically a tire shop on the inside. It was fully stocked with all the tools needed to repair and mount a tire.
Lucky for us the puncture was repairable. The Tesla repairman was able to patch it and our Model Y was drivable within the hour. The repair fee was $78, which is pretty good, considering we never had to go anywhere.
If it had needed a new tire, we called America's Tire for comparison and the cost was going to be around the $350 range plus labor. Tesla's roadside price would be comparable, but we'd have the convenience of having them come to us. It was a good experience overall." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
Are there any recalls applicable to this vehicle?
This recall, reprinted below, was issued February 4:
NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 22V063000
Pedestrian Warning Sound May Be Obscured/FMVSS 141
Pedestrians may be unaware of an approaching vehicle if the PWS sounds are obscured, increasing the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V063000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, FORWARD COLLISION AVOIDANCE
Potential Number of Units Affected 578,607
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2020-2022 Model S, Model X, Model Y, and 2017-2022 Model 3 vehicles. The Boombox function allows sounds to be played through an external speaker while the vehicle is in motion, which may obscure the Pedestrian Warning System (PWS) sounds. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 141, "Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles."
Tesla will perform an over-the-air (OTA) software update that will disable the Boombox functionality when the vehicle is in Drive, Neutral and Reverse modes, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 5, 2022. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-22-00-003.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
February 2, 2022 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 22V050000
Windshield May Not Defrost Properly/FMVSS 103
Decreased defrosting performance may reduce the driver's visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V050000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, VISIBILITY
Potential Number of Units Affected 26,681
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Model 3, Model S, Model X, and 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles. A software error may cause a valve in the heat pump to open unintentionally and trap the refrigerant inside the evaporator, resulting in decreased defrosting performance. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 103, "Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems."
Tesla will perform an over-the-air (OTA) software update, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 1, 2022. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-22-18-002.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
January 27, 2022 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 22V037000
Vehicle May Fail to Stop at Stop Sign
Failing to stop at a stop sign can increase the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V037000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected 53,822
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2016-2022 Model S and Model X, 2017-2022 Model 3, and 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles. The "rolling stop" functionality available as part of the Full Self-Driving (Beta) software may allow the vehicle to travel through an all-way stop intersection without first coming to a stop.
Tesla will perform an over-the-air (OTA) software update that disables the "rolling stop" functionality, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 28, 2022. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-22-00-001.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
November 21, 2021 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 21V912000
Suspension Knuckles May Fracture
Suspension links that separate can reduce vehicle stability and control, increasing the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V912000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Potential Number of Units Affected: 826
Certain 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles are being recalled. In these vehicles, the front and rear suspension knuckles may fracture, causing the suspension links to separate.
May 25, 2021 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 21V387000
Loose Brake Caliper Bolts
Contact with the rim may cause a loss of tire pressure, increasing the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V387000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Potential Number of Units Affected 5,974
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles. The brake caliper bolts may be loose, allowing the brake caliper to separate and contact the wheel rim.
Tesla Service will inspect and tighten, or replace the caliper bolts as necessary, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for owner notification. Owners may contact Tesla customer service online by visiting www.tesla.com/support/contact or by calling 1-877-79-TESLA (or 1-877-798-3752). Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-33-002.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
November 17, 2020 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 20V709000
Loose Control Arm Bolts May Affect Steering
A detached upper control arm can cause the wheels to lean in or out, decreasing the driver's ability to steer and increasing the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V709000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Potential Number of Units Affected 401
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2020 Model Y vehicles. The bolts connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle may have not been properly tightened, allowing the upper control arm to detach from the steering knuckle.
Tesla will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, and as necessary, tighten the bolts, free of charge. The recall was expected to begin November 17, 2020. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-20-31-012.
September 30, 2020 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 20V609000
Inoperative Trailer Brake Lights/FMVSS 108
Trailer brake lights that fail to illuminate during braking increase the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V609000
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Components EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2,567
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2020 Model Y vehicles equipped with a global rear lamp and tow package configuration. A software error prevents the illumination of trailer brake lights. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."
Tesla will notify owners, and has released the firmware update over-the-air (OTA) to vehicles as of September 23, 2020. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-20-00-002.
"I spent a couple days in the Model Y to kick off 2022, marking the most time spent in a Tesla. It remained an incredible acceleration machine, but it struck me how poor it is at being a pseudo-luxury car. Our Model Y cost north of $68,000 and its ride quality, handling, and overall lack of features speak to an economy car. "That hasn't kept the Model Y from becoming ubiquitous around Southern California, of course, but it does make me wonder what the main draw is for consumers — and what vehicle they purchased right before they got into a Tesla." — Jake Sundstrom, editorial assistant
"I've commented about our Model Y's performance before but it's worth bringing up again. This thing is fun. Like, put a capital F cuss word with an "ing" before "fun" and that works for me, too. I like that I don't have to seek out some deserted road to enjoy it. The steering is quick, and the whole vehicle is impressively nimble.
"Plus, I can use the prodigious power just about anytime, and it's near instantaneous. There's no bellowing exhaust sound, either. Now, I realize that could be seen as a downside; there are times when uncorking a big V8 is neat. But again, for just driving around side streets on my way to the grocery store or whatever, I prefer the stealthy acceleration of our Model Y." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Driving the Hyundai Nexo for a week gave me pause. It made me think "If hydrogen were more easily available, would electric cars like the Model Y be much less popular?" The Nexo is Hyundai's new hydrogen fuel-cell SUV. It's a bit of an odd duck (it's the only hydrogen SUV currently available) but it's really well-built and it's excellent to drive. Then, as that train of thought left the station, I thought "Well, why not drive the Model Y and see which one you like more, regardless of fuel availability?" So, I did. Tuesday I drove the Nexo on our 120-mile evaluation loop, then, Wednesday, I hoped in our Model Y and drove the same loop. I like them both, they're both good in their own ways, but the Nexo is much more user friendly. It's quieter, more comfortable, has more features for the money and it has much nicer seats. The Model Y is sexy to look at and it's remarkably quick, but it's not the daily driver I'd choose." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"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
I was really looking forward to some seat time in the Tesla Model Y. Living in L.A., you see them everywhere and they have quite the reputation! I've also never driven an EV before, and with my longer commute to Santa Monica, I'm considering purchasing one.
My experience in the Model Y wasn't quite as I'd expected. To be fair, our Model Y is the Performance model, so it delivers a sportier, stiffer ride than your average EV. However, after 90-plus minutes in the car, I was feeling a little beat-up when I got home. I also wasn't expecting such a noisy cabin. It seemed like every turn or brake caused loud creaks or rumbles. It sounded like the inside of an airport shuttle and not the smooth, futuristic ride I'd imagined.
I was very interested in the adaptive cruise control and Autopilot features, as my focus is on the commute, and I will say that adaptive cruise control worked as expected. My combined three hours on the freeway were softened by the fact that the Model Y could handle the stop-and-go for me. But the Autopilot feature had some issues. At times, it would just quit on me. Once, it struggled to recognize that I was crossing through a wide intersection, didn't quite know what to do, so it disengaged.
I look forward to spending more time with the Model Y to see if the experience is more pleasant the more familiar the car becomes. There's a steep learning curve to handling all applications — everything from navigation to unlocking the trunk — on the single center display screen.
Overall, I'd say my experience with the Tesla Model Y was surprising. I was shocked by the squeaks and creaks and plastics of it all, especially at $68K. I was also disappointed by its stark interior — I expected a little more poshness at that price point. — Carrie Kim, creative services project manager
"Is the ride quality of our Model Y stiff? Yes. But is it uncomfortably stiff? The answer to that depends on what your expectations are. If you think about it in broad luxury SUV terms, then yes, our Y's ride is rough and jittery. But what about from a performance SUV standpoint? This is where I can easily justify it. After all, our Y is responsive and impressively hunkers down when you're driving around turns. If I bought a Model Y Performance — knowing that I wanted performance out of it — I wouldn't mind the ride quality at all." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"While driving home from the Edmunds' test track, I was attempting to roll up my front two windows and happened to rollover a semi-bumpy section of road. The bumps in the road weren't that big, but they were enough to trigger the anti-pinch safety mechanism in the Model Y window. I tried it over several other patchy spots of pavement and could replicate the issue. Just goes to show how stiff the Model Y suspension is (or overly sensitive pinch sensors?)." — Jonathan Elfalan, senior manager, test team
"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
Roughly two weeks from when I last updated our Tesla Model Y, we received another another firmware update. This one also took about 30 minutes to complete.
2022.12.3.6 Tesla Release Notes:
Additional Bottom Bar Customization
You can now add vehicle controls such as defrost, windshield wipers and seat heaters to the bottom bar. Long press any app icon to enter edit mode, then drag the desired control to the bottom bar.
Child Lock can now be enabled for a single rear door. Tap Controls > Child Lock, and select Right, Left, or Both.
Additional Mobile App Controls
Dog Mode and Camp Mode can now be enabled from the Tesla app. Note: This functionality requires mobile app version 4.7.0.
New Language Support
Your touchscreen is now available in Turkish. To switch your language setting, tap Controls > Display > Touchscreen Language.
That's it for this week, Görüşmek üzere! (See you later in Turkish) — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
I updated our Tesla Model Y to its latest firmware the other day. It took about 30 minutes and added a few fixes, quality of life improvements and a nerf to the Boombox feature. I like to geek out over patch notes to my favorite video game and I imagine the same goes for Tesla owners and fans.
2022.8.3.5 Tesla Release Notes
Help Tesla improve the intelligence of features that rely on the cabin camera by sharing analytics from your vehicle. When enabled, cabin camera data will be shared with Tesla if the vehicle experiences a safety critical event like a collision, or if cabin camera functionality requires diagnostics to perform. This data includes short cabin camera video clips to help us further develop future safety features and software enhancements such as collision avoidance updates. As usual, you can adjust your data sharing preferences by tapping Controls ⇒ Software ⇒ Data Sharing ⇒ Allow Cabin Camera Analytics.
Charging Time Estimation
Estimated charging times are now more accurate by taking the current battery pack temperature into account when a vehicle is connected to a Supercharger, or a third-party fast charger.
Vehicle preconditioning accessed via the Tesla app will now remain active up to 30 minutes after a door is opened, making it easier load your vehicle without affecting climate control.
Active Phone Calls
You can now hide your phone call card, allowing you to see the next turn when the navigation turn list is covered. Tap the phone icon on the status bar to show the card again.
New Language Support
Your touchscreen is now available in Czech. To switch your language setting, tap Controls ⇒ Display ⇒ Touchscreen Language.
Boombox features are now only available while parked.
"Tesla's operating system software version 11.0 was released just over the Christmas holiday. It was a fairly substantial update and gives the main screen a new look and added features. These over-the-air updates are something that Tesla owners often praise as one of the features they like best.
"Tesla's blog post, quoted below, details what's new:
Tesla Light Show: Anybody with a computer can now create their own unique Tesla Light Show, no Tesla vehicle required. Using xLights, free open-source software, you can create a light show to perform with any music of your choice. You can then download your show, or shows from other creators, onto a USB flash drive and upload it to your car. Light Show also comes pre-loaded with one song for you to enjoy, and works with all new Model S, new Model X, and any Model 3 or Model Y.
New User Interface: Every Model 3 and Model Y, along with legacy Model S and Model X fitted with an Intel Atom Processor, will receive a fresh digital look that carries over design elements from our new generation Model S and Model X. Several notable features include a customizable app launcher, simplified controls menu and support for a dark mode appearance.
Updated Navigation: Our new navigation allows you to hide map details for a clean, simplified look, and you can now add and quickly reorder multiple stops on your route. Your Tesla will automatically update arrival times and battery levels at each destination.
Games: We've added the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Tesla Arcade for even more excitement and a bit of nostalgia during charging stops. You can now also give your brain a workout with Sudoku, or challenge your friends with The Battle of Polytopia multiplayer.
Entertainment: TikTok is now available on the touchscreen and our new Boombox Megaphone allows you to project your voice via your car's external speaker — perfect for announcing to your friends when it's time to load up and head out!
Audio: For an even better audio experience, there are now five levels of Immersive Audio, including an Auto setting that adapts to the content you're playing, and you can adjust subwoofer output independently to get just the right amount of punch from the bass.
Blind Spot Camera: When signaling to change lanes or make a turn, a live camera view of your blind spot will activate on your touchscreen.
Sentry Mode Live Camera Access: Already live in the United States, we're introducing our Sentry Mode Live Camera Access feature for the rest of North America and the majority of Europe. This feature allows you to view the live feed from the Autopilot cameras directly on your Tesla app.
Cold Weather Improvements: For even more convenience, cold-weather features can now be activated via the Tesla app or center touchscreen at a lower state of charge, allowing you to access features like cabin preconditioning and heated charge port when you may need them most. For every Model 3 and Model Y, we've also added automatic seat heater functionality: first-row seat heaters will automatically adjust based upon cabin conditions and climate control settings.
— Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Plugging the Model Y into a supercharger gets you this informative and attractive charging status screen. And once you know how much time you've got to kill, I love having the option of settling in for some good YouTube content to pass the time. My pick? Historic racing at Le Mans with the volume turned up, of course." — Kurt Niebuhr, vehicle test editor
"There was a firmware update recently that was released for the Model Y. Version 2020.48.30, to be exact. In the past, we needed to be within range of a WiFi signal, but this one updated over the air, which was a nice plus. This updated added driving visualization improvements, quicker access to the wiper and backup camera controls, more detail at Supercharger locations (you can see how many stalls are available), improvements the the "scheduled departure" battery precondition feature and three arcade games were added (Solitaire, Cat Quest and Battle of Polytopia)." — Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
The Tesla Wall Connector is one of the fastest ways to recharge your vehicle at home. It is capable of charging up to 42 miles per hour on our Model Y, assuming you have a 60 AMP circuit breaker. But it also costs $635, plus it needs to be installed by a qualified electrician.
If you have a NEMA 14-50 outlet (typically used for RVs and electric stoves) at home, you can save some money by opting for Tesla's Gen 2 NEMA adapter and have a quick setup process, assuming you're willing to deal with a slightly slower charging speed. Wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?
The NEMA 14-50 is essentially a 240V outlet on a 50 AMP breaker — it's an option that Tesla recommends and it can charge our Model Y at about 29 miles per hour. For reference, the Tesla wall connector would have a charging speed of 36 miles per hour on the same 50 AMP circuit breaker.
Going back to our situation, an editor reached out to us saying that he had a NEMA 14-50 outlet at home and asked if we had an adapter for it. Unfortunately, we did not. We went to Tesla's online store and saw an adapter bundle for around $220. This includes seven adapters for all the NEMA plug variations- good for road trips that may include charge stops at an RV park. Or, you can opt for a single adapter, for $35.
The adaptor bundle was on backorder, however, so we took a two-pronged approach to the solution. We ordered the single 14-50 NEMA adapter from Tesla's website and then contacted our local Tesla service department about the adapter kit.
A couple of days later, we were surprised to see that the 14-50 plug had shipped from Tesla. However, to this day we still have yet to hear back from the parts department... It has been over 4 weeks. Glad we took the two-pronged approach but we admit that we're a little disappointed that the local parts department never really got back to us. — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle test technician
"I was driving our Model Y on our EV range test drive loop. The loop snakes along the coast from Edquarters until you get to the southern edge of Orange County. You then turn around and snake your way back north inland. I'm unfamiliar with the area, so I was using the Model Y's nav system to mark my turns. It was working well enough using both the keyboard and voice commands, and having the map up on that big screen was great. Then it decided to shut off on me.
I was stopped at an intersection and scrolling through the map when the whole thing just sort of faded out. That meant I had no information. I couldn't tell you how fast I was going. I couldn't adjust the radio or the the temperature. The Model Y drove just fine, so I pulled over in a parking lot to call Mike Schmidt, who told me about the "hard reset" fix. Foot on the brake, and hold down both dials on the steering wheel for 10 seconds. After a few minutes, the screen slowly came back to life. I spent another few hours behind the wheel and didn't have any more issues.
I heard that a couple other editors had screen issues, too, though neither one of them had to perform a hard restart. At least I know what to do in the future, and this is a potential issue for any car with a digital interface, but it's particularly troublesome when literally everything is tied to this one screen." — Reese Counts, vehicle test editor
"Without fail, every Tesla I've ever driven, breaks. Every model we've had in our long-term fleet has had some sort of major technological or physical failure. From our early Model S to our $144k Model X, then onto our Model 3 that literally fell apart in my hand, and now our Model Y — everything breaks in some way — and it's not minor enough to overlook at any price point.
It's been months since I've driven our Model Y, but I got back in it for a few days this week and it didn't disappoint... to disappoint. In a strange neighborhood, while I was trying to plug an address into navigation, the entire screen and HVAC system quit on me. Total black out.
This means I can't track range, I can't find the nearest supercharger and I can't navigate my way back to the freeway. Not to mention the lack of tunes, the lack of air-conditioning and the general anger of having a brand-new car that operates like a $68,700 beta test. Like pretty much everyone else these days, I have a smart phone, so I was able to use that while I waited for the system to self-reboot, but from any automaker, this is unacceptable." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"Not too surprisingly, our Model Y's central touchscreen failed to fire up for about the first minute of my drive into the office. It was still just a blank dark expanse when I got out to the street, so I pulled over and waited for it to boot up, which it eventually did. Why wasn't I surprised? Because the same thing happened to me in our long-term Model 3. Not a deal-breaker for a Tesla fan, I imagine, but given that literally all of the vehicle information appears on that screen, it's pretty disconcerting when it fails to report." — Josh Sadlier, director, content strategy
"A few of my neighbors have new Model 3s and both emit sounds from the pedestrian warning system (that sound hybrids and EVs make at speeds below 20 mph) Our Model Y does not make this sound for some reason. So I looked into it and apparently manufacturers like Tesla are only required to put it in half the vehicles they make. Eventually by September 2020, all 'quiet vehicles' will have to have the system in place. I don't particularly like the noise as it's kind of loud, but it is useful in warning people nearby that a large vehicle is on the move." — Jonathan Elfalan, senior manager, test team
"Wireless charging is a nice addition, but phone integration remains lacking. No Android Auto and no Apple CarPlay. While Tesla keeps adding features and improving the screen experience, I'd rather just use what's available on my phone." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
2020 Tesla Model Y: Utility
The Model Y's cargo area is very spacious. Tesla cites 68 cubic feet of maximum capacity, most likely with the rear seats folded down, but it's unclear whether that number includes the front trunk. The rear seats don't fold entirely flat, but there's a wide opening and an easy load-in height.
"I recently used our long-term vehicle for a family road trip and came away impressed with how much stuff I could fit in it. In the back, I fit five suitcases (two bigger suitcases and three carry-ons) plus a few other bags and items. I also stashed some stuff in the Model Y's sizable rear cargo bin beneath the rear cargo floor as well as the front trunk." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"It's my first time actually living with the Tesla for more than just a trip here or there or to a video shoot. It definitely took a rethink and shift of my automotive habits. Similar to driving a diesel in L.A., planning ahead is necessary since popping into any Shell or Chevron isn't an option. Coordinating a meal or a coffee break with a Supercharger stop was a new concept. Admittedly it wouldn't be much of an issue if an owner had a charger at home. "Also admittedly I'm so used to using Google Maps via my phone and shunning any OEM nav help that it took me a while to realize how helpful the Tesla interface is when giving estimates of arrival and return trip battery levels and estimated ranges. "When it came to loading up the family — I agree with Jonathan's opinion that the rear seat tether anchor is JANKY. Had to do a side twist to get it on and locked. The reclinable rear seat did make it easier to adjust and recline the car seat — and easier for a toddler to snooze." — John Adolph, supervising producer
"I was installing my daughter's forward-facing convertible car seat and noticed something peculiar about our Model Y's upper tether anchors. I'm not sure if it's an intentional design, but the anchors seem to be installed upside down, which means they don't really have sufficient clearance for the hook to clip in easily. I managed to still get the hook in but it took much more effort than its supposed to. For people that leave their car seats installed for long periods of time, this is not a huge issue. But because it have to constantly move our car seat in and out of cars, this makes the install more cumbersome. That said, I'm not sure tesla is alone in this. It is a rare occurence, but I have ran into another car that had funky positioning too." — Jonathan Elfalan, senior manager, test team
"It was time for my annual tune up on my road bicycle and the shop isn't near my home, so I had to load it into the back of our Model Y. I don't like taking off the front wheel on my bike, so it tends to take up more room in cars I've been in. I wasn't worried about it not fitting, but I was interested in seeing how easy it would be. I'm pleased to report that it was very easy to fit my bike into the Model Y. It was simply a matter of a button press on each seat back and they quickly laid flat. I had a few inches to spare and it probably could've accommodated two bikes, provided you had a blanket or something to separate them." — Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"It's interesting to me how the vibe of Tesla ownership has changed from when we first tested our Model S to now with our Model Y. Back in 2013, it was a Big Deal to see another Model S owner while driving or when pulling into a Supercharger station. I'd often exchange waves or nods with them. We knew we were driving the future, and it was neat to be at the start of it. Flash forward just seven years. Tesla ownership is decidedly less special. There are way more Teslas at the Supercharger stations, and nobody acknowledges each other. You just plug in, hop back in your car and stare at your phone." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"The dreaded right sun visor clip on our Model Y has come loose again! I had thought our Tesla mechanic had taken care of it after its last service visit, but less than a week later, the clip slipped out of place again. My colleague who was driving it at the time said he might have found a temporary fix. The clip has a a pair of pliable plastic teeth on each end of it (see photo below). He was able to bend them back in place, then turned the clip around, with the hopes that it would grip better. It managed to stay in place, for now. Fingers crossed that it stays that way." — Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Well, I'll follow up on Kurt's previous comment about the sun visor by noting that I also pulled it out as well when trying to adjust it. Oops. Plus, I think our Model Y's interior has even more rattles in it than it did the last time I drove it, which was in the fall of 2020 (it's May 2021 when I write this.) This shoddy construction really does put a damper on the Model Y from an ownership standpoint. It'd be my number one pick for an EV that I'd buy if it wasn't for this." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Whoops. I went to pull the sun visor out of its clasp only to pull the clasp right out of the headliner. It snapped back in without issue, but it takes two hands to release it from the clasp without it happening again. If this were my Model Y, I'd probably just figure out a way to fix it myself and move on with my life." — Kurt Niebuhr, vehicle test editor
"I'm going to echo the sentiments of my colleagues in noticing a pronounced rattling noise in the Model Y. You hear it at low speeds and particularly over bumpy roads. That's thing about not having an engine to make noise, it makes all other sounds stand out. But that said, once you're up to speed and have your music playing, you don't really hear it much." — Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"It seems like our Model Y has developed some interior rattles. While driving on bumpy roads I'll occasionally hear them from the middle roof pillars (the B-pillars, where the front seat belts attach) and the rear hatch area. The rear hatch rattle sounds like it's related to the removable cargo shelf, but I've checked it and it's installed properly. I'd wager that these rattles are because of our Model Y's sport suspension and the corresponding stiff ride." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"The driver's door on our Model Y rattles significantly when you close it. It sounds like the window is shaking around inside there and it's really, really annoying. I'm not sure if this is something that's developed over time (I'll check with some other staffers that have spent more time in the Y) but it's worth noting that this "luxury" SUV has serious build quality problems after just a few months." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"I'm not enthused about our Model Y's build quality, which is of course a well-known Tesla foible. Check out the rear seatbacks, for example. It looks like the passenger-side seatback isn't latched in place, right? But it is! That's a profound misalignment if it came that way from the factory, which I have to assume it did. Yikes." — Josh Sadlier, director, content strategy
"There's plenty of rear legroom in our Y. Headroom is pretty good, too. Anyone under 6-foot-2 tall should be comfortable. The rear seats recline, and there are rear climate air vents mounted in the center console. Whether you're carpooling with friends or schlepping your kids to school, the Model Y's big rear seat should come in handy." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"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
Ryan ZumMallen from Edmunds takes an in-depth look at the 2022 Ioniq 5 and compares it with our very own Model Y to see how well Hyundai's newest electric SUV matches up with Tesla's popular electric car. Ryan breaks down the biggest differences and similarities between the two. Does the Hyundai Ioniq 5 have what it takes to compete against one of the best electric SUVs, the Tesla Model Y? Ryan answers this and a whole lot more.
The Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E are two of the most popular, and two of our favorite, luxury electric SUVs. In this electric SUV comparison, Ryan ZumMallen from Edmunds hits the track with the high-performance versions of these EV SUVs: the 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance and the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Ryan talks about which of these electric SUVs has the better 0-60 time, reveals their real-world range numbers, takes a look at the interiors and much more. How does the new Mach-E stack up to the mighty Model Y? Watch to find out. This is our electric SUV comparison test of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. 2020 Tesla Model Y.
Our 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance has been a drag race champ. Over the past year, our Model Y electric SUV has taken down the likes of the BMW X3, Porsche Taycan and Ford Shelby GT500, just to name a few. But today brings a new competitor in the form of the quickest Tesla available: the Model S Plaid. This Tesla touts 1,020 hp and a 0-60 time of 2.3 seconds. So we obviously had to get the Model S Plaid out to the track to see for ourselves just how much quicker it is than the Model Y Performance in a drag race. It's Tesla vs. Tesla, Model Y vs. Model S, electric SUV vs. electric sedan in today's drag race of the Tesla Model Y Performance vs. Tesla Model S Plaid.
Edmunds took ownership of a 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance last year as part of our long-term test program. Now, one year later, Carlos Lago shares the team's experience after approximately 9,000 miles of use.
With a top speed of 190 mph and a 0-60 mph time of around 3 seconds, the Lamborghini Urus is one of the quickest SUVs on the planet. Can the Tesla Model Y possibly keep up with that kind of power? It's Tesla vs. Lamborghini and electric vs. supercar in this very special drag race of the Tesla Model Y vs. the Lamborghini Urus.
We take EV testing seriously. Like you, we want to know how the range figures provided by the EPA and auto manufacturers match what happens in the real world. To find out, every electric car we evaluate undergoes a real-world range test. You can read more about the test and the results here.
Another week, another drag race with our long-term 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance. Over the past few months, you've seen the Model Y drag racing the BMW X3, Porsche Taycan, Chevy Corvette and Jeep Trackhawk. This time out, we've brought along another car from our long-term fleet, the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500.
We hit the track with our very own 2020 Corvette and 2020 Model Y to see how well a high-performance EV SUV can do against America's iconic sports car. Which one has the better 0-60 time? Can the Model Y keep up against the Corvette? How fast can the Model Y go on a full charge? We answer these questions and more in this very special gas vs. EV drag race.
Which is the fastest EV for $70,000 to $80,000? Is it the base model Porsche Taycan or the Tesla Model Y Performance? Alistair Weaver and Carlos Lago find out in this EV drag race.
The 2020 Tesla Model Y and the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk are some of the fastest SUVs available today. We took both to a test track, to have a good old-fashioned drage race. It's gas versus electricity, can you guess who won?
It's been a frustrating few months of ownership with our Tesla Model Y for one reason: We haven't been able to test it. While you normally wouldn't expect that to be the case for an SUV, especially an all-electric one, ours has the word "performance" twice in its name: It's a Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Performance with the Performance Upgrade. Now that our test track has reopened, we finally get to see how it lives up to its lofty name by measuring how quickly it can stop, how hard it can corner, and how fast it can accelerate.
We've owned nearly every vehicle Tesla has ever sold. While we have — and have outlined — our complaints and criticisms, in this video Carlos Lago explains the things we think the rest of the industry could learn from Tesla.
Edmunds experts Alistair Weaver and Carlos Lago compare the pros and cons of Tesla's Model 3, Model Y and Ford's Mustang Mach-E. Which is the best between the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, and how do the Model Y and Model 3 compare to the Ford Mustang Mach-E? Watch to find out as Alistair and Carlos discuss key differences in electric car price, range, interior, specs and more.
We had plans for a much bigger comparison, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit. We still drove each high-performance luxury SUV, so in this video the Edmunds editorial team discusses the merits of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the BMW X3 M, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe and the Tesla Model Y Performance.
Tesla fans had a lot to say about our first impressions video on Edmunds' new long-term test car: a 2020 Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Performance. Here, Carlos Lago addresses an error or two, adds clarity to the first video, and answers some of your most frequent comments, including those about price, storage, phone integration and additional controls.
Our 2020 Tesla Model Y has arrived! In this video, Edmunds' Carlos Lago takes delivery of our new long-term test car and gives a brief review.