2017 Tesla Model X P100D road test and review…
I was looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Tesla Model X after the Model S left a strong impression last year with its power and its tech.
So it was only fair to expect a similar experience from the emerging car maker’s fully electric SUV model.
The vehicle I had in my possession was the Tesla Model X P100D in the six-seater version with a 2-2-2 configuration.
This is one of three seat arrangements also available at purchase in 5 seats as in a sedan or 7 seats like most large SUVs laid out 2-3-2.
You need only charge it overnight with a supplied charging cable but if you drive conservatively, regenerative engine braking will put some back into the system.
It certainly draws a lot of attention on the road - I’ve never been more popular.
Turning heads either from the casual observer who’sheard all the rage about Tesla or purely on its striking looks alone and the inescapable falcon wings.
With the doors closed however, the body is understated and looked to be like a Prius with a non SUV shape, appearing smaller than it is from a distance.
There were some small imperfections worth noting such as the misaligned panel fit and gaps between the doors and the body and tailgate. But who cares?
Pushing it along are twin electric motors as in the Model S. These will get it up to 100km/h in the famed 3.1 seconds. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Just as I had witnessed last year in the Model S, acceleration is swift and eerily quiet like a bullet train, with no jarring interruptions for gear changes meaning deceleration is also just as smooth.
But Ludicrous mode is off the planet - instantaneous and urgent pushing you firmly into the back of your seat and leaving your stomach metres behind you.
Driving along at a more sedate pace with the family in tow, the Model X performs as car-like as any of the best SUVs on the market with responsive handing.
Surprisingly the ride comfort is relaxing despite the mammoth 22 inch alloy wheels and low profile (though very wide) 285/35 tyres.
This is due in part to the Smart air suspension which is also height adjustable to multiple levels depending on terrain - high for more ground clearance or low for high speed freeways.
The interior is where the real magic happens - luxurious, futuristic and impressive overall.
Just like the Tesla coupé, the Model X is packed with technology and features.
You get the famous 17” touch screen which just about controls everything from the doors and trunks, heating in all seats and seat adjustment, the ride height and the list goes on…
The large front windscreen, in the same vein as Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, is probably the most noticeable exterior feature and extends above your head.
Vision out the rear window is limited but there are so many sensors and the wide angle rear camera to make up for this.
Outer passenger in the middle row also have a sky light above gifted by the top section of the wing doors.
The electric car sports a trunk in the front making use of the absence of an engine and the trunk in the back is short but deep though the third row does fold down.
All doors are automatic and can be operated via the key FOB or from the touch screen, manually overridden by buttons on the insides of the doors or by pressing in what look like the pop out handles of the Model S but are in fact chrome buttons.
The unique and attention seeking falcon wings are fully automatic with sensors halting its progress if an obstruction is detected. I did notice however, it did have some trouble with this in the rain.
The front doors are powered assisted utilising the wing door sensors, opening as you approach and closing when you step on the brake. The ultimate lazy man’s car.
But the auto opening and closing can be hard for the average person to get accustomed to and can be switched off and of course you can still close them the old fashioned way.
An unmodified P100D starts from $218,300 while the vehicle I got given the keys to had the six seats of course($4350), a white interior ($4800) and a premium upgrades package ($6600) bringing that up to $250,000.
Then tack on to that approximately another $70k to cover on road costs and the luxury car tax you’re looking at a hefty $320 grand!
Unfortunately for this test drive (but lucky for your wallet) this Model X didn’t have the $7300 Autopilot installed as we experienced in the Model S last year.
This allows the car to drive itself autonomously which can be a cool feature but isn’t foolproof and denies you the pleasure of driving it yourself.
Summing up, the Tesla Model X is yet again another technological marvel and certainly left an impression on me. A unique, amazing, mind blowing experience.
NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Tesla Model X P100D
Engine: Twin electric motors
Transmission: Single speed fixed reduction gear
Warranty: 4 Year/800,000km
Safety: Not yet tested
Price: From $218,300