You are here

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Tesla Model X

Overall verdict
Not cheap, and not a conventional SUV, but a thoroughly capable family wagon.


Falcon doors are more than a gimmick, pace, fresh approach, ease of driving


Structural shake and shimmy, hardly handsome


What is it?

The one with the Falcon doors. It’s still hard to believe they’re not from a concept car, but here they are, able to open in 11 inches of space, with sensors to prevent knocks against pillars or squeezing children, the Model X’s signature feature.

They’re unique, something they have in common with the rest of Tesla’s biggest car. Because it’s not an easy one to pigeon hole. It’s 4WD and seats up to seven people, but it’s hardly a conventional SUV. Can you imagine one heading off across a muddy field? Exactly. And then there’s the way it looks. It’s more hatchback than conventional family wagon. Hardly a handsome hatch either.

Being hard to pin down is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact it’s stood Tesla in good stead, suiting the firm’s more disruptive nature. And it’s not as if buyers have given it a wide berth, as it’s firmly established in the upper reaches of the family car price bracket.

Underneath it shares a platform and motors with the Model S saloon. All versions available in the UK currently use twin electric motors, one on each axle, and have the same 100kWh battery (the entry level 75D has now been discontinued). This sits low in the centre of the car, and combined with the compact electric motors ensures not only a flat floor throughout the cabin, but also a useful load space under the bonnet as well as a huge boot.

Recently the Tesla Model X range seems to have settled down after fluctuations to both pricing and versions. The arrival of opposition such as the Mercedes EQC and Audi e-tron seems to have stabilised Tesla, and the Model X has found its feet in the market as a result.

Two versions are currently available, the Long Range at £82,700 and the £96,900 Performance. Both are very powerful, the entry-level version developing 553bhp, the Ludicrous-enabled Performance having 785bhp. Despite the fact both weigh just shy of 2,500kg, neither is sluggish, the Long Range able to hit 60mph in 4.4secs, while the Performance sees off the benchmark sprint in 2.7secs.

Both claim to be able to cover more than 300 miles on a charge, and give you free access to Tesla’s superb Supercharger network – an offer that lasts as long as you retain the vehicle. Second owners have to pay for the privilege.

Highlights from the range