2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range
It’s been a long time coming to the UK, but the 2023 Tesla Model Y is finally here. And what a great start it is off to, claiming fourth place in the February new car registration charts, and narrowly beating the Model 3 to the title of best-selling electric vehicle. And if the rows and rows of cars ready to be delivered to customers at Tesla’s Dartford facility is anything to go by, then there’s more of that to come. If you’re the kind of buyer that likes to read up and absorb every statistic possible on your new car, you’re going to be sadly disappointed with Tesla. Many of the vital figures are shrouded in an air of mystery with none of the information quoted on the company’s website, in the car’s handbook, or available when we asked the Tesla PR team. Questions about the maximum power and torque, were met by “no comment, we don’t disclose those figures”, and vital information like the car’s kerbweight and towing capacity is only contained on a plate that resides under the front driver’s seat. That’s not very helpful when the car had been returned several days earlier.
Getting going in the Model Y is easy and a flick of the right-hand column stalk, will see you engage drive. The same stalk activates the cruise control, or rather ‘Autopilot’ in Tesla speak, and also selects ‘Park’ when you come to the end of your driving. The handbrake is automatically applied, so you don’t have to worry about that. On the left-hand stalk there’s the indicators and you can flash your lights, but all other functionality, including the operation of the windscreen wipers is all contained within the touchscreen, which can be a bit of a mixed blessing. If you’ve got it open on the right page, then it’s easy to find the setting you want, but if not, your eyes will be off the road for far too long searching for the functionality. The touchscreen itself is easy to operate and sprouts out of the dashboard like a large iPad. Even data like the speed of the vehicle is contained on the screen, so there are times that you’re not always aware of the speed that you’re doing, unless you’re religiously checking it. One of the biggest annoyances, especially on a car costing £55k, is that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay isn’t available. Instead, the car is equipped with Bluetooth that will stream your music, but that really isn’t a decent enough substitute in this day and age.
THE CABIN OF THE MODEL Y APPEARS QUITE BASIC AT FIRST, THOUGH MINIMALISTIC IS PROBABLY A BETTER DESCRIPTION
The cabin of the Model Y appears quite basic at first, though minimalistic is probably a better description. The dashboard and door tops are pleasingly squidgy, though the faux wood trim looks exactly that, fake. All of the materials feel like they are built to last, though we did experience a few squeaks and rattles during the time we had the car. Faux leather is utilised for both the seat upholstery and the steering wheel, which will make vegans and animal lovers happy. Over long distances the seats are comfortable and it’s very easy to get a comfortable driving position thanks to electrically operated chairs. Even with the panoramic glass roof fitted, there’s plenty of headroom both front and back, and rear seat occupants will have plenty of space to lounge about in. Getting in and out is easy thanks to wide opening doors, though the door handles are fiddly to operate. All round vision is largely decent from the driver’s seat, though it’s a good job that there are cameras to aid reversing, as the view through the rear screen is shallow.
Squeeze the accelerator and there’s swift performance away from rest. As Tesla doesn’t reveal power figures, it’s difficult to benchmark against rival cars, however, there’s plentiful acceleration and strong meaty brakes to bring you to a stop. Three driving modes of Comfort, Standard and Sport are available, but we found that there wasn’t very much difference between any of them and kept it set to ‘comfort’. When up to a cruising speed there’s very little sound to be heard from the outside world, with road and wind noise all impressively muted. When tackling some entertaining back roads, there were times when the steering felt too direct and certainly on the motorway, it could be described as nervous. The Model Y feels quite agile through bends, with not very much body lean, and a confidence inspiring planted feel, no doubt due to the twin motor all-wheel drive system. Ride comfort is to be commended, with all but the biggest of bumps shrugged off as though they weren’t there.
The Model Y is a deeply impressive car, and though it isn’t perfect, we can see why there are so many fans for the brand. This Tesla will appeal to the same kind of person that must have the latest iPhone and iPad, despite the high purchase price.
FACTS & FIGURES TESLA MODEL Y
- On sale Now
- In showrooms Now
- Prices £54,990 to £64,990
- Bodystyles 5-door SUV
- Engines Electric automatic (unknown bhp)
- Trim levels Long Range, Performance
- Also consider Jaguar I-Pace, Skoda Enyaq iV Coupé vRS
- Model tested Long Range
- Price £54,990
- Built in Shanghai, China
- Codename Model Y
- Generation 1
- Platform Model 3
- Bodystyle 5-door SUV, 5-seats
- Layout Four-wheel-drive
- Powerplant Electric motor and unknown kWh lithium-ion battery pack
- Gearbox 1-speed automatic
- Max power Unknown
- Max torque Unknown
- Top speed 135mph
- 0-60mph 4.8secs
- CO2 emissions 0g/km
- Range 331 miles
- Recharge time (Domestic socket/7kW home charger/50kW rapid charger/150kW rapid charger) 36 hours/12 hours/1 hour/20 minutes
- Insurance 50
- BIK rate (2021/2022 tax year) 2%
- Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,751/2,129mm
- Boot space (min/max) 854/2,041 litres
- Kerb/max towing weight Not known/Not known
- Euro NCAP rating Not yet tested
- Spare wheel (Full-size/spacesaver/run-flat/selfseal/repair kit) No/no/no/no/no
- Warranty – car 4 years/50,000 miles
- Warranty – battery 8 years/120,000 miles
- Verdict A deeply impressive, feature rich product that will appeal to those that must have the latest technology at any cost.
- Rating ■■■■■■■■■■9/10