2021 Tesla Model Y review: Almost gorgeous, seriously flawed

Package

The Tesla Model Y is a smaller crossover than Tesla, a two-row, five-seat SUV that takes the basic formula defined by the Model 3 and extends more or less vertically by a few inches. There’s more headroom, sure, but the most important tweak is in the rear, turning the sedan’s slender little stem into a cavernous hatch. The Y model offers 76 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats folded down. Seating is low, the Model Y offers a nice flat floor with a large storage compartment hidden underneath. Up high, there’s good headroom for the rear passengers, thanks in large part to the panoramic glass roof.

The larger talking point is at the front, where a 15-inch landscape-oriented touchscreen display dominates the stark interior. This was the start of a conversation when the Model 3 was revealed. Today, it’s less distinctive, but it’s still a major talking point. Being the only screen means that it’s not just the speedometer and comprehensive gauge cluster but it also brings together the entire infotainment experience, including climate controls and even things like mirror placement and steering wheel. Honestly, I’m surprised that Tesla didn’t bury the seat and window controls in there either.

Most of the time it’s perfectly fine, and I don’t really mind the lack of a metric set when it comes to looking up the current speed. However, looking at the status of the autopilot and the navigation prompts means that you have to stare carefully towards the bottom of the screen. This means keeping your eyes out of the way. A simple instrument cluster or head-up display would have solved the problem, but none are available, a strange omission for a car that costs that much.

What is the price? Well, that varies widely and Seems to change every weekBut I can tell you what we paid for this, at least. The Tesla Model Y Long Range you see here cost us $67,490 including $1,200 in delivery fees. The most outrageous expense was the $10,000 premium for the supposed full self-driving package, which I honestly don’t think we’ll see in our 24-month proprietary trial. We also paid an extra $1000 to paint Deep Blue Metallic, $1000 to paint hidden drag obstacle And another $1,000 for white, botanical interiors.

White interior on an SUV? Yes, honestly, this is not a decision I would have made about my own car, but I’m curious as to how well it tolerates use and abuse. Three months later, the driver’s seat is already acquiring a distinct denim blue hue, while the back seat is absorbing black dye from the seat cover I was using to protect the upholstery from my dog. Even without these issues, the fabric feels stretchy at best, and while all five seats are heated, not one is ventilated. This, again, is a disappointment for a car with such spending.

2021 Tesla Model Y

There’s no need for big, thick brakes when recovery is that strong.

Tim Stevens / Promotion

the performance

So the interior is a bit disappointing. Scope, however, is not. Our Y Long Range has an EPA rating of 330 miles, giving it a 12-mile boost over the same vehicle on 20-inch wheels. (These wheels, by the way, not only reduce range, they cost another $2000 extra and won’t offer any ride quality benefits. I don’t recommend them.) I’ve found a car that offers a range very close to that estimate, often promising (and offering) than the 320 To 340 miles on a full charge – when I wasn’t Pull the pinball table on the utility trailer, In any case. There are still many other electric vehicles on the market that could perform better, although this is changing rapidly.

It’s fast too. Tesla says sprinting from 0 to 60 mph happens in 4.8 seconds, but you swear that’s an understatement. The Model Y feels the craving for any speed, ready to leap forward in minuscule traffic gaps or even take advantage of overly optimistic passing zones. And that, again, is the long-term flavor of the car. You can spend an extra $5,000 for a typical performance if you really want to, but I don’t know why you would. That drops the range to 303 miles for a 1.3-second drop in time from 0 to 60, an increase in speed the car doesn’t really need.

This is not a performance car, after all. Sure, it’s fun to drive, but that mostly comes from acceleration. The car is reasonably nimble but gets bogged down when pushed into corners and even with the smaller 19-inch wheels, the ride quality isn’t excellent. But again, this acceleration is so addictive that it can easily bring a smile to your face.

Until the active safety systems start working, anyway.

2021 Tesla Model Y

Hope you like touch screens.

Tim Stevens / Promotion

Autopilot

While Tesla’s active safety systems have been grouped under the term autopilot since 2014, the systems themselves, and in fact the sensors and other components that make them work, have changed drastically in that time. Our Model Y, delivered in August of 2021, was produced shortly after Tesla made the odd decision Radar sensors removed from Model 3 and Y. Ostensibly this was because the Tesla Vision system based on the optical sensor was too good, and the radar sensors weren’t necessary. I tend to disagree.

I can’t say definitively that it’s because of the radar loss, but I can say that our Model Y is bad at detecting obstacles in front of us. Really, really bad. The biggest problem is false positives, an issue that has become known as “phantom braking” among Tesla owners. Basically, the car is often confused and thinks that there is an obstacle in front of it and turns on the automatic emergency braking system. You get instant, unwanted and forceful application of the brakes more often. This is not a problem that is unique to Teslas. I’ve tested it on other cars, but very rarely. In our Model Y this happens constantly, at least once every hour and sometimes much more than that. In one hour of driving, I caught five fake braking crashes on camera, two of which were hard enough to make the emergency automatic braking chime.

This is a big problem. It happens on both the highway and secondary roads, anytime the cruise control is engaged even without the Autosteer system. This means that the car’s cruise control is clearly unsafe, which means that the fully autopilot is unsafe. This means that the car itself is unsafe.

When the system doesn’t stop panicking the ghosts, the autopilot works just fine. On the highway, it’s near perfect, with lane keeping and even shifting with barely any driver intervention with Navigate on Autopilot on. It really is an asset and a potential safety boon – as long as you, the driver, are attentive. However, on secondary roads, the Autosteer is easily confused by lane markings, especially if a second lane is opened to the side. The car constantly wants to swerve to the right to take both lanes, and then jump to the left again. I wish Tesla would take a cue from Cadillac and simply disable this function on roads where it doesn’t work well.

Phantom braking is the most egregious problem I’ve had with our Model Y, but it’s not the only one. After running the thing in the car washer before filming the review video, I popped into the trunk to find a good amount of water had collected inside. Definitely don’t store anything you need to dry. In addition, the recessed design of the tow hook means that the lower diffuser on the rear bumper will get Scratched by your safety chains When towing, the taillights appear a lot of fogging, also. None of these issues are significant, but then again, for the $70,000 car…

2021 Tesla Model Y

Maybe the next update?

Tim Stevens / Promotion

is contained

The Model Y has a lot going for it. The performance is attractive and its range is plenty enough to eliminate anxiety. The interior looks low-rent but is eminently functional and I didn’t even get into many of the unique features that Tesla brings to the table, like Dog Mode, Sentry Mode and the extended Supercharger network, which is the largest and most reliable in the country. It’s a great package, and while it doesn’t always feel like it’s worth the constant rise in MSRP, it does offer easy entry into the wonderful world of EVs.

However, it’s not great. The phantom braking issue is a complete deal breaker. Our car, which is running the latest production version of Autopilot, is unsafe whenever cruise control is enabled. A $70,000 car that can’t even control the speed is unjustifiable, and so, for now at least, I must recommend against the Model Y. There is an increasingly large selection of all-electric options, such as cars like Chevrolet Bolt EUVAnd Ford Mustang Mach-E And Volkswagen ID 4. And if you want to wait a little longer, the file Hyundai Ioniq 5 Nissan AriaAnd Toyota BZ4X And Subaru Solterra Everyone will join in the fun. In the meantime, we’ll continue to test our Model Y and post updates as the situation changes and Tesla moves the target again. For now, spend your money elsewhere.


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