Tesla Model Y interior, dashboard & comfort
Tesla’s minimalist cabin will continue to divide people, but there’s not arguing its infotainment system is still one of the best in the business
The entry-level Model Y starts from just under £52,000 as of September 2022, which is £3,500 more than the equivalent Tesla Model 3. Meanwhile, the Long Range version is priced at close to £58,000 – just a £500 increase over the Model 3 Long Range – however, the Model Y Performance is £6,500 more expensive than its saloon counterpart with a starting price of just under £68,000.
Tesla Model Y dashboard
Minimalist might even be an understatement when describing the interior of the Model Y. Step inside, and the only thing there to greet you is the giant 15-inch touchscreen and steering wheel, which itself only has two controls on it. There’s no dials or head-up display behind the wheel, as everything is relayed onto the screen, and even the air vents are hidden within the dashboard.
The build quality of Tesla’s cars has never been their strongest attribute, but the Model Y we drove felt solid and didn’t have any signs of the inconsistent shut lines or trim that we’ve experienced before. Though of course, the fit-and-finish in the Model Y’s German, Swedish and Korean rivals will be better.
Equipment, options & accessories
The Tesla Model Y comes with pretty much all the kit you’d want as standard, including the 15-inch touchscreen, wireless charging pad for two smartphones, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, tinted panoramic glass roof, 14-speaker sound system, a heat pump to warm the cabin more efficiently and vegan upholstery. Plus, 19-inch alloy wheels, though you can upgrade to a set of 20-inch rims should you wish.
You don’t get a traditional key fob with the Model Y, as the keyless entry system automatically recognises your phone as the key. But you also get a credit-card-style key as backup and for valet parking etc. The basic version of Tesla’s autopilot system, over-the-air update capabilities and a smattering of other tech is fitted to all Model Ys, as well.
Upgrading to the Long Range version doesn’t get you any extra kit, however, the Model Y Performance adds lowered suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes and aluminium pedals, as well as the extra horsepower.
Unlike most of its rivals, there is a fairly limited options list with the Model Y: customers get a choice of five paint colours, black or white upholstery, and the option to add ‘enhanced autopilot’ for £3,400 or ‘full self-driving’ capabilities for an extra £6,800.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
You might not get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the Model Y, but Tesla’s infotainment system being as slick as it is makes up for that. The graphics on the huge 15-inch central touchscreen are sharper than most of its rivals and it’s quick to respond, too. Which is especially good considering everything is controlled through the screen, from the climate controls to opening the glovebox.
It also gets plenty of typical Tesla touches – or gimmicks depending on who you ask – including a whoopee cushion function, plus games to play and even access to Netflix for when you’re parked up and topping up the car.
Voice commands are an easy way of circumnavigating the giant touchscreen while on the go and avoiding taking your eyes off the road to jump through menus. But, there is a handy row of shortcut buttons along the bottom of the screen, should you need to interact with the screen.
The section of the display closest to the driver also displays your speed, range and relays live information about what the car’s Autopilot radar and camera systems are ‘seeing’ around it. It’s a helpful guide, particularly if the adaptive system is engaged.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe long-awaited Model Y boasts ultra-rapid charging capability and bundles of practicality, making Tesla’s take on the popular mid-size SUV class one of the best electric cars on sale
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Model Y leads the pack when it comes to both range and ultra-rapid charging speeds
- 3Running costs & insuranceHigh insurance ratings will eat into some of the savings you make from lower company-car tax and servicing
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt’s startlingly quick for a family SUV, but the Model Y is bigger than most of its rivals and has a particularly firm ride
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingTesla’s minimalist cabin will continue to divide people, but there’s not arguing its infotainment system is still one of the best in the business
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityFold the rear seats down and the Model Y offers van-like levels of cargo space, plus a frunk up front as a bonus
- 7Reliability & safety ratingReliability and build quality might not be Tesla’s strong suit, but the Model Y does boast a five-star rating and high scores in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests