No segment is as popular worldwide as the compact SUV, and the range of models is correspondingly large. Can the Tesla Model Y stand out from the competition? Here is our driving report.
Regional production leads to positive identification: If there is a car factory somewhere in the world, the respective vehicle gets a lot of attention in the surrounding area. This is also the case with the Tesla Model Y, which will soon roll off the assembly line in Grünheide, Brandenburg. It almost seems as if the battery-electric SUV is a German car. The public interest is huge. electrive.net had the opportunity to test the Model Y over ten days and 1,024 kilometers.
The abundance of space is the most important argument for the second target group besides the Tesla-savvy: everyone who wants an SUV anyway. And that's a lot. No segment is as successful as that of the so-called compact sports utilities, and that specifically means 4.75 metres in length, 1.92 metres in width without mirrors and 1.62 metres in height. A fat part? Yes, compared to the Model 3. No, compared to the competition. This class is consistently lush. Nothing pinches in the interior of the Model Y, and even tall people are comfortable.
This does not distinguish the Model Y from the competition. In general, it has to be said that there are hardly any unique selling points. The power consumption and the range - more on this later - are also on a par with the others.
Superior route planning and convenience
What Tesla continues to do best is simplicity of operation on longer trips. This factor can be crucial for those people who just don't think in terms of charging curves and kilowatt-hours all the time. No electric car can handle trips as easily and reliably as a Tesla.
Because it's so nice, here's the description again: Enter your destination. You can also use voice control. The navigation system doesn't want you to confirm three times like some competitors ("do you want to go to this address? Yes / No"). It quickly calculates the route. It shows the locations of the Superchargers, and it predicts the charge level (SOC for State of Charge) upon arrival as well as the necessary waiting time with high precision. It goes without saying that the battery is automatically preconditioned in favor of a high charging power - even if the up to 250 kW advertised in the press release was not even close to being reached at a low SOC; the maximum was 150 kW.
Once at the Supercharger, the driver doesn't have to remove a flimsy rubber protector from the CCS socket. One press of the Supercharger's plug and the lid opens with a gentle swing. Plug in, done. Identification and startup are automatic and without any app or RFID card. The price for the kilowatt hours is displayed on the central screen. Insert: Recently, it has also been possible to manually search for DC charging stations that are not brand-specific. This all works wonderfully and in an exemplary manner. It is and remains astonishing that the other car manufacturers have not recognized the value of this convenience or are not able to implement a similarly smooth system.
In all other respects, the Tesla Model Y is an electric car that struggles to positively stand out from the competition. Only the immense thrust - at "Maximum Range" it takes five seconds to reach 100 km/h - is reminiscent of the early days of electric mobility, when social media channels were flooded with videos of Tesla passengers who were left with only a hargh or squeak at the traffic lights in a drag race. The rest is average or even less.