1 Tesla medium SUV
507 km of autonomy
59 900 €
The American brand Tesla, far from having collapsed as many have predicted, continues to strengthen its positions. Thus, in the first half of 2021, the Model 3 sedan dominates in Europe the D segment, that of family sedans, outpacing the BMW 3 Series and VW Passat. A category in decline. The Model Y arrives in the mid-size SUV, which is very popular, so it should sell better than the Model 3, with which it shares 75% of its components. In any case, it gives itself the means. Already with a relatively discreet but above all extremely aerodynamic body, displaying a Cx of 0.23.
Cult of secrecy
That is very useful on the highway for autonomy. And this is announced, on average according to the WLTP standard, at 507 km by the manufacturer for the only version currently available, the powerful Large Autonomy, with two engines. For comparison, an Audi Q4 e-tron Quattro sticks to 488 km. Tesla unfortunately does not provide any capacity data for the batteries (around 75 kWh), simply announcing an average consumption of 16.9 kWh / 100 km. Elon Musk nevertheless revealed that the Model Y adopts very compact 4680 cells, arranged in packs of a new honeycomb architecture, becoming an integral part of the chassis. The whole lowers the weight and the cost price while increasing the autonomy.
Following the example of what Rolls-Royce practiced until the 90s, Tesla does not communicate the number of power either, but we guess that it is “sufficient” (between 350 and 400 hp according to any likelihood) since 0 to 100 km / h takes 5.0 s, despite a weight of about two tons, according to the manufacturer. For recharging, this one deigns to teach us only this: we can recover 270 km in 15 min on one of its superchargers (a very competitive value), or on any terminal delivering a power of 250 kW. We would also fill the battery to 80% between 20 and 30 minutes. Very attractive figures.
If the Model Y derives from the Model 3, it nonetheless significantly increases its measurements: + 20 cm in height, for a reasonable total of 1.62 m, the length reaching 4.75 m. This translates into a truly impressive trunk volume of 854 l with the bench seat in place, and when it is folded down, 2,041 l! To this we can add the 117 l of the housing located under the hood, at the front. By way of comparison, the rivals revolve around 1,500 l.
But the Model Y doesn’t stop there. The Large Autonomy version, the only one currently available, pending Performance next year, comes with very complete equipment, and its Autopilot device is ready for level 3 autonomous driving, not yet legal in France. The hardware is present, so you just have to unbridle it. But do we really want to leave the wheel of this powerful machine?
When we know the aesthetic overload practiced by some manufacturers, we are always surprised by the totally uncluttered design of Tesla cockpits, that of the Model Y being no exception. In the center of a simple dashboard sits a huge 15-inch screen, concentrating all the information related to driving. Suddenly, there are no buttons in the passenger compartment other than those electrically operating the windows, the seats and the opening of the doors. It’s attractive at first glance, it should allow Tesla to save assembly costs, but we would still like to open the glove box or adjust the aerators without going through the display …
A very practical interior
In any case, the space on board appears very important, the rear passengers feeling really comfortable. The bench is folded down using latches located in the trunk: very practical. You can also adjust the inclination of its backrest, but, that said, not slide it. No big deal given the space available and the vastness of the hold!
At the front, the seat provides acceptable comfort but does not require adjustable seat length. However, it is possible to adjust the angle and obtain an excellent driving position, the steering wheel modifying its position electrically. In front of you, there is no instrumentation, no head-up display, everything being concentrated on the central screen. Rather well designed, it is easy to read, the speed being indicated in its upper left corner. In smaller, iPhone style, we find the battery charge index, in%, which can be converted into km of remaining range. But for that, you have to dig a little.
Tesla is developing another way to indicate speed, in a larger scale, which will be available soon after an update. On the other hand, there is no planned smartphone replication. Fortunately, the dock with induction charging puts the terminal in full view.
To wake up the Model Y, you can configure your phone as a key, via the Tesla application, which also allows you to control the charge, the temperature before use, or even the locking. It works perfectly. To a well-adjustable car, Tesla prefers a well-tuned car, this SUV having no driving modes. And he’s not doing any worse for it! If the turning radius seems too large, we quickly appreciate the smoothness of this American, inherent in electrics, which makes urban driving more relaxed. Regenerative braking, on its medium setting, also allows very little touching of the left pedal, even if we would like to act on its power other than at a standstill, via the central screen.
We also notice on this one that the car “sees” the surrounding traffic, and is even able to distinguish the color displayed by the traffic lights: everything is well installed for a level three autonomous driving. In the meantime, our Tesla is satisfied with standard driving aids: centering on the lane, traffic jam assistant, adaptive regulator… They work efficiently.