Read Caroline’s Tesla Model Y review for everything you need to know about Tesla’s new mid-size electric SUV in Ireland!

Tesla has expanded their range in Ireland this year with the arrival of the new Tesla Model Y. Following the successful launch of the Model 3, the Model Y will join the range as the brand’s new electric mid-size SUV.

The Tesla Model 3 is already the brand’s bestselling model in Ireland. The Model Y shares a lot of similarities with the Model 3, but is even more spacious with that oh-so fashionable look of an SUV, Tesla-style.

The new Model Y goes on sale in Ireland priced from €66,990. It’s available in two ‘flavours’: Long Range All Wheel Drive (AWD) or Performance (from €72,990).

The Tesla Model Y on test for Changing Lanes!
The Tesla Model Y on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s so special about the Tesla Model Y?

Built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the Model Y’s aerodynamic design and battery technology make it one of the most efficient EVs on the market. The Long Range version offers 533 km (WLTP) driving between charges, and the battery performance is incredibly strong.

And it does look stunning. It shares lots of styling cues with the Model 3 but gains distinction as an SUV with more height, width and length, and even more utility styled alloy wheels. I love it!

And when you do hit the road cross country (or even cross continent), Tesla’s Supercharger network is a reliable companion for quick and efficient charging. In Ireland it’s also still exclusively provided for Tesla cars. A 10-80% charge takes a little over half an hour and the car starts to prepare the battery for optimum charging before you arrive there. The CCS charging connection means you can also use other public charge points.

Inside the Model Y follows Tesla’s now trademark minimalist cabin. The dashboard has a simple horizontal layout with the 15″ landscape style touchscreen taking centre stage. It is both the most innovative part of the cabin and potentially the most challenging in its brilliance too.

Inside the Tesla Model Y
The interior of the Tesla Model Y

Inside the Model Y

That’s because you control pretty much everything from the screen. For example, even to activate the windscreen wipers requires a trip into the screen with a few scans and swipes. It’s simply not the conventional way, leaving the driver with a steering wheel and not much else in their direct line of vision – one has to take a little glance to the left to see the speed of the vehicle on the screen.

But the screen’s response, resolution, shortcuts and music/maps integration is simply brilliant. There’s also a plethora of entertainment options, toybox, games and even a crackling fire effect, among many other wild and brilliant functions to discover in that screen. A folly or another digital wonder of the world – I’ll let you decide.

The Tesla Model Y comes with synthetic leather upholstery and a simple palette of body colours. Quality follows that of the Model 3. These duo are now the most upmarket of the Tesla set with lots of soft touch materials, though the steering wheel does seem a bit basic looking for a premium priced car like this. On closer inspection, some of the fittings could be finished with a bit more elegance too.

All Model Y’s have a high specification including 13 speaker premium sound system, power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, and tinted panoramic glass roof. Generally the good stuff about this car outweighs any niggles about the finish.

The Model Y is the brand's new mid-size SUV
The Model Y is the brand’s new mid-size SUV

Is it practical?

The Tesla Model Y offers more space than a Model 3 inside. The enlarged dimensions translate to an incredibly spacious living room in the Y. In the rear, three can sit comfortably with lots of headroom and legroom.

The boot opens in a practical hatchback style, with a powered tailgate as standard. It offers up to 854 litres with a large square opening, with good height and depth. You can also fold down the rear seats individually from switches in the boot and they fold flat neatly. There’s also a frunk under the front bonnet for storing charging cables for example.

The loading sill is also low and flat making it easy to move things in and out of the boot.

The centre console has a large storage unit, while there are four USB ports and docking for two smartphones below the touchscreen. Modern minimalist with a sense of purpose.

Rear seating in the Model Y
Rear seating in the Model Y

Driving the Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y Long Range (from €66,990) offers sprightly performance with 0-100 km/h in just 5 seconds, and one pump of the accelerator is enough to throw you back in your seat.

The Model Y Performance (from €72,990) ups the ante somewhat with 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a minimal drop in range to 514 km (WLTP) and top speed extended from 217 km/h to 250 km/h. It also gets 21’’ ‘Überturbine’ wheels, performance brakes, lowered suspension and aluminium alloy pedals.

Model Y’s rapid straight line performance is enhanced by all wheel drive offering superb grip in corners. Tesla All-Wheel Drive has two ultra-responsive, independent electric motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels—for far better handling, traction and stability control.

There’s more lean in corners than a Model 3 for example but the Y is happy to hustle and is still fun to drive.

Cruising performance is excellent but the ride is very firm for a family SUV. At this price range, the Tesla Model Y should coast over bumps in the road with a bit more sophistication.

Did you like it?

Last year the Model 3 was the smartest car I’ve ever met. This year the Model Y follows suit, but as a trendy SUV.

It’s only after spending time with these cars that you realise how revolutionary they are, how clever they are and how they do everything that little bit differently than every other car on the market.

But in the rapid electrification of the motor industry, it’s the battery technology and reliable charging where the Tesla Model Y really shines. Everything seems to be have been taken care of in a way that makes the Tesla more compatible with modern life than any other EV I’ve driven.

The Model Y looks great but the ride comfort is disappointing in what is a sublime offering in many other areas. Still there’s quite like a Tesla and the aforementioned fast charging, long range, badge kudos and behind the wheel experience mean the Y shall win many hearts regardless.

The Model Y is on sale priced from €66,990
The Model Y is on sale priced from €66,990

Model tested: Tesla Model Y
Battery: 75 kWh
434 hp
Torque: 493 Nm
5 seconds
Top speed:  217 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes