Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Tesla model Y performance after 1 year. My review

So tomorrow marks 1 year to the day that I picked up my Tesla model Y. Previously I was driving a 2015 black model S 85D, which was still excellent, still had decent range, and which I resold for about half what I bought it for 7 years earlier. I was pretty happy doing that. I used webuyanycar which isn’t the best way to sell, but I hate dealing with people and wanted a zero-stress quick sale. FWIW I bought the model Y cash, not lease, and I had to wait a YEAR to get it. Damn you crazy foreign people and your driving on the wrong side of the road!

Specs wise, I basically picked the ‘go ahead and take my money’ version, because I chose red, performance, and Full-Self Driving. FSD gets you nothing but traffic light recognition in the UK for now, but I expect to keep the car 5 years and wanted to lock in FSD for £10k as I expect it to offer more soon.

Here are my general impressions after a year of driving. No massive road trips beyond some 5-600 mile round trips to my solar farm, and only driven in the UK. I live in a rural location in England, lots of narrow roads, dirt tracks etc.

The Good Stuff

It feels MUCH better put together than my model S. The S had panel gaps, because it was an early Tesla, and it was to be honest a little rattly. The new one feels chunkier, sturdier, and feels pretty solid and indestructible. This was a Shanghai built one FWIW. The finish is excellent, the panel gaps non existent. It feels very much like one they made after they have already made a million+ identical ones. Very sturdy. Its also much quieter inside. It has stiff, sporty suspension. Both suspension and noise are apparently even better with newer ones.

Its FAST. Like insanely fast. Its really tricky driving a car like this in 20mph zones. Its like riding a chariot. Its overkill, but its fun. I’d probably be more shocked at the speed if I hadn’t already owned the model S.

The software/UI/infotainment is fantastic. None of the bugs and quirks and failures I experienced in my model S before I upgraded the screen. It feels really slick and easy to use.

The charging is insane amazeballs fast. I actively do not want a car that charges faster than this. This is the ideal rate for me to grab a coffee and a pastry before getting back in the car. People who obsess about charge speeds must have excellent bladders and incredibly tight schedules. Seriously, this is definitely fast enough. Its a fixed problem now!

The sound system is superb. Really quite shockingly good, especially for bass. I noticed this immediately on the very first day. I’ve never heard better in-car sound.

The Bad Stuff

No ultrasonic sensors. This is dumb as hell. It uses ‘tesla vision’ parking assist, which is currently rubbish. It may well get better over time, but right now its inferior to my old model S. Working parking sensors are essential for a big car in the tight parking spaces and lanes in the UK. OTOH reversing is trivial, thanks to 3 rear facing camera views on a huge screen.

Its too fast. Its really major overkill. I should have got the much cheaper long range one. Its so fast that even just lightly tapping the accelerator, I often think cars around me at traffic lights have stalled or not noticed the lights change. Its mad. As someone who is not into ‘track days’, I definitely went too far on this choice. If I had to buy a new one, I’d pick long range.

The Rest

A lot of the other thoughts I have on the car are just personal preference stuff. I nearly got a model 3, but wanted the latest model, so went with the Y. (The new model 3 has come out during my first year of ownership). I do like sitting higher up, but the car is an SUV crossover so its still a bit big for me tbh. The luggage space is absolutely huge, and not something I ever really will need. YMMV, esp if you have kids or dogs or take sports equipment places.

Style wise, I adore it. I love the minimalist interior, although some people hate it. I am totally onboard with the high tech, simple design. Other modern cars now feel hilariously fussy and ridiculous to me inside. One not-obvious benefit is the Y interior is trivial to clean. Cars with 627 buttons on the dashboard must be a nightmare.

In general, I give the car 9/10. I would make it a 10 if the park assist stuff worked better. I would also prefer the auto-wipers to be more reliable than they are, but this is a trivial niggle. I cant think of anything else the car needs. TBH I cannot imagine needing another car, unless it has some amazeballs undreamt of feature. Overall I’m massively happy with it.

Would I recommend it to people? Absolutely if you think the price/specs/size is what you want. As a family sized sporty EV it is unbeatable. The tech is amazing, build quality excellent. Its probably overkill unless you love fast cars and have the cash to spare, and a lot of people would probably see their money better spent on a Nissan leaf or MG4. For people with kids/pets who road trip and need luggage space, its perfect, although for 95% of people the performance option is going to be totally unnecessary, and the model 3 is still cheaper, and almost as good, sacrificing just space.

If you are thinking of getting one, pester me on twitter for a referral code that gets you some freebies! @cliffski.

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