Model Y Delivery and First Impressions

June 2020. California.

In March of 2019 we reserved a long range dual-motor Model Y with standard wheels in midnight silver. Yesterday we went to our local Tesla Service/Sales Center to pick it up. We had been scheduled to pick up our car back at the end of March 2020, but at the last moment delivery was understandably delayed by the pandemic. Three months later we got our car on the summer solstice.

We were informed that delivery would be contact-less, and it was for the most part. The Service/Sales center was very busy. We arrived on time for our appointment and waited about 30 minutes to hand over a bank check and then we got to check out our car.

Checking out the new Model Y.

I had to accept delivery of the car on my phone before I could unlock the car, to go over everything inside and out to make sure build quality was good.

Happy to be in the new car and on our way home.

Build Quality is Good: That accomplished I opened the car and went over all surfaces inside and out. I looked over the quality of the paint job, trim, doors, frunk, rear hatch, storage spaces, seats, console, and glove compartment. All looked good except one piece of trim covering the attachment of the driver’s side sun visor was loose. I was able to click that in place and it feels secure. The build quality of our Model Y appears to be very good (VIN in the 9000’s).

The rear storage space in the Model Y is going to meet our needs for weekly chores and family trips.

The Model Y will be very, very familiar to anyone who has driven the Model 3. We’ve been driving a Model 3 for 2 years so here are a few comparisons worth mentioning.

Model Y front trunk is deeper compared to the Model 3. A carry-on luggage fits easily in the Model Y frunk, but is a tight squeeze in our Model 3. (Model 3 on the left; Model Y on the right).

Model Y Compared to the Model 3:

  • The driving position in the Model Y is nice, we like it. It’s higher than in the Model 3, so getting in and out of the front seats will be easier on my knees.
  • The driver seat is not the same as in our 2018 Model 3. The Model Y driver seat has side supports that make the back of the seat feel slightly more narrow.
  • The space where the driver places his or her feet is flat in the Model Y, it does not have a depression under the pedals like in the Model 3.
  • The wireless charging mat for phones is nice. There is one additional USB port up front that we’ll use for Sentry Mode.
  • USB-C plugs on the rear of the center console: I’ll have to buy USB-C / USB adapters for charging my extra devices or my kids‘ devices when we’re on the road.
  • The Model Y has a single piece of glass that extends from the sun visor in the front, over the rear seats and back to the hatch (the Model 3 glass roof has two pieces that extend from sun visor to the rear trunk).
  • Sun visors click in to place with magnets.
  • Frunk is deeper in the Model Y than the Model 3, easily holds one carry-on luggage, but does not have the grocery bags hooks that the Model 3 has.
  • Rear hatch is HUGE (compared to our Model 3 trunk).
  • Rear view out the back window is much, much smaller than in the Model 3.

First Drive: Yesterday we tested out our Model Y on a 180 mile day trip to the California coast. This was a good trip to get the kids (and ourselves) out of our current routine. The trip was 90 miles one way, 75 miles on major highways, 15 miles through towns and along Route 1. The Model Y drives smooth, powerful, and quiet. The car feels solid, we really like it. Seats are comfortable. Controls all the same as in the Model 3. The storage space in the back is big: it will be large enough for our family’s needs.

A drive out to California’s coast was a great way to cool off and test out the new Model Y.

Model Y Rated Range: Tesla advertises an estimated range of 316 miles and my first impression is that’s a slight overestimate for the average driver. In general I drive slow and keep to the right lane. On this trip of 180 miles I averaged 240 Wh/Mile, which is about rated-range – but again let me point out that was with me driving slowly. I started with 90% SOC (283 miles), drove 180 miles and returned home with 96 miles of rated range in the pack.

We’ve done this same trip several times in our Model 3 (long range RWD). Same route, same weather, same driver and I always get a good bit more than rated range in our Model 3. This makes me think the average driver may not get 316 miles of range in the long-range AWD Model Y. And this shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, it’s a larger car, has larger wheels. Of course this was our first trip. My wife uses the Model Y as a daily driver, is closer to the average driver than I am, and she gets about 280 Wh/Mile. We’ll see how things go over time, and of course YMMV. But, I’ve been driving a Model 3 for two years, and based on that I’d guess around 275-280 miles for the Model Y is a realistic range estimate for the average person.

That said, the range of the Model Y will meet our needs. In two years of driving the Model 3 the longest we have driven between charging sessions was 235 miles. Moreover, on a recent 2700 mile road trip I averaged 150 miles between Supercharger stops. So 280 miles – if that ends up being real world range – will more than meet our needs for daily life, weekend day trips, and on long road trips using Tesla Superchargers.

Our first outing in the new Model Y: a 180 mile day trip to the Pacific Ocean is no problem for the Model Y.

Summary: Delivery process was fairly quick. Build quality is good. The car drives smooth and feels solid. If we end up getting 3.5 miles per kWh (280 Wh/mile), we will be cutting our carbon footprint. The Model Y is replacing our 7 year old Rav4 EV, which was getting just over 3 miles per kWh, so the Model Y is slightly more efficient on that front. In conclusion, we are happy with our Model Y.