Launched in 2015, the Tesla Model X is a large electric SUV designed and engineered for big families. It got a facelift in 2021 and has since continued with the same look. Even though eight years old, the first-generation Tesla Model X stands tall, offering several distinctive advantages over its competitors. Recently, I saw the latest Model X in person and explored its design and features in detail. Here are my first impressions:
The Tesla Model X has an almost sedan-like exterior, and I think it looks like a jacked-up Model S. I don’t find the overall exterior appealing, as save for the wheel arch and lower body cladding, there’s nothing SUV about it, but there are some likable bits. For example, I like the Falcon Wing doors, a sure-shot head-turning feature that guarantees exclusivity in the parking lot. I think customers with mobility issues would find ingress and egress easier in this model than in most other comparable large SUVs.
The Tesla Model X features an understated, space-focused interior that looks rich and futuristic. When I sat in it, I liked its understated, space-focused design with the super-sleek dashboard and the elegantly sloped center console. I felt an immediate sense of luxury because of this design, the satin-finish shiny trim strips, and the wood trim.
If you were to ask me, black and white is the best color combination for the interior of the Model X. I noticed that Tesla designed the dashboard for the steering yoke, which wasn’t received as well as anticipated. Putting the practicality aspect aside for a minute, the steering yoke helps the interior look very futuristic. This particular Model X was equipped with a steering wheel, which felt grippy to hold.
I liked the clever design of the dual-smartphone wireless charger, which allowed me to glance at the screen and view notifications without taking my smartphone off it. Another tech feature that gets a thumbs up from me is the 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 2200×1300 resolution and up to 10 teraflops of processing power that allows console-level gaming. I think one of the coolest functions of this system is its left-right tilt function, which makes it easier to view. Its graphics are clean and easy to read.
Tesla has kept physical controls to the bare minimum, and I realized how it could cause inconvenience when I wanted to simply pop the frunk or the boot, and I had to use the infotainment system for that. I noticed the quality of switchgear and materials was greatly improved from the previous iteration and that the wood inserts lend it a premium appeal.
I’m six feet tall, and entering the front of the cabin, I felt that ingress and egress took little effort. I felt that the lumbar support was ample, but under-thigh support was a bit lacking for a car of this price segment. As for headroom, my head was well clear of the glass roof. The outside visibility from the driver’s seat is outstanding, thanks to the glass windshield that extends to the B-pillar and the large windows.
The Falcon Wing doors greatly help while entering and exiting the rear of the cabin. Tesla offers the Model X in 5-, 6-, and 7-seat versions, and the Model X I was sitting in was the 5-seat version.
When I sat behind the driver’s seat, I felt that the default angle of the backrest was comfy. I had adequate legroom and just about sufficient knee room with the front seat set to my position. The under-thigh support could have been better. The headroom was just ample, and those taller than me would also not have a problem.
The Model X features a power liftgate with height adjustability and offers up to 91.6 cu. ft. (5-seat version), up to 92.3 cu. ft. (6-seat version), and up to 88.2 cu. ft. (7-seat version) of cargo space behind the first row. It has a front trunk as well, offering additional cargo space of 6.5 cu. ft.
The Tesla Model X is available in two AWD variants: standard and Plaid. The standard variant has a 670 hp dual-motor powertrain that makes it capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and achieving a top speed of 155 mph. It delivers an EPA-est. range of 335 miles, but upgrading to 22-inch wheels drops that figure to 322 miles.
The Plaid variant sports three motors, which give it 1,020 horsepower and make it capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds (with rollout subtracted) and achieving a top speed of 163 mph. I must note here that the Plaid variant is a 6-seat-only offering, and regardless, I think those are some crazy performance figures for a vehicle of this size. What equally impresses me is that the Plaid variant delivers an EPA-est. range of 326 miles, or 300 miles when upgraded to the 22-inch wheels.
The prices of the Tesla Model X start at USD 79,990 in the standard variant and at USD 94,990 in the Plaid variant. These MSRPs exclude a USD 1,390 destination fee and a USD 250 order fee.
The Tesla Model X doesn’t look SUV enough, but still, I think it’s a spacious and comfortable luxury family vehicle that can double as a stupendously quick performance model. I think it’s fairly priced, too, and its eligibility for the maximum USD 7,500 Federal Tax Credit makes it an even more enticing purchase.
What is the Tesla Model X price?
The prices of the Tesla Model X start at USD 79,990 (excl. USD 1,390 destination fee and USD 250 order fee).
What is the Tesla Model X range?
The Tesla Model X delivers an EPA-est. range of up to 335 miles.
Which models are Tesla Model X rivals?
The Tesla Model X competes with the Rivian R1S.
An automobile engineer by training, I’ve analyzed the global car market since 2005, with a keen focus on EVs since 2008. My journey in online automotive publishing spans 16 years, during which I have reviewed cutting-edge automotive technologies and interviewed leading CEOs and vehicle developers from around the world.