Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Buying a Model X isn’t cheap; you'll pay more than you would for an Audi E-tron, BMW iX3, Jaguar I-Pace or Mercedes EQC. That's true no matter whether you're a cash buyer or you're signing up to a monthly finance agreement.
At least you get plenty of standard equipment including keyless entry, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, those electric 'falcon wing' doors, a powered tailgate and a tow bar. The range-topping Performance version adds a few extra interior garnishes and, of course, insane amounts of performance. Ultimately, though, we’d stick to the cheaper Long Range Plus.
Both versions come with Tesla's Autopilot feature as standard, which can automatically keep you a set distance from the car in front and even take care of the steering. However, the optional (and very expensive) self-driving package gives you the ability to remotely 'summon' your Model X out of a garage or tight parking spot by using an app on your phone, can take care of lane changes automatically (you just hit the indicator), and will also mean further self-driving features are automatically downloaded to the car as and when they become available.
The Model X doesn't emit any CO2, so you’ll pay no benefit in kind (BIK) tax until April 2021 if you choose to run one as a company car and only a tiny amount thereafter. You'll also avoid paying the London Congestion Charge and benefit from unlimited free use of Tesla’s Supercharger network, which can deliver seriously rapid recharges. Even if you charge at home using a regular 7kW wallbox (a full charge will take roughly 15 hours), you’ll pay much less for electricity than you would for petrol or diesel.
We haven't put the latest Model X though our scientific Real Range tests yet, but based on the older P100 model (now off sale) you should easily be able to get more than 230 miles from a full charge in the Long Range Plus version – significantly more if the weather is warm or you take it really easy. The Performance won't get quite as far but should still comfortably manage more than 200 miles.
We don’t have specific reliability data for the Model X, but Tesla performed rather poorly in our 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey finishing 29th out of 31 brands – down considerably from its 4th place showing in 2019. At least you also get a four-year warranty (albeit with a 50,000-mile limit) on the car, while the battery and drive unit get their own eight-year unlimited-mileage warranty.
As for safety, the Model X scored an impressive five stars (out of five) when appraised by Euro NCAP in 2019. Adult occupant safety was a particular highlight, with child safety mostly good other than a note to say that neck protection of a 10-year-old was 'marginal' due to the forces exerted on the crash test dummy.
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