Teslas are by far the most popular electric vehicles in the US — and for good reason.
I tested a 2022 Model Y SUV and came away impressed by its quick acceleration, roomy cabin, and tech features.
Tesla's extensive Supercharger network is another great reason to buy one of its EVs.
Driving a Tesla for the first time showed me Elon Musk's electric vehicles aren't all hype. In fact, there are several solid reasons to strongly consider buying from Tesla instead of one of its many rivals, depending on your particular preferences.
The 2022 Model Y SUV I borrowed from a friend recently (Tesla doesn't offer press loans) delivered an attractive combination of cutting-edge tech, minimalist design, and speedy acceleration. For those reasons and more, the popular Y is a great choice for certain buyers — if you can get past its flaws.
Despite not being the higher-priced Performance version, the Model Y Long Range I sampled was plenty sporty. It leaped forward with the fierce acceleration intrinsic to high-powered electric cars. Pair that quickness with precise steering and a stiff suspension, and you get an all-wheel-drive SUV that's more agile and exciting to drive than most.
Range fit for road trips
Tesla remains one of the range leaders in the US. The Model Y earns a healthy 330-mile estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency. The model I drove has an EPA range of 318 miles (on account of its larger wheels) which is still more than many EVs on offer today.
Packed with tech
The SUV's crisp and feature-packed touchscreen makes it a tech-lover's paradise.
Practically everything in the vehicle is controlled through the super-responsive display, which includes whimsical features like games, a digital whoopee cushion for pranking passengers, and a web browser. Sentry Mode surveils the area around your parked car and records if it senses something fishy.
Moreover, Tesla frequently tweaks capabilities through software updates, just like you'd get on a smartphone.
Some people may be repelled by the idea of relying on a digital interface for basic functions like the A/C and windshield wipers. That's understandable. But for anyone interested in a car that's sort of like an iPhone on wheels, a Tesla is tough to beat.
Room to stretch out
Tesla takes full advantage of the compactness of electric powertrains to maximize interior space and make things comfortable. After all, doing away with a transmission, engine, and gas tank should open up lots of room for more important things, like people.
The Model Y has a flat floor, which increases legroom. And its tall glass roof (which is standard) adds to the sense of openness and boosts headroom.
Tons of cargo space
Between bonus areas like an under-floor bin and frunk (front trunk), the Model Y offers loads of storage space before you even get to the regular cargo area.
In all, the Y has 76.2 cubic feet of usable storage space with the back seats folded, more than most rivals.
Unique, minimalist design
Lacking the typical clutter of gauges, buttons, and vents, the Model Y's interior is strikingly minimalist and unlike that of any other car on the road. Some pretty wood trim ensures the cabin doesn't come off as too sterile.
The whole environment made me feel like I was driving something special and bleeding-edge, not a regular car.
Tesla's extensive and exclusive network of Supercharger stations makes it incredibly easy to charge when on the go. I quickly found an available plug in the Y's screen, plotted a route, and when I showed up the vehicle had already been warming the battery to the ideal temperature for quick charging.
Then I simply hopped out, plugged in, and the Model Y began slurping up those sweet, sweet electrons. This isn't the typical charging experience with other models, which can involve fumbling with credit cards, phone apps, or customer service.
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