2021 Tesla Model Y Review


Tesla Model Y Review: Nearly Great Critically Flawed

2021 Tesla Model Y Dual Motor: Regular Car Reviews

The Tesla Model Y seems like the complete package, but its active safety suite is so fundamentally flawed that the whole dish is completely ruined.

Tim Stevens

Editor at Large / Cars

Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid ’90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to videogame development. Currently he pursues interesting stories and interesting conversations in the technology and automotive spaces.

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Is The 2022 Tesla Model Y Worth It Which Model Y Is The Best Value

The default choice for a 2022 Tesla Model Y is the Long Range version, with standard AWD. The Performance version is fun, but its rated-range is 10% lower . Buyers who dont need rated-ranges of more than 300 miles may want to see if a local Tesla Store will special-order a Standard Range version .

Deliveries for the Performance version are quoted for August through October, but a Long Range Model Y ordered today wont arrive until next January at the earliest.

The Full Self-Driving option, at $12,000, is a questionable bet on a future technology with no guaranteed delivery date, so thats one to avoid. The seven-seat interior, at a cost of $3,000, is also a questionable upgrade, as the sloping roofline makes the added seats unusable by adults for any length of time, if at all. If you really need the extra seats in a compact EV shape, it might be worth holding out for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQB, an electrified version of the compact three-row GLB.

Warranty And Maintenance Coverage

Warranty coverage for the Model Y mirrors that of the Model 3, Model S, and Model X models, which means four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage for the battery and electric motors.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Don’t Miss: Tesla Model Y Self Driving

Tesla Model Y Changes: Whats The Difference Vs The 2021 Model Y

As is commonly known, Tesla updates its vehicles throughout the year so the changes mentioned here are the ones known at the time of writing. For 2022, the Standard Range model falls away. As for the Long Range, it can now go 330 miles on a full charge , although this is only 4 miles up on last year’s equivalent model. Tesla also began building some Model Ys with an updated battery with a structurally integrated design. As mentioned, the Model Y is now much pricier with a starting price tag of well over $60,000.

What Are The Rivals

Tesla Model Y 2021 / 2021 Tesla Model Y Reviews, Pricing &  Specs ...

Theyre multiplying by the week. Chief fodder for the Model Y to chew up and dispatch is the VW ID.4, and its Audi Q4 e-tron, Q4 Sportback and Skoda Enyaq siblings, none of which can get close to the Teslas range. Then theres the much more enduring Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the more design-led Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

Mercedes EQB will storm the EV segment with seven seats soon, which Tesla is tardy in offering in the Model Y, and BMWs iX3 purports to offer a very straight-bat rival, though its compromised by not being based on a bespoke EV platform, which the Tesla of course is.

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Tesla Model Y Performance Review

This brings us onto straight-line speed, where the Model Y stands out over rival single-motor electric SUVs, such as the BMW iX3. Indeed, as standard, the Model Y has a dual-motor configuration thats unofficially estimated to output 342 kW of power and 633 Nm of torque. We had the Long Range model tested from 0-60mph in a blistering 4.68 seconds, which is a tad bit better than the manufacturers claim of 4.8s. Top speed is rated at 135mph, while the Performance model can attain up to 155mph and get to 60mph from a standstill even quicker its claimed at 3.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest SUVs on the market.

To put things into perspective, we had the dual-motor Model 3 Long Range tested at 4.41s, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin at 4.51s, the Jaguar I-Pace at 4.8s and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD at 4.87s. As for the single-motor BMW iX3 it attained 0-60mph in 6.28s, the Audi Q4 40 e-tron in 7.67s, the Mercedes EQA 250 in 7.69s, and the Skoda Enyaq iV in 7.95s.

Aside from sheer speed, the all-wheel drive Tesla Model Y also instils plenty of confidence when driving in trickier conditions. Indeed, over its two-wheel drive competitors the Model Y has a lot more grip around windy country roads and wetter terrain.

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Find the best Tesla Model Y deals on LeaseLoco

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Somehow The Model Y Remains Wildly Quick And Efficient At The Same Time

The Model Y deploys its instant torque with glee, leaping off the line with the same suddenness as its sedan counterpart. It gets a 7 on our scale for its prodigious acceleration.

Is the Tesla Model Y AWD?

With the dropping of the standard range model, dual-motor all-wheel drive comes standard. Tesla doesnt publish power figures of its own, but the Performance model has been estimated at around 480 hp.

How fast is the Model Y?

Fast fast. The slow model is the Long Range that only hits 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. In the Performance it takes a scant 3.5 seconds. Those are numbers that blow away many of the other electric crossovers .

There are several regenerative braking settings, the most aggressive of which allows one pedal driving. But in Chill mode, with the brake regen turned all the way down, the Model Y calms down and is much easier to drive around smoothly.

Ride quality is firm, as it is in the Model 3. Youll feel the bumps in the road, especially in the Performance version. The low center of gravity gives the Model Y some cornering prowess and less body roll than other crossovers.

Towing capacity tops out at 3,500 lb with an optional tow package. Despite its lack of ground clearance, there is an Off-Road Assist feature for loose surfaces.

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With Stellar Crash Ratings And Extensive Safety Features The Model Y Excels

How safe is the Model Y?

The 2022 Model Y earns full marks in crash testing, with a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. On top of that, it comes with a long list of standard and optional safety technology. It earns a 9 out of 10 in this category.

Automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors come standard on the Model Y. Adaptive cruise control is also standard , but for more driver-assistance features youll have to step up to the Full Self-Driving package. Thats also a bit of a misnomer: It can change lanes automatically and Summon the vehicle to you in a parking lot but many of its features feel gimmicky and a stretch for the packages $12,000 price tag.

All of that glass gives the Model Y solid visibility in all directions, though the low dipping hood can make the front of the crossover hard to see.

Battery Power Charge Times And Range

2021 Tesla Model Y | Forget the 3, BUY the Y [In-Depth Review]

The Model Y Long Range can cover 326 miles, and the Performance variant still does pretty well at 303 miles. These two cars each have a pair of electric motors, enabling all-wheel drive. Every 2021 Model Y has a 75-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor.

An ideal way to recharge a Model Y is at home, using a 240-volt outlet and letting it work overnight for about 10 to 12 hours. If a longer journey is necessary, Teslas expanding network of Superchargers can replenish a battery completely in about an hour. As well as charging the car, it charges the driver for the electricity. The current rate is 28 cents per kWh.

Long Range

481 lb-ft of torque EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 115/106/111 MPGeRange: 303 miles

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Verdict: Is The 2022 Tesla Model Y A Good Suv

While the Tesla Model Y crossover doesn’t offer much that’s new that we haven’t seen in older Teslas, it crucially introduces a more affordable SUV to slot in below the Model X. It is a bit of a pity that the company has abandoned the Standard Range model and drastically raised prices recently, though. The Audi e-tron isn’t as fast but feels much more premium, and the price gap between it and the Model Y has all but shrunk. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a much tougher competitor in terms of price and has proven popular so far. Regardless of which Model Y you go for, it’s extremely quick, has a practical driving range, a spacious cabin, and plenty of features. Interior quality leaves something to be desired and we’d skip the seven-seater option with its cramped third row, but these aspects are unlikely to prevent the Model Y from storming up the sales charts.

Interior Comfort And Cargo

The Model Y doesn’t come with the larger Model X crossover’s complicated Falcon Wing doors its interior is mostly carryover from the Model 3 sedan. Like that car, it is largely free of buttons and relies mostly on a large infotainment display centered on a simple dashboard. An all-glass roof lends an airy ambience to the cabin but is heavily tinted to avoid roasting occupants in Sun Belt states. The optional third row of seats adds a steep $3000 to the Model Y’s priceâwe can’t imagine they’ll be spacious enough for adults to ride in comfort.

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There Are Obvious Reasons The Model Y Is One Of The Best

This Tesla Model Y owner has already owned two Model Y crossovers. If he wasn’t happy with the first one, you’d better bet he wouldn’t have bought another. Would he buy a third, if needed? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. In fact, this owner makes the shortcomings of Model Y ownership clear, especially for people who are just placing their orders now.

YouTube influencer Bearded Tesla Guy says his 2021 Model Y has been an amazing car. Moreover, it has been a better EV than his 2020 Model Y, offering a more refined experience and an impressive 25,000 miles of trouble-free driving so far.

This owner raves about the Model Y’s low costs for fuel and maintenance, which are especially helpful amid high gas price and inflation. While saving his family a notable amount of money, the electric crossover also provided the utmost in comfort and capability, making it solid option for daily use and long road trips.

Bearded Tesla Guy believes his Tesla SUV is worth every penny he paid for it, but he got it for a steal compared to what it costs today. When he ordered the 2021 version, it carried a base price of just $51,490. Today, a Model Y will set you back a bare minimum of $65,900 before any taxes and fees, and it could be a year before you can take delivery.

Learn More About The Tesla Model Y:

Massive Cargo Carrying Capacity

Tesla Model Y 2021 3D

So having seven seats wont be a selling point for the European Y. If youre wondering whether to go for a Tesla Model 3 or Y, therefore, the most likely deciding factor is going to be cargo carrying capacity. The Model 3 isnt badly endowed in this respect, but the Model Y is in a different league. For a start, it has a hatch back and the bed of the boot / trunk is flat right up to the edge. With the space under the floor, two compartments either side, and another small area further forward, the Model Y has a whopping 854 liters of capacity.

The Tesla Model Y has the largest boot in its class by a significant margin.

James Morris

If you fold the rear seats forward, this expands to an enormous 1,869 liters more than any EV in its class, including the incredibly capacious Skoda Enyaq iV. You can drop forward the middle section only for long items alongside two rear passengers, and there are switches at the rear of the boot to release the rear seats remotely something weve only seen on premium cars. Theres a sizeable frunk, too, with a further 117 liters enough for a couple of overnight bags on its own. In total, Tesla claims the Model Y can carry 2,100 liters of luggage. The Model Y is also rated for towing up to 1,600kg, although theres no price yet listed for this and you cant specify it in advance.

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Range And Charging Time

The Model Y Standard Range can travel for 244 miles between charges that figure rises to 326 miles with Long Range models. And the Performance trim has a driving range of 303 miles.

Those figures make the Model Y a top choice if driving range is a primary concern. It’s able to travel for a longer distance between charges than the and .

A common household socket takes almost 31 hours to charge the Model Y Standard Range fully. With a 240-volt home charger, charging takes a little over 7 hours. And at a Tesla Supercharger, or any other DC charging station, charging takes up to 50 minutes.

Tesla Doesnt Follow Tradition

Tesla doesnt follow the traditional model for updating its vehicles. Instead, it frequently introduces changes to its lineup mid-cycle.

For this review, we tested the Model Y Standard Range RWD that the company positioned as the entry-level version with the shortest range. When it launched in January 2021, this model had a starting price tag of $42,000 and an estimated range of 244 miles. But within a month, the company dropped the price to $39,990 andreportedly because mercurial CEO Elon Musk wasn’t happy with its rangeremoved the Model Y Standard Range RWD from its online configuration shortly after. This variant is available off menu while supplies last and is still for sale in China.

Aside from dropping the Standard Range model, the current 2022 Model Y lineupconsisting of the Long Range and Performance AWD trimshasn’t changed much from the 2021 models. Estimated driving range for the Long Range is up this year, to 330 miles when equipped with the standard 19-inch wheels. Picking the more attractive 20 inchers drops range to a claimed 318 miles per charge.

Don’t Miss: Tesla Model Y 3rd Row

Cons: Infotainment System Can Be Distracting Common Features Not Available Stiff Ride High Starting Price Iffy Build Quality

The Tesla Model Y is the first good SUV from the pioneering EV maker. Sure, the larger Model X turns in some great numbers in regard to range and performance, but the interior layout lacks the versatility expected of an SUV. And dont even get us started on the ridiculous falcon-wing doors. By comparison, the Model Y is a lot more traditional, with normal doors and rear seats that fold to give you flexibility between passengers and cargo. On top of that, it benefits from much of what makes the Model 3 so good, since its based on that sedan.

Unlike other carmakers, Tesla doesnt adhere as strictly to model year changes. In the course of a year, a Tesla could gain new features and execute fixes via over-the-air-updates. Prices also fluctuate, as can the availability of certain versions. Teslas reputation for build quality and reliability also leaves something to be desired, and the interiors unusual, touchscreen-reliant controls wont be for everyone. There are other technology oddities we go into below.

In total, the Model Y remains a strong choice among electric SUVs, especially due to its excellent range and Teslas Supercharger network. It is still one of several choices, though, and the competition is growing stronger. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E are all excellent alternatives with much lower starting prices.

Tesla Model Y Pricing

2021 Tesla Model Y: Review Cars.com

We expect the 2023 Tesla Model Y in entry-level Long Range configuration to have a starting price of roughly $61,000. This version provides the most range for your Tesla crossover budget.

Choosing the Model Y Performance variant brings with it additional speed, plus a price increase to around $64,000. Keep in mind, on Teslas website there is a Purchase price, along with a lower After potential savings price.

The latter is what Tesla calculates when factoring in any potential EV incentives and not having to refuel with gas over a 6-year period. Its a little misleading, at least in terms of pegging the actual price youll have to pay to drive a Tesla home.

Major options include the 3rd-row seating, a tow hitch, and what Tesla calls full self-driving mode. This last feature adds a whopping $10,000 to the price, with the promise that at some undetermined point the vehicle will be upgraded and gain complete self-driving capability.

Always check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Tesla Model Y.

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Is The Tesla Model Y A Good Car

The Tesla Model Y is an electric SUV that is a cutting-edge alternative to models such as the BMW iX3, Audi Q4 e-tron and the forthcoming Mercedes EQB.

Based on the hugely popular Model 3, its a bit like if someone uploaded a picture of a Model 3 into Photoshop and started stretching its proportions. Its longer and ever so slightly wider, but noticeably taller, meaning it looks more like a shrunken Model X.

The extra size means, unsurprisingly, extra space. The Model Y was first shown as a seven-seat model directly rivalling the EQB, but its only sold as a five-seater for the time being Tesla wont say when three-row models will go on sale.

Still, those in the rear get more head and legroom than in a Model 3, and all the seats are raised up to give a better view out. It also offers a huge 1,869-litre load bay with the rear seats down, which is more than you get even in the roomy Skoda Enyaq. You get a panoramic glass sunroof as standard to make the interior feel light and airy, too.

Like every other Tesla including the Model 3, the Model Y has a giant infotainment screen dominating the dashboard, and very little in the way of physical switchgear. The screen is in a landscape style , is 15-inches in size and used to control almost all the cars systems even the door mirrors. It takes a bit of getting used to, but is one of the best screens on the market in terms of graphics and response.

Check out our leasing deals on the Model Y, and other Teslas, by

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