We have now had our Tesla Model Y long distance all wheel drive just over two months. I have had no major problems with it and have enjoyed driving it. My wife without hesitation says, “It is the best driving car she has ever used”. And we both comment that the ride is stiff and a bit rough. I am still waiting for the second power bill since getting this car to see how much it is costing us to drive in the second month. The first months power bill indicated a low cost for use of about 800 miles.
The Tesla was used to go and take these photos. They were taken with my Nikon Z7 with the Nikon ZS 24-70 f4 lens. The photos were edited in Lightroom Classic.
Pros over our gas Acura MDX and Jeep Wrangler 4 door.
- The Tesla fuel cost is much lower.
- The Tesla burned no carbon based fuel. However, we do not have a solar system for our house so fossil based fuels were likely used making the electricity we used.
- If going fast is one of your goals the Tesla is one of the fastest cars I have ever driven. I do not drive particularly fast, but this car does relatively high speeds with a secure and safe handling. It is a great sports compact SUV.
- In my opinion better looking inside and out than our other two cars.
- Very quiet when driving.
- To me, easy to understand and use control system.
- Very easy to drive. It is mostly a one peddle drive system. You don’t use the brake too often.
- Very simple key system based on your cell phone. In my opinion the best keyless entry system I have ever used.
- When it is hot or cold you can precondition the car. Meaning you can turn on the climate control with your cell phone.
- Quite comfortable getting in and out of it.
- Superb system for getting in and out of tight spaces. The camera system gives you read outs in inches when you get close to other objects.
- Charging at home means you don’t usually have to stop for gas. We have only charged at our house so far.
- Did I mention fast. This thing when put in sport mode absolutely blasts off no matter if you are going 0 MPH or 50 MPH. The acceleration from freeway speeds to pass is shocking. Be careful when doing that. And we don’t even have the performance edition.
- Having a Tesla means you do not need a very high priced performance car like a Porsche, Corvette, or Ferrari. You already have a high performance car.
Cons over our Acura or Jeep
- It rides rough.
- Range anxiety. We have only driven this car within about 60 miles from our home charger. However, I have driven from our house at about 800 feet above sea level to about 5,500 above sea level and the battery usage is a LOT. I used just a bit over 100 miles of range going 45 miles. On the other side of the coin though when going back down from 5,500 ft to 800 ft I only used 10 miles of range.
- The steering is very precise. I have tried all three steering settings and am not sure which I like best. For fast driving the Tesla steering is quite good. For freeway relaxed driving, not so much.
- The accelerator works better with thin soled shoes. If you have boots on with thick soles it can be twitchy.
- Self driving. In my opinion the full self driving package, which we have, is not ready for prime time. If find it more trouble than it is worth. And adaptive cruise can have it’s own issues. The full self driving works but requires you to have two hands on the wheel. And in no way do you want to somehow get around this safety feature. But this means that you must spend a lot of effort keeping the safety system off your back when you are trying to use the full self drive safely. So far I have a hard time keeping the system happy even when I keep both hands on the wheel. I get messages on the screen asking me to move the steering wheel a little bit even though I have both hands on the wheel. After a while of using it I usually turn it off as more trouble than it is worth. Maybe future enhancements will change my opinion on FSD. Adaptive cruise. When set at the default setting of 1 it gets you quite close to the car in front of you. So I like to set it at 4 or 5. But I have had a couple of times where the adaptive cruise sees something in the lane next to me or coming in the opposite direction that spooks it and it slows down or puts on the brakes. I do use adaptive cruise, but am still learning how to set it for best operation.
- In my opinion the component quality of the Tesla Model Y is not as good as the Acura MDX. And in some areas the component quality of the Jeep Wrangler is better. When I say component quality I am talking hardware like controls, knobs, plastic, leather, paint, rugs, seats, and so on. I paid $2,000 extra for the red paint on our Tesla and the Jeep Wrangler has a better paint job. The Acura paint is far superior. The Acura controls and switches are above the level of the Tesla. The Acura leather is much better than the Tesla. The Jeep controls are about the same feel and quality as the Tesla but sturdier. The rugs of the Tesla are worse than either the Jeep or Acura. But that is not to say the Tesla’s controls are inadequate, just not as good as my other two cars. In my opinion.
- The Tesla has a “go cart” like ride. Stiff, accurate, but very unsophisticated. It works and goes around corners well, but could be tiring on a long trip. The Acura MDX has a much better all around ride than the Tesla. The Jeep might be a bit rougher over big pot holes or bumps, but not much. And the Jeep is superb off road. The Tesla does ride well on good pavement. And it does go fast well. Even twisty roads are easy with the model Y.
- The Tesla seems lightly built. This is a heavy car but I think this has to do with the batteries. The carpets are very low quality light duty. The front license plate holder is a joke. It is installed not with screws but sticky tape type mounting. I would be very careful taking this through a car wash with brushes. The model Y has enough clearance to take it off road, but I would not do it. Light off road OK, but not Jeep trails. But then our Acura is not really built for off-road either. A garaged well taken care off Tesla model Y should last for a good number of years, but I don’t think it will hold up well to rough use.
In my opinion, even with all the cons this Tesla model Y is a brilliant effort by the Tesla Company and will improve greatly as they keep updating them and come out with new models. I am quite looking forward to see the initial reviews of the new Model S and Model X, plus the Cybertruck. The Cybertruck is one of the few up coming vehicles that I wanted to have one as soon as I saw it. I am going to wait until I get some reviews, but even before that I think the Cybertruck is big hit for Tesla and they will sell a bunch of them. Maybe one to me.
Would I buy the Tesla Model Y if I had a do over? Absolutely, I am thrilled to be part of the biggest change in US automobiles in 100 years. I leased my Model Y just because I thought there would be so many advancements in the next few years I might want an updated Tesla after 3 years. If you are on the fence about a car like this go drive one. But beware because once you drive one you will probably want one. Now a final comment. If I was on a tight budget I would have a different outlook on this car. If your budget allows, this car is fun to use like the Jeep Wrangler we have. If you have a more frugal budget look at the model 3 base model or a gas hybrid other brand. I recently drove one of the Toyota hybrids and they are very well built cars that get much better miles per gallon than straight gas cars. But if you do go for a hybrid make sure you get one of the updated ones and not one of the early models that don’t really improve your MPG that much. If you want a fast car for sure get a Tesla. These go like rockets and likely will not break under fast-car type use as quickly as a fas car.