Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla Model Y: How Much Cargo Space Does It Have in the Real World?

The Tesla Model Y is the upstart automaker’s new electric midsize SUV. It’s built on the same platform as the popular Model 3. Tesla began delivering Model Y vehicles to customers in March 2020.

The smaller sibling of the Model X is entering a growing field of electric SUVs, including the Audi e-tron, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Jaguar I-Pace. But it’s so new that it’s hard to tell how it’ll perform in real-world situations. One area that we’re wondering about is its cargo space. How much stuff can you actually fit into the Tesla Model Y’s cargo area?

The Model Y’s specs and special features

At the time of this writing, the Tesla Model Y is available in two versions: the Long Range and the Performance. Both models are powered by dual-motor all-wheel drive. Production on the Standard Range model will begin in early 2021.

Tesla estimates that the Long Range has a range of 316 miles and a top speed of 135 mph. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The price for this model is $48,690.

The Performance model’s range is 315 miles and its maximum speed is 145 mph. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. This version will set buyers back $56,690. For $4,300 more, buyers can get an upgrade that includes an increased speed of 155 mph, 21-inch “wind turbine” wheels, performance brakes, a lowered suspension, and aluminum alloy pedals. The added speed from this upgrade offsets the Performance model’s estimated range, which Tesla says is 280 miles.

Both models are configured to seat five passengers. A seven-seat layout is also available for $3,000.

Buyers can also choose options that Tesla has recently added, according to Jameson Dow of Electrek.co. These include a tow hitch option and a roof rack accessory. Both allow Model Y owners more options for carrying even more cargo.

The tow hitch option is classified as a Class II hitch that has a 3,500-pound towing capacity and a tongue weight of 350 pounds. Dow thinks that the receiver size will be 1-1/4 inches. This option is priced at $1,000. 

Tesla’s roof rack accessory promises to add even more carrying capacity to the Model Y. While there is no information about retrofitting the rack onto Model Ys that have already been delivered, current buyers can order one to be installed prior to delivery. This accessory costs $450.

How much cargo space does Tesla say the Model Y has?

With the rear seats completely folded down flat, Tesla states that the new Model Y offers a maximum of 68 cubic feet of cargo space in the five-seat configuration. By comparison, the Model 3 yields only 15 cubic feet. Considering that the Model Y shares its platform and many of its parts with the Model 3, this amount is impressive.

To date, Tesla hasn’t released information about cargo space with the seats up in the five-seat configuration. Nor has Tesla communicated any information about the size of the Model Y’s frunk. The amount of cargo space in the seven-seat configuration isn’t available, either.

How much can the Model Y carry in the real world?

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The Tesla Model Y’s 68 cubic feet of cargo space may not sound like much when compared to the 2020 Honda Passport‘s almost 101 cubic feet when its seats are folded flat, but then again, the Passport doesn’t have a frunk.

How does the Model Y’s cargo volume measure up in the real world? YouTuber nickboards demonstrates what the Model Y’s cargo area can hold in several real-world situations. 

The first situation involves four rather tall dining room chairs, which nickboards was able to load successfully into the Tesla SUV. Next, he tried to load a tabletop that is 48 inches in diameter in the cargo area that measures 37.5 inches from lower well to well. This item did not quite fit.

A stack of three van-size snow tires did not fit completely into the Model Y so nickboards was unable to close the lid of the hatch. He tried to shove two tires in the rear seat while leaving two other tires in the back, but that didn’t work, either. Finally, he removed the cover for the rear cargo space, which enabled him to fit the tires at the right angle.

He showed that a cartful of groceries easily fit into the back of the Tesla. The SUV could also hold a six-foot ladder and two sawhorses without a problem. The YouTuber also succeeded in loading a drill kit and his Great Dane into the Model Y. He tested further with two Great Danes and several tool bags, and the dogs still had plenty of room.

A trip to the hardware store proved that nickboards was able to get a sheet of 3×5-foot cement board into the Model Y, although a 4×8 sheet of plywood wouldn’t fit. In addition to the cement board he was also able to fit quite a few additional building supplies.

YouTuber nickboards was able to prove that the Model Y’s cargo area was more than adequate for carrying bulky furniture, tires, groceries, large pets, and hardware supplies. The only drawback he noted was that the rear seat design sets up the passenger safety belt line regardless of the kind of cargo he carries. But that was remedied with a simple tap to the Model Y’s screen. 

So, as nickboards shows, the 2020 Tesla Model Y‘s cargo space works well in the real world. It can readily handle most items drivers need to carry on their everyday errands.