The 2018 Tesla Model X is the world’s first all-electric crossover SUV. It's based on the ground-breaking Model S, an electric sedan that needs no introduction. The Model X offers unique styling, an emissions-free way to drive, but not as much interior room as you might expect.

Best Value

Tesla offers the Model X based on one of three available lithium-battery pack sizes and power output. Packages are built out from there. It's easy for your final price to top $100,000 when shopping for one, which is why we're sticking with the base model. Base as in standard, not stripped.

The Tesla Model X comes with LED fog lights, power folding and heated side mirrors, a power liftgate, a towing package, keyless entry, a center console with a gigantic display, USB ports, and seating for five. We chose a pair of appearance upgrades to personalize our example.

Most of the available packages cover seating options or semi-autonomous drive. There's also a Premium Upgrades Package ($6,000). This makes sense for people in colder climates, as you get heated seats for every passenger and a heated steering wheel, among other upgrades.

  • Model: 2018 Tesla Model X 75D
  • Engine: 75 kWh battery with two electric motors
  • Output: 518 hp / 387 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 1-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 91 MPGe City / 95 MPGe Hwy
  • Options: Deep Metallic Paint ($1,000), Carbon Fiber Upgrade ($250)
  • Base Price: $80,700 (including a $1,200 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $81,950

Performance

Tesla Model X

Do you want super fast or blistering performance? No matter, the Model X is powered by a robust battery pack. The one we recommend is the standard 75 kWh system with two electric motors. It makes a “modest” 518 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque.

Acceleration is remarkable, moving this heavy SUV up to 60 mph from a dead stop inside five seconds. It corners flat and predictably so. You might think that this SUV would have its share of body roll – it does. Yet, the electronically controlled drive software and suspension systems provide constant corrections to minimize roll. The tech intervention is noticeable, but it also supplies a measure of confidence when galloping down the road.

Style

At first glance, the Model X looks a lot like the Model S sedan and that’s a good thing. However, its tall profile sets it apart. Tesla uses a simple teardrop layout for aerodynamic purposes. Its overall look is stark. Models from Audi, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz bring the verve, but then they're not electric and therefore use a more natural design flow with the usual exterior embellishments.

The most significant feature about the exterior involves the rear falcon doors. These doors open out and lift up, transforming this goose into a swan. That said, they are more gimmicky than useful, so we're not especially keen on them.

Inside, you'll find room for five as standard. Additional seating options supply space for six or seven. The drawback here is a loss in storage space, but keep in mind that this SUV has a "frunk" – a front trunk to go with its standard cargo space. The electric battery sits underneath the vehicle, maximizing passenger room and cargo space.

The interior is spacious and open, thanks in part to an expansive windshield that extends up over the driver’s head. This layout requires sun visors that are unrolled from the inside pillars. The standard model is clean and simple, but it's dominated by a 17-inch touchscreen used to manage such functions as the audio system, ventilation, and the sunroof.

The Best and Worst Things

Tesla’s extended range is a big deal. No other manufacturer comes close, although that's bound to change. Tesla adds the security of its charging station network to make it easier to find places to charge your SUV. On the other hand, the Model X, like other Tesla models, can become outrageously expensive, never mind the long wait to acquire one. Truly, choosing a Tesla requires patience and a deep commitment to this cutting-edge technology.

Right For? Wrong For?

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is for shoppers with deep pockets and a desire to leave behind an internal combustion engine vehicle. Consider it more of a statement model than anything else, serving as your contribution to society to reduce your carbon footprint. That said, the Model X makes little sense if you live remotely and have limited access to the Tesla network or to public charging stations in general.

The Bottom Line

The Tesla Model X shakes up the fast-growing luxury SUV segment with the cleanest and fastest model available. Its 5,000-pound towing capacity adds another positive attribute that shouldn't be easily dismissed. Expect to pay handsomely to purchase one and wait months before your Model X is ready.