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Video | Here’s Why the 2020 Tesla Model Y Is So Cool

For Elon Musk, the Y here needs to stand for “Yes, I’d love one!” The Tesla Model Y is an incredibly important vehicle for the automaker. Consumers crave compact crossovers, and that’s exactly what the Model Y delivers to the California carmaker’s lineup. It needs to sell well, because at the end of the day, Tesla is in the business of selling cars, regardless of what its stock price is doing.

What Is the Tesla Model Y’s Range?

And Tesla is selling cars. The Model 3 is doing well. But that’s a sedan, and demand lies with lifted faux-SUV boxes. So the Model Y should be a hit. But how does it actually stack up? Pretty well, before you start to look at the price.

The Model Y is a battery-electric compact crossover that seats five and promises a range of up to 300 miles in its most efficient form. Power is stored in and delivered from a 75-kWh battery pack, and it’s sent to a pair of motors, one driving the front axle and the other dishing energy to the rear. Right now, Tesla will sell you one of two versions. There’s the Long Range Dual Motor AWD, which is rated to return 300 miles per charge. And then there’s the Performance Dual Motor AWD. Its estimated range dips down to 280 miles, but you get more power on tap — the 4,416-pound ovoid CUV can dash from 0-to-60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds. The Long Range version does the deed in the high 4-second range.

What Is the Model Y’s Interior Like?

On the inside, the Model Y is, in a word, sparse. The cabin’s main feature is the massive screen sitting central atop the dashboard. It’s where all of the information is displayed and entertainment is delivered and where most functions are handled. Want to adjust the side mirrors? Use the screen. Need to change the rake on the steering wheel? It’s in the screen. Basically, your only nonscreen operations involve the turn signal stalk, the drive selector and the autopilot engagement.

Tesla has done a good job on the seats in the cabin. They feel more well bolstered and more comfortable than the seats in the Model 3. And there’s good room inside, despite the Model Y being a compact crossover. At 6-foot-3, I could sit behind myself, were I forced into the second row. Tesla says it wants to bring a 3-row version to market, but I think at that point we’ve reached a space compromise. The 2-row Model Y has great interior space for passengers and still has a ton of cargo room. Adding another row would screw up this whole dynamic. Leave it as a 2-row, I say.

The Model Y is also supposed to get another version down the road. Musk says that a standard-range rear-wheel-drive version is on the horizon and that it will be the most affordable Model Y. We’re not holding our breath for that one, as — much like with the value-version Model 3 — it’s not likely you’ll see many on the road. Instead, expect to have all-wheel drive and to have to fork out a good amount of cash. The Long Range Model Y starts at $52,990 before any incentives, and the Performance model starts at $60,990. There’s also a Performance upgrade package offered at no cost, and it adds performance brakes and 21-in Uberturbine wheels, drops the suspension a bit and increases the top speed from 145 mph to 155 mph. It’s free — why wouldn’t you get it?

Tesla Model Y Quality

One of the biggest questions surrounding not just the Model Y but any new Tesla is build quality. Early examples of the Model S, the Model X and the Model 3 appeared to have been built in very fancy sheds. Paint quality was all over the place, as were panel alignments. Things appear to be changing for the better with the Model Y, though. Tightening factory specs and quality control mean a more consistent and better product, which is crucial on a vehicle as important to Tesla as the Model Y.

So is the Tesla Model Y a good car/crossover? Yes. The quality has improved over previous Tesla vehicles, and there are many thoughtful features. And the starting price of the Model Y isn’t that far off gasoline-powered crossovers. Compare it to a BMW or an Audi, and the Tesla is really competitive. Find a Tesla Model Y for sale

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