This July, Tesla will celebrate its 14th anniversary. In that relatively short time, its Model S luxury car, which we award four stars, has helped to give established manufacturers the proverbial kick up the backside to get more electric cars onto British roads
Tesla is continuing to blaze a trail here with its new Model X, the first electric SUV to go on sale. Although pricey, costing from £84,900, it’s claimed to offer a very rounded package: practicality, advanced technology that includes the ability to drive itself, a driving range of up to 351 miles, low running costs and unrivalled performance. Too good to be true? What Car? readers find out.
Age: 53 Job: IT consultant Drives: Porsche Cayenne
“My Cayenne is a diesel, and although it’s a great car, I think that diesels will be extinct soon.
“I like SUVs because you get a high driving position, lots of space, they’re good around town and on the motorway and you can take them off road if you need to.
“You can have the Model X with five, six or seven seats, which is great, and it’s very practically laid out inside. The boot is big enough, and the rear seats fold flat. Plus, because there’s no engine, there’s a storage space under the bonnet.
“If you’re more than 6ft tall, you won’t have enough head room in the third-row seats. It’s great for children, though, and all the other seats are spacious.
“I thought the huge iPad-style touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard would be distracting when you’re driving, but you don’t really notice it. You just enjoy the comfy ride and excellent visibility.
“I live in London, so there’s plenty of Tesla Superchargers near me, and they have them at motorway service stations and attractions. However, I didn’t realise that charging at Superchargers is no longer free, which is disappointing.”
Watch What Car? readers try out some other electric cars
Age: 58 Job: Charity co-ordinator Drives: Land Rover Discovery 4
“I think electric cars are the future, because of their amazing green credentials, and with this Tesla being an electric SUV, it’s a potential replacement for my Discovery.
“I use my current car to tow a horsebox and drive down muddy tracks. I won’t need to tow with my next car, but I will still need it to be capable off road. It also needs to be practical and family-friendly.
“I would be a bit reluctant to drive the Model X off road, but I’m assured it’s capable of doing so.
“The boot is very small, especially compared with my car, and it’s tiny if you have all seven seats in place. At least the rear seats fold flat and there’s an extra storage area under the car’s bonnet.
“The finish inside is good quality, but the actual design is fairly run-of-the-mill. On the outside, too, it’s very good looking, but not inspirational.
“I think the Autopilot function, which can steer, accelerate and brake for you on the motorway, is fantastic. I can’t wait for self-driving cars; it’s the way forward and would be life-enhancing for a lot of people.
“I’m impressed that you can get a towbar, and the towing capacity of 2270kg is enough for caravans.”
Find out what our other two readers thought of the Model X on the next page.
Page 1 of 2