The Tesla Model 3 has been a revelation in motoring, outselling every other Electric Vehicle on the market by not just a little, a lot. Now it’s SUV sibling the Tesla Model Y is available to order in Australia and it looks set to go just the same way.
But here’s the thing, I’ve never seen a car launched in market, then a week later the price goes up 5%. This is what we’re dealing with in the new world of Tesla’s direct to market model. You could see it as a global shift in pricing, but it’s a pretty crappy bit of timing for those who saw the Model Y – thought they might want one, and waited either for a test drive, or perhaps to read some reviews. Hard Luck folks, if you snooze you lose in the world of Tesla.
Those that got their orders in in the first five days will pay the original $68k price, the rest you’re up for $72k plus some.
Honestly, that alone puts me off – in a big way, but hey, maybe I’m too sensitive about it. But, the reason is, the price is the one sticking point on this car generally.
$72,000 for a small SUV? Wowsers.
Good news is, it ain’t small generally. The boot space is fantastic, with excessive amounts of under-floor storage in addition to the front trunk, and when the seats go down in full, in split fold or even centre gap, it becomes an utterly practical car in so many ways.
It’s bloody ugly. Subjective I know, but once you filter out the Tesla fan boys, among the rest of us, there’s more that question it’s looks than love it. Those looks are a result of aerodynamics mixed with practicality.
Take the low-drag profile of the Model 3 and try to add all that headroom, and space – it’s going to look a bit strange, and it does – mainly from the rear quarter view.
Inside, it’s utterly sparse. Completely minimalist, which is great, if that’s what you want for sure. And what gives you the sense you’re getting your money’s worth is that there’s nothing else like it right – so anyone you take for a ride thinks they’re in the future. That’s cool!
But missing things like door handles, mirror adjustors, industry standard steering wheel buttons or just an easy way to move the air conditioning vents is complicating things for the sake of it.
Yep, It’s not for me in that sense, but many think those things are a feature – I for one, think this car would be outstanding with just a few knobs and dials.
What I can tell you is that the Shanghai factory for Tesla has been a good thing, great even. Unlike the early Teslas out of Freemont California, there’s very little to complain about in terms of fit and finish. Panel gaps are good, rattles are minimal and it’s everything you’d want for your dollar. That’s a big win for Tesla.
On the road, the low centre of gravity of course helps its handling, but I did feel a constant sense of disconnection with the road. Sport steering felt over the top and unnecessary while the comfort setting just didn’t give me the best ride I’ve had at this price point.
And that’s what gets me right now. If I go drive a BMW, or a Mazda at this price point you’ll get a ride and handling that is to dream of. Tesla’s only real trick is it’s speed off the line, which is quite simply the least useful feature of a road-registered vehicle today.
If you’ve ordered one, you’re going to love it, cause you wanted one. But if you want an Electric Car for $70k or more, then make sure you drive the Kia EV6 because it’s on-road handling is exactly how the future should feel on the road.
I’ve little or no doubt the Model Y will be the biggest selling Tesla of the next twelve months, and equally the top selling Electric Car in Australia very quickly as the first orders arrive in the months ahead.
Personally, I’m still looking for the stepping stone into EV – the gentle step not the giant leap which the Tesla most certainly is – and for that they are to be commended. But at $72,000 it’s a whole lot of coin that during a cost-of-living crisis is bloody hard to justify, even with the ongoing savings you might yeild.