Tesla Model X review 2019

Find out more about the Tesla Model x in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • - Can be a seven-seater
  • - Impressive performance
  • - No emissions

Cons

  • - Expensive
  • - Looks will split opinion
  • - Questionable interior quality
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

The Tesla Model X was the first mass-produced all-electric SUV — a testament to the fast pace that Tesla moves at, thanks to chief executive Elon Musk’s ambitious nature.

After the success that Tesla had with its Model S saloon, the next natural step was to head into the world of SUVs, which is currently booming. The Model X is based on the same platform as the S – sharing 60 per cent of its parts with the saloon.

Built at the company’s ‘Gigafactory’ in Fremont, California, Tesla had sold 35,000 Model Xs worldwide by the end of December 2016 —making it one of the best-selling electric cars globally.

Latest Model

Tesla’s continually update their software automatically as soon as a customer plugs their car into one of the brand’s software chargers.

The Model X received a facelift at the same time as the Model S received its own, and therefore hasn’t had a refresh just yet. It looks smart as it is, with a new nose and fancy gullwing doors at the rear – they can even be programmed to perform stunts.

Tesla has also regularly shifted and altered the battery sizes offered in the Model X, although it has recently streamlined its choices in the UK. This means that at the moment there are just two variants of the Model X for sale — 100D and P100D. In the past there was the option of more affordable ‘75D’ variants, with the numbers indicating the kilowatt of the battery pack.

Tesla also stopped its free access to the supercharger network for life in January 2018.

Value for money

The Model X isn’t cheap, with prices ranging from £91,650 all the way up to over £130,000 for the top-of-the-range P100D. It didn’t always used to be so expensive, with prices starting from £75,000 not so long ago, but Tesla has since decided to just focus on the top-spec models from now on.

In that aspect it is extremely well-equipped. As standard it comes with air suspension with a GPS tracker that can level the suspension for bumps ahead, an electric tailgate, over-the-air updates and three-level LED headlights.

Loads of options are available, too. The most notable are the seating options, increasing the practicality of the standard five-seat Model X. You can pay £2,900 to have it as a seven seater and, oddly, you can pay more money (£5,800) to have it with a reduced six-seat set up.

Furthermore, because many of the updates on the Model X are ‘over-the-air’, buyers can pay afterwards to have any additional features, such as full autonomous driving capabilities and enhanced autopilot, for example.

Teslas are desirable cars, which ensures their values remain high. The cheapest Model X we could find for sale was a 2017 Model X 75D — a discontinued battery output — with 10,000 miles on the clock for £67,000. Because of the lesser versions being discontinued, looking at used versions of these can help to keep the cost down from the top-spec versions offered new.

The Model X has to be one of the most imposing cars on sale. Pictures don’t do the size of it justice – it really is huge, and it’s even wider than a Range Rover. It’s unmissable too, thanks to its Falcon Wing rear doors that can be remotely controlled so you can show off that little bit more. They help the Model X to stand out, and are useful in tight parking bays because of how the mechanism to raise them works.

On the road, the Model X is insanely quick. Even the standard model can get from 0-60mph in under five seconds — quicker than most hot hatches and even some sports cars. That’s not bad for a car weighing over 2,300kg. The instant torque generated from the electric motor makes it feel even quicker, too.

However, the steering is a bit artificial and lacks feel, but the four-wheel-drive system created from the dual-electric motors provides plenty of grip and traction. But for its height and weight it handles impressively well.

Unfortunately, the quality of the interior is questionable, particularly for the price point. The Californian manufacturer still has some distance to go before the finish of its cars are anywhere near that of German manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Audi, which are just entering the market with their all-electric SUVs. The huge central screen that controls the vast majority of the car’s features is a lovely modern touch and a good focal point in the cabin.

It’s a lovely car to travel in thanks to the absence of engine noise, and the fact that there is only the slightest bit of wind noise. Therefore, it is a great motorway cruiser.

Space and practicality

As you would expect for such a huge car, it’s very practical. The lack of a transmission tunnel results in a nice flat floor, and the absence of a front engine means the Model S ends up having two boots.

The layout is extremely flexible, depending on your needs, too. As standard the Model X has five seats, but it can also be ordered with six or seven seats. The six-seat version is aimed at luxury travel while the seven seat option is aimed at family duties. The Falcon Wing doors — while being a bit of a gimmick — are actually quite handy for getting in and out of the rear seats, although they feel like they take an age to open and close.

There is plenty of room in the front and second row of seats, but the third row in six- or seven-seat layouts are really aimed for children. Boot space is hugely impressive, though, and can even rival some of the largest SUVs. With the rear seats folded down there is 2,180 litres of space. There is also the front boot, which offers an additional 187 litres of storage.

Safety kit on the Model X is plentiful, and includes side collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning. The Model X has never faced Euro NCAP, but the Model S which it is based on has, and it scored an impressive five-star rating — being praised for its safety assist and adult occupation safety.

The Model X would make a fantastic family choice, with its flexibility and spaciousness. Those fancy doors would be of great amusement to a child as well.

Power and range

Just two variations of the Model X are available new — 100D and P100D. The number indicates the battery size in kilowatts.

The 100D has a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds — but boasts an impressive range of 351 miles.  The P100D is the pinnacle in the range, and it’s an exceptionally quick car as it is able to get from 0-60mph in a rapid 2.9 seconds with a range of 336 miles. Those are remarkable figures for a vehicle of this bulk. Both models have a top speed of 155mph.

Even past versions — such as 60D, 75D and 90D — offered fantastic acceleration, as well as impressive electric ranges, so you won’t be disappointed here if you look at used options.

Tesla doesn’t tend to give out charging times as it says that the time can be affected by conditions such as usage, weather, and other mitigating factors. Using one of Tesla’s Superchargers will mean it can be charged to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.

Running Costs

 

The Model X will be a very cheap car to run thanks to its zero emissions and free road tax. You do need to remember the high list price though, as it is considerably more expensive than a petrol- or diesel-powered Audi Q7, for example.

Used examples registered before 2018 also have access to Tesla’s Supercharger network for life, which is a big advantage that Tesla has over its rivals. Though it’s a shame that new models now have to pay for this.

It’s a good choice for business users, too, particularly those in high management. The Model X sits in the lowest benefit-in-kind grouping. Compared to a Mercedes GLS 350d, you would be paying four times the amount for that with company car tax over what you would pay for the Model X.

Unfortunately, the Model X will not be cheap to insure. Due to its size, expense and performance it is placed in insurance group 50 – the highest band.

Things to look out for

For such a new company, Teslas have actually proved to be reliable. They have been placed as one of the most reliable manufacturers in several customer surveys. This will be in part to the fact that electric cars have less components to go wrong than a conventional car would. Tesla is still a new company, however, so time will still tell just how reliable they actually are.

The only disadvantage is the sub-par materials that are used for the interior trim. While they don’t break, they are of a poor quality and feel flimsy, which is not good on a car that can cost up to nearly £135,000.

Rivals

For a long time, the Tesla Model X was the only genuine all-electric large SUV offered. However, manufacturers are slowly catching up with their models, with new offerings including the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC.

Plug-in hybrid rivals to the Model X include the BMW X5 xDrive45e, the Audi Q7 e-tron, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover P400e, as well as the Mercedes GLE 500e.

Trims Explained

Trims explained As we’ve already mentioned, there are just two variations of the Model X available new — 100D and P100D. Standard equipment is largely the same on both models.

P100D

This features extra equipment such as premium interior trim, an air-filtration system to prevent viruses and bacteria from entering the interior, self-presenting doors that can open themselves, an audio upgrade and a ‘Sub Zero’ weather package that comprises washer nozzle heaters, a heated steering wheel, heated seats all round and a phone dock.

Prices start from £128,250.

Summary

  1. Incredible performance
  2. Imposing size
  3. Expensive
  4. Good to drive
  5. Disappointing interior quality
  6. Laden with tech
  7. Long electric range
  8. Access to Tesla’s supercharging network
  9. Hold value well
  10. Tesla no longer has its own way against accomplished rivals

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