In-depth reviews

Tesla Model X review

The Tesla Model X is a huge SUV with a variety of interior seating layouts, astonishing performance, and handy real-world range

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£101,990 - £116,290
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Huge and versatile interior
  • Impressive real-world range
  • Advanced self-driving technology

Cons

  • Build quality is hit-and-miss
  • Suspension is a little firm
  • Expensive to buy
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Long Range360 miles14hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)23mins (10-80%, 250kW)
Plaid340 miles14hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)23mins (10-80%, 250kW)

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 2022 Plaid variant will go from 0-60mph in a gut-wrenching 2.6 seconds. This also has one of the best ranges of any electric car. Both the Long Range and Plaid variants feature a 100kWh battery pack, and achieve 348 and 340 miles of range respectively (the latter concedes some range in pursuit of its savage turn of speed).

Sadly, UK lead times for both variants are now very long; previous estimates had suggested cars would be delivered in late-2022, but this line has since been removed from the company website. Interested buyers are currently being invited to place a £100 down-payment for their custom order, with no proposed delivery date – at least for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to the Tesla Supercharger network – with stations covering the majority of the UK motorway network and beyond – the Model X promises easier long-range touring than rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC. Superchargers deliver around 80% charge in 40 minutes, while a standard 7kW home wallbox will complete 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 (2021 models feature a 17-inch landscape screen) 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.

Refinement is impressive too, even if some of the usual sounds like wind and road noise are more obvious due to the lack of an engine. A late-2021 update confirmed new cars will come fitted with a pair of noise-cancelling microphones in the front seats designed to create quiet zones around the driver and passenger. We've not yet had a chance to try this tech in action.

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 costs over £90,000, while the Plaid tops £110,000 – and that's if you can get your hands on one. For more on the Tesla Model X, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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