PEPPY ELECTRIC POWERTRAIN, SPACIOUS CARGO HOLD, CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY FEATURES.

Using the chassis, interior, and powertrain from the smaller Model 3, the 2021 Tesla Model Y adds additional cargo space, an optional third row of seats, and SUV styling to the more affordable end of the brand’s offerings. Power from the Model Y’s dual on-board electric motors is plentiful; the base Standard Range model comes with rear-wheel drive but the Long Range and Performance models get all-wheel drive as standard. Driving range is superb with a maximum range of up to 326 miles per charge; more expensive rivals such as the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace offer far less. While the interior lacks the panache of non-EV rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class or Volvo XC60, it’s still fairly comfortable and practical.

This year sees the introduction of the entry-level Standard Range model, which comes only with rear-wheel drive and a 244-mile estimated driving range. It’s hard to say what else might change with the Model Y for 2021, because unlike other automakers, Tesla is known to make a series of running changes throughout the year rather than group things into a large batch when flipping the switch from model year to model year. That being said, other than the introduction of an optional pair of pop-up third-row jump seats, we aren’t forecasting any major design or technology upgrades this year.

Like the Model 3, the Model Y lineup includes a Standard Range cost-leader trim which is essentially a rear-wheel-drive version of the Long Range model. The more compelling options are the all-wheel-drive Long Range and Performance models. We were able to test an all-wheel-drive Long Range, which zipped from zero-to-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, a mere 0.4 second behind our long-term Model 3 sedan. While the Model Y offers impressive acceleration, it doesn’t deliver the same level of driving satisfaction as the Model 3. The SUV body creates a higher center of gravity, which dulls the sharp edge of the Model 3’s handling, and the Y’s ride is considerably rougher over road imperfections as well. Still a very good platform, just hard to beat what the Model 3 brought for that price point.

The all-wheel-drive Long Range offers 326 miles of range; the Performance model’s estimated range drops to 303 miles. But the latter comes with 20-inch wheels, a lowered suspension, a higher top speed (145 mph), quicker claimed acceleration, and a dedicated Track mode. The cheapest Model Y is the Standard Range model but it comes with a lower driving range of 244 miles per charge.

This Tesla Model Y received a Full Ceramic Package which includes a full Paint Correction. Tesla Paint is notorious for being heavily flawed right from the factory. If you are interested in your free detailing quote contact us.

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PHOTOGRAPHER: KAULPENNEY

BLOGGER: CAR AND DRIVER

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