Tesla Model X review

Category: Electric car

Section: Performance & drive

Available fuel types:electric
Available colours:
Tesla Model X 2019 RHD front tracking
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RRP from£87,245

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Like all electric cars, the Model X is really simple to drive. To set off, all you do is select Drive by flicking a stalk behind the steering wheel and then squeeze the accelerator as you would in a traditional automatic car. What's more, there's only one gear, which means acceleration is incredibly smooth with no interruptions.

Where the Model X differs from most electric cars is in how quickly it can pick up speed. Opt for the range-topping Performance model and 0-60mph takes a scarcely believable 2.6sec. Even the cheaper Long Range version can pin you and your passengers back in their seats with a 0-60mph time of 4.4sec.

Slowing down takes a little more getting used to; the strong regenerative braking that helps recharge the battery causes the car to decelerate quickly as soon as you lift off the accelerator. You soon acclimatise, though, enabling you to drive the car without using the brake pedal much at all. Indeed, you only really need the left pedal when you’re coming to a complete stop. Or if prefer the car to freewheel more naturally, you can always turn the regenerative braking down.

While you might expect a relatively tall SUV to pitch and roll through the corners, the Model X’s low-mounted battery pack and standard air suspension make for cornering that is pleasingly flat and saloon-like. Okay, a Porsche Cayenne is even more impressive, but the Model X is far more agile than an Audi E-tron or Mercedes EQC. It's just a pity the steering doesn't weight up as naturally as a Jaguar I-Pace's when you turn into corners, robbing you of any fun you might otherwise have.

The tidy handling also comes at the expense of ride comfort; you know when you’ve hit a rough surface, even if the car never crashes uncomfortably. Even on relatively smooth motorways, you still feel the Model X fidgeting underneath you, while pothole-strewn urban roads can become tiresome. The E-tron and EQC are far more relaxing alternatives.

Those rivals are much quieter cruisers, too, with less wind and road noise to disturb the peace. You also hear more of a whine from the Model X as it accelerates, although the sci-fi noise doesn’t irritate.

 

Tesla Model X 2019 RHD front tracking
Tesla Model X 2019 RHD front tracking
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