At this stage of Tesla’s impressive growth, there are well over a million Tesla owners. But only a small percentage owned the four traditional Tesla vehicles – the S, X, 3 and Y models. I was one of the few who could.
Above: driving Tesla’s new Y model (Source: EVANNEX; Photo: Casey Murphy)
After six years of driving the Model S, four years of driving the Model X, two years with the Model 3 and about two weeks or more with the Model Y, I think it’s fair to say that I could have a unique perspective on how Tesla’s vehicles have evolved over time and the strengths and weaknesses of the four models.
In this article, I want to discuss my thoughts on how my new Y model compares to other models in the Tesla lineup. It is reasonable to argue that any such comparison is apples and oranges. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Each Tesla model is unique and because each is an industry leader in many important categories, it is worth comparing them to each other. The reason is that potential Tesla owners (and more than a few repeat owners) ask the following question:
How does model Y compare to Models? Model 3? Model X?
Obviously, the answer to this question is always motivated by personal circumstances, tastes and preferences, but there are certain criteria that will help answer it.
- Aesthetic—The general exterior and interior of the vehicle – the visual equipment it offers and the way it strikes the eye.
- Functionality– Driver-focused functions provided by the vehicle.
- Interior volume—Interior space and volume are essential to buyer’s acceptance. There are three key factors at play here: leg and head space, side space (the width of the vehicle’s interior) and the amount of interior storage space outside the interior.
- Technology—The technology offered by all Tesla vehicles has more similarities than differences (once we get into the weeds, I recognize that things are a little different, but I focus on the average car buyer, not on techies). It is however important to understand how this technology has been refined on different models.
- Performance—All high-end Tesla models offer high performance. Road holding, offline speed and braking are often the envy of high-performance ICE vehicles and more than a few exotic ICE models. But performance varies from model to model.
- Conduct—This characteristic goes to the pleasure of driving.
Above: An overview of the new EVANNEX ‘Stormtrooper’ Y model (Source: EVANNEX)
Model Y vs model 3: In my opinion, Model Y is more impressive in person than it is in photos or video. I have a Model Y Performance (long range, double motor, offset wheels of 21 ”Überturbine). It has a “big” aggressive look, even if it rests on the same base as the model 3. Its additional height (compared to the model 3) gives it a stature which is not present in the small sedan (a vehicle that I have driven and loved for over two years). The slightly wider position of the model Y gives it a more imposing appearance from the rear, and its height somewhat improves its forward-facing profile compared to the model 3. Verdict: model Y
Model Y against model X: The aesthetic comparisons of the Y model with the X model are strained by the luxurious nature and the larger size of the larger SUV. For eye-catching aesthetics (and function), the falcon-wing doors model X are a sight that is not present in the model Y. In addition, the length and position of the model X are difficult to challenge with the body shorter of the Y model. However, the two SUVs (“crossovers” if you prefer) avoid the boxy and stuffy look of many of their competitors. Verdict: model X
Model Y against model S
The Model S is clearly the aesthetic winner here. Low, long and elegant, the S model catches the eye in a way that the Y model cannot. Verdict: model S
Since most of the vehicle features provided by Tesla are software-based and constantly updated, they are nearly equivalent across the Tesla family of vehicles. That said, let’s compare face to face:
Model Y vs model 3: In a way, the Y model is a refined version of the Model 3. The functions provided by the two vehicles are almost identical, although some have been refined in the Y model. Verdict: tie
Model Y vs models X and S: It is not so much that the Y model offers better or more functions, it is that these functions have been refined. Consider the HVAC system and the graphical interface that controls it. Model Y uses a revolutionary air distribution system while Model X uses a more conventional ventilation system. On the other hand … for the X model, the Falcon swing doors! Overall, however, we come across the word “refinement” again – something Model Y shows everywhere. Verdict: model Y.
HEAD AND LEG AREA
Model Y vs model 3. Sometimes the dimensions of the head and legroom are not a true measure of passenger comfort. The recline of the seats (front and rear) as well as the type of human body may have as much or more to do with comfort than the figures themselves. For front legroom, models Y and 3 are almost equivalent. At the rear, the Y model offers a little more legroom and, with the possibility of reclining the rear seats, offers a minimum of additional comfort. Verdict: model Y
Model Y vs models S and X. No contest here. Verdict: model S and model X
SIDE BY SIDE SPACE
Model Y compared to all other Tesla models. The Y model is a smaller SUV and, as such, has a cabin that is slightly wider than the 3 model and narrower than the S or X model. Verdict: the S and X models are clearly winning; Model Y and model 3 are linked.
INDOOR STORAGE VOLUME
Model Y compared to all other Tesla models. To some extent, it is simply a set of numbers:
- Model X: 87.3 ft3 ft.
- Model Y: 68.0 ft3 ft.
- Model S: 26.3 ft3 ft.
- Model 3: 15.0 cu. ft.
However, it should be noted that the Model Y has a surprisingly large storage volume and will meet the needs of a large majority of all car buyers. However, if the numbers are your game or your need, Verdict: model X.
Model Y compared to all other Tesla models. Tesla is the only automaker to provide significant and regular live updates to its already impressive technology. Each Tesla model now provides the first elements of autonomous driving. Each Tesla model has a driving and control interface that is at least one generation ahead of any competitor. Without delving into the complexities of the multi-node computer network that controls each Tesla, it is fair to say that the Model Y technology is at least as competent as all the other members of the Tesla family.
An important technological change highlighted by the Y model is the use of a heat pump, a more efficient way to heat the vehicle in cold weather. All other Tesla models use resistive heating, which creates a fairly large discharge on the battery with ramifications for the range of the vehicle in cold weather. Verdict: almost a tie, but the heat pump gives the Y model the advantage.
Model Y vs model 3. Like all other performance versions of Tesla vehicles, the Y model offers an impressive driving experience. Fast as lightning and incredibly responsive for an SUV, the Y model duplicates most of the performance attributes of the model 3. It comes close to the corners and stability of the model 3, it is just as agile in heavy traffic situations , it curves and brakes well even if it seems to present a little more skinny than the Model 3 and is a little less “light” at high speed. Its braking is competent. Verdict: model 3, but not much.
Model Y versus model S. The Model S offers many important performance attributes, offering better cornering, adjustable suspension and more power. It is, in my opinion, less agile than the smaller Y model. Verdict: model S, but not by much.
Model Y against model X. The X model offers surprisingly good performance for a large SUV (with all the performance drawbacks that the vehicle configuration entails). However, this does not correspond to the smaller and more agile Y model. Verdict: model Y.
Model Y compared to all other Tesla models. It is difficult to quantify driving pleasure—A combination of the feeling of driving and the pleasure of going from point A to point B in a vehicle. Model Y offers a solid combination of aesthetics, functionality and performance that feeds all ratings of driving pleasure. It offers the technology I want and the functionality I need. It is competitive in all categories compared to the larger and more expensive Tesla models.
I have been fortunate to have flown all other Tesla models for long periods of time. My first driving experiences with the Y model convinced me that it represents an evolutionary refinement for the Tesla range. Each Tesla model has features that make it unique and provide an exceptional driving experience. Although I have only been driving Model Y for more than two weeks, it is clearly the driving winner for me. Verdict: model Y
Written By: Roger Pressman, Founder of EVANNEX
EDITOR’S NOTE: This item is courtesy of EVANNEX, which manufactures and sells replacement Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily ours at InsideEVs, and we were not paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as a supplier of Tesla accessories in the aftermarket interesting and happy to share its content for free. Enjoy!