The following article comes to us from Dick Amacher, the owner of a brand new Tesla Model Y Performance, as well as a Tesla Model 3. These are his initial thoughts from his first day with the Model Y, including notes on the delivery process. For much more, you can join a webinar presentation and Q&A with Dick next Sunday, April 5, if you are a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, or Ambassador. Join now and look out for the webinar link soon!
By Dick Amacher
I have to admit to some shame picking up my Tesla Model Y Performance in the middle of this pandemic, but Tesla has designed a thoughtful “touchless” delivery that minimizes chance for contact between customers and delivery staff. To get to the Tampa Delivery Center, I took wipes, a mask, and gloves for my Lyft ride there (my cost). Luis Manuel had sanitized his car and we kept our distance between driver and passenger.
I arrived early, so waited in the service lounge using Wi-Fi to check email and messages. At the appointed time, I was told my car was ready. I had submitted and signed all required documents in advance online, so only signed once on a sanitized tablet to show I received the vehicle. Being a Model 3 owner, I declined any additional orientation and found the controls, screen, and settings almost identical. I forgot how many preferences I have fine-tuned over the last year, so that took some time.
Here are some things I found different:
- Neither Model 3 nor Model Y now comes with HomeLink remote opener included. I am told this change was made during 2019 due to feedback of low customer use. Since I do use this feature, I had to order a module from the Tesla online store for an additional $300 plus tax. When I receive it, a service appointment must be scheduled for installation. It would be nice to have it installed at delivery for the convenience of those who want it.
- The Model Y (at least the Performance trim) includes a wireless phone charger in the console and uses the USB-C plug located in the left position.
- The specific software releases are different between Model 3 and Model Y. (Those of you with multiple Tesla models probably already knew that.)
- Front and rear tires are different sizes. Pirelli 255/35 R21 Front and 275/35 R21 Rear. So, no tire rotation possible.
Here are some things that might be different, or I just didn’t notice on receiving my Model 3:
- Neither basic Autopilot nor FSD (Full Self Driving) worked on leaving the lot. A message said the cameras had to calibrate. It took about 10 miles of driving for them to become ready. The little steering wheel icon acts as a progress gage. When the steering wheel rim is filled in, the cameras are ready. [Editor’s note: This is also the case on the Model 3 — I was told and experienced this in August. However, it’s an interesting tidbit most non-owners surely don’t know and many owners may not even realize/remember. —Zach]
- The streaming audio wasn’t ready and asked for a Wi-Fi connection. Apparently, authorizations and certain data are not downloaded to the vehicle until after delivery, including map satellite visualizations. I had to wait until I was home. As it was 90 miles to home, this would have been nice to have loaded at delivery. Oh, well…
Now, the good stuff:
- The seating position and head room are markedly higher than Model 3, as you would expect. I am still figuring out the best wheel and seat positions. The higher position provides a better view, which most drivers seem to like and expect.
- Rear seat leg room seems greater, but the wheelbase of the two cars is only slightly different, so I must check it.
- The main event is the hatch. Once released, it raises itself to expose a cavernous cargo area. A pushbutton on the bottom of the hatch causes it to close automatically. I suspect this is still inconvenient for those standing around five feet tall. I’ll ask my wife to verify this.
- As noted by others, there are seat back release switches in the left rear trim panel to fold the seats down without reaching in through the rear side doors. The center seat back can also be manually lowered to allow long objects to be carried without sacrificing either rear outer occupant seat.
Other interesting stuff:
- Driving home at modest expressway speeds, the consumption definitely is higher than in the Model 3. This was a concern with opting for the 21” wheels and tires, but my choice was to go all in for this car. Although the website still shows this combination with a range of 280 miles with these wheels, the window sticker provided shows a range of 315 miles, the same as base wheels. Interesting? Although I have not charged to full capacity, it appears that when I do, the indicated range will be more than 280 miles but less than 315 miles. Also, the algorithm showing charging miles per hour seems to show about 34 mph on my 40 amp home charger whereas the Model 3 shows 39 mph. So far, so good.
- Because I reserved at reveal, the pricing is a little lower than currently. The base price is $490 less and FSD was priced at $5000.
So much for my first day with Model Y.
All images © Dick Amacher
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