The 2021 Tesla Model X belongs to the midsize all-electric crossover segment—one of the fastest-growing automotive segments today. A set of rear passenger falcon-wing doors is a characteristic that definitely sets it apart from other crossovers. But there is a lot more to this unique crossover that makes it special. Developed from the Model S platform, it shares around 30 percent of the sedans content while only weighing 10 percent more. As of January 2019, the Tesla Model X no longer features the 75D with the 100D becoming the new base model.
For 2021, Tesla has swapped the 100D and P100D names for Long Range and Plaid, though the same design principles apply. The question many people have is whether the hefty price tag is worth it.
What the 2021 Tesla Model X offers
If you’re in the market for a brand new midsize luxury SUV, this might be a great year to make a shift toward an EV. But Teslas aren’t for everyone—it seems like people either hate it or love it. With that said, it’s important to understand that even the haters give Elon Musk and his team a lot of credit for being the primary driving force behind the growing EV revolution. According to MotorTrend, the Tesla Model X has dominated the electric crossover SUV segment since 2016.
One thing to consider is that the Model X doesn’t necessarily offer much more than the Model S besides two extra seats. Nonetheless, for a large all-electric SUV, it tends to be far more compelling than other up and comers. Reviewers constantly praise it for not only having awesome power but its ride quality. It offers drivers near-perfect handling at higher speeds than any other midsize SUV in its class.
Both the 2021 Tesla Model X Long Range and Model X Plaid are AWD. However, the Plaid is powered by a Tri-Motor while the Long Range has a Dual Motor setup. That Tri-Motor allows the Plaid to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and is 1,050 hp. The Long Range has almost half that horsepower with 670 hp. It’s safe to say that 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds isn’t all too shabby either. As the name suggests, the Long Range has the farthest range of 360 miles; the Plaid isn’t far behind with an estimated range of 340 miles.
Tesla is all about fluid dynamics in vehicle design which results in an ultra-low drag coefficient, also known as drag force. Its sleek aerodynamic body design and high-performance wheels and tires improve its ride quality. Its wide stance also contributes to lower rolling resistance. In other words, let all those other SUVs eat your highway dust (without the fumes, of course).
The Tesla Model X kills in terms of range and power
In terms of range, you can find some threatening contenders fresh on the scene for 2021, but they’re still hard-pressed to out-range the Model X Plaid. And of the two, it’s not even the long-distance runner. The Model X Long Range kills the competition all the way around.
According to U.S. News, out of the 14 all-electric vehicles listed as having the best range, Teslas made the top four spots. The 2020 Model S was No. 1 with an estimated EPA of 401 miles on a single charge. At No. 2 you have the 2020 Tesla Model X with an estimated EPA of 351 miles.
It goes without saying the sedan should have a longer range than an SUV.
The Model X is a powerhouse as well. In May 2018, the Tesla Model X made it into the Guinness World Record for pulling the heaviest tow by a production electric passenger vehicle. As reported by CNN Business, it towed a Boeing 787-9 weighing around 287,000 pounds nearly 1,000 feet. The event took place at Melbourne Airport in Australia and was meant to demonstrate the practicality of electric powertrains, as well as the potential power of electric vehicles.
There are some drawbacks to the Model X
Newcomers to the world of Tesla may find some drawbacks associated with the Model X. For example, the overall minimalist interior design throughout the Tesla line can take getting used to. The falcon-wing doors seem more gimmick than practical; they make mounting a roof rack pointless and are unable to sense an overhang before banging shut on an obstruction, among other things.
Both the Telsa Model S and Model X got in trouble with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for having faulty touchscreens. It’s the little things that have added up over time and led to the Model X earning a poor reliability rating.
Reviewers have also complained about the mono-post seats and limited space in the third row, things that limit interior functionality. To add to buyers’ frustrations, Tesla refuses to match the build standards or the dealership experience provided by traditional luxury marques. However, with such a cult following, the Model X must offer owners enough for them to overlook its flaws.
So, how much does this vehicle cost? The Long Range Model X starts at $89,990, and the Plaid model starts at $119,990.
When it comes to paying nearly $90,000 for the Long Range and nearly $120,000 for the Plaid, higher-quality options do exist. If it’s about the power, the range, and the novelty of owning a Tesla, then who is to say people wouldn’t pay $500,000? At the end of the day, how people perceive vehicle value is almost as subjective as to how they value designer clothing brands.