Tesla Model Y Compared To BMW’s X5M & X6M High-Performance SUVs

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BMW photos above and below courtesy BMW press kit.

On the last day of February, BMW launched a pair of high-performance SUVs, the X5M Competition and the X6M Competition. I was inspired to create this article comparing the Tesla Model Y to these BMWs after viewing the YouTube video from The Fast Lane that compared the two stylish, sporty, and very high-performance SUVs.

This video compared the two vehicles, which have the exact same engine, and showed that they have great acceleration, braking, and handling. In addition, they have much more utility than a high-performance sedan. They seat 5 adults comfortably, have 54 to 66 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded, and have some mild off-road capability. The X5M has a bit more backseat and cargo room, while, if you look at the pictures below, you can see the sloping roof of the X6M reduces cargo capacity significantly.

BMW X5M Competition
BMW X6M Competition
Tesla Model Y Performance. Photo Credit: Tesla Design Studio

Specification Comparison

Screenshot from EPA website https://www.fueleconomy.gov/

Although the Tesla is a little shorter (not as long), narrower, and shorter (not as tall), the packaging efficiency allows it to have the same cargo room as the bigger and boxier X5M. The Tesla in 2021 will even offer the capacity to seat 7.

The Model Y is expected to tow at least as much as the Model 3, so a little more than the BMW twins. The Tesla is also a bit faster from 0 to 60 mph, but the instant torque means a pass test like a 40 to 70 mph test will show it as MUCH faster.

Not only is the list price of the Tesla about half of the BMW’s, the EPA-rated fuel economy is over 8 times as efficient. Not only will your car payment and maintenance costs be a fraction of the BMW’s, the fuel costs are expected to be about a sixth as much (depending on your cost of gas and electricity, of course).

The BMW options have an extra 13 miles of range and can fill up at any gas station in 5 minutes, but that is balanced by the fact you have to go to a gas station and can’t fuel at home.

I don’t really have a handling comparison, but I expect the Model Y to out-handle both BMWs, especially on the track with the new Track Mode V2 described below and the track package with grippy tires, unique wheels, better brakes, and brake fluid.

Track Mode V2

Just when you thought we had seen everything, Tesla comes in again and raises the bar for everyone. Track Mode V1 did a great job of providing extra cooling of the battery and letting up on the stability control so that you can slide the car sideways through turns, but Track Mode V2 takes things to the next level. It lets you make the car 100% front wheel drive or 100% rear wheel drive and everything in between in 5% increments! You have 20 levels of stability control and 20 levels of regeneration. You have 2 ways to increase cooling of the system and a way to record not just the video of the car, but all the lateral g-force and temperature sensors that make it a tech nerd’s dream car.

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Let’s look at the reasons people buy high-performance crossovers.

First, they want to haul some people and cargo and maybe do some light towing. All three cars are pretty much equal in that regard, with the X6M having a little less cargo space.

Then you want to race around and maybe take it to the track occasionally. The Tesla has about the same specs, but until they came out with Track Mode 2, some still thought it was more fun to play with the BMW. Now, with all the toys you get in the highest-performance Model Y, that will be the car to play with on the track.

The price and cost of ownership aren’t even close. The Model Y wins by a landslide.

There is no crash test data on the Model Y yet, but with Tesla’s market-leading safety record, most expect it to lead in this category as well.

Some will prefer the traditional luxury interior of the BMW models, while some will prefer the Model Y’s simplicity.

In my opinion, there will only be two types of buyers for the BMW X5M and X6M — those who haven’t heard of the Tesla Model Y and those who just want a more expensive and exclusive car to virtue signal their wealth to others.

If you decide to order a Tesla, use a friend’s referral code to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging on a Tesla Model S, Model X, or Model 3 (you can’t use it on the Model Y or Cybertruck yet). Now good for $250 (up from $100) off on solar, too! If you don’t have any friends with a Tesla, use mine: https://ts.la/paul92237

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Paul Fosse

I have been a software engineer for over 30 years, first developing EDI software, then developing data warehouse systems. Along the way, I've also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and do portfolio management. In 2010, I took an interest in electric cars because gas was getting expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and took an interest in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla referral code: https://ts.la/paul92237

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