For years, you were buying a Tesla because it was a Tesla. For most of the company’s history, it had only one model to sell at a time. That changed with the introduction of the Tesla Model X SUV. You had choices, but it was either large sedan or large SUV. Now you have more nuanced choices: small sedan or large sedan, small SUV or large SUV. With the recent introduction of the Tesla Model Y small SUV in the market’s hottest segment, we’re taking a look at which all-electric Tesla SUV is right for you based on the data.
Model X Price Vs. Model Y Price
There are many large numerical differences between the compact Model Y and the midsize Model X, but the largest and for many the most important is the price tag. The Model Y is far and away the more affordable option with a starting price of $54,190 for the Long Range model compared to the Model X Long Range Plus at $81,190. What’s more, Tesla intends to offer an even cheaper Model Y trim level in the future for just $40,200. If you’re on a budget, the comparison is a no-brainer, but for the purpose of this analysis, let’s pretend you can afford a Model X but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice over the Model Y.
Model X Range Vs. Model Y Range
Despite their size differences, which we’ll get to shortly, the Model X and Model Y have similar driving range. The Model Y can travel between 280 and 316 miles on a charge (Performance trim with Performance Upgrade package and Long Range trim, respectively). The Model X, despite being larger and heavier, fits a larger battery and can travel between 305 and 351 miles per charge (Performance and Long Range Plus trims, respectively; adding 22-inch wheels to the performance model drops its range to 272).
Model X Passenger Space Vs. Model Y Passenger Space
Both the Model X and Model Y come standard with seating for five, but that’s just a starting point. The Model X can be ordered with six seats—two in each of the three rows—or seven seats in a two-three-two layout. The Model Y will be available with a seven-seat option sometime in the future in the same two-three-two layout. Adding additional seating will cost you, with the seven-seat configuration requiring an extra $3,500 on the Model X and the six-seat feature a $6,500 option. The Model Y’s third row, meanwhile, will cost $3,000.
Being a larger vehicle, the Model X has more passenger space than the Model Y. In the front row, this means an extra 0.7 inch of head room and 4.3 inches of shoulder room in the Model X. However, the Model Y offers more front-row legroom by 0.6 inch.
It’s a similar situation in the second row. The taller, longer Model X offers an extra 1.5 inch of head room over the Model Y and 2.8 inches of extra shoulder room. Here again, the Model Y offers more second-row legroom, an extra 2.1 inches compared to the Model X.
The extra legroom in the first and second rows will likely come at a price for the Model Y’s third row. Tesla is not currently building three-row Model Ys and has not released any dimensions for the rearmost seats. Based on photos released by Tesla, it appears the third row will only be large enough for children. The Model X’s third row is already a tight fit for adults, with 2 fewer inches of head room than the Model Y’s already pinched second row.