Roadshow: It’s “Unacceptable” That Tesla Charges Money for the Tesla Model Y

Is the Tesla Model Y a good car? That’s what people want to know. It’s obviously a very famous and noteworthy SUV, full of the latest technology and known for its semi-autonomous driving system. Still, the Model Y is far from perfect, as CNET’s Roadshow recently discovered. Here’s what they think of the 2021 Tesla Model Y, and why you shouldn’t even consider buying one.

The 2021 Tesla Model Y on the road
2021 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Is the Tesla Model Y a good SUV?

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According to Roadshow, the Tesla Model Y is not a good SUV. Roadshow bought the Model Y so they could test it over a period of months, and they found it to be severely lacking. In fact, Roadshow says that it’s “unacceptable” that Tesla even charges money for the Model Y, which shows just how far the people at Roadshow think that Tesla has to go before releasing something like the Model Y.

The Model Y is the SUV version of the Model 3. Together, they are Tesla’s cheapest vehicles, but that doesn’t mean you should spend your hard-earned money on one. The infotainment controls are all hidden together on one screen, making it difficult to find what you need when you need it. Roadshow’s reviewer writes, “Frankly I’m surprised Tesla hasn’t buried the seat and window controls in there, too.”

Roadshow was pleased with the range on the Tesla Model Y Long Range, which gets up to 330 miles on a single charge. Roadshow was also pleased with its quickness. The Model Y can go from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds, but Roadshow says that “feels like an understatement.” The Model Y has 76 cubic feet of storage space.

Tesla Auatopilot is less-than-stellar

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The Tesla Autopilot feature seemed to be Roadshow’s biggest complaint. Although “Autopilot” sounds like a self-driving feature, Autopilot is actually a semi-autonomous driving system that includes Tesla’s safety features. This includes its automatic braking, which relies on a camera-based system to determine when there are obstacles in the road. Tesla used to use radar sensors to measure the distance between Teslas and other objects, but they ditched that earlier in 2021. The Model Y that Roadshow tested is only equipped with the camera-based system.

Phantom braking proved to be a major problem in this particular Model Y. The Model Y brakes on its own whenever it believes there to be something in the way, only it is braking when there is nothing there. It isn’t an occasional problem, either; Roadshow said that it happens frequently, much more than on other cars. Roadshow writes, “This is a massive problem. It happens on both the highway and on secondary roads, any time the cruise control is engaged even without Autosteer. It means the car’s cruise control is patently unsafe, which means the entirety of Autopilot is unsafe. And that means the car itself is unsafe.”

How much does a Tesla Model Y cost?

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Roadshow paid $67,490 for the 2021 Tesla Model Y that they own. That price includes a $1,200 delivery fee, $1,000 for the Deep Metallic Blue paint color they chose, $1,000 for a vegan white interior, and $1,000 for a hidden tow hitch. That Tesla Model Y price also includes $10,000 for Full Self-Driving. Roadshow says it does not believe that Full Self-Driving will ever be real, or at least during the 24 months that it will be leasing the Model Y.

It’s worth noting that Roadshow purchased the white interior to get a sense of how well it would hold up, and the reviewer was not impressed. Not only did coloring from jeans and a seat cover leave marks, but he described it as “rubbery,” and said that the unventilated seats are a disappointment in such an expensive SUV.

Overall, while the Model Y has a lot of potential, it isn’t quite ready to be something you spend your money on – and especially not nearly $70,000. Perhaps as Tesla fine-tunes its issues, most importantly Autopilot, the Model Y will be the SUV that it promises to be.

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