Tesla Model X vs. Tesla Model Y: Performance, Price, and Safety

by Nick Versaw Updated October 18th, 2021

Model X vs Model Y: person driving an electric car

Few electric vehicles have the technology, style, and popular acclaim that Tesla has. And while automotive companies are releasing new electric cars each model year, the brand most people think of when they think of an electric vehicle is Tesla. But when you step away from the hype, which Tesla is truly the better option to drive?

From the Tesla Model 3 and Model S to the forthcoming Cybertruck, Tesla has a variety of vehicles for all your driving needs. Here, we explore the differences and similarities between the Tesla Model X vs. the Tesla Model Y.

Tesla Model X Long Range Tesla Model X Plaid Tesla Model Y Long Range Tesla Model Y Performance
Purchase price $99,990 $119,990 $54,990 $61,990
Range 360 miles 340 miles 326 miles 303 miles
0-60 mph 3.8 seconds 2.5 seconds 4.8 seconds 3.5 seconds
Top speed 155 mph 163 mph 135 mph 155 mph

Trim Levels

The 2021 Tesla Model X and the 2021 Tesla Model Y are available in varying trim levels that offer different range lengths and performance specs

2021 Tesla Model X Trim Levels

Model X vs Model Y: Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is available in two different trim levels: Long Range and Plaid. Both feature the Model X’s much-acclaimed falcon-wing doors

The Tesla Model X Plaid is very much a performance-oriented car, built with a particular focus on acceleration and overall horsepower. The Tesla Model X Long Range offers impressive performance output, but not nearly the acceleration and horsepower of its sibling.

2021 Tesla Model Y Trim Levels

Model X vs Model Y: Tesla Model Y

The Model Y comes in two different trim levels: Performance and Long Range AWD. No matter which trim of this all-electric crossover you choose, versatility and cargo space are its claim to fame. 

The Tesla Model Y Performance provides a bit less range and acceleration versus the Model Y Long Range. Both Model Y trims offer cargo and passenger space that are identical in size. 

Performance

The Tesla Model X is the brand’s most performance-oriented SUV. In fact, it’s the quickest accelerating SUV in production today, capable of 0-to-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 163 mph. 

The vehicle’s powertrain consists of three high performance electric motors built with carbon-sleeved rotors and torque vectoring. Each Tesla Model X trim comes with all-wheel drive.

The base edition of the Tesla Model Y is available with a RWD powertrain. The heart of the vehicle is a dual-motor powertrain that offers a combined 384 horsepower. The Tesla Model Y has an optional towing package that allows the vehicle a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, more than enough to haul small campers, snowmobiles, and small watercraft.

Each version of the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y offer a Full SelfDriving Capability package for an extra $10,000. In addition to limited Autopilot capability, the package also includes Tesla’s famed “summon” feature, which allows the car to drive short distances by itself to meet you. Other features include auto parking, self-driving cruise control capability, and traffic light and stop sign control. 

Interior and Cargo Capability

Tesla Control Center

Tesla Model X Interior 

Tesla’s reputation for interior technology precedes it, and both the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y are packed with critically acclaimed features. Both vehicles offer 17-inch touch screens, panoramic windshields, and stylish, minimalist interior designs. Each vehicle also offers tri-zone temperature controls, heated and cooled front seats, and standard HEPA air filtration systems.

The latest models of both Model X and Model Y also offer heated steering wheels.

The Tesla Model X offers one of the largest interiors in the luxury SUV class with over 91 cubic feet of cargo space. The size of the car’s cargo space varies based on the five-, six-, and seven-passenger seat configurations and optional third row rear seat.

Tesla Model Y Interior with seats folded

Tesla Model Y Interior with seats folded

While the “captain’s chairs” in the six-seat model of the Tesla Model X do not fold over, the five- and seven-passenger models do have this feature, which opens up the large storage space for a variety of cargo and materials.

In addition, the Model X also comes with a “frunk,” a front trunk space where the internal combustion engine engine would normally be in a gas-powered vehicle.

Tesla Model Y also features a small front trunk combined with a comparably larger rear cargo area. With all of the rear seats folded, the car offers a total of 68 cubic feet of cargo space. The Performance trim only comes with a five-seat option, but the Long Range comes with a five- or seven-seat configuration available.

Safety

All Tesla models have received high marks for safety, and the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y are no exception. 

The Model X has received 5-star safety rating in every category and subcategory analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), making it the first SUV ever to earn 5-star ratings in all categories.

The Tesla Model Y has similarly high marks from NHTSA crash testing. Thanks to features like large crumple zones and a fortified chassis, the Model Y aced all recent impact tests.

Technology

Many who test drive a Tesla are surprised when they learn the automaker does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. Tesla vehicles instead utilize the brand’s own proprietary infotainment software. 

The Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y are controlled solely through their large touchscreens. This is where drivers access features like audio entertainment, navigation, full self-driving, and autopilot options. 

The center touchscreen is also where battery charge status is displayed on each vehicle. 

Pricing

The biggest difference between the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model Y is price, which is a key factor for those seeking an affordable leasing or finance offer. Both trims of the Tesla Model X are classified as luxury performance vehicles, and the $99,990 starting price is certainly an indicator of that. That said, the Model X offers a truly state-of-the art driving experience with the very latest in automotive technology.

The Tesla Model Y‘s entry-level price is significantly lower than the Model X at $54,990. As of June 2021, the average cost of a new car in the United States was $40,206. Considering the advanced technology and zero-emission, all-electric powertrain of the Model Y, its initial cost seems quite reasonable by comparison. 

Warranty

All Tesla vehicles come with the same warranty coverage, regardless of which one you choose.

Each trim level of the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y come with a Basic Vehicle Warranty that extends for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever is reached first.

Both the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y battery pack and drive units come with an eight-year/120,000-mile warranty. Tesla Model X and Model Y warranties cover repairs and defects in the vehicle’s materials or workmanship, including the Tesla Supercharger for those who choose to have one installed at their home. 

Tesla Model X vs. Tesla Model Y: The Verdict

The Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y each offer everything drivers are looking for in an all-electric vehicle: impressive range, rapid acceleration, ample passenger and cargo space, and the latest in onboard automotive technology. 

That said, the Tesla Model X is truly a luxury car, and its price and array of features may be a bit much for drivers looking to utilize their all-new electric vehicle as a daily driver. It’s here where the Tesla Model Y steps in. 

While its smaller passenger and cargo space may be an issue for frequent carpoolers or drivers with large families, the Tesla Model Y starting price, range, and safety marks make it one of the most attractive all-electric vehicles on the market today. 

Looking for a Tesla on a budget? Drivers may also want to explore Tesla’s robust certified pre-owned inventory for used Tesla models. Each certified Tesla pre-owned model undergoes the company’s strict maintenance and conditioning testing before resale. 

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