18 December 2017

Tesla Model X 2017 car review

By Cade Wilson

Model X is the quickest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history and with six seats, “Falcon Wing” doors, crazy fast, and silently electric, what’s not to like? Frankly I couldn’t actually find anything I didn’t enjoy about the new Tesla Model X. Released earlier this year there are a few on the road that continue to turn heads and spark-up conversations around the electric vehicle world. 

Styling
5.0 / 5
Safety
0.0 / 5
Innovation
5.0 / 5
Practicality
5.0 / 5
Value
4.0 / 5

AA expert rating

3.8 / 5

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Our test Tesla was the range-topping P100D, which has a 100kWh battery, dual motors, and a potential range of 565km, I had too much fun in Ludicrous Mode to achieve anywhere near these travelling distance capabilities. 

Safety features are second to none. Equipped with the same amount of eyes as a spider, 8 cameras help provide a 360degree  level of vision beyond what a driver can access alone, while twelve ultrasonic sensors provide detection of surrounding objects. Forward-facing radar can see through heavy rain, fog, dust, and beyond the vehicle ahead—helping to prevent accidents by providing simultaneous visibility in every direction. Unlike the Model S, the X is yet to be ANCAP tested. 

The Falcon Wing side doors are pretty genius in themselves, only requiring 30cm of clearance on either side, articulating smoothly up and out of the way, allowing passengers to enter from any direction. The side and overhead opening is so large that children can be buckled in without the parent ducking or straining and without bumping their child's head on the roof. They can be opened by controls on the super-large central touch screen, meaning they can be opened as your passenger walks toward to door. This car is very chivalrous; the driver’s door opens to let you in as you near the car, once again all the doors can be closed via remote, door buttons, or central command screen. 

This SUV can come in 5, 6, or 7 seat configurations with ours having 6 seats, there was a very generous amount of space and easy access to the rear seats through the gap in the centre. If you’re prone to sneezing your way through the seasons, there is a medical grade HEPA filter that strips the outside air of pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution before circulating it into the cabin. There are three modes: circulate with outside air, re-circulate inside air and a bioweapon defence mode that creates positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants (handy when driving past something smelly).

Our Model X had a few very necessary upgrades, $8,500 Onyx Black 22” mag wheels, $2,300 Pearl White multi-coat paint, and $9,200 for the 6-seat option.  

The finer details when owning a Tesla include: access to Tesla’s ever expanding Supercharger network (some other charging stations in NZ can’t take a Tesla plug), maps and navigation with real-time traffic information. Smart Air Suspension for adjusting the ride height with multiple heights on offer, also great for navigating our underground carpark without fear of scraping the underbody. 

I got a bit of a shock when I first sat in the driver’s seat, the huge panoramic screen extending seamlessly over my head. I felt a bit like I was on the top deck of a double decker bus with everything whizzing past. 

Storage space in not going to be an issue, Tesla claim you can fit a Golf bag or two strollers in the front compartment, and boast an interior storage of 2180 Litres in the 6-seater configuration.  

At a glance
Models Model X P100D
Engine  Dual Electric Motors
Price $222,600 As tested $242,845
ANCAP safety rating Unrated
Power N/A
Transmission 1-Speed Drive
Fuel economy N/A
Towing capacity 750kg Unbraked, 2250kg Braked
2WD/4WD/AWD AWD
Seating capacity 6
Luggage capacity/payload 2180L
Safety systems 
Collision Avoidance (over air update) Brake assist
8-Airbags 360 Degree Camera View
ABS ESC
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