“Bask In Its Silent Intensity” — Tesla Model Y Video Review By Kelley Blue Book

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An earlier version of this article was originally published on Tesla Oracle.

Vehicle valuation and automotive research company Kelley Blue Book (KBB) finally got its hands on a Tesla Model Y, and that is the subject of its latest video review, a Performance variant of the compact electric SUV.

KBB mentions a few potential electric alternatives at the end, deciding to lump all electrics together without directly comparing the Model Y to gas-powered vehicles. KBB thinks that the Model Y’s premium touches and technical strengths put it in another league from non-Tesla electric competition like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF, and more worthy Hyundai Kona EV.

Despite Ford Motor Company’s much-hyped launch of the Mustang Mach-E last year, there are currently no signs of the potential date of the start of its production to give the Model Y some tough competition on the ground.

Since the Jaguar I-PACE also has lost its charm for many and has a low volume of sales in the United States, the Tesla Model Y has no legit electric competitor in its segment as of now, or in the near-term future.

Recently, Fox News also admitted that in the current declining auto market in the US, only the Tesla Model Y is coming out as a winner. While other car companies wait for customers, however, Tesla is unable to fulfill demand due to its production shutdown.

KBB added the following audio transcript of the video to its description (minor corrections implemented):

The 2020 Tesla Model Y is a compact electric SUV built from the same foundation at Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. Kelley Blue Book’s Micah Muzio got his hands on a new Model Y and shares his impressions in this review.

Born from the Model 3, the Tesla Model Y is a compact electric SUV with a maximum 316-mile range according to the EPA, and a starting price around $54,000 ($54,190) for the long-range model, including $1,200 in destination charges. The Performance model, like our tester, is $8-grand more. But aren’t 0–60 times of 3.5 seconds worth it? A roughly $40,000 standard model should arrive sometime in 2021.

Heads up — this particular Model Y is an actual customer car. So, it represents what you might actually buy yourself. Just ignore the fake carbon interior trim … and the probably not legal window tint.

Slip inside and the interior feels incomplete. No gauge cluster. Extreme simplicity. Take that, Scandinavia. The interior is roomier than the Model 3 because the roof is higher. In back, the rear seats recline unlike in the Model 3. Boy, that’s comfy. Seated behind myself I fit great. The Model Y’s glass roof is cool. But you definitely feel the sun on hot days.

Look slightly right from the driver’s seat and you’ll find critical info on the 15-inch center screen. Looking here rather than here takes some getting used to. But you will adapt quickly. Speaking of the screen, Tesla has done an exemplary job arranging the essential functions. Good thing because, besides the seats, nearly all aspects of the vehicle are controlled through here. Like in the Model 3, the steering wheel controls are used to adjust the mirrors, move the steering wheel, and control the audio system. If that sounds confusing, it is not. Same deal with using the screen to control the vents. It all just works. If Tesla would only include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this would be my favorite infotainment interface.

Then we have Autopilot. It works really well … when it’s working well. Though it can manage the throttle, brakes, steering, and make lane changes, Autopilot can also get confused, just like human drivers. So, please, no sleeping behind the wheel. I’ll also add that Autopilot does an unexpectedly amazing job detecting trash cans. Owen Wilson “Wow.” Wing an extra $7,000 at Tesla and you can unlock “Full Self-Driving Capabilities,” enhancing the Y’s skill roster with automatic parking and lane change functions, summon remote vehicle retrieval using Tesla’s app, and the automatic on-ramp to off-ramp freeway driving. Again, though it’s labeled “Full Self-Driving,” Teslas do not fully drive themselves. Again, no sleeping behind the wheel.

While we’re in motion, I’ll note that the Model Y drives a lot like a Model 3. A low-mounted battery pack means a low center of gravity, helping the Y trace corners with tenacious competence. And just like the Model 3, the steering feels stable driving in a straight line but has a sporting quick ratio off-center. Small adjustments affect your trajectory in a big way, so drive with precision.

Then there’s the acceleration. If you don’t already know, electric torque can be fun. Let’s see if it’s fun. (hard accel) Yup. Smooth relentless thrust is your reward for driving electric. Bask in its silent intensity.

If you’re motivated, you can drive your Model Y off-road. Though, the one dirt hill in Long Beach isn’t much of a challenge. For reference, here’s a Toyota Supra going up the same hill. For charging, a standard household outlet is impossibly slow while a 240-volt charger ads roughly 14 miles per hour charged. For fast charging on the go, Tesla’s vast Supercharging infrastructure is the play.

As for quality issues. Our car’s b-pillar trim doesn’t fit right and neither does this lower bumper trim, the rear door alignment is slightly off, the rear seats are similarly uneven, and there’s a loud rattle coming from the rear somewhere. Among the 3 braking modes, I love Hold. You can accelerate and decelerate using just the accelerator in most situations and the Model Y comes to a perfect, buttery smooth stop every time.

And, no, Tesla is no longer eligible for federal tax incentives. But there might be state incentives depending on where you live. If you want a pragmatic electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona EV, and Nissan Leaf can all be had for much less, but the Model Y’s premium touches and technical strengths put it in another class. As of when this video was made, the Mustang Mach E is still a mystery, but depending on when you’re watching this, it’s probably worth a look. As an alternative, you might also consider the Jaguar I-PACE — or, hey, how about … the Tesla Model 3. It’s $4,000 cheaper than the Model Y and quite similar. Or maybe spring for a Model X if you need more space and want to dazzle children at daycare.

Kelley Blue Book / YouTube

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Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar Ali writes for X Auto about Tesla and electric vehicles. A true car enthusiast since his childhood, he covers his stories with an utmost passion, which is now guided by the mission towards sustainability. He also writes about tech stuff at UXTechPlus.com occasionally. Iqtidar can easily be reached on Twitter @IqtidarAlii (DM open for tips, feedback or a friendly message) or via email: iqtidar@xautoworld.com.

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