The Tesla Model X takes the brand’s unique approach to all-electric motoring and supersizes it. The result is a near 2.5 tonne, all-wheel drive, 7-seat SUV with ample performance even in the entry-level specification. Surely that must mean a woefully short electric range and compromised dynamics?
Well we all know that Tesla has the ability to deliver class-leading electric range and the Model X is no exception. The Long Range Plus model packs a big battery pack (100 kWh gross) which achieves 348 miles on the official tests and more importantly can deliver 250+ miles in the real world.
Crucially when you do need to recharge on the go, you get to use Tesla’s bespoke Supercharger network which can only be used by Tesla cars. This makes for totally hassle-free recharging, which integrates seamlessly with the onboard sat nav and delivers up to 190 miles (70%) of extra range in 30 minutes. However if you do need to use other networks, Tesla’s decision to stick with its propitiatory charging socket means that you need a CCS adapter which caps the maximum charging speed at around 145 kW, and in common with other Tesla’s the peak charging speed is only maintained for a short amount of time. As a result the X charges quickly but isn’t the fastest on the market, which is disappointing given the price and focus on tech.
Once on the move the overriding sensation is of effortless torque and interior space. You get to choose between 5, 6 or 7 seat layouts to suit your needs whilst the clever ‘Falcon’ rear doors provide excellent access to the rear rows whilst simultaneously delivering an added wow factor in use and enhanced practicality in narrow spaces.
There are a couple of areas where the Model X drops the ball, the first is handling, it is safe, predictable, and way better than you would imagine a 2.5 tonne SUV to be, but it isn’t engaging. To be fair there aren’t many in this class that are. The second point is material quality; the interior is well laid out and the central touchscreen display works very well, but the quality of the cabin materials isn’t up to European standards, particularly not at this price point. And then there is the ‘yoke’ steering wheel which feels like a clear case of style over function.
Model X is another huge achievement from a very young company. It delivers performance and real world range, lots of interior space, clever design touches and through Supercharger access the best recharging network in UK.
Estimated real world range: 250 – 300 miles
Official range: 348 miles
Official electricity consumption: 207 Wh/km (3 miles per kWh)
Battery pack: 100 kWh (gross) lithium ion; 8 year/150,000 mile warranty
Recharge time: 7.4 kW 11 hours; 22 kW 3.5 hours; Supercharger (200 kW) 40 minutes (10-80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.