2017 Tesla Model X Road Test and Review
Tesla’s famed Model X - you know, the one with the falcon wing doors, has been getting plenty of attention lately.
It’s in the media, it’s on our roads at last. However, seeing one in the metal came as something of a surprise.
It’s rather bigger than it looked in the pics! I know, it’s an SUV, so it’s going to be larger than a sedan.
It weighs about 2300kg!
And when it came time to drive it, I expected the usual SUV characteristics… handling that leaves a bit to be desired, cornering that could be a little sharper, body roll to match. That’s what I expected.
How wrong I was! This thing flies, one of the fastest SUVs you’ll ever drive, you will be surprised at how it handles - not quite a sports car, but highly enjoyable nevertheless!
It’s sharp as a tack, thanks to the low centre of gravity caused by the placement of the batteries under the floor.
The Model X is good to look at and practical.
You will like the way second row seats are controlled with the push of a button on the chair itself, or from the huge touchscreen in the dash, allowing easy access to the back row.
The Tesla model tested had six seats with a 2 plus 2 plus 2 layout. And of course, the flat floor and high roofline makes it that much more comfortable and roomy.
Doors can be operated remotely from the touchscreen too, that touchscreen is something of a command centre, with numerous functions available.
The driver’s door opens automatically when you approach it holding the key - actually not a key, but a tiny replica of the car in a leather pouch.
Pleased to say the door does not to open if there’s anything in the way. The same goes for those much talked about falcon wing rear doors.
They have sensors and cameras aplenty, designed to prevent mishaps.
They will also open in different ways, depending on the surroundings. It was fun operating them with no obstacles around, but during my short time with the vehicle, I wasn’t game to try it in a confined space.
I am still not sure about them despite their clever design, but they certainly got comments from by-standers!
There’s a panorama windscreen that sweeps up seamlessly from the bonnet to behind the front seats. And little things, like those sunshades for the driver and passenger!
They neatly fold away above the door frames, and when in use provide just the right amount of shielding from the glare.
The car is all-electric. So if the batteries go flat, you’re not going anywhere.
The dreaded ‘range anxiety’ might be a factor for some potential buyers, but you can expect around 480 kilometres per charge, depending on the model and your driving style.
There are more Tesla charging points now in the major cities, making topping up the batteries much easier.
If you buy one of these exotic SUVs, you would probably charge them each day, much as you would your smartphone.
It’s fast, with torque and acceleration to savour, 0-100km/h takes just 3.1 seconds!
Commendable fit and finish, a front and rear boot, and the undeniable feeling that you’re driving a cutting edge car of tomorrow.
And how tough do those 22 inch wheels look!
There’s heaps more to tell you about.. a test drive would give you the opportunity to check out all the features.
Then there’s the price, which starts around $167,000!
With all the taxes included, the one I drove would set you back a staggering $301,000.
So for most of us, an all-electric Tesla might remain just a dream until the Model 3 gets here.
It goes into production soon and is expected to be much cheaper.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Tesla Model X P100D
Engine: Twin electric 100kWh motors developing an estimated 447kW and 1074Nm
Transmission: Single speed fixed reduction gear
Warranty: 4 Year/800,000km
Safety: Not yet tested
Price: from $167,000