Test Driving Model Y Australia, Last Monday I had the privileged of being able to take the Model Y for a test drive.
I have been anticipating this vehicle arriving in Australia since its first release in the USA over 2 years ago.
Those that follow me on social media ( links below) will know I have asked Elon many times when it was going to arrive. So, when it finally did, I hoped to be at the front of the line to test drive this beauty.
Fortitude Valley Tesla store has been amazing with their customer service and wonderful people. So, it was no surprise to find their smiles and enthusiasm as we arrived to take the Model Y for a drive.
The vehicle was a White exterior and Black interior Rear wheel drive.
At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking it is just a bigger Model 3. This is a good way to introduce people to the idea of the vehicle. Tesla would tell you it is an SUV with wonderful features for the Australian public.
My view is that the Vehicle will resonate with the Australian psyche of car buyers due to several features not found on the Model 3.
The first thing I did notice about the Model Y having owned and driven a Model 3 for a while is the entry into the Vehicle is a more enjoyable process. I am just shy of 6 feet and getting into the Model 3 I feel like I am hoping into a high-end sports car.
With the Model Y, it is as if I am sitting down in a chair at a kitchen table that is plush and comfortable. The drop is not as far.
As has been mentioned many times, the Model Y and Model 3 share about 70% of the parts. So, the interior cabin is very familiar to Model 3 Owners.
Sitting in the driver’s seat there is the instant feeling of sitting higher in the vehicle. The elevation is not dramatic but is very noticeable both stationery and driving.
Looking around the cabin the large expanse of glass as a single pane making up the roof is just spectacular. The extra height of the vehicle with the elevated seating position makes the cabin feel very spacious not to mention the leg height and room more expansive.
One notable difference from the Model Y to the Model 3 is the lining of the door pockets. They are lined with a plush material that seems to assist with reducing noise. They are also deeper than Model 3.
The back of the vehicle is where the most difference is placed. The introduction of the hatchback increases the ability to access the vast storage area that can be created. The introduction of back seat releases in the trunk(boot) area and the 40/20/40 back seat split give fantastic versatility to the storage capacity of the vehicle.
This alone is a win for families and owners of pets.
One other feature of the vehicles that have had a subtle change is the size of the under-boot storage and the frunk. The underfoot storage is vast and holds large items.
Furthermore, there is an additional storage compartment at the back of the back seats that is good for the storage of excess cables and tools.
The introduction of two side pockets in the (trunk(boot) also increases the storage capabilities of the vehicle.
The frunk has a deeper profile and a new additional seal that is attached to the underside of the bonnet.
Model Y driving.
As we left the Fortitude valley store to take the Model Y for a test drive you instantly feel the height and size of the vehicle. It feels solid and safe.
It provides a wonderful ride height that allows for a greater view of the surroundings.
The familiar driving experience as compared to the model 3 is instant. It makes you feel at ease so you can focus on the driving experience rather than trying to figure out locations of speed and gears and the like.
If I was a new user of the vehicle and this was my first time driving, I would recommend the Tesla staff to walk you through the central console thoroughly. This will give you a greater understanding before you start to drive.
As a Model 3 owner, the experience of the central console was easy to navigate.
The vehicle responded just as you would expect with grace and poise.
The rear-wheel-drive pushing a heavier vehicle takes a few seconds longer to get to 0-60 km/hr. speed. This is a more reasonable take-off for families as it reflects current vehicle take-off speeds. However, it still has the speed when you need it.
The responsiveness of the vehicle is to Tesla’s standard and does not disappoint.
The side mirrors are slightly larger and really give a great visual range of other vehicles around you as you drive and when reversing.
If I had to pick one feature that initially seemed a problem, but over time would be able to adjust to is the visibility out the back window when looking through the rear-view mirror. The narrow perspective that is seen through this view at first does not provide as much visual range as the Model 3 or any other vehicle that I have driven both in the past and present.
However, with the larger side mirrors and the safety features of the vehicle, I believe this is something that can be managed.
A lot of people online have been highlighting the Suspension as being an issue, but my view is it is no different to the Model 3. The ride and comfort of the vehicle both on-road and over bumps like speed bumps were expected with any spring suspension.
Both my wife and I enjoyed the drive for similar and different reasons but ultimately, we believe that this will be a car for Australia.
For anyone who has sat in the back of the Model 3 for extended periods of time, it can be quite uncomfortable due to the lack of ability to adjust the seating angle. In Model Y, this is resolved with the ability to recline. I for one love this feature.
Before we purchased our Model 3, we had a long discussion about the range and the need to get more range than less. However, after owning a Tesla Model 3, I can say that if the vehicle is your everyday driver and you use it to get around town, the range of New Model Y’s standard range of 455km (WLTP) is more than enough to suffice any driving needs.
Battery configuration Queries
When talking to the Tesla staff about the long-range and when it might arrive, they made the comment that the battery configuration for the Long-Range and Performance model batteries contained Cobalt technology and not the LFP battery technology.
This may seem not important but what it means is that vehicle is recommended to only be charged 80-90 per cent most of the time and only 100% just before driving long distances.
It is designed to preserve battery and reduce any risks associated with battery life reduction. The challenge is a range, if charging to 80-90% of the battery capacity you are ultimately at a similar range to the standard range model which can charge to 100% all the time. Something to consider when purchasing especially if it is not used for long-distance driving very often.
Features of the central console.
Bio defence mode.
When the opportunity came to look at the centre console and its features a couple of differences immediately stood out. The most notable was the introduction in Model Y of Bio Defiance mode. This offering was until recently only available in the more premium vehicles like the Model X. Its introduction to the Model Y once again gives credence to my belief that it is the car for Australian conditions.
The Bio defence mode reduces the particulates in the air of the vehicle. So high pollen counts at certain times of the year when we have bushfires and removal of exhaust fumes from the air as well. It is a piece of mind feature that when used can be very effective.
One feature which I do not own is the FSD upgrade. My model 3 has the computer but I have not made the purchase due to cost.
This feature in the Model Y we test drove was able to show the EAP features that are available. Self-parking was the main feature that was shown to us. Unfortunately, we were not able to test auto lane change and smart summon but it was interesting to try the self-parking and have it work seamlessly.
The Model Y contained the Ryzen chipset which made the central console responsive and fresh.
The premium sound system again was another feature that was new for us to experience. The introduction of the SUB woofer and the extra speakers really made the listening experience wonderful.
One feature in the Model 3 that has been a point of frustration for me is the airflow out of the vent in front of the driver. The airflow no matter which location I place the direction continually flows onto my knees in the Model 3. With the dash being higher in the Model Y this is no longer an issue.
Low Voltage Battery type
One feature which has been talked about for a while but is good to see it coming to Australia is the introduction of a Lithium-ion Low voltage battery. This will allow longer times between replacements of the older chemical batteries.
As we returned the vehicle to the dealership, we both felt that this vehicle will not only be a big selling vehicle in Australia but a flagship for the tesla fleet. It ticks all the boxes
- Great storage
- Premium sound system
- Storage galore
- High ride height
- Solid feeling on the road
- Great technology
The test drive just solidified our view that the Model Y will be a vehicle we will upgrade to soon.
The Model 3 has its place and is an amazing vehicle. But for Australian families who can afford the Model Y, it will meet your needs even more so than the Model 3.
It provides a wonderful upgrade to the features of the Model 3 and for any new Tesla owners, it is an experience far beyond the current petrol vehicle.
Is it any wonder why demand is extremely high? Just as I said in my last blog it is the car for the masses.
I am super impressed with the quality of the build and the features that come with the vehicles. My insistence to Elon to get it here sooner did not happen but I and so excited to see these on the roads in Australia.