The Tesla Model Y has been unveiled, and it will likely prove to be one of the electric car maker’s best-selling vehicles. Equipped with a robust set of features and offered at a reasonable price, the Model Y has the potential to disrupt the highly lucrative crossover SUV market the same way that its sibling, the Model 3, disrupted the passenger sedan segment in the US last year.
As the market prepares for the arrival of the Model Y, it becomes pertinent to compare it to other all-electric SUVs in the market. So far, there are two that are pretty close to the Model Y in size: the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-PACE. Faced with this competition, how does the Model Y stack up?
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y could be described as a larger, bulkier version of the Model 3. Similar to the electric sedan, the Tesla Model Y is offered in either RWD or AWD options. The vehicle starts at a $39,000 for the Standard Range version and goes all the way to $60,000 for the Performance variant. Just like Tesla’s other vehicles, the all-electric SUV is designed to go the distance, with the Standard version having 230 miles of range, the Long Range having 300 miles of range, and the Dual Motor AWD and Performance version having 280 miles of range per charge.
The Model Y is no slouch, as even the Standard version can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The range-topping Model Y Performance, with its dual motors, hits 60 in 3.5 seconds all the way to a top speed of 150 mph. Being based on the Model 3, the Model Y features a hyper-minimalistic interior, capped off by a stunning panoramic glass roof. A fully-loaded red multicoat red Model Y with Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, and the optional third-row seats (which would boost the car’s seating capacity to seven passengers), would set back buyers around $73,500.
A key advantage of the Model Y is its access to Tesla’s expansive and ever-growing Supercharger Network, allowing owners of the newly-released SUV to go on long road trips without any range anxiety. Being a derivative of the Model 3, the Model Y is also compatible with Tesla’s Supercharger V3 network, which has a maximum power output of 250 kW, or 1,000 miles per hour. Tesla estimates that Supercharger V3’s charging times will average around 15 minutes per vehicle.
The Audi e-tron debuted last year, at a time when the Model X was the only SUV in Tesla’s lineup. The size of the e-tron is more comparable with that of the Model Y though, making a comparison between the two vehicles a bit more appropriate. Price-wise, the e-tron is priced higher than the Model Y, costing just under $76,000 for the basic Premium Plus package, while the higher-end Prestige option starts at $81,800. With all the major upgrade boxes ticked on the Premium Plus offering, the e-tron would cost around $88,000.
Performance-wise, the e-tron falls behind the Model Y, with its 0-60 mph time of around 5 seconds and its top speed of 124 mph. Audi has been pretty secretive about the e-tron’s range, though the vehicle’s 95 kWh battery pack suggests that the SUV should have more than 200 miles of range per charge. Inside the vehicle, the e-tron is classic Audi, with multiple configurable screens and several creature comforts.
The Audi e-tron has some tricks up its sleeve when it comes to charging. The SUV could plug into a variety of chargers, including a 150 kW setup that is expected to charge the vehicle’s battery to 80% in just ~30 minutes. Such charging speeds are quite comparable to those of Tesla’s Supercharger V2 stations, which, as the Tesla community has proven over the years, is more than adequate for long trips.
The I-PACE is priced at a premium compared to the recently unveiled Model Y, starting at around $70,000 for the S model all the way to the $86,000 HSE or “First Edition” trim. With all options checked, the I-PACE could breach the $100,000 barrier, thanks to rather expensive items like $500 floormats.
Just like the e-tron, the I-PACE falls a bit short of the Model Y’s specs, with its 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, its top speed of t 124 mph, and its range of 234 miles per charge. The I-PACE has one edge over the Model Y though, in the form of its plush interior, which would delight car buyers looking for a more traditional vehicle with more conventional creature comforts and accents. The I-PACE is also available now, unlike the e-tron and the Model Y, which are yet to start rolling out to customers.
The Jaguar I-PACE actually falls behind the Model Y and the Audi e-tron in terms of its charging systems, as it is capable of charging up to 100 kW. This means that charging the vehicle’s 90 kWh battery to 80% (provided that a 100 kW fast charger is available) would take about 40 minutes.
Overall, each vehicle would likely be perfect for specific car buyers. Those looking for an electric SUV that is familiar and conventional would best pick up an I-PACE or an e-tron. Nevertheless, when it comes to bang-for-your-buck value and sheer performance specs, it is difficult to argue against the Model Y.