Compared to other SUVs on the market, the Tesla Model X looks and acts like it’s from outer space.
Hitting 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds is a feat once reserved for megabuck supercars. Add in jaw-dropping, out-of-this-world Falcon Wing doors that rise like Icarus heading for the sun plus enough technology to satisfy even the most fussy of gadgetphiles and you have a machine that truly seems like its landed here from the future.
Any machine defined by its extremes is sure to draw polarizing reactions and no vehicle embodies this more than the Model X. Simultaneously displaying warp speed thrust and, at times, mind-boggling complexity, there are very clear Tesla Model X pros and cons. Check them out here:
2018 Tesla Model X Pros and Cons
Power: In P100D trim, the SUV deploys twin electric motors to push the Model X to 60 mph in a reported 2.9 seconds. It can zap a left-lane lollygagger in an instant, accelerating from 45 to 65mph in a scant 1.4 seconds. Combined horsepower numbers for the performance edition are hard to nail down but it is known that the front motor makes 259 horses and the rear produces 503 ponies, more than enough for this 5,381lb SUV to show its taillights to any number of high-dollar sports cars.
Technology: Tesla’s star centerpiece of the interior, its fabulous 17-inch touchscreen display is instantly intuitive to a generation of drivers ingrained in the swiping, pinching, and tapping of handheld tablets. Highly visible maps, jumbotron-style view for the backup camera, and boasting a 1920×1200 resolution, the Model X’s infotainment system is leagues better than anything else in today’s market.
Range: Barring a day of constant dragstrip launches, the Model X will eclipse the 250-mile barrier on a single charge, with the company advertising a 289-mile range as rated by the EPA. Tesla invested heavily in building Supercharger stations around the country, so many owners in urban areas never feel the dreaded range anxiety that used to be part-and-parcel of the electric car experience.
Style: Save for the Model X’s panoramic windshield, which makes the SUV look like it has a really high forehead, the rig looks fantastic as it does a great job of incorporating Tesla family design choices onto an SUV. The narrow headlamps give it the look of a suspicious cat, while the chrome spears serving as door handles would look at home on a hyper-luxury sedan. The rear passenger Falcon Wing doors are simultaneously completely unnecessary and completely fabulous.
ALSO SEE: 2018 Tesla Model 3 Pros and Cons
Prestige: Whether one feels it is earned or not, the Tesla brand has curated a significant level of status, jockeying with Mercs and Jags for prime valet space in front of fancy hotels around the world. Wheeling a Model X around town announces a statement of “I’m rich, I’m an early adopter, and I’m saving the planet.” If that Model X is a P100D with Ludicrous Mode engaged, one can add “Now, get out of my way,” to that statement.
Value: It’s true the Model X packs in an impressive amount of technology, not the least of which the ability to travel nearly 300 miles in an SUV on a single charge of electricity. However, a check-all-the-boxes fully loaded P100D model can crest $150,000 including destination fees. Federal rebates do exist to offset some of that cost, but it is unclear how long those incentives will remain.
Form Over Function: There are several features of the Model X that are completely over-engineered simply in an effort to be cool or different. The jaw-dropping Falcon Wing doors are effortlessly cool but don’t really do anything practical beyond allowing access in a really tight space, something a sliding minivan door does equally well but without the theater. Optional second-row bucket seats look fantastic with their monopost design but cannot be folded to free up more cargo room after an especially productive trip to IKEA.
Reported Build Quality: Many corners of the internet are awash with reports of Model X quality problems one would find unacceptable on an entry-level economy car, let alone on a status symbol costing in excess of $100,000. Die-hard fans of the brand are more than happy to gloss over any quality issues, being far more forgiving than customers of traditional mass-market brands.
Company Future: As a company, Tesla regularly fails to post a quarterly profit, concerning in the automotive industry where profits are kinda important in order to stay afloat and make more cars. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, is quite adept at raising capital in unique ways (Tesla flamethrower, anyone?) but Tesla itself has generally had a hard time adding scratch to its balance sheet by selling cars. Musk has been quoted this year saying he fully expects the company to be “profitable and cash flow positive” by the end of this year.