If you think the Model Y SUV looks similar to the Model 3 hatchback, you’re right. Both use the same basic architecture, with the notable differences being an increased ride height for the Y model, as well as a higher roofline, some extra bodywork, and black plastic trim used around the door sills. and wheel arches. There have been reviews of the poor build quality of some Tesla offerings, but our Model Y test car seemed to measure up in that area.
Although the Model Y has more interior space than the Model 3, its larger dimensions mean that it is not able to travel that far on a single charge: 360 miles for the Model 3 long range versus 315 miles. for the long range Y model version.
The minimalist interior of the Model Y offers no surprises from a design standpoint, with the 15.4-inch center touchscreen featured in a smart but spartan interior, where the only physical controls you’ll find are on the multifunction steering wheel, the column stems and the buttons for opening the electric windows and doors.
Tesla’s autopilot system is included with the Model Y, although most of its functionality is available through additional payment options. The technology uses a plethora of cameras and sensors that can scan your surroundings and feed information into advanced cruise control programs, but in our own testing, we found the standard adaptive system to work fairly well.
Car group testing
A smart feature of the Model Y is that as long as you’re logged into your car with the smartphone app, it unlocks and turns on when it detects your phone. A smart card is also available which unlocks the car when you hold it against the B-pillar.
GPS, stereo and infotainment
The Model Y’s 15.4-inch landscape display is the focal point of the entire car, and once you’ve logged in with the Tesla smartphone app, the system works fine and is responsive to your inputs. It’s always a distraction to use on the go, but Tesla has a built-in intelligent voice command system that shows your spoken commands on the screen so you can see its accuracy.
The infotainment screen handles everything from climate controls to adjusting the mirrors and opening the glovebox, although the latter feels a bit tricky when a button would do an equally good job.
The infotainment is complete, with Spotify music streaming as well as Bluetooth and a DAB radio, while you also have the option (while parked) to watch YouTube, play games and use various novelty functions in the Toybox. What’s not on offer is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but Tesla’s app is so well integrated that it’s unlikely to be a snap.