Tesla Model Y: Everything you need to know

The Tesla Model Y is the all-electric crossover that’s built on the same platform as its mass-produced Model 3 sedan sibling, but its family-friendly extra space gives it a higher entry-level tag price than the latter.

If you are looking for a stylish electric compact SUV with some additional room, the newest member of Elon Musk’s stable might be a good one to consider. The Tesla Model Y is positioned just below the bigger Model X SUV with gull-wing doors.

Let’s take a look at the Tesla Model Y specs, pricing, design, and how it compares to its closest rivals in the market today.

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Is the Tesla Model Y worth buying?

The Tesla Model Y was engineered as the perfect family crossover for the average family. It offers the performance you can expect from a Tesla without burning a big hole in your pocket if you want it in your garage.

Tesla Model Y specs and performance

Model Y 2021

The 2021 Model Y, true to its Tesla DNA, is quick and nimble. Whatever variant you pick really doesn’t matter because the numbers are impressive.

The Model Y Performance has a dual motor AWD setup paired with a long-range battery that can go for 303 miles (487 km) on a single charge. In terms of acceleration, the electric crossover can go from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 155 mph (249 kph).

What’s the range of the Tesla Model Y?

Meanwhile, the Long Range variant can go 326 miles (525 km) before running out of juice. It’s tamer than the Performance version and can hit 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds while its top speed is pegged at 135 mph (217 km).

The Standard Range iteration, available during the initial rollout of the Tesla Model Y, was discontinued because its sub-250-mile (402 km) range no longer meets the range standards of the brand.

What should you expect when you drive a Model Y?

Since the battery pack of the vehicle is low-slung, it helps with the stability of the Model Y even when negotiating tight turns and corners. Expect a responsive steering wheel and firm-enough suspension.

With all the power instantly available to you, Tesla made sure the Model Y has a host of tech and safety features. Aside from the big brakes, it comes with Autopilot, an optional (and not currently available) full-self driving feature, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection, among others.

Tesla Model Y design

The Model Y is consistent with the design philosophy of Musk’s car brand. It oozes with a good amount of appeal inside and out.

The Model Y exterior can easily be confused for a Tesla Model 3. This is not surprising because the two vehicles share about 70 percent of parts. However, the Model Y has a taller roof, and its body lines are more pronounced and muscular. The Performance version sports 21-inch rims while the Long Range comes with slightly smaller shoes at 19 inches or 20 inches.

Open the door and you’ll discover a Tesla Model Y interior offering a spacious cabin. The Performance model can comfortably fit five adults, while the Long Range one has an option for third-row seating that expands the vehicle’s capacity to seven (but don’t count the third row to be an ideal spot for adults during a long ride).

As in the other members of the Tesla S-3-X-y fleet, the interior has a minimalist theme. The only thing that screams in the middle of the dashboard is the large touchscreen where you can control most of the vehicle’s functions.

How much does Tesla Model Y cost?

The Tesla Model Y price starts at $51,990 for the Long Range and $60,990 for the Performance version. These prices are before potential savings.

For the Long Range, Pearl White multi-coat pain comes with no charge, while the other options will set you back an additional $1,000 minimum. If you want 20-inch Induction rims, over the stock Gemini wheels, then be ready to cough up $2,000 more. The vehicle also comes standard with a black interior and you have to shoulder a $1,000 bill if you opt for a black and white interior. The tow-hitch also comes as an additional feature with a $1,000 charge. The third-row option that provides the vehicle more versatility adds $3,000 to the total.

Those who go for the Performance upgrade get 21-inch Uberturbine rims as standard, along with performance brakes, aluminum alloy pedals, and lowered suspension. The same extra charges for a tow hitch, paint option, and interior trim apply.

If you place an order today, the Model Y delivery time is estimated at three to 13 weeks.

Model Y vs. Model 3: A quick comparison

The youngest members of the Tesla fleet helped propel the market cap of the company to almost $600 billion as of this writing, and even higher in recent history. This sealed the position of the brand in the car industry as it eclipsed the combined value of traditional car manufacturers.

Both Model Y and Model 3 are also well-loved by consumers. Cumulatively, Tesla reported during their Q1 2021 earnings call that both vehicles accounted for more than 1 million units sold since their official release. However, the Model Y overtook the Model 3 as the best-selling EV in the United States, according to a report.

Perhaps the most obvious consideration when choosing between the Model Y and the Model 3 would be the storage space. While the former has 68 cubic feet in the frunk and rear cargo area with seats folded, the Model 3 only has 15 cubic feet. That’s a huge difference considering the Model Y is just 7.2 inches taller, 2.2 inches longer, and 2.8 inches wider than the Model 3.

In terms of space, the electric crossover also has more breathing room. The Model Y offers 5.3 inches more legroom and about 1.7 inches more headroom compared to its electric sedan sibling.

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When it comes to transporting people, the value proposition of the Model Y stands out. While the third-row seats don’t offer much space, it’s still two extra seats that come practical for dads and moms going with kids to soccer games or family trips. Add to that the option for a tow hitch and towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

However, if you want a more sports-like driving experience, the Model 3 might edge the Model Y slightly. The electric sedan is lighter and can therefore accelerate quicker depending on the variants you compare. It can also go farther because of this, with the Model 3 Long Range boasting 353 miles of estimated range on a single charge.

The bottom line

The Tesla Model Y offers good value overall. It promises punchy performance and a segment-leading range. Plus, it has that option for two extra seats. That matters for young families who need the extra space.

Tesla chief Elon Musk also predicts that the Model Y will be the best-selling car in 2022. And that says a lot.