Tesla Model X Review

Tesla's Model X offers a larger SUV form for those Tesla lovers who aren't into saloons or hatchbacks. With all-wheel drive as standard, an incredible amount of storage, and even 7-seats, the Model X is quite possibly the best electric luxury SUV on the market. To get behind the wheels of this beast, have a browse of our lease deals.

Tesla Model X Quick Review

7.7
This is the score given by Car & Driving
  • 10 Economy
  • 9 Value
  • 8 Depreciation
  • 8 Build
  • 8 Comfort
  • 8 Handling
  • 8 Performance
  • 7 Insurance
  • 7 Equipment
  • 7 Space
  • 5 Styling

Short Review

The Tesla Model S has already established its incredible credentials. Here, we look at the most affordable 75kWh version that still whizzes to 62mph in under 4.5 seconds yet nevertheless boasts a quoted range of 304 miles, offers all-wheel drive and comes in at just over £70,000.

Tesla Model X LeaseFetcher Review

Tesla Model X Review

‘It has more room than a minivan, more style than an SUV and more performance than a sports car’

No, it’s not a riddle.

That’s how Elon Musk described the Tesla Model X at the time of unveiling in 2012. He wasn’t wrong either...

A quick search on Youtube will bring up several videos of the Tesla Model X trashing a Lamborghini Aventador in a quarter-mile drag race. Then there’s the fact that this comes in 5, 6 and 7 seat configurations with boot space to spare in both the back and the front. Oh, and did we mention it looks cool?

*Cue Falcon-wing doors*

Performance, Drive, 0-60mph

With the most recent iteration of the Model X, you have a choice of 2 trims: The Long Range trim and the Ludicrous Performance trim. This has been greatly simplified from previous years. Both trims come with a 100 kwh battery, and you can choose a 5, 6 or 7 seat configuration. 

Because it is an electric car it manages to stay as quiet as a mouse, despite its large body. There’s no vibration, though you should expect to hear a bit of wind and road noise, which is all the more evident thanks to the subdued engine noise.

Now for the exciting part. 

Tesla may call this car an SUV (though we might be tempted to call it an MPV in its 7 seat configuration), but if you get the top model it manages to accelerate faster than most sports cars. The Model X Long Range trim will see you fly from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, but if you upgrade to the Model X Performance trim with ludicrous mode enabled, it will take a mere 2.7 seconds

This is all thanks to the all-wheel drive as standard and a two electric motors which can deliver maximum torque as soon as you put your foot down. No more awkward gear changes!

All Teslas come with a regenerative braking feature which reduces the speed as soon as you take your foot off the pedal. This allows the motor to retain energy which would ordinarily be lost as heat through the brake pads, improving the efficiency of the car and extending the life of the brakes. Because of how much the regenerative brakes slow the car down when you lift off the pedal, you’ll probably find yourself driving around with just one pedal most of the time. It’s a great idea, but if you’ve never driven a car like this before it might take some getting used to. 

The car’s air suspension has also been updated for 2019. The new model comes with fully adaptive damping and improved software for predicting how the car should react to any lumps and bumps in the road. Tesla like to regularly improve their cars through over-the-air software updates, which also means that it is more than likely that you will continue to receive software updates to improve the performance of the adaptive air suspension over the vehicle’s lifetime. 

While Tesla does have a habit of referring to the vehicle as an SUV, it doesn’t have the kind of off-road capabilities that you might expect from a Land Rover Defender or Range Rover, in part because its ground clearance doesn’t go beyond that of a normal car. 

Because of the underfloor battery, the Tesla Model X also has an exceptionally low centre of gravity. This means it handles twists and turns with next to no body-lean, with plenty of grip and power provided by the four-wheel drive. 

Just don’t expect to have as much fun as you would in a Porsche Cayenne

Interior

Instead of a busy dashboard dotted with lots of buttons, you’ll get a massive 17-inch high definition infotainment system which controls pretty much everything inside the car. 

While it doesn’t have Android Auto or Apple Carplay, Tesla’s infotainment system packs a lot of features. Google mapping your journey has never been easier with a 17-inch touchscreen. But you also get lots of other apps and features such as Netflix and Youtube, and the list is constantly being added to through over-the-air updates.

There’s also the digital driver’s display in the binnacle which offers lots of information but remains easy to read. 

The front seats are supportive and adjustable, with electrically adjustable lumbar support. There’s also a decent amount of range and reach adjustment in the steering wheel.

The build quality is a little less impressive when compared to other luxury SUVs from the likes of Mercedes, Audi and Volvo, however.

Passenger and Boot Space

You can choose between a 5, 6, or 7-seater configuration. You’ll get the most boot-space with the 5-seater, though even if you opt for the three-row, 7 seat layout, you will still be able to fold down the third row for extra storage space. 

Still, storage space isn’t something you should be too concerned about. The interior of this car is literally cavernous. Thanks to the all-electric powertrain, there’s no big petrol engine up-front, meaning you even get 187 litres of storage upfront. 

You can just about fit adults in the rear two seats on a three-row model, though leg room gets a little tighter and taller passengers might find their heads brushing the rear window. 

The falcon wing doors may seem like a bit of a gimmick at first, with fancy doors usually being the preserve of supercars… 

You can almost imagine a bunch of Model X’s lined up at the motorway charging station with their rear doors held high like a pride of peacocks fanning their feathers - like some strange display of eco-machismo. 

But these doors do actually serve a purpose. Firstly, the wider aperture means there’s easier access for both second row and third row passengers. Smarter still, it means that you don’t run the risk of catching the car door next to you if the person parked next to you hasn’t been particularly considerate. 

Cost to run, CO2 Emissions, MPG, range

Because the Model X uses only electric power, there’s zero CO2 emissions, which means you won’t have to worry about emission charges or London congestion charges. We don’t technically use MPG, though some like to talk about MPGe (or Miles Per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent). Instead, we will discuss the range of the car.

The Long Range trim will manage 315 miles of range (WLTP) while the Performance trim should squeeze 300 miles on a single charge. Real life usage may vary, and can be affected by the weather. For example, in the winter, available range may decrease by as much as 20% and it may take longer to recharge the battery (humans aren’t the only ones that get sluggish when they’re cold).

Still, that doesn’t have to be an issue. With Tesla branded ‘Superchargers’ all around the country, allowing you to get from 0-80% in 30 minutes, recharging on a cross-country trip will be no more of an inconvenience than stopping for a coffee at your favourite service station cafe. If you’re travelling through uncharted territory, Tesla’s inbuilt sat-nav can plan your journey via the best places to stop and recharge.

A 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty comes as standard, and the battery is under warranty for 8 years, no matter how far you drive. That means that if you’re leasing you should be covered against most things. If you plan to travel more than 50,000 miles in the duration of your contract however, you might want to consider one of Tesla’s extended warranties. You can choose between an additional 2 years / 25,000 miles (whichever comes first) or an additional 4 years / 50,000 miles. 

Safety features

The Tesla Model X is built on largely the same drivetrain and chassis as its older sibling, the Model S. Like the Model S, it bagged a fantastic 5* Euro NCAP rating. It’s also the car with the third lowest probability of injury in the US NHTSA ratings, behind the Model S and Model 3

A combination of passive and active safety features make this possible.

Firstly, the Tesla Model X’s large, fortified battery pack which sits underneath the floor provides the car with exceptional strength, and also leaves lots of room up front for large crumple zones. 

The position of the battery pack also significantly lowers the car’s centre of gravity, which means the Model X is 50% less likely than any other SUV on the road to roll in the event of a side-on collision. 

There are 8 cameras surrounding the car, providing 360 degrees of visibility, as well as 12 ultrasonic sensors for detecting incoming objects and a forward-facing radar which can see clearly through rain, fog and dust. This provides information in real-time to help the car to avoid any potential accidents through emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. This data is then used to improve the software and make the car better at predicting a potential collision. 

Verdict

With the release of the Audi e-tron, Jaguar i-pace and the Mercedes EQC, the Tesla Model X is no longer the only electric SUV on the market. Where the Model X SUV falls short in comparison is in interior quality. This is, of course, something which the luxury car manufacturers have been refining for years...

But if you want a new car which scores highly on practicality with some futuristic styling and the most up-to-date battery technology on an electric vehicle, the Tesla Model X is a great choice. 

Why not check out our car reviews for the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model S?

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