Built for success
Elon Musk thinks his Tesla Model Y could be the bestselling car or vehicle of any kind anywhere in the world. Brisk sales are already being reported in the US and China, the Y’s launch markets. European customers will be able to decide whether the EV will put the Y in ‘sexy’ (after S, 3, X) when deliveries begin in September 2021.
So far, there’s a lot to like. Starting with the chassis, interior, and powertrain from the smaller Model 3, the 2021 Tesla Model Y adds the SUV styling of the Model X, along with extra luggage space and an optional third row of seats to sit pretty at the mid-market level. Spacious, stylish and efficient. Check, check and check.
Designed for comfort
The Model Y launches in Long Range format in most markets, followed by the Performance trim in 2022 (only China has the pocket-friendly Standard Range model so far). Part SUV and part egg, the Model Y stands out thanks to the brand’s distinctive nose. After a year of #WFH, the cavernous but minimalist interior makes time in the car more attractive than ever – and offers enough room for an extra two seats.
A panoramic sky roof emphasizes the feeling of space, and there’s a focus on comfort with heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and simulated leather upholstery. Electronics are essential but not excessive, with a 15-inch touchscreen, wireless charger and 15-speaker sound system (plus a glovebox USB-port), as well as embedded entertainment and video games. Like a smartphone, software updates arrive over the air.
Configured for performance
Poised solidly in the middle of Tesla’s line-up, the Model Y is a solid workhorse of an EV with fantastic handling. While next year’s Performance trim offers a lowered suspension, a higher top speed and quicker acceleration, the Long Range maximizes driving range while saving €6,000.
Drivers will have to settle for a 0-100 speed of 5.1 seconds on the Long Range versus the Performance’s zippy 3.7 seconds but gain more range. Both have a 75kWh battery with 19 minutes to fast charging.
As with all Teslas, the agile Model Y has a low center of gravity with excellent safety ratings. Out of the showroom, the Model Y comes with Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system as well as pedestrian detection and lane assist, but optional extras are available such as self-parking and a Summon feature. Overall, the Model Y cleverly presents drivers with the best of Tesla in a smart package.
Tesla Model Y specifications
Long Range (2021)
Up to 7
Up to 7
Electric Range (WLTP)
Fast charge time
(42→336 km) 19 min
(40→320 km) 19 min