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 it's amongst the fastest SUVs on sale. 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.

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