Over the next week or so, I will document my Tesla Model Y buying experience with first impressions of the car.
The expiration of my 2017 Model X three-year lease will be August 11, and I tried to get my Model Y delivery time as close as possible. However, Tesla representatives said that my Model Y would arrive on July 19, and if I didn’t pick it up (or within a three-day window), I would have to jump to the back of the queue and wait until September. or later. I agreed to take delivery on Sunday 19 June.
Tesla called me on the 17th to tell me my Model Y was a week late …
So I got to keep the Model X for another week. Normally, it would be a lot of fun, but our Model X has had a lot of trouble lately, but also from the beginning.
Tesla Model X troubles
Of the three (now four) Teslas I own, the Model X has the worst reliability, and has caused a lot of excitement which is one of the most advanced cars on the road.
I should note that we intended to lease a new 75D, the base trim Model X. But as we were putting together our order, the salesmen gave us a 90D out with AP, 22-inch turbine wheels, premium sound, and more. Approximately 3,000 miles became available on it. Since the lease payment would be low, and it was supposed to be in mint condition, we jumped on it.
Unfortunately, soon after making it home, the rear axle will start to move louder when accelerating through the left turn. We took it to the shop, and Tesla fixed it for sure.
No, took it back to the shop, and they said there was nothing wrong. I made the service technician sit in the car with me and rode around the block. Tesla decided that it needed some major, multi-week repairs. A few weeks later, I got the Model X back. I tested it around the block, and it looked fine.
But then on the way home, it started to sound again. So I decided to live with it… for just three years.
The 2017 Model X was an otherwise solid solid car. But I have some other catch:
- The border never lived up to 256 miles. Part of this I’ve found is that 22-inch turbine wheels will drop major gains. Even the snow tires got better mileage on a set of 20-inch standard wheels.
- Sometimes falcon wing doors or trunks close unexpectedly or open unexpectedly without prompting. It got so bad that the closed door sound that Tesla sucks my family like some PTSD. We would joke that between the jerky autopilot and the doors, Tesla was trying to kill us.
- The 3-row seats lift button is harder to find and activate. I believe Tesla fixed it in later models.
- Leaving the children was too much of a flex show with those doors. Would have liked a low profile option.
My wife loved the car very much, even with the aforementioned “flaws”. And frankly, I did too. We moved it from New York to Florida and made it as far west as Ohio with very few concerns. The main long-distance journey in our vehicles is three hours north of Vermont – about 180 miles – from winter to snowboard. We also do some summer trips.
We are not able to travel 180 miles with our Model X in winter. We have done this a few times in the summer, but it requires driving the washing and arriving at an electron equivalent to the smoke.
And one last thing: About a month ago, our Model X’s main screen went dark. We made all efforts to get it back but to no avail. Tesla said that we would have to bring it in to get it fixed, but it is not available until about a month after the lease ends. I thought it was an integral part of driving because it was so crazy. Turn signals do not work, temperature control and music are nonexistent. It was basically like my first car.
Model Y ‘Upgrade’
Having the Model X problems behind me makes the Model Y exciting. I know from experience that the Model 3 can easily achieve 300 miles of actual range, so I am confident that the Model Y will be able to build it non-stop in the winter. We are going there this week with a Bike Tow Rack, which should really test the range. And yes, because of our experience with the Model X, we know where all the charging stops are.
We almost never used 3-row seats unless we were picking people up at the airport or any other shore case where my children’s friends were coming along – which was always a bad dream. It is hard to imagine that in the age of COVID! In any case, I would be happy to go to airports or drive around a bunch of children. And in that emergency scenario, I would just throw a child or two into the trunk a few miles. I spent half of my childhood just like this, and I got well.
Our flamboyant Siberians would capture the Husky bus and flush fur with seats on our weekly trips to the back area. The Model Y has a better barrier than our 6-seater Model X.
I also love driving the Model 3, while driving the Model X seems a bit excessive being a speedboat captain. I am hoping that Model Y has bridged the gaps between my wife’s love for love and my performance preferences.
Here is my current Tesla garage, maybe I have a problem:
Model Y Purchase vs. Lease?
On one hand, I’m absolutely thrilled that I don’t have to sell the Model X. Even after it is finally repaired, I don’t think I would have found its value for it, and I’m sure whoever got it. Complain about axle problems. They are now to deal with Tesla.
But at the same time, the lease payments are high, and we had to halt our trip to the Model X to get under 12,000 miles / year, which we allotted ourselves. I decided to buy a Model Y so that we don’t have to think about that stuff.
Model Y Full Self Driving?
Due to the “Model X Autopilot trying to kill us” problem described above and a history of empty promises by Tesla about FSD, I decided to shut down. However, a few weeks before delivery, Tesla dropped the Model Y price by $ 3,000, and Tesla’s site said I could add FSD for $ 7,000. At a difference of $ 4,000, I felt it was a fair price based on risk / reward. However, Tesla came back and charged me $ 8,000 for FSD, so I removed it and would decide to add FSD at a later date (probably when the price goes up again).
I have a lot of thoughts on FSD, which I explain in the video above. The bottom line is that there is a lot of uncertainty, and even though this year Elon is right and they are going to have FSD in cars, it does not guarantee that Google / Waymo does not get it and does not charge anything for it.
Model y option
At the time of ordering, the Model Y did not carry a ton of options and configurations. I got the white interior, but the problems I had with the larger Model Y wheels went to the wheel upgrade. You not only get a better ride on bad New York roads with smaller wheels, but also better efficiency and handling in bad weather. Black wheels look good on base white paint; However, this was not an easy decision.
I got a third party tow hitch for $ 322 before the purchase price instead of $ 1000 / $ 1200 at Tesla’s. Hopefully, I’ll set up the video later this week.
Model y lift
Tomorrow, I will be talking about the actual exchange and the quality of the Model Y I purchased. Follow me on Twitter for some spoilers.
FTC: We use auto linked affiliate links. more.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to podcasts.