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Tesla Model Y vs. Tesla Model X: which is better?

We compare two of Tesla's most iconic models and see how they measure up

A comparison showing the Tesla Model Y and Model X side by side

Tesla Model Y vs. Tesla Model X: which is better?

There’s nothing quite like a Tesla if you’re looking for an electric SUV, and you’ll find it hard to pick between the coveted Tesla Model Y and Model X options.

Tesla has been leading the pack in electric vehicle (EV) sales for some time.

The Model Y is the latest Tesla on the scene, with the Model X having a few years’ seniority.

If you’re looking for something bigger then the latter is the way to go, with the Model Y offering a smaller alternative that’s still a dream to drive.

Despite the size, what else makes the Model X and Model Y different, and which one should you pick?

Is the Tesla X or Y more stylish?

A comparison showing the design of the Tesla Model Y and Model X side by side

One of the main things that makes Tesla cars stand out is the instantly recognisable styling.

Both the Model X and Model Y have a spaceship-like appearance that isn’t replicated by any other manufacturer.

One of the main differences you’ll find between the Model X and Y is the rear door setup.

While the Model Y gets traditional doors, the Model X has butterfly doors that add a luxe feel to the car.

The Model Y favours a sleek appearance, with Tesla having removed the slight grille detailing that’s found on the Model X so that the slanting headlights give it a more aggressive look.

Both cars are gorgeous SUVs with a unique look about them, but the flashy doors on the Model X are a real crowd-pleaser.

You might only be swayed by the appearance of the Y if you enjoy true minimalism.

Tesla Model X vs. Model Y: driving experience

A comparison showing the Tesla Model Y and Model X driving side by side

The Tesla Model Y comes as a rear-wheel-drive SUV as standard but can also be switched to an all-wheel-drive option if you fancy.

The Model X is all-wheel drive as standard, making it a great choice for heading off the beaten track.

Both Tesla options offer an impressive driving experience, with the Model X Plaid edition being the nippiest of the lot.

It’s capable of up to 163mph, with a whopping 1,020hp on offer.

That doesn’t mean the Model Y will put you to sleep in comparison. The Performance model offers 456hp, while the Long Range settles for 507hp.

Obviously, range in both cars is impressive as well. The Model Y Long Range can achieve up to 331 miles on a full charge, while the Model X Long Range goes for up to 348 miles.

What is the interior like in the Tesla Model X and Model Y?

A comparison showing the Tesla Model Y and Model X interior side by side

A used Tesla Model Y is the perfect option if you want a more compact SUV that’s still sleek and comfortable.

You can choose a five- or seven-seat model, but the seven-seaters are newer and might be harder to find on the used market.

The Tesla Model X is the one to pick if you want a chunky SUV. It does feel more spacious inside, so might appeal to you if you know you’ll be packing up to the brim on a regular.

Infotainment is also impressive – there's a 17-inch touchscreen in the Model X and a 15-inch touchscreen in its smaller sibling.

You’ll also get a second touchscreen in the rear of the X so backseat passengers can get involved.

Overall, the interior of both models is impressive and unique.

The massive landscape touchscreens steal the show, and the classic Tesla steering wheel is an iconic touch.

Is the Tesla X or Y bigger when it comes to boot space?

A comparison showing the Tesla Model Y and Model X boot and frunk

The Tesla Model X can seat up to seven people and has a massive 2,180-litre boot space if you fold down the rear seats, or 425 litres with seven seats in place. Plus, there’s a 187-litre boot under the bonnet.

The Model Y offers an 854-litre boot with all the seats in place, plus a 117-litre front boot space. You can extend this to 2,041 litres if you drop the rear seats.

It’s worth noting that Tesla quotes these figures measured up to the roof, so you have to make use of the full space to reach maximum capacity.

Safety and reliability: Model Y vs. Model X

The Tesla Model X was awarded a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2019, while the Model Y received the same high praise in 2022.

Both cars are equipped with the amounts of impressive safety tech you’d expect from a Tesla.

In fact, the Model Y scored the best-ever rating from Euro NCAP in 2022.

Tesla gets mixed reviews for reliability, but both the X and Y get high praise from their drivers.

It helps that the Model X is very closely related to the Model S, as this shows that parts and manufacturing processes are tried and tested.

The Model Y is most closely related to the Model 3, so it enjoys some of the security that the Model X gets from its own respected sibling.

Tesla Y or X: which one should I buy?

A used Tesla Model Y or Model X can be a great pick if you’re after a luxury SUV with a unique feel.

Both cars hold their own for design, quality and comfort of drive, and they’re certainly not short of tech.

If you’re on the market for something truly premium, the Model X might be the one for you.

You not only get more power in these models, but there’s that extra backseat touchscreen and all of the extra space.

Plus, the butterfly doors really give you that main character moment.

This doesn’t mean that the Model Y is the lesser-than option.

You’re still getting plenty of tech, power and impressive mile range, but it’s a smaller model and is also the more affordable option.

Unless you really want to push the boat out for something expensive and special, the Model Y will be enough of a treat for most motorists.

Though, if you’ve got the appetite for the X, don't let us stop you...

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