Tesla Model X Review
The Tesla Model X will get you from A to B in a whole new way.
Tesla has single-handedly redefined the car. Ditching fossil fuels in favour of electricity is just scratching the surface. Get inside the Tesla mind-set and you will discover a sublime blend of software and hardware, a refreshing minimalist approach inside and out, and advanced fighter-pilot style tech.
The Tesla Model X is a shining example of Tesla's unique vision. Its sleek, aerodynamic body hides a plethora of radars, sensors and cameras, all working together in joyous harmony to keep you safe on the road. Radical falcon wing doors soar skywards at the touch of a button. Engage Autopilot and the Model X will even drive itself.
Take a look at our review below to find out why the Model X is an electric SUV like no other.
Tesla Model X Review Sections
- At a Glance
- Key Features
- Range, Batteries & Performance
- Running Costs
- Practicality & Boot Space
- Rival Cars
- Verdict & Next Steps
Select's rating score* - 4.0 / 5
The Tesla Model X comes in two configurations: Long Range and Performance.
Which one should you go for? Here's a quick overview of the key factors to bear in mind when analysing the Model X:
- Price: The Performance Model X is £15,000 more expensive than the Long Range version, although the difference on a lease is a more palatable £161.80 per month (accurate as of 20 September 2020, based on 5,000 miles per year, 48 months' term, and a deposit of 9 months).
- Performance: That increase in price between the two variants is basically down to acceleration. The Model X Performance goes from 0-62 mph in a blistering 2.6 seconds. The Long Range, by comparison, is 'only' 4.4 seconds. Otherwise there's not much difference between them: a little more range on one; a higher top speed on the other (see table below).
- Seats: Seating sets the Tesla X apart from the competition. It can be factory ordered either as a 5, 6 or 7 seater. No other currently available EV has more than 5 seats. Interestingly, the upgrade to 6 seats costs an additional £6,300, whereas the Tesla 7 seater costs £3,400 more. More seats for less money. Go figure.
|Variant||Tesla Model X Long Range||Tesla Model X Performance|
|Battery size (usable)||95 kWh||95 kWh|
|Official WLTP range||314 miles||301 miles|
|0-62 mph||4.4 seconds||2.6 seconds|
|Top speed||155 mph||163 mph|
|AC charging maximum||16.5 kW (AC)||16.5 kW (AC)|
|DC charging maximum||200 kW (DC)||200 kW (DC)|
The Tesla Model X has an awful lot going for it, but here are some of the highlights:
Range on a single charge: A battery range of over 300 miles in a high performance, heavy, spacious EV is astoundingly good. That's Edinburgh to Nottingham, or Penzance to Milton Keynes, in one go.
Technology: The Model X is jam-packed with tasty tech, including regular over-the-air software updates, Autopilot self-driving capability, various active safety technologies, sentry mode, etc.
Falcon wing doors: What a party piece. The middle row doors glide out and up, creating an open space, free of obstructions, for passengers to enter the car through. The novelty never wears off.
Supercharger network: Tesla drivers become members of the exclusive Supercharger network of charging stations, where the Model X can be charged at up to a warp-speed 200 kW.
Performance characteristics: Both variants of the Tesla Model X enjoy magnificent acceleration and far-more-than-you-need top speeds. They are performance vehicles disguised as family SUVs.
The Model X is excellent at harnessing the power of its lithium-ion battery cells efficiently.
What does this mean in practice? Let’s consider the Tesla Model X Long Range first. It has a 95 kWh battery (usable capacity), resulting in an official WLTP range of 314 miles.
The power from the twin electric motors – one on each axle – delivers 469 bhp (350 kW). Top speed is 155 mph, with a 0-62 mph of 4.4 seconds. So Tesla's advanced battery technology = class-leading range and performance.
Acceleration is taken to another level with the Tesla Model X Performance. It has the same capacity battery, but the electric motors yield a bhp of 825, or 615 kW. That's monumental. 0-62 mph in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 163 mph.
The Model X has the lowest drag coefficient of any SUV available, incorporating an active spoiler which adjusts automatically for maximum efficiency.
It's all fine and dandy having your internal organs squashed by extreme G forces, but what's the Model X actually like to drive in normal conditions? It's pretty stable around corners, as the batteries are all under the floor, giving it a very low centre of gravity. You also notice how quiet it is, although wind and road noise do become more noticeable at higher speeds.
The Tesla X comes with an advanced suspension system known as "Adaptive Suspension Damping". From the central touchscreen, you can see in real-time how each wheel’s damping is dynamically adjusted to account for changing road conditions and ride heights. The non-technical upshot? A very smooth ride.
Range alert: In practice, Tesla Model X range on a single charge won’t always be identical to the precise number of miles claimed in the official 'WLTP' figures. To discover how range varies in different situations, please see to our Range Guide.
The Model X comes with very fast, class-leading charging built in as standard.
It has a 'Type 2' charging port. This means you use a standard Type 2 plug for home/work AC charging, and also a Type 2 plug when you visit a Tesla Supercharger station for rapid DC charging.
Read our Charging Guide for a complete overview of how electric vehicle charging works.
- Maximum charging rate: 7.4 kW
- Electricity supply type: AC
For every hour of charging at home, you will add 23-24 miles of range. Typically, you would charge the Model X once or twice a week, depending on your driving habits. Here's a table showing how long it would take to charge in two scenarios:
|Battery state of charge||Time to charge|
|from 20% to 80%||7 hours 42 minutes|
|from 0% to 100%||12 hours 50 minutes|
Charging from 0% to 100% is not good practice. To maximise the battery's longevity, you would generally start charging it when it goes down to 20-50% and only charge up to 80-90% full. For longer trips, it's fine to charge to 100% for maximum range.
- Maximum charging rate: 16.5 kW
- Electricity supply type: AC
If you have a 3-phase electricity supply at work, and a suitable high-speed chargepoint installed, the Model X can be charged at 16.5 kW. This means you can add about 55 miles of range in an hour.
Rapid charging at Tesla Superchargers
- Maximum charging rate: 200 kW
- Electricity supply type: DC
If you're on a longer trip where the range of the Model X won't get you to your destination in one go, you will pull into a Tesla Supercharger station to pump a lot of miles into your car quickly. There are two versions of the Supercharger, each with its own maximum charging rate, although only Version 2 is currently available in the UK. Here are charging times for both:
|Supercharger||Battery state of charge||Time to charge|
|Version 2: 150 kW||from 20% to 80%||23 minutes|
|Version 3: 250 kW||from 20% to 80%||17 minutes|
In reality, charging times will be a little longer, as electric car batteries cannot sustain peak charging rates for very long. The rate gradually decreases in order to protect the battery cells.
Tesla X drivers can also use other non-Supercharger public rapid charging stations, but you'll need adapters. There's the CCS Combo 2 Adapter allowing CCS charging up to 142 kW (on the newer 150-350 kW chargers). Also the CHAdeMO Adapter permitting a 43 kW rate.
Get ready for dramatically lower 'fuel' costs in your shiny, new EV.
The majority of electric car drivers do the vast bulk of their charging at home. How much money you save on fuel depends therefore on your home electricity tariff. You'll either have one rate that applies for the whole 24 hours, or a dual rate tariff with a day rate and a cheaper night rate.
If you charge your Model X on a cheap, off-peak night rate, you can secure amazing fuel savings. Assuming, for example, an annual mileage of 8,000 miles, you could be spending only £121* a year on electricity by charging at home off-peak. Our Electricity Tariff guide explains how it works in more detail.
* based on 8,000 miles with a battery efficiency of 3.31 miles per kWh (314 miles range divided by 95 kWh usable battery capacity) and an off-peak charging rate of 5p per kWh.
The Tesla Model X is a Battery Electric Vehicle or 'BEV'. It's petrol- and diesel-free.
In fact, it doesn't have a tailpipe at all, so it can't emit anything harmful such as greenhouse and NOx gases, diesel-based particulates, etc.
As the Model X runs on electricity – and if you want to be really green – find an electricity supplier that can guarantee all its electricity comes from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. That way your electricity 'fuel' is 100% green as well.
You can even take it a step further and have solar PV panels installed at home. Plug your car in when the sun is shining and power your journeys with home-grown, free, renewable energy.
The Model X, along with its saloon sibling the Model S, were the first examples of Tesla minimalism in action.
When you get into the Model X, you are presented with pared-down simplicity. Gone are most of the buttons, dials, knobs and levers we have all got used to in traditional motor vehicles.
Instead the dash is dominated by a huge, central, 17-inch, portrait-oriented touchscreen. It controls practically all of the car's functions (see Technology section below). There is also a separate display behind the steering wheel so the driver has easy access to all key data while on the move.
Materials are a mixture of soft and shiny plastics, leather, chrome and glass. The overall effect is soothing and slick, though the premium German manufacturers use higher grade materials at this price point.
The seats in the front and middle rows are very comfortable, well-sized, and can all be electrically and individually adjusted. Even the two smaller seats in the third row (assuming you select a 6 or 7 seat Tesla X), can fit adults at a pinch.
Other interior special mentions include:
- A massive windscreen that stretches up and over the two front seats, with ultraviolet and infrared protection
- Heated seats for every passenger
- HEPA air filtration system, preventing any viruses, bacteria or nasty smells from entering the cabin
- Power-folding, auto-dimming, heated wing mirrors
- Custom audio system featuring 17 speakers
- Custom driver profiles
- Wireless smartphone charging in the centre console
- Heated steering wheel
Most manufacturers focus on the car hardware and then bolt software on almost as an afterthought. Tesla is different. Software and hardware are yin and yang, working together for mutual benefit.
Let's begin with Autopilot. Engage it via a stalk behind the steering wheel, and the Model X will steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane. It's a combination of auto-steer and adaptive cruise control. It works brilliantly.
You can also upgrade Autopilot to Full Self-Driving Capability. This allows the car to:
- Navigate on Autopilot: automatic driving from motorway on-ramp to off-ramp, including interchanges and overtaking slower cars
- Auto Lane Change: automatic lane changes while driving on the motorway
- Autopark: both parallel and perpendicular parking
- Summon: Automatically park and retrieve your car
Future, promised updates to Full Self-Driving Capability, include:
- Recognise and respond to traffic lights and stop signs
- Automatic driving on city streets
- Enhanced Summon: your parked car will come and find you in the car park
While all this automated driving tech has been expertly implemented by Tesla, it's worth remembering the importance of staying alert and always having your hands on the steering wheel.
Tesla gives you one year of Premium Connectivity free with the Model X, providing the following services:
- Satellite maps including live traffic visualisation
- In-car internet streaming for music and other media
- Video streaming, e.g. Netflix
- Caraoke (oh yes)
- An internet browser
After the first year, Premium Connectivity costs £9.99 per month.
The large touchscreen is the control panel for all of the car's remaining technology. It's an embarrassment of riches. If we tried to list all the features it would be like writing War and Peace. The regular, over-the-air updates add new functionality all the time as well. Best to take the Model X out for a test drive and experience it all for yourself first hand.
The Tesla Model X is a versatile, practical, spacious vehicle.
It has up to three rows of seats, depending on how you configure it out of the factory. 5, 6 or 7 adults will fit, though it's a bit tight in the final row. The floor is flat in the middle row – no problem for the centre passenger not knowing what to do with their feet.
The Tesla X has the largest interior storage capacity in its class: 77 cubic feet in the 6 seat interior configuration.
The boot size is acceptable even with the third row seats up, but when you fold them down, a really generous area opens up. You can then move the middle seats forward to increase space further, though the middle seats can't go flat. Lift the false floor in the boot for even more storage.
There's also spacious front storage under the bonnet with room for bulky luggage.
The Model X's falcon wing doors are a real focal point, but they are also surprisingly useful. With less space required to open than the kind of sliding door you would find in a mini-van, the double-hinged doors make getting in and out, or fitting child seats, in a tight spot really easy. Other useful, practical features include:
- Full LED headlamps
- Automatic keyless entry
- Wiper blade defrosters
- Washer nozzle heaters
- Self-presenting front door
- Power liftgate
Tesla puts all the Model X's cameras, sensors and technology to good use, making it a very safe vehicle.
The Model X Tesla has a Euro NCAP rating of 5 stars. It scored a near-perfect 98% for adult occupant safety and 94% for safety assist.
As it doesn't carry around an international combustion engine, it also has a considerably larger crumple zone than other non-electric SUVs. In addition, there is active collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking, parking sensors and blind spot warning, up to four ISOFIX seats, and of course all-wheel-drive for better traction and control.
But it doesn't stop there. All Tesla cars are blessed with a regular supply of over-the-air upgrades. Every month or so, your Tesla App alerts you to a new software update available. Quite often these software improvements are related to safety features. In other words, your Model X is getting safer and safer over time, all for free. Can your current car do that?
Configuring a Model X is straightforward – there aren't millions of options to um and ah about.
Variant: First up is the choice between Long Range and Performance. In a nutshell, do you want to pay more for extreme acceleration?
Exterior colours: Pearl White Multi-Coat comes as standard. Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic and Deep Blue Metallic all cost £1,450 more. Finally, Red Multi-Coat is an extra £2,500.
Wheels: Both Long Range and Performance versions of the Tesla X have 20-inch Silver wheels as standard. For an additional £2,000 you get 20-inch Two Tone Slipstream alloys, and the ultra low-profile 22-inch Onyx Black wheels are £5,400.
Interior colours: All versions of the car have a 'Premium Interior', but can then be specified in different colour combinations. 'All Black' is standard with ash wood décor. Then there's 'Black and White' introducing darker ash inlays (£1,450 more) and 'Cream' with some oak detailing (also £1,450).
Seats: Then the really big decision: is this going to be a 5, 6 or 7 seat vehicle? 'Five Seat Interior' represents the standard configuration. 'Six Seat Interior' removes one seat from the middle row and introduces two in the third row (£6,300 extra). Finally, 'Seven Seat Interior' reverts you to three seats in the middle row, with two seats in the third row (£3,400 extra). The Tesla 6 seater and Tesla 7 seater versions are currently the only fully electric cars on the market with more than 5 seats.
Autopilot upgrade: The Tesla Model X comes with Autopilot as standard. However you can also upgrade to 'Full Self-Driving Capability' (FSDC) for the not insignificant sum of £6,800. We look at FSDC in the Technology section above.
And that's it. Only six decisions to make to configure a Model X.
In the world of fully electric cars, the Model X has no direct rivals.
First, all other electric cars are limited to 5 seats. If you need 6 or 7, only the Model X can deliver.
Second, the Model X comes ahead of its rivals in terms of range on a single charge.
Third, nothing can beat the Model X Performance when it comes to power and acceleration.
Fourth, over-the-air updates improve your car over time – no other manufacturer has been able to catch Tesla up so far in this area.
The only 'but' is that the Tesla Model X is more expensive than other 4x4, electric SUVs such as the Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace. These latter three, highly capable EVs are all definitely worth considering if the Model X takes you out of your financial comfort zone.
The Tesla Model X is a practical, spacious, all-electric, four-wheel-drive SUV that is equally at home ferrying you around on short trips, as well as on long UK or international journeys.
Its battery range is so impressive, coupled with the as-yet-unrivalled, global Supercharger network, that you can treat it as a 'go anywhere' vehicle.
In addition, the combination of advanced driving technology and futuristic looks, make the Model X highly seductive and enticing. If money is no object, this is the car to get.
Where to next?
- Model X car leasing available from just £835.19** per month.
- Looking for a great car lease deal? Check out our incredible range of Special Offers.
- Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive Leasing Guides.
- Interested in everything electric? Why not catch up on all the latest Electric News.
* Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top six leading independent car website reviews of the Model X.
** Correct as of 22/10/2020. Long Range 5-seat variant, based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £7,516.69. Ts & Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.