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New Car Reviews

New Car Review: Tesla Model Y Long Range

Published 14th April 2022Read Time 13 min

Good Stuff 👍

Great space, peerless charging network, user-friendly tech, acceleration.

Bad Stuff 👎

The overly firm ride, quite noisy cabin.

What is The Tesla Model Y?

The more spacious offshoot of the Model 3

The Tesla Model Y is the more spacious offshoot of the Model 3 and will most likely end up being Tesla’s biggest selling car as it will tick an awful lot of boxes for Tesla owners as they grow up and their families expand. It shares around 75% of its components with the cheaper Model 3, a car that has served to successfully bring Tesla ownership to a much wider audience.

The drawbacks of the excellent Model 3 are few, but they include only being a saloon, which doesn’t suit dog owners and Model 3 owners with families were probably craving just a bit more space from their Model 3. Well here is the answer, the Model Y, which takes much of the same recipe as the Model 3, but uses a much bigger baking tin to offer tons of legroom and headroom, as well as a much bigger hatchback at the rear. In some markets, like the US, there is the option of two extra seats in the boot, there is no word on that here just yet, but this doesn’t look like it would be the best idea given the sharply sloping glass on the boot lit, but that is for another time.

How does the Tesla Model Y look?

Svelte and a little fish-like that's instantly recognisable

The Tesla shape, svelte and a little fish-like is instantly recognisable, especially by any 8-year old, to whom any of them these days is better than anything from Ferrari or Lamborghini. The fact that Tesla have captured the imagination of kids bodes well for the brand’s future. Collect your kids at the school gates in one of these and watch them beam with pride. It is pretty intoxicating. They do of course, see it as a large toybox on wheels, but more on that later. Park a Model Y beside a Model 3 and you will notice the dramatic height difference. It is only 50mm longer, at 4,751mm, but a considerable 181mm taller. 27mm goes into increasing the ground clearance to 167mm, so the body height is taller by more than 150mm. It does make the Model Y look a little more awkward than the very pretty Model 3 and even with entry-level 19” wheels, the wheels look quite small.

“minimalist apartment with eco-friendly materials and clean lines”
Paddy Comyn

What's the Tesla Model Y inside like?

Famed for its simplicity

If you haven’t been in a Tesla, their interiors are unique. Sure, lots of cars these days come with a big screen, but few come with such total focus on this as the car’s altar. There is little else aside from the screen, seats and a steering wheel. Everything and I mean everything else is controlled from the 15” screen. You control the wind mirrors, wipers, boot opener etc all from here and that can take a little getting used to, but once you do, it quickly becomes seconds nature. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but things like Spotify and Google Maps are already in-built so don’t really miss it and you can always use Bluetooth to play things like Apple Podcasts.

Aside from that, the inside is like a minimalist apartment with eco-friendly materials and clean lines. Some of the plastics won’t worry Audi too much but for the most part, it’s a lovely place to be. The extra space on offer adds up to a great family experience, especially with the large glass roof which gives a very airy feel to the cabin. The boot space is vast and the front boot also has a useful 117-litres of space, which makes it ideal for keeping charging cables out of sight.

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What's the Tesla Model Y like to drive?

It's blisteringly fast

The Tesla experience, for the uninitiated, is quite startling as the instant surge of power (estimated to be around 434hp) hurls this family car towards the horizon at an alarming pace, silently. That is even without opting for the 483hp (or so) Performance version which isn’t that necessary but is of course ludicrous fun. There is an electric motor on each axle, making it all-wheel drive (there is no entry-level Model Y, it starts at the Long Range) and it can sprint to 100km/h in less than 5 seconds and this experience never gets old, even though your tyres will get old sooner than you expect. You can alter the potency of the acceleration (Chill mode) if you don’t want all that fuss of course. The handling of the Model Y is extraordinarily good, with superb grip from the Tesla-specific Hankook tyres.

Where the Model Y does fall short is in the quality of the ride, which often feels too choppy and the noise that comes through the cabin at times is also disappointing for such an expensive vehicle. In terms of its EV capabilities, the combination of a predictable 400+ range no matter what way you drive, combined with the ease of use and ubiquity of the peerless Tesla Supercharging network makes the Tesla EV experience second-to-none. I drove to Cork and back in the same day without an ounce of stress or fuss.

Which Tesla Model Y should I buy?

There are 2 choices

For us, there is no need to buy the Model Y Performance, as the regular Long Range version is plenty fast enough. Up to you if you want larger 20” wheels, they look good, but I think would spoil the ride, so maybe don’t bother. The added Autopilot functionality is clever but in Ireland, pretty unnecessary, so you won’t miss if you don’t spec it.

Is the Tesla Model Y safe?

The Tesla Model Y’s Autopilot system and a plethora of cameras make the Model Y a very safe car to pilot. Euro NCAP hasn’t yet crash-tested the Model Y, but the Model 3 upon which it is so heavily based received a top five-star rating in 2019.

Verdict 👀

The Model Y will be a big seller, there is no doubt about that and the perfect upgrade to anyone wanting more space than a Model 3, but with no less potency or fun. Some might find the ride a little unsettling, so best to stick with the 19” wheels. It isn’t cheap, but the tech and the battery capabilities make it feel worth the money.

Spec Check ⚙️

Tesla Model Y Long Range

Engine

Two Electric Motors

Battery

75 kWh battery

Power

434 bhp

Torque

493 Nm

0-100km/h

5 seconds

Range

533km (WLTP)

Top Speed

213 km/h

Transmission

Single Speed Automatic

Co2

0g/km

Annual Motor Tax

€120

Luggage Capacity

854-litres

Price as tested

€79,585

For more information, visit https://www.tesla.com/

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