The Model X and the newer crossover Model Y are the company’s two mid-sized SUVs, but what’s the difference and which Tesla is the better buy?
American electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla sits upon the throne as the most valuable automaker on the planet. This is due in large part to its four models currently on the market. While its two sedans offer speed and style, it’s the two SUVs, the Model X and the Model Y that offer customers safety, space, and performance. Here is a detailed breakdown of how these mid-sized SUVs compare.
Tesla’s Model X was first unveiled as a prototype in 2012, but did not achieve its first delivery until 2015, due to manufacturing delays. A year later, the Model X was already ranked seventh among the world’s best-selling plug-in vehicles. It sits as Tesla’s second longest-running EV currently in production as well as its largest. On the other hand, Tesla’s Model Y crossover SUV is the new kid on the assembly line, having only begun deliveries this past March. Don’t underestimate this streamlined version of the Model X, however. Where the Model Y lacks in accolades, it makes up for in prospect, with Tesla already having made several changes to its production processes to bolster the sales of the EV as a prominent piece of the automaker’s future.
When visiting Tesla’s Website, going through all of the powertrain options, customizations, and add-ons to compare each model can be quite tedious, but all of the major differences and features are summarized here. First, is the powertrain options for each EV. Each model comes in two different, dual motor options. For the Model X, there’s the Long Range Plus and the Performance powertrain, while the Model Y comes in Long Range and Performance. Although the names are nearly identical, how those dual motors actually perform is quite different.
The Model X Performs Better, But At What Cost?
The biggest factor any potential Tesla customer should consider when comparing these two SUVs is the cost. The Model Y Long Range starts at a standard price (zero customizations or add-ons) of $49,990 and can go as high as $65,990 – if a customer were to choose exterior paint, a tow hitch, and full self-driving (FSD) capabilities on Autopilot. It is also important to note that CEO Elon Musk recently announced the Model Y will start offering a seven-seat option come December, for an additional $3,000. For the sake of that confirmed add-on, the Long Range Model Y will eventually cost as much as $68,990 with all features added. As for performance specs, this powertrain can travel 326 miles on a single charge and hit a top speed of 135 mph. The Model Y Performance offers less range (303 miles), but more speed as it can top out at 155 mph, and go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. Customers interested in the Performance version will pay a minimum of $59,990 for the standard EV, and can go as high as $73,990 for all added features inside and out. Should a customer want that seven-seater come December, the price jumps again to $76,990.
Both versions of the Model X outperform these powertrains on the Model Y, but at a lofty price. The Long Range Plus Model X starts at $79,990, $3,000 more than the most expensive seven-seat Model Y. This price is with zero added features or customizations. If a customer were to choose custom add-ons, the pricing gets tricky, due to the Model X coming with more customization options than the Model Y. Not only can these add-ons alter the price, but also the performance. While the Model X comes with five seats as standard, there is an upgrade option for six seats (2 rear captains chairs) for an additional $6,500 or seven seats for $3,500. The price for the Long Range Plus with all the most expensive add-ons (paint, interior, wheels, and six seats) comes out to $105,990 ($102,900 for seven seats). That being said, this SUV can travel 371 miles on a single charge, reach a top speed of 155 mph, and go 0-60 in 4.4 seconds.
The Performance powertrain Model X on the other hand, starts at $99,990 and can travel 341 miles, reach a top speed of 163 mph (8 mph faster than the Performance Model Y), and go 0-60 in 2.6 seconds. For the fully-loaded option, including the more expensive captain’s chairs, this model comes out to $125,990. It’s important to note that this price includes a 22-inch Onyx Black wheels add-on for $5,500, and those custom wheels lower the Performance model’s range from 341 to 300 miles. Therefore, customers pay more for larger wheels and less range. Standard wheels and six seats on the Performance Model X would come out to $120,490 (or $117,490 for seven seats).
Overall, the Model X wins in every single category compared to the smaller Model Y. Even in cargo space as the X offers an impressive 88 cubic feet of interior space compared to the Y’s 68 cubic feet. That being said, those better specs still may not be worth the additional cost for a Tesla Model X. The most basic version is still more expensive than the priciest version of a souped-up Model Y. While the Model Y’s numbers are second-best to its larger, older sibling, its range and top speed are still very impressive for an electric SUV. There’s no argument that customers who buy a Model X won’t get a ton of value for their money, but if someone would to prefer to spend significantly less on Tesla’s Model Y, they’ll still get plenty of perks and for far less money.
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