The first Tesla Model X rolled off the assembly line earlier this year. The Model X combines the space and height of a major SUV, the electric power of the Tesla Model S sedan, and the luxury expected from a $100,000 vehicle.
Based on the brand’s iconic Model S sedan, the 2021 Tesla Model X SUV wows with its top-hinged rear doors and impresses with its long-range battery capacity. The Model X’s electric motors provide on-demand all-wheel drive and performance-car acceleration. Handling is surprisingly nimble for an SUV of this size, too. The added practicality of the Model X’s optional third row of seats should appeal to family-oriented buyers. Like other Teslas, the Model X is equipped with high-tech infotainment and driver-assistance features, and the cabin is stylish and comfortable—if not exactly luxurious.
What’s New for 2021?
The Model X has received a styling refresh both inside and out for 2021. Cleaner lines give the SUV a more modern appearance on the outside while the cabin benefits from a redesigned infotainment display and a new F1-style square steering wheel. The lineup now consists of the Long Range and the performance-oriented Plaid models.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Plaid model with its three electric motors is sure to deliver brutal acceleration, but it’s mighty expensive. And its 340-mile estimated driving range isn’t as long as the less expensive Long Range model, so we’d save the cash. The Long Range model offers up to 360 miles of estimated driving range and still feels mighty quick thanks to the immediacy of the electric motors’ power delivery.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Long Range Model Xs come standard with two electric motors—one at the front axle and one at the rear—which enables all-wheel-drive capability. This setup is plenty swift and Tesla claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.8 seconds. The 1020-hp three-motor Plaid high-performance variant is boasts a claimed zero-to-60-mph time of 2.5 seconds, but we haven’t verified its acceleration times at our test track yet. Handling is respectable, but the Model X’s party trick is really the strong acceleration generated by its electric motors.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Model X comes standard with a battery large enough to cover a claimed 360-mile driving range; upgrading to the faster Plaid model drops the estimated driving range to 340 miles. Recharging is quick via one of Tesla’s Superchargers, which are located across the country. Charging at home via a 240V or 120V connection will be slower, but probably more convenient for owners, so Tesla offers in-home charging equipment for purchase.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Among other similarly-sized all-electric SUVs, the Model X boasts the highest MPGe ratings from the EPA. Long Range models earned ratings of 109 city, 101 highway, and 105 MPGe combined. Even the Plaid model, which sacrifices some efficiency for faster acceleration, outperforms key rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-Tron SUVs in this metric.
This is a detailed review of the Tesla’s SUV Model X.