In Depth

Tesla Model X 2017: Prices, specs and reviews

It has a lot to interest drivers, but is the electric SUV worth the money? We find out…

Tesla's Model X is possibly the most interesting SUV on sale right now. An all-electric seven-seater, it has performance figures to give even supercars something to think about.

Sitting above the Model S saloon, it's the biggest – and most expensive – Tesla you can buy and occupies a fairly unique space in the market. The only cars that come close to being true rivals are hybrid versions of established premium SUVs, such as the Range Rover, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC-90.

It's likely to be joined by a smaller Tesla crossover in the future, to be released after Elon Musk's company has launched its highly anticipated Model 3 compact saloon.

After chopping and changing the Model S line-up, Tesla has now done the same with the Model X – making the entry-level version a lot more expensive with it.

Design

The Model X looks quite different to its petrol and diesel-powered siblings. It's a low, round SUV and uses Tesla's most recent design language, with a blank-looking face and small "moustache-style" grille.

Its looks won't be to everyone's tastes, says Auto Express. "The blank nose looks oddly unfinished, and the high, flat tailgate and boot spoiler look a little awkward", it says, before adding that the hunched body shape will no doubt have its fans, even if it does look unconventional compared to other SUVs.

The rounded, minimalist shape is broken up by the car's party trick - the two rear "falcon wing" doors that open upwards.

Interior

Inside, the Model X is designed to closely resemble its Model S saloon sibling, with a dashboard dominated by two large touchscreen screens. The centre console houses a 17ins portrait display, while a second screen appears behind the steering wheel instead of a more conventional analogue dashboard. 

Together, they allow the driver to adjust most of the car's settings, including the sat nav and autonomous modes. This means there are few buttons around and the cabin as a whole feels minimalistic and uncluttered.

However, although the interior is packed with technology, the materials used inside are not "from the top drawer" and most of them "can't rival Audi or BMW for quality", says CarBuyer. The cabin "isn't actually the most imaginatively designed", it adds, and the handful of physical switches are sourced from old Mercedes cars.

Nevertheless, the Model X offers a huge amount of space. The batteries are located under the cabin floor, so they don't obstruct the passenger cell, and buyers can choose between a four or seven-seater, where passenger chairs can be folded down to open a cavernous 2,367-litre boot.

Powertrains

Tesla recently announced changes to the powertrain line-up and dropped the entry-level 60kWh battery pack from the range.

The new starter model is the 75D, which has a 75kWh battery pack that Tesla says will give 259 miles on the New European Driving Cycle, although you probably won't get close to this with real-world driving. It can do 0-60mph in six seconds flat and has a top speed of 130mph.

Next up is a 90kWh car available in two different specifications. The standard 90D has a claimed 303-mile range and is capable of 0-60mph in just 4.8secs, with a top speed of 155mph. Alternatively, you can get the P90D – the performance variant – which has a slightly lower range of 290 miles. The 155mph top speed remains, but 0-60 is slashed to 3.7secs.

Topping out the range is the newest version of the Model X – the P100D, the most expensive Tesla you can buy. It comes with a 100kWh battery pack, sending it from 0-62mph in a hypercar-rivalling 2.9secs. Range is quoted at 336 miles.

Reviews

The Model X is "too expensive" when compared to its all-electric SUV rivals, says AutoExpress. It may also match the insurance group of the Tesla Model S and "could cost a lot" to cover.  

Nevertheless, overall running costs are dramatically lower than petrol-powered SUVs, adds the magazine, with a full charge "estimated to only be a few pounds". All models offer "a very impressive battery setup", with the entry-level 75D managing a claimed range of 259-miles. 

Top Gear says "it's right up there with the best sports SUVs" when driven on bumpy UK roads. The Model X's all-wheel drive system "is a major help" and it's calm when applying full throttle on wet surfaces.

Greatly improved autonomous systems are now "much, much smoother", it adds, and entering the driverless features is easy "if the car is happy with the conditions it's in".

While the electric-powered Model X has many advantages over a combustion-engined vehicle, says Autocar, the battery and motor combination "weighs twice as much as an old-school powerplant".

On the road, the ride can be a little firm and the handling feels "relatively inert", adds the magazine, but the weight is positioned low in the car and gives it "a secure handling bias". 

There's also less body roll compared to other SUVs, making it "no less enjoyable or wieldy" on most British B roads. 

Inside, it's easy to get comfortable in the Model X as there's a "good range of adjustment for both the steering wheel and seat" while the 17ins touchscreen display is "easy to read", with "impressively sharp graphics", What Car? says. 

However, the attention to detail given to the system doesn't spill over to the rest of the interior, as the centre console is "disappointingly flexible" and there are "noticeable" gaps around the cubby holes. 

Prices

Because Tesla has dropped the entry-level Model X 60D from its range, the car's starting price has increased significantly – kicking off at £76,500 for the 75D model, an increase of more than £10,000.

The more powerful 90D comes in at £85,000, with its P90D performance variant costing £103,400.

At the top of the range, the 100kWh P100D is the most expensive version by a significant margin, costing £121,800. Tesla currently quotes a delivery date in "early 2017" for any variant.

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