A few weeks ago my wife and I took the opportunity of a short 30 minute test drive at the Glasgow Tesla Centre when the Model Y first started coming to the UK. We only had a little time so driving impressions are limited but there was a Model 3 and Model Y in the showroom to compare sizes to.
I’ll start with a sequencing apology; I’m yet to post about our visit to the Arnold Clark Innovation Centre which is where we had the test drive of the Model 3, and this is also after our week with the ID.3 so I’ve drawn a number of conclusions since that I didn’t have when we were out in the Model Y.
The crude timeline for reference was:
- Arnold Clark Innovation Centre – Model 3 Test Drive
- Tesla Glasgow – Model Y Test Drive
- Pulman VW – ID.3 Hire
The driving position for me was better than the Model 3 as I was able to get my seat level vs steering wheel set better. I don’t know if this was a higher steering wheel or lower seat. I didn’t notice a huge difference in driving feel on the road; it had a similar solid and slightly heavy feel to the steering. The urban environment of both drives limited the opportunity for higher speed cornering which gives an idea of how the chassis copes with the longer undulations of country roads.
I didn’t remember much of a difference in the ride; I quite like a “sporty” ride and was very happy with both the Model 3 and Model Y.
In terms of practicality it was a bit of a step up for my wife; we have quite a height difference and it was quite noticeable that the Model Y is a bit harder to get in than the Model 3 if you are short! In the showroom it looked like the Model Y would be a lot easier to use with younger children who are being carried – the hatchback also looked more practical for pushchairs etc, although the lack of a cover is till a puzzle.
Build quality wise it’s an interesting aspect of Tesla that they focus on efficiency and underlying technology; we both noticed that there wasn’t really a “clunk” for the tailgate or passenger doors – something the German manufacturers seem to bake in. My positive spin on this is that the weight saving will contribute to efficiency (hopefully).
So I was slightly conflicted; the Model Y was a more comfortable driving position for me but the engineer in me rebelled at the idea of all that extra space for the two of us now that our “kids” have grown up (I don’t like the waste implied by SUVs) but the Model 3 driving position is slightly off for me and I felt awkward with the price and performance of the Model 3 being too much.