Tesla Model X review
|Car type||Official range||Tesla wallbox charge time||Tesla rapid charge time|
|Electric||303-315 miles||7hrs (0-100%, 16.5kW)*||38mins (10-80%, 200kW)**|
*with three-phase domestic electrical supply **from v3 Tesla Supercharger
SUVs account for one in three global car sales. They're big business, and Tesla was the first to capitalise on demand from those after a pure-electric offering. And the Tesla Model X isn’t ‘just’ an SUV, it’s an absolute behemoth with permanent four-wheel drive and the option of five, six or seven seats, plus more luggage space (courtesy of front and rear boots) than even the annual family Center Parcs holiday will require.
The Model X certainly gets its fair share of attention. The egg-like silhouette is distinctive enough, but its ‘Falcon Wing’ rear doors are real show-stoppers. Small crowds will gather whenever they open; they have that kind of novelty value. They have a functional aspect, too, as they reveal a big aperture that gives easier access than conventional doors can offer.
Also appealing is the technology and performance under the metal. The Model X has the ability to outdo most cars in a drag race: the Performance with variant will go from 0-60mph in a gut-wrenching 2.7 seconds, thanks to the inclusion of the company's 'Ludicrous Mode'.
The Tesla also has one of the best ranges of any electric car. Both the Long Range and Performance variants feature a 100kWh battery pack, and achieve 315 and 303 miles of range respectively (the latter concedes some range in pursuit of its savage turn of speed).
Thanks to the Tesla Supercharger network – with stations covering the majority of the UK motorway network and beyond – the Model X also promises easier long-range touring than rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC, which must wait for public chargers to catch up. A Tesla ‘Supercharger’ will deliver around 80% charge under 45 minutes, while a standard 7kW home wallbox will deliver a full charge in around 13 hours.
In keeping with the rest of brazenly modern aspects of the Model X, the interior is dominated by an enormous, portrait-orientated touchscreen that feels and looks like the future of in-car user interfaces. There are very few physical buttons – the screen controls much of the standard equipment, and even the doors and sunroof can be controlled from there.
Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ semi-autonomous driving system is another feature that makes the Model X feel more forward-looking than just about any rival. You’ll enjoy driving it yourself, as well. The smooth, almost unsettlingly rapid performance, matched to secure, easygoing (if rather flat-footed) handling will satisfy anyone shopping in this class, even if it falls a long way short of Range Rover Sport levels of entertainment.
However, there’s no forgetting the low daily running costs, the impressive range on a full charge, the tax advantages for company-car users and the sheer sense of occasion found in driving this car. Expensive it may be, but the Model X is still one of the most comprehensive electric-car propositions around.
This all adds up to a very compelling package, but also a very expensive one. The cheapest Tesla Model X – the Long Range – costs nearly £84,000, while the Performance costs nearly £98,000: to say this is an expensive car for private buyers is an understatement.
'Ludicrous Model' is now a standard feature on the Performance Model X, having previously cost an extra £8,200. Autopilot is standard on the Model X, too, although 'Full Self-Driving Capability' costs a further £4,900.
For more on the Tesla Model X, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.