Tesla Model Y vs. Tesla Model X

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - July 2, 2021

Tesla’s SUVs are the crossovers of the future — capable, practical, and highly efficient. Both the compact Model Y and larger Model X offer three-row seating, all-wheel drive, and over 300 miles of electric range.

Despite their similarities, a few important factors set the two EVs apart. Here's a brief comparison of key specs and features to help you decide which one is worth your money.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Tesla Model Y & Model X »

What the Model Y Gets Right

In this comparison, the Model Y’s greatest asset is its price tag. In Long Range trim, the Model Y is a staggering $37,500 cheaper than an equivalent Model X. You could buy an extra Nissan Leaf with the savings.

The Model Y has a smaller footprint, but it doesn’t lose much in terms of passenger space. The Model X’s taller roofline provides more head and shoulder room, but the Model Y provides slightly more leg room in both rows.

Finally, the Model Y is around a thousand pounds lighter than the Model X. That pays dividends in the corners, where the Model X struggles to corral its inertia.

What the Model X Gets Right

The Model X’s first advantage is size.The Model Y fits a respectable 68 cubic feet of cargo, but the Model X swallows 20 more. If carrying more than five passengers is a priority, the Model X is the only real option — the Model Y’s third row is tiny.

Although it’s larger and heavier, the Model X gets extra battery power to compensate for its bulk. As a result, it has more range than the Model Y. In Long Range trim, the Model X boasts an EPA-estimated range of 360 miles to the Model Y’s 326.

The battery packs provide a power boost, too. The Model X is faster than the Model Y in a straight line, and it’s available in bonkers Plaid trim, which dispatches the 0-60 sprint in just 2.5 seconds. If you need to tow anything, the Model X can handle 1,500 pounds more than the Model Y.

Like the Model 3, the Model Y ditches instruments and gauges in favor of a single central touchscreen. The Model X sticks to a more traditional layout, which will likely appeal to a wider range of drivers. That’s not to say that the Model X lacks personality — its falcon-wing doors are head-turners.

How Much is Performance Worth?

In most measurable ways, the Model X is a superior car. It’s more powerful, more practical, and has a longer range.

On the other hand, the Model X asks a steep price of entry. In Plaid trim, the Model X costs well more than $100,000, and even the Long Range version starts at about $90,000. That’s heady territory, and the Model Y is a relatively solid value.

Our Verdict: Tesla Model X

Speaking purely on the merits of each model, the Model X wins this comparison. It dials all the virtues of the Model Y up to 11, then adds falcon-wing doors. For many buyers, those privileges are worth the price. For everyone else, we won’t blame you if you buy the Model Y.

Take a closer look at the Tesla Model Y »

Take a closer look at the Tesla Model X »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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