The king of range. Electric SUVs are just starting to trickle out, but the 2020 Tesla Model X has been leading the way forward for some years. Over the years, Tesla has made small changes to boost the Model X's range. Going with the base Long Range Plus trim brings a range of 328 miles, according to the EPA. The Performance trim lowers that figure to 305 miles, which is still excellent for the class.
Despite being a large electric SUV, the Model X has good fuel economy figures from the EPA. The Long Range Plus has a combined rating of 96 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe), while the Performance model gets 90 MPGe combined. These are great numbers compared to the competition.
Supercar besting performance. Take one look at the Model X and you wouldn’t think that it’s one of the quickest vehicles on the planet. Tesla boldly claims that it's the quickest SUV on the market, and it has every right to.
Both models come with a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, two electric motors, and all-wheel drive. With the Performance trim, the Model X can get to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds, matching some of the most expensive and exotic supercars on the market. Even the Long Range Plus trim isn’t all that slow, with a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds.
When the novelty of the Model X’s straight-line performance wears off, you’ll still be able to enjoy just how fun it is to drive around corners. Thanks to the placement of the batteries low down in the body, it handles better than other vehicles that are similarly sized. A standard air suspension system helps keep the Model X’s ride even over varying road conditions.
Packed with luxury and tech features. The Model X's starting price tag of $86,190 is incredibly expensive, but it does come with an excellent mix of luxury and tech features. Standard fare includes synthetic leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, 20-inch wheels, heated exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Tesla’s HEPA air filtration system, and much more.
A variety of tech features are also available. The Model X comes with a 17-inch touchscreen, navigation, wi-fi hot spot, a wireless charging pad, and over-the-air updates. What you won’t find is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Despite not having smartphone capability, the Model X still ranks as one of the most high-tech vehicles available. And that’s before you get to its safety features.
The Model X comes with nearly every driver-assist feature under the sun, including an innovative Autopilot system that lets it handle the majority of driving on all roads. The system leverages multiple sensors, cameras, and radars to detect road markings, other cars, and pedestrians.
Tesla also offers a "Full Self-Driving Capability" option that brings more high-tech features. Regardless of whether you opt for it, the Model X is packed with futuristic tech.
Lackluster styling, build quality, and comfort. Tesla’s still a relatively new automaker, which means that it’s facing some teething issues. Large panel gaps, poor build quality, and dull materials are found both on the inside and outside of the Model X.
Sticking with the exterior for a moment, the Model X looks like a minivan that’s been squashed with a large SUV, which isn’t a great combination. Ungainly and bulbous, the Model X hardly looks like an electric car from the future.
The simplistic interior may also turn some consumers away. The Model X has nearly no buttons, as everything is controlled through the massive touchscreen. Interior quality isn't as special as we would want to see from a vehicle at this price point.
There's some flexibility to the Model X’s cabin, though, as five-, six-, and seven-passenger layouts are available. Don’t expect the seven-passenger version to be generously accommodating, though, as it's just as spacious as non-electric midsize SUVs.
Further hurting the Model X when it comes to styling and versatility is its falcon rear doors. While they make getting into the rear seats easier than a conventional door, they’re slow to operate, require a certain overhead clearance to function properly, and require space between another vehicle (think of a parking lot) to open. They’re not worth the hassle, but you can’t get the Model X any other way.
Final thoughts. The Tesla Model X practically fathered the all-electric SUV segment. For 2020, Tesla has improved its segment-leading option to further the gap to newcomers. The Model X continues to be the leader in the class, but you’ll certainly pay to get the best and there are a few trade-offs you’ll have to make.
The falcon doors are a cool marketing ploy, but they get old quickly. We were really hoping to see Tesla come out with regular doors for the car or at least let owners choose whether they want the doors as an option. While build quality and material choices are starting to improve with modern Teslas, the Model X continues to be subpar in these areas. Autopilot may sound like it lets the car drive itself, but don’t be fooled – you’ll have to pay attention at all times behind the wheel.
When it comes to competitors, there’s the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron. The I-Pace is more affordable, but only has 234 miles of range. The Jaguar doesn’t have the same technology as the Model X, but features a more attractive design, better build quality, and nicer materials.
The Audi e-tron is more affordable than the Model X, more comfortable, and has better styling, build quality, and nicer materials. But it falls behind the Tesla when it comes to range (204 miles) and performance.
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