In-depth reviews

Tesla Model Y SUV - Electric motor, drive & performance

Lots of power and assured handling makes the Model Y fun to drive

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Electric motor, drive & performance Rating

5.0 out of 5

While Tesla hasn't revealed the exact power of the Model Y destined for the UK market as yet, the Performance version is expected to get the same 455bhp as the Tesla Model 3 Performance. Nobody is ever likely to describe it as lacking in speed, with a 0-60mph time in the region of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 150mph. There's instant acceleration when you press the throttle, followed by sustained acceleration that a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 or BMW X3 M would struggle to match. 

Because the Model Y is heavier than the Model 3, the suspension has been stiffened slightly. That means the ride is quite firm, which wasn’t helped by the large 20-inch wheels on our test car. Hit a big pothole and you’ll notice it more in the Model Y than in an Enyaq. We’d stick to the standard 19-inch wheels, so it’s worth noting that the Performance gets even bigger 21-inch wheels.

Regenerative braking as you release the accelerator can be adjusted and in its maximum setting, it slows the Model Y noticeably, negating the need to use the brake pedal in most circumstances. It takes a bit of getting used to when first making the switch from a petrol or diesel model but quickly makes sense and can become rather addictive as energy is put back into the battery to improve range.

Tesla Model Y electric motors

The Long Range version isn't quite as unhinged, with around 345bhp getting it from 0-60mph in just under five seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph; step out of the Model Y Performance and it almost feels slow. The car feels taller than the low-slung Model 3 and less eager to turn quickly but body roll is mostly kept in check thanks to the low centre of gravity of the battery pack beneath your feet. There's some feel of the wheels and road through the steering too, keeping the driver in touch with what the Model Y is doing.

Recommended

Tesla Model Y SUV review
2022 Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y
2 Nov 2021

Tesla Model Y SUV review

New Tesla Model Y on sale in the UK priced from £54,990
2022 Tesla Model Y SUV
Tesla Model Y
15 Oct 2021

New Tesla Model Y on sale in the UK priced from £54,990

Have You Considered

Mercedes EQB SUV review
Mercedes EQB driving
Mercedes EQB
2 Dec 2021

Mercedes EQB SUV review

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review
VW ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV
2 Dec 2021

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review

Most Popular

Best car tyres to buy 2021
hero
Tips and advice
22 Nov 2021

Best car tyres to buy 2021

Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars
Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars
Tips and advice
17 Nov 2021

Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars

All-new 2022 Kia Sportage: UK prices and specs revealed
2022 Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage SUV
1 Dec 2021

All-new 2022 Kia Sportage: UK prices and specs revealed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks