Tesla Model Y price, specs and release date

January 08, 2021 by

Any new Tesla is hotly anticipated and the Tesla Model Y compact electric SUV could prove to be the manufacturer’s best-selling car yet. Here’s everything you need to know.

  • Currently on sale in the US
  • Shares many Model 3 parts
  • 250kW-charger compatible
  • Up to 314-mile range
  • £30,000 model expected
  • Performance model planned
  • On sale in UK in 2022

The Tesla Model Y is a small electric SUV that’s already on sale in the USA, but UK buyers will have to wait until 2022 for it to hit the road on this side of the Atlantic. When it arrives, it’ll be an alternative to the likes of the electric Skoda Enyaq, Volkswagen ID.4 and Mercedes EQA EVs, as well as the petrol- and diesel-powered BMW X3, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mercedes-Benz GLB.

2022 Tesla Model Y design

The Model Y looks like a bit like a mashup of the Model X and Model 3

Think of the Tesla Model Y as either a smaller Model X or as an SUV version of the Model 3. You can see elements of both those cars in the Model Y’s styling – viewed side-on, its outline is near-identical to that of the Model X, while the front and rear ends appear to have been swapped straight over from the Model 3. The Model Y is about 10% bigger than the Model 3 and, indeed, the two share some 75% of their components.

2022 Tesla Model Y interior

The Tesla Model Y’s minimalist dashboard has been lifted pretty much wholesale from the Model 3. All the car’s functions are controlled through the 15-inch, portrait display screen. Only vital information is displayed in front of the driver.

Watch this Tesla Model 3 review

Just like the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mercedes GLB, the Model Y has seats for seven people. Tesla claims that there’s enough space for seven adults, but that remains to be seen. Rows two and three fold down at the touch of a button, freeing up a van-like 1869 litres of load space – considerably more than most alternatives and even similarly priced estate cars such as the Mercedes E-Class.

2022 Tesla Model Y performance and range

Long Range Model Ys will manage more than 300 miles of range 

Three versions of the Model Y are currently available in the USA: a Long-Range model, a Performance version and a Standard-Range car. The Long Range AWD (all-wheel drive) model will sprint from 0-60mph in 4.8 secs and top out at 135mph. The Performance does the sprint in 3.5 secs and maxes out at 150mph. The Standard-Range car does 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and reaches 135mph.

See how the Model 3 compares with a Polestar 2

Range is what really matters here, though. The Standard-Range Model Y can travel 230 miles on a single charge. The Long-Range model goes 314 miles and the Performance version can manage 298 miles. These numbers are Tesla’s estimates for the European WLTP test; exact figures will be confirmed nearer launch.

The Tesla Model Y is compatible with the latest, third-generation 250kW Superchargers. These let you boost your car’s range by 75 miles in just 5 minutes, and 158 miles in 15 minutes.

2022 Tesla Model Y technology and features

The Model Y’s cabin gets the same huge touchscreen as the Model 3.

Tesla’s signature huge touchscreen infotainment system is present in the new Model Y. It’ll give you access to a vast array of on-line functions, including satnav and music streaming, and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

Teslas always come well-stocked with safety, comfort and convenience features, so you can expect that of the Model Y. The latest version of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system will feature, as well.

A full panoramic glass roof comes as standard, which should bring lots of light into the interior. Sadly, the Tesla Model Y doesn’t have the Model X’s ‘gullwing’ rear doors – they’re simply too expensive for a car that isn’t at the top of the range.

The Model Y shares its chassis and electric motors with the Model 3.

2022 Tesla Model Y driving

The Model Y uses the same version of Tesla’s “skateboard” chassis as the Model 3. The chassis contains all the batteries, electric motors, suspension and brakes so they don’t intrude into the interior. The body is simply bolted on top.

As befits its SUV role, the Model Y has an off-road mode that optimises the two electric motors’ torque delivery on rough and loose surfaces. But, the car’s relatively low ride height suggests that it won’t be able to traipse as far into the wilderness as a Land Rover Discovery Sport.

It should go round corners pretty well, though. According to Tesla boss, Elon Musk, the Model Y will “ride like a sports car” thanks to its low centre of gravity. The Tesla Model 3 drives extremely well, so there’s every chance the Model Y will, too.

2022 Tesla Model Y prices and release date

Expect the Model Y to go on sale in the UK in 2022. As a guide, prices in the USA are around $39,000 (roughly £30,000) for the Standard Range, $51,000 (£39,000-ish) for the Long Range AWD and $60,000 (approx. £46,000) for the Performance. UK-market Teslas tend to cost a few thousand pounds more than their US equivalents, however.

Any Tesla Model 3 that costs less than £35,000 will be eligible for the Government’s £2,500 plug-in car grant.

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