The car we purchased in August 2023 is a Tesla Model Y Long Range. It has the black interior and 19″ wheels and the enhanced autopilot software but not the full automation. We have a tow hook after the problems in pick-up/delivery described here.
The full specification can be found on Tesla’s web site here. This is the inventory page which allows you to see what is allegedly immediately available. I say allegedly, due to the problems and lack of communication from Tesla about the vehicle we purchased.
The actual ordering process is very easy. £200 reservation fee (taken off total price). You can search by pick up location which Tesla refers to as delivery. It isn’t, you collect it. Click on order and away you go. Finance options, trade-in options etc are included in process. We ended up paying cash after some initial pain, itself not an easy process.
The Car – Specification
Model Y Specs
- Battery Long Range
- Acceleration 4.8 s 0-60 mph
- Range (WLTP) 331 miles
- Drive Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive
- Seating 5 Adults – Black interior.
- Wheels 19″ or 20″ – we have 19″
- Weight 1,979 kg
- Max Cargo Volume 2,158 litres
- Top Speed 135 mph
- Displays 15″ Centre Touchscreen
- Supercharging Max/Payment Type 250 kW Max; Pay Per Use
- Warranty Basic Vehicle – 4 years or 50,000 mi, whichever comes first
Battery & Drive Unit – 8 years or 120,000 mi, whichever comes first
Getting Used to the car
The car does take a lot of getting used to. If you think other cars are complex (Audi I’m looking at you) this is a whole other level. There are almost no manual controls. The two multi-function buttons on the steering wheel, the indicator stalk and the drive control are it. The drive control also has other functions for cruise and associated safety systems. Tesla provide video tutorials via the app and owners manual in the app and the car via the screen. Even the doors are push button to open from inside.
Everything else, including things you’ve never thought about, are via the touch screen in the centre. There is no front dash with a speedometer etc. That info is in the right-hand third of the touch screen display. It takes a little while to get used to. For the left-hand-drive version the third is the other side.
There are physical electrical controls for windows and seats. Seat setting get saved to your profile. Up to 5 drivers are supported on the system. Simple to add and then fiddle to your hearts content.
For some reason the car had been set to kilometres not miles per hour for UK market. Another setting to be fiddled with after finding it. Might have been due to the hast preparation issue.
The screen is where you add drivers for profiles for mirrors, seats, ac, steering wheel, and a host of other settings. Its the media player, Sat Nav, Google browser. Most of its functions and settings can also be replicated in the app for Apple IOS or Google. Your phone is also your key as an alternative to the provided RFID keys. There are no traditional keys unless you order a fob, yours for £170.
Breaking AND CALIBRATION
The reactive/recharging/regenerating breaking system takes getting used to. It does start as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator without touching the brakes. This can be switched off if you prefer. That means the car does not coast, it slows. Not that dramatically but like breaking. You can of course break faster using the dedicated pedal. It effectively allows single pedal driving. When stopped, the car does not inch forward so you don’t need to hold it on the brake. It doesn’t drive until you press accelerator. Got used to that very quickly in the London traffic.
The car calibrated its sensors and cameras in the first 50 miles or so. These help with collision avoidance and the screen displays showing where cars are in relation to your car. It shows lorries/trucks differently from cars. Can’t remember seeing bikes yet. It also measures how far away they are. Assisting with parking and close manoeuvres. Not tried parking assistance yet except cameras.
As warned elsewhere, remember to take house keys when not connected by a key ring to a car key!!!! Habits of grabbing key ring with car and house are ingrained.
The phone controls open the car including the boot/trunk and Frunk. When playing with the app in a restaurant remember that. Evening one of ownership, I opened the boot with the car on the far side of a car park. For some reason it wouldn’t close automatically. I had to walk out and shut it using the button…. Embarrassment to others in car park.
The light show mode plays music – loudly. Not a demo needed in a suburban street at home late at night…. Sorry neighbours.
The Car Mileage and Recharging
The car had 3 miles on the clock on pick up. Because of the issues it also only had approx 25% charge. To get home from my delivery, I needed to charge. Superchargers are excellent. Just not as common as we would like. I’ll discuss home charging and chargers elsewhere.
We’ll need many more of them as well as equally capable others. Unfortunately like many service in UK, the privatised energy companies and the public run National Grid are totally unprepared and progressing at snails pace. Like the fibre to the premises progress (lack of it) by BT or the failings of water companies. Anyone would think there wasn’t a climate change issue or government commitments to EVs. Lots of politics there. Recommend BBC recent (August 2023) programmes for description of EV and other issues. It almost put us off buying one.
That said there are thousands of chargers installed and being installed. Despite promises from vendors you need more than one App or map to find them all. Most I have seen are not in use (apart from the two in Brent Cross Shopping Centre. There were tens of others there but I had no idea how to use them, what connector to use, or which app and charging rate would apply.
The Car – Driving
Wow. Smooth, very quick, a delight. Adaptive Cruise control included. I set the system to chill which limits acceleration. Apparently many first time users crash early on as they are unused to acceleration. This is not the performance model but is still capable of 4.8 secs for 0-60. The performance model can do this in 3.5. The S model is even faster. It’s not just the pulling away. I’m not planning a drag race anytime. The acceleration is there all the time. Absolutely brilliant is 50-70 mph on a motorway. No gear changes or kick downs. It just goes. It can apparently reach 135 MPH in my version or 155 MPH in performance. German autobahns permitting.
It’s quiet. Inside and out regardless of speed. We realised this during the pouring rain of our test drive. It’s very smooth. Watch out pedestrians. In Tesla Park Royal I jumped back as one approached. I hadn’t heard it at all. We are almost used to this when our Yaris hybrid is in electric mode, but inside the Tesla is very quiet including road noise. Some reviews state that it’s not as quiet inside as others. It’s subjective I appreciate, unless measured with a meter. In my opinion, it’s quieter than an Audi Q5. It’s quieter than the Kia EV6.
Huge choice from DAB to Spotify and Tidal. Still fiddling. Also Car Karaoke – may disable that.
The Car – Software and Wi-Fi
The car gets regular software updates. There was one due as I got it. Again, I suspect that this should have been done pre-pick up. I connected to my home wi-fi and it downloaded (<5 mins) and then updated (Car unusable) in < 30 mins. I wasn’t in the car. The app did it all.
It comes with a 30 day free trial of the Tesla premium Internet service using O2 4G. Not 5g and only O2 signals. Thereafter, it costs £9.99 per month. This is more than my current SIM deal. You can tether your phone instead but you lose some functionality if you do. Why is unclear except to make more money for Mr Musk. Missing would be satellite pictures for google maps and ability to access on board cameras live remotely. Don’t know what we’ll do. Full comparison here
Other cars have this connectivity too as a subscription service. This is one of those hidden cons. Easy to keep but is it actually worth it? Don’t know yet.
The Car – More
Only had it a couple of days and we’ll learn more as we go along. Looking forward to longer trips and the joys of further charging when away.