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Small SUVs run the world. The small SUV segment is the most popular vehicle segment on the planet, thanks to nameplates like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Japanese automakers have produced some of the most popular SUV models in history. However, one SUV is outselling the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. It’s an American model that some drivers love to hate, the Tesla Model Y.

A controversial American SUV is outselling its competitors

A red 2023 Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

The Tesla Model Y is currently outselling the Toyota RAV4. Yup, you read that right. Tesla’s small electric SUV is the most popular vehicle in the world at the moment, beating out the more affordable RAV4 for the top spot. How could this be? How could an electric vehicle outsell one of the most popular internal combustion engine vehicles of all time?

The Toyota RAV4 was once the undisputed king of small SUVs. It seemed like no small SUV could dethrone the RAV4. Toyota’s small SUV outsold rivals by leaps and bounds year after year until now.

Why is the Tesla Model Y outselling the Toyota RAV4?

A gray 2023 Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is parked near the water.
The 2023 Model Y electric crossover | Tesla

The Tesla Model Y isn’t an overnight success. Its global domination is well documented. Tesla began production on the Model Y in Fremont, California in 2020. Just three years later, the Model Y has become an international sensation. A big part of the Model Y’s success has to do with its performance specs.

Tesla’s first-ever vehicle was the Roadster. The Tesla Roadster was an electric sports car. Tesla’s electric vehicles have become more affordable and mainstream over the years. The Model 3 and Y are accessible to most drivers, while the Model S and X appeal to more affluent consumers.

The Model Y Performance goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. Additionally, it has 303 miles of driving range. The Model Y Performance has a top speed of 155 miles per hour, making Tesla’s small electric SUV extremely quick. The availability and affordability of its base model are attracting thousands of drivers.

The 2023 Tesla Model Y starts at $47,740. It can go from 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.0 seconds. The small electric SUV has 269 miles of driving range. After the federal electric vehicle tax incentive of $7,500, its starting price is closer to $40,240. The popular electric crossover provides incredible value for the money and a unique driving experience that’s practically unparalleled.

Why do some drivers hate the best new SUV?

A gray 2023 Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is parked near water.
The 2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

The Tesla Model Y may be getting love from consumers, but it has plenty of critics. Part of the reason why the small electric SUV is so hated is because of reliability issues. Several Tesla vehicles have experienced severe problems, from overheating to immobility. Many battery-electric vehicles have faced similar issues because of their unique powertrain systems.

Drivers also hate the Model Y and other Tesla vehicles because of the brand’s misleading autopilot claims. Tesla vehicles require the attention of drivers at all times during operation, despite advanced cruise control with stop-and-go features.


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