In-depth reviews

Tesla Model Y review: performance, motor & drive

It’s startlingly quick for a family SUV, but the Model Y is bigger than most of its rivals and has a particularly firm ride

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5



Top speed

Driven wheels


Model Y





Long Range










All Teslas are ludicrously fast, with the very quickest capable of 0-60mph in less than two seconds, and the same is true of the Model Y. It might be as practical as a small van, but this mid-size electric SUV can certainly get up to speed rapidly should you feel like it. However, the Model Y is big and heavy, so Tesla has had to stiffen the suspension to deal with the extra heft of the SUV compared to the Model 3 saloon. As a result the ride is particularly firm, and some may find the car a bit unwieldy in tighter driving situations.

Tesla Model Y 0-60mph, top speed and acceleration

Startling performance claims are a Tesla-staple at this point, and the Model Y is no different. Even the entry-level, rear-wheel drive version can go from 0-60mph in under seven seconds thanks to a single electric motor producing 342bhp.

The other two variants feature dual-motor setups for all-wheel-drive. The Long Range is slightly quicker to 60mph, taking just 4.8 seconds to complete the sprint to be exact, making it one of the fastest cars in the class. The car’s two electric motors also deliver the instant hit of acceleration familiar to existing Tesla owners. 

Finally, there’s the top-of-the-range Model Y Performance, which is capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. That’s faster than most versions of the much pricier Porsche Taycan, and even matches the 577bhp Kia EV6 GT. The Model Y Performance also boasts a top speed of 155mph, up from 135mph in the Standard and Long Range versions. 


Electric cars are inherently heavy – you can blame that on the batteries – and the Model Y is no exception, tipping the scales at around two tonnes. To cope with this additional heft, Tesla has had to stiffen the car’s suspension. This comes at the expense of ride quality, with the Model Y crashing over almost every hump and bump in the road. Admittedly, the 20-inch wheels on our test car didn’t help – the standard 19-inch wheels are your best bet in terms of range and ride quality – but ultimately, rivals like the Audi Q4 e-tron offer much greater comfort, thanks to suspension that’s better able to cope with the weight of a family sized EV.

A stiff suspension setup often paves the way for a dynamic driving experience, but while the Model Y can keep up with sports cars in a straight line, it gets left in the dust in the bends. Sure, there’s plenty of grip in the corners – mostly thanks to the Long Range model’s four-wheel-drive setup – and the steering is direct and sharp, but the Model Y struggles to change direction with much fluidity. If you’re after an electric SUV that’s fun to drive, the BMW iX3 is worth closer examination.

It’s also worth pointing out at this point that the Model Y is significantly bigger than the likes of the aforementioned iX3 and Q4 e-tron. That might mean the Tesla gets more space inside, but it also makes parking up in tight spaces or navigating through crowded urban streets more tricky. Although it's definitely more suited to UK roads than the even larger seven-seat Model X.

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