Hybrids & Electrics

2020 Tesla Model Y – Should You Buy the Long Range or Performance Model?

The 2020 Tesla Model Y dual-motor electric vehicle is available in a Long Range or Performance trim that includes a Performance Upgrade Package (PUP). Both versions of the Model Y offer a similar EPA-estimated range of 315 miles, have almost identical interiors, and provide the same handling and maneuvering capabilities.

With so many similarities, it’s hard to identify the differences to determine which trim level is a better value. Let’s take a look at the PUP to determine if the bigger price tag is warranted.

The 2020 Tesla Model Y

The 2020 Tesla Model Y is an all-electric compact SUV crossover vehicle that can accommodate seven passengers with an option for third-row seating. This is the first Tesla electric vehicle entering into the compact luxury SUV segment.

It’s intended to compete with the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC, and it’s priced lower than its gas-powered rivals such as the BMW X3 M and Porsche Macan. Industry experts anticipate that BMW, Ford, and Volvo will soon launch their own electric SUV to remain competitive with Tesla.

The advanced “Autopilot” semi-autonomous driving system is standard on the 2020 Model Y. Advanced safety features include automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Similar to the previous Model 3 sedan, the simple interior relies primarily on the infotainment system. The speedometer, climate control, sound system, and entertainment functions are all housed in this dashboard console.

There are no Falcon Wing doors on the Tesla Model Y, but a tinted all-glass roof is still present to provide a panoramic view. The integrated dashcam and huge amount of features make this new crossover SUV a breath of fresh air in the segment.

Long Range vs. Performance

RELATED: Edmunds: Acceleration in the Tesla Model Y Is ‘Bonkers’

The Long Range trim is the entry-level model for the Tesla Model Y. There are two motors in the front and rear that combine to output 384 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Capable of going 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, the Long Range can run for approximately 316 miles. Access to the extensive Supercharger charging network makes it easy for drivers to go long distances in this electric vehicle. The Model Y Long Range has a starting MSRP of $54,190.

The Performance trim introduces a new spoiler, makes some tuning adjustments, and has a rear motor swap to give off an impressive 456 hp and 497 lb-ft of torque. The EPA-estimated range only decreases by one mile, to provide for 315 miles of run time. The included PUP offers a lowered suspension, 21-inch wheels, high-performance tires, and upgraded brakes. The Model Y with the PUP has a starting price of $62,190.

Which model offers more value?

Both vehicles are similar in their handling, but the PUP allows for more horsepower and can go from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. MotorTrend took both vehicles on a road test and found an interesting observation:

“The starkest difference between the two Model Ys is in ride quality: Although both ride surprisingly stiff, the lowered Model Y PUP is the slightly harsher of the two.”

Both trim levels offer the same interior features, with identical color schemes and passenger accommodations. When looking at the best value, the Model Y Long Range has a more competitive price, costing $8,000 less than the Model Y PUP. When comparing the two vehicles, the Long Range appears to be the better choice.

Edmunds reported that a Standard Range option of the Tesla Model Y will become available in 2021, with a price tag of approximately $40,000. The capabilities will be lower with less power and a reduced drive range, but the cost savings will be substantial.