My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

First drive of the Tesla Model Y Long Range 2022

Rhys Gregory / Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s Model Y builds on Model 3’s success, offering SUV styling and proportions for those looking for a sport utility vehicle.

From the front, the Model Y doesn’t look too dissimilar from the Model 3. However, as you pan around the vehicle you’ll spot the noticeable higher ride height and large boot opening. Like every Tesla, Model Y combines safety, efficiency, performance, utility and technology.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla DNA means that Model Y combines a low centre of gravity, rigid body structure and large crumple zones providing unparalleled protection.

Model Y’s aerodynamic design alongside leading battery technology makes it the most efficient SUV there is in terms of energy usage, meaning you can achieve better range with less energy. Model Y provides maximum versatility. Each rear seat folds flat independently, creating flexible storage for luggage, furniture, skis and more. The liftgate opens to a low boot floor that makes loading and unloading easy and quick.  

Tesla Model Y

Read our full review as we take you through all of these features and more below.

Infotainment and cockpit

The interior of the Tesla Model Y is pretty much like any other Tesla. It provides a very clean and simplistic interior, which some drivers are really going to love (or hate). Personally, I really like this modern look. However, the lack of head up display or speedometer in direct view for the driver is something that I really missed.

Tesla Model Y – cockpit

The cockpit provides you with an uncluttered view of the road and almost everything in the car is controlled by the 15” touchscreen or smartphone app. For those new to a Tesla then you will likely struggle at first to find all of the controls that you need, as most adjustments have to be via the screen. However, indicators, wipers and drive mode (drive, reverse, neutral and park) remain all controlled from the levers located either side of the wheel. Airflow and temperature are controlled through the display, which does make it a bit tricky to adjust when driving, especially if you need to quickly adjust whilst driving.

That said, the Tesla Model Y does boast voice activated controls, which you can activate from the steering wheel, so you can ask the vehicle to find the settings you need instead of thumbling around for them. If you’re new to this technology, it may seem a little daunting at first, but we found after a few hours, it had become second nature.

Tesla Model Y

The display seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Tesla cars regularly receive over-the-air software updates that add new features, increase performance and enhance existing functionality via Wi-Fi. If you’re looking to add Tesla’s autopilot system to your vehicle then the hardware is already there, it’s as simple as purchasing an app from the store which will then update your vehicle over the air. You see a lot of vehicles going down this road at the moment, including BMW who hit the headlines recently over its version.

Tesla Model Y

As far as the rest of the interior goes, it is very Model 3 (which is no bad thing). The upfront centre console boasts Tesla’s new design, featuring fixed inductive charging mats for two smartphones wrapped in luxurious microsuede. There are also two additional high-powered USB-C ports added (for rear passengers) for high-speed device charging.

You can see from the picture, there is plenty of storage room with two locations in the arm rest in the centre console. There is also a glove box that pops open at the touch of a button from the display.

Tesla Model Y

In the cabin is where you’re going to see the biggest changes when comparing the Model Y to the Model 3. There is plenty of space and I mean plenty. When stepping into the Model Y, you’ll first notice the increased ride height and raised positioning. In the rear of the vehicle, there is enough space to fit three full size adults without issue. There is also ample leg room for even the tallest of people, without the front passengers requiring to make concessions.

The full panoramic glass roof is impressive and has been designed to let light in without the heat to keep the cabin cool.

Tesla Model Y

To put this into numbers, the Tesla Model Y boasts an incredible 854 litters of boot space. This extends to a whopping 2041L with the seats folded down and I imagine will be more than adequate for most families. To make things even easier, there is a button that will flip the seats down in either 1/3 or 2/3 configurations with the touch of a button. The tailgate is also powered and can be controlled by the boot release (from the display of course) or the soft push opening button on the outside of the vehicle.

Tesla Model Y

There is also under the floor space in the boot which helps make up the space. Perfect for keeping vehicle maintenance bits (not that the car requires much), or a safe place to store valuables when out of the vehicle. You’d have no problem storing an office bag with laptop if you needed to.

Tesla Model Y – Frunk

The large capacity boot is complimented with additional storage at the front of the car, in an area called the “frunk”. It isn’t huge, but it is perfect for storing quick access items such as charging cables or other Tesla accessories. It’s also where you can top up the window washer fluid.

Driving and handling

Being an SUV, drivers will benefit from the increased ride height which gives all round visibility – something which Tesla is very good at. However, the positioning of the rear window, does make it difficult to see out of when driving.

In terms of the performance of the vehicle, you can’t miss the instant acceleration that electric gives you when compared to other road cars. The 0-60 of the long range that we tested was 4.8 seconds, but Tesla’s performance model offers an even quicker speed of 3.5s, which is very impressive by SUV standards. I’m not entirely sure you’d need that that power though, as we found this Model Y quick off the mark.

Tesla Model Y

When cornering, you’ll find the steering is pin sharp and it turns when you want it to, which again is incredible when you consider the size and weight of the Model Y.

However, the extra weight and size doesn’t go unnoticed when bouncing around country roads, you will feel it and notice it on corners with slight body roll. The Tesla Model Y will still hold its course, but you’ll need to fight to keep it there. That said, if you’re in the market for a B road weekend vehicle for some spirited driving, then this isn’t what the Tesla Model Y is designed for. You may want to check out the Model 3 that offers similar features and spec, but a bit more fun to drive. If you’re looking for lots of space in a long range EV that can go across country (if you need it to), and/or good around towner for the entire family, then the Model Y is for you.


The Model Y has been designed to achieve the highest safety ratings in every category, with Euro NCAP announcing last week that Model Y has been awarded a 5-Star safety rating. 

Beyond the 5-Star safety rating, Model Y also achieved some notable results:

  • Model Y received the highest Overall Score among any vehicle tested under Euro NCAP’s newest, most stringent test protocol.
  • Model Y received a score of 98 percent in Euro NCAP’s Safety Assist category which evaluates a car’s active safety features including its ability to avoid accidents, mitigate injuries and prevent drivers from unintentionally drifting out of their lane (performed with Model Y equipped with Tesla Vision, our camera vision and neural net processing system).
  • Model Y also achieved a score of 97% in the Adult Occupant Protection category—once again the highest of any vehicle tested in this protocol.

When it comes to driving a Model Y, it doesn’t take long to discover the features keeping you safe in the vehicle. Notably, the Tesla’s on-board computer system is constantly scanning for objects (including people) around the vehicle. As a driver, you will see how the vehicle scans and portrays these as animations on the screen, including the different sized vehicles. We quite often found ourselves pointing these out to each other or wondering how it would scan and identify the next passing vehicle.

The whole idea behind the Tesla is that the system is designed to protect not only the driver and passengers within the vehicle, but also pedestrians on the road. The automatic emergency braking can apply the brakes as the name suggests, if it detects one of these to mitigate the risk of impact.  The forward collision warning will also detect if the vehicle in front is slowing down and will warn if you’ve not noticed.

Tesla Model Y

What we are really impressed with is the Tesla’s eight cameras that provide 360-degree views of the vehicle for ultimate blind spot protection. You will notice this especially when reversing or manoeuvring the vehicle as the different views around the vehicle are displayed. However, we did find that these can be a bit distracting at times and we were constantly trying to work out what combination of mirrors and cameras we should be using. Again, I’m sure nothing a few days of driving to get used to the vehicle wouldn’t sort out.

Tesla Model Y

It’s easy to see how and why Tesla’s autopilot system is there to protect us from ourselves and others when on the motorway. Rather than a gimmick, which we do like to play around with. Perhaps because it’s so new and different. You may remember us demonstrating this fully in our Tesla Model 3 review last year, which you can view here.

Battery, charging and drive range

Similar to the Model 3, the Model Y comes in three versions including a rear-wheel drive, long range and performance models. The rear-wheel version has the same range as the Model 3 (Standard) with 267 miles. However, this can be marginally increased by swapping the 20″ wheels for 19″, which promises to give an extra 16 miles range, bringing it to a total of 283 miles.

Those expecting this EV to be faster than petrol/diesel cars, will be disappointed to learn that if you opt for the rear-wheel drive only version, your 0-60 mph acceleration is only 6.6s. Of course, for most drivers, this will be plentiful and with it being an SUV, you are likely buying this vehicle for its increased ride height and storage space.

However, the long-range version, which dual motor all-wheel drive boasts a quicker 0-60 with 4.8s, whilst the performance model is an impressive 3.5s. As with most EVs, the trade off will always be range, performance and cost. These are the decisions you will have to make when purchasing a Tesla. If you want the extra range, the long range as the name suggests offers up to 351 miles (on 19″ wheels). If can sacrifice part of this range if you wish for performance to get the 0-60 mph time 3.5s, but your range will drop to 319 miles (on 21″ wheels).

These are ranges provided by the manufacturer, which will be for optimal driving. In real world conditions and especially in the winter, these will vary depending on individual driving and comfort.

Tesla supercharger in Bridgend

If you’re familiar with other models of Teslas then the Model Y is no different. The Tesla Supercharger network in the UK now boasts more than 650 locations with plans to open even more over the next 12 months. Drivers using the new type of chargers (V3), will notice a considerable uplift in speeds, with up to 150 miles of range being delivered within 15 minutes.

To locate a Tesla supercharger near to where you live, you can simply use the on-board sat nav to search and find a location. If you select to navigate to a Tesla charger, the vehicle will automatically begin to precondition itself whilst you drive there, which promises to put the battery in a state for optimal charging. The same applies on long journeys, where the sat nav will automatically route to chargers along way to ensure sufficient range.

As more Tesla vehicles hit the road, it will be interesting to see how the supercharging network copes with demand. From our time of driving the Model 3 last year, we’ve noticed charger locations becoming increasingly popular, although we have never had to wait for a space to become available.

Of course, the most convenient way to charge your vehicle is at home.

Running cost and maintenance

Once you overcome the hefty price of an EV, you will experience lower cost per mile travelling when compared to traditional combustion engines.

There is also nil road tax on this vehicle and 2% BIK for company car drivers, which is incredible and makes it one of the cheapest cars to get as a company. The car is also exempt from London Congestion Charge and London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

The car itself requires very little maintenance. You may recall in the photo above, the most you really need to do yourself is ensuring you’ve topped up with window washer liquid. There are some minor checks that you can also perform, but the car requires very little.

Tesla officially says your vehicle only requires servicing on an as-needed basis. However, Tesla recommends the following maintenance items and intervals, as applicable to your vehicle, to ensure continued reliability and efficiency of your Model Y.

  • Brake fluid health check every 2 years (replace if necessary) or, if the vehicle is used for towing, replace the brake fluid every 2 years.
  • A/C desiccant bag replacement every 4 years.
  • Cabin air filter replacement every 2 years (or 3 years for HEPA filter, if equipped).
  • Clean and lubricate brake calipers every year or 12,500 miles if in an area where roads are salted during winter
  • Rotate tires every 6,200 m or if tread depth difference is 1.5 mm or greater, whichever comes first


Tesla Model Y – Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel

  • Price: £63,580 as tested
  • Max speed: 135 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds
  • Range: 331 miles
  • Road tax: nil
  • Warranty: Basic Vehicle – 4 years or 50,000 mi, whichever comes first
    Battery & Drive Unit – 8 years
  • Size: 4.75m, W1.97m, H1.62m
  • Bootspace: 854 litres
  • Kerbweight: 1,979kg
  • Supercharging max speed – 250 kW

Reasons to buy:

  • Large luggage capacity, which extends to a whopping 2041L with seats folded down.
  • Charge up to 150 miles in 15 minutes with Tesla’s new V3 superchargers, which can deliver peak charge rates up to 250kW. Cardiff actually has these, whilst Bridgend has the previous version, which is still pretty fast.
  • Tesla is planning to open more supercharging in Wales over the next 12 months, which will help to combat any range anxiety.
  • More than 650 superchargers in the UK.
  • It’s one of the safest vehicles that you can buy.


  • The extra height and weight of the Model Y increases the body roll of the vehicle, especially on tight, twisty roads
  • It can be expensive to insure, with different insurers categorising the Model Y differently.
  • There is currently no plans for a 7 seat version in the UK. Although, it is available in other countries.
  • No head up display.