Tesla Model Y pricing and features
The Tesla Model Y is a mid-sized SUV with five seats. There are seven-seat models available overseas, but they’re not yet offered in Australia - and it’s unclear if they ever will be.
Tesla currently offers two versions of the Tesla Model Y in Australia – the Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) and Performance – but there’s a third one (the Long Range) available overseas that should eventually slot between the two locally.
The RWD gets a single electric motor and drives only the back wheels. The Performance variant adds a front electric motor plus a larger battery which translates to a lot more power. While people can order both on the Tesla website, only the RWD has been delivered to customers so far, so that’s the one we’re focusing on for this review.
The Tesla Model Y RWD is priced from $72,300 plus on-road costs, or $78,134 drive-away in Victoria. At that price it misses out on the Australian EV rebates. And if you want the full connectivity - including music streaming, web browsing capability and satellite view for the maps - then it’s another $9.99 per month.
Tesla Model Y safety equipment
Like the Tesla Model 3, the Tesla Model Y gets a sparse interior that’s dominated by an enormous 15-inch touchscreen. That screen is the nerve centre of the car, not only displaying vital information such as the speedo, but also looking after the infotainment and displaying images from the nine cameras (eight exterior, one trained on the occupants).
It also controls a whole bunch of things that would traditionally be left to buttons and dials in cars that aren’t Teslas. Want to activate the windscreen wipers? Delve into the screen. Want to open the glovebox or bonnet or program the sat-nav? Yep, it’s the screen again. You can even play arcade games or watch Netflix when the car is parked. Tesla’s iconic screen promises to only get smarter over time via over-the-air software updates.
Audiophiles will love the 13-speaker sound system, which has excellent clarity and punch. There are also dual wireless phone charging pads and four USB-C ports – handy for those long road trips.
The Tesla Model Y also gets trim that looks vaguely like leather, although it’s very obviously not (the car is vegan). All five seats and the steering wheel are heated and the front seats are electrically adjusted. There’s also a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloy wheels with plastic covers (the covers improve aerodynamics to increase the driving range).
One thing you won’t get is any way of charging the car. Tesla removed the portable charger from the list of standard kit, so you’ll either have to buy one ($550) or have a wallbox installed at home (upwards of $1,000).