Tesla Model Y earns MotorTrend’s respect: ‘(It) delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV’

The Tesla Model Y. (Credit: MotorTrend)

The Tesla Model Y Performance recently underwent a detailed first drive review from MotorTrend, which highlighted several points of modern ingenuity that the electric automaker incorporated into its first mainstream crossover. The analysis does not cover the straightforward aspects that the Model Y has, like Autopilot capabilities, battery capacity, or range. It is a clear and concise explanation of why the car won over MotorTrend’s staff.

“The Model Y Performance delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV,” the esteemed motoring publication stated.

Labeled as “the most convincing American sport luxury SUV” that MotorTrend’s Christian Seabaugh has ever driven, the Model Y Performance packs 456 horsepower and just one mile less range than the Long Range AWD variant of the vehicle. With performance upgrades like a more robust rear motor, revised powertrain software, a rear spoiler, and performance brakes, the Model Y Performance’s power was undoubtedly a point of approval for the reviewer.

Credit: MotorTrend

Even though the Model Y doesn’t pack Ludicrous Mode or a dedicated launch system, which are both exclusive to the Model S and Model X, the all-electric crossover “still continues the legend of brutally prompt Tesla acceleration.” Tesla’s instant torque is synonymous with the company’s fleet of sustainable, high-performance automobiles, which makes them an intimidating sight on a drag strip. The Model Y Performance’s real-world 0 to 60 mph time of in 3.7 seconds in MotorTrend‘s test is quicker than the Jaguar I-Pace, the BMW X3 M Competition, and the Porsche Macan Turbo outfitted with a performance package.

During Seabaugh’s drive, he stated that none of the Model Y’s outstanding performance was unexpected. “Quick acceleration, quick steering, and firm braking are par for the course for Tesla,” he stated. However, the firm ride of the Model Y equipped with the Performance Upgrade Package, or PUP, was one completely unexpected thing.

Driving over potholes and rough roads or highway expansion joints were handled by the Model Y Performance’s lowered suspension. “To Tesla’s credit, the ride is by no means punishing—you’re neither flinching before bumps nor wincing after them—it’s just firmer than most other vehicles in its class,” he said.

From an interior standpoint, the cabin of the Model Y certainly won over Seabaugh, who said its “a pretty nice place to be.” The higher seat position compared to the Model 3 comes as a pleasant surprise, giving the driver a commanding view of the road. Visibility is good even though the front of the car isn’t visible from the driver’s throne.

Even though the Model Y Performance’s build is practical for hauling the kids around and grabbing items from the grocery store, it is a vehicle that packs plenty of power for those who desire a little bit of fun. While the Model X was undoubtedly the car to offer families a mode of premium sustainable transportation that’s incredibly difficult to match, the more-affordable Model Y is here to reach out as a “mass-market” vehicle, just like the Model 3 before it.

Seabaugh’s final words sum up the Model Y perfectly. “Revolutionary falcon-wing doors be damned, the original Model X didn’t make any of Tesla’s rivals lose sleep. The Model Y will give them nightmares.”

Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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