New Tesla Model Y vs Audi Q4 e-tron vs Kia EV6: practicality
Tesla’s new electric SUV gets offto a great start by being based on the excellent Model 3 saloon – but is it good enough to beat its front-running rivals from Audi and Kia...
Space and practicality
Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot
If you’re sitting in the front, you won’t feel the slightest bit cramped in any of our contenders, with the Tesla Model Y in particular feeling remarkably light and airy, thanks to the combination of tall side windows, a low dashboard and a standard panoramic glass roof. Meanwhile, all three benefit from plenty of storage space, with the Kia EV6 featuring a huge ledge beneath the floating console.
In the rear, all of our contenders provide as much space as two tall adults could reasonably need. So, although the EV6 has the least head room, there’s still enough for six-footers, while limo-like leg room means rear passengers can really stretch out. And while the Model Y has the least rear leg room, you can slide your feet deep under the elevated front seats without any kind of blockage.
The rear seatbacks recline in the EV6 and Model Y but not in the Audi Q4 e-tron – although the latter has plenty of head and leg room and the seatbacks are fixed at a comfortable angle.
All three benefit from totally flat floors, so there’s plenty of foot room for a third rear passenger sitting in the middle. However, the Model Y’s narrower interior means it’s more of a squeeze for three sitting side by side.
While the Q4 and EV6 are strict five-seaters, a third row of seats will soon be optional in the Model Y, taking the seating tally to seven. We imagine these seats will be suitable only for short occupants and, when raised, will have a big impact on boot space.
While the EV6 and Q4 have 60/40 split-folding rear seats, the Model Y offers a more flexible 40/20/40 division. At least the EV6 comes with a ski hatch, a feature that isn’t available on the Q4.
Unlike its rivals, the Q4 can be specified with a height-adjustable boot floor (part of the £325 Function Pack), which allows you to keep the charging cables beneath the main boot, away from your luggage. But even with the floor in its lowest position, no more than seven carry-on suitcases fit beneath the load cover – the same number that the EV6 can hold. The Model Y can swallow nine cases in its main boot (two under the floor), plus another in the ‘frunk’ under the bonnet. The EV6 has a frunk too, but it’s tiny – barely big enough for a few groceries. All three get powered tailgates as standard.
Tesla Model Y
Boot 971-2158 Suitcases 10
Audi Q4 e-tron
Boot 520-1490 Suitcases 7
Boot 490-1300 Suitcases 7
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