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Exciting new SUV should be pitched at the heart of the EV market

Tesla Model Y SUV (19 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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  • If it's on time and on-price, it'll be great value
  • Seven-seats makes this a brilliant family car
  • Promised EV range and performance looking promising


  • 2021 seems an awful long way away
  • It looks a little predictable
  • Will Tesla still be around?

Written by Keith Adams on

Tesla has unveiled the Model Y SUV, and is aiming to get this Model 3-based addition to the range on sale in the USA by the end of 2020. The new car is a small electric SUV that that no doubt find itself going against cars such as the Hyundai Kona Electric at the lower end, and the Polestar 2 at the other.

Tesla has established itself as a leading light in the electric car universe, and has established its own unique style. So, it'sno surprise that the Model Y looks closely related to the Model 3, while looking like a shrunken Model X. Is that going to be enough to fight off the onslaught of new electric cars from the established premium market players? We'll see.

What platform is the Model Y based on?

The Tesla Model Y slots underneath the Model X in terms of size, and Tesla has confirmed that the new SUV will share 75% of its parts with the Model 3. inside, it’s pretty much the same design as the 3's cabin, right down to the large central touchscreen display providing all of your required information in one place.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla has confirmed it will come with Autopilot (Tesla's semi-automomus driving system), and you'll be able to remote unlock and lock it via an app on your smartphone. This system will also be used to summon function and preconditioning – party tricks we've come to expect from the best electric cars.

Despite having a relatively small footprint on the road, the Model Y is a seven-seater. Tesla says this baby SUV has ‘room for up to seven adults’ with its optional third row. Given our experience of the Model S’s boot-mounted seats, we'd say they'll probably be for occasional use at best. The second row also split-folds and total storage space is claimed at more than 1,800 litres.

How fast and how far will the Model Y go?

Like the Model 3, the Model Y will have four different battery range options:

  • Standard
  • Long Range
  • Dual-Motor AWD
  • Performance

Tesla says the standard car claims up to 230 miles of range, with the Long Range version capable of around 300 miles. A 3.5sec 0-62mph time is claimed and is capable of topping 150mph (so it's not limited). Like every Tesla, the 3 can access the Supercharger network including the latest V3 ones for superior fast charging.

How much will the Tesla Model Y cost?

Tesla suggests the Model Y will cost $39,000 in today's money in the USA. That's the price for the standard range model, with the others naturally expected to cost more. We reckon that's around £29,000 at March 2019 exchange rates. However, it's likely that the UK prices will be more likely to match the American price dollar-for-pound – which will see it up against some very tasty EV and non-EV opposition.

We’ll wait and see if Tesla’s pricing and delivery plans stick to their original timeline, and will keep this story up-to date.