In 2019, the Tesla Model X was a top seller among luxury SUVs — #1 or #4, depending on how you count.
If you categorize it in the luxury midsize SUV category, the Model X was #4 in California, according to the California Auto Outlook report published by the California New Car Dealers Association. It had a total of 7,225 sales in the state.
The graph above provides more insight and shows that the Lexus RX is the number one seller of all brands when it comes to midsized luxury SUVs — by far. The Lexus RX starts at $45,000, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class starts at $54,000, and the BMW X5 MSRP starts at $59,000. Keep those numbers in mind — we’ll come back to them in a moment.
The Model X may have been 4th on the list, but it being on that list shows that consumers are still buying the high-end Tesla Model X in competitive numbers and many are changing their preferences to cleaner vehicles.
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When it comes to other luxury brands, such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Cadillac, and Land Rover, the Tesla Model X beats all of their models, showing that the face of luxury when it comes to luxury sport utility vehicles is evolving.
Tesla is considered for the most part to be a luxury or premium brand. However, the Model 3 has proven that Tesla can be a brand for the working and middle classes as well, as will the Model Y. Many have switched to Tesla because the operational cost savings can bring its down to a non-premium cost level while they outperform premium-class cars in key regards. Plus, there are no carbon emissions.
That’s not exactly the Model X, though, which has a starting price of $85,000.
The California New Car Dealers Association puts the Model X in the midsize luxury SUV category, but we noticed that Model X pricing is much more in line with large luxury SUV pricing. As noted above, looking at the top midsize luxury SUVs:
- Lexus RX starts at $45,000,
- Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class starts at $54,000,
- BMW X5 MSRP starts at $59,000,
- Tesla Model X starts at $85,000.
Comparing the X to large luxury SUVs, base MSRP pricing is as follows:
- Tesla Model X — $85,000,
- Land Rover Range Rover — $91,000
- Cadillac Escalade — $75,000
- Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — $76,000
- BMW X7 — $74,000.
As you can see, Model X pricing lines up much better in the large luxury SUV class. The Model X also has more space than its exterior dimensions may imply, thanks to the benefits of an efficient, compact electric powertrain. Therefore, we created this second chart/comparison that you see above.
As a note in this category, I have friends who love their Escalades. I did back in the day too. There was just something sexy about them, but Tesla has pretty much redefined sexy (S3XY), so it’s not surprising to see the Model X outselling the Cadillac by more than 2× in California.