Smooth ride, but those hideous wheels!

One of the first customer test drives of the Tesla Model Y has emerged online, giving a chance for members of the EV enthusiasts’ group to get answers to their questions about newest Tesla electric car model in Australia.

Nelson Tran, of Melbourne, took to the Tesla Model 3 & Y Facebook group on Saturday to share images and his experience after test driving the electric crossover.

“I was the first customer to test drive it with this base Y RWD, only having 27kms by the time I hopped in,” he said in his post.

“Autopilot was still calibrating! Overall, a solid test drive experience and I’m glad I have the Aug – Nov EDD!”

The Model Y became available to order in Australia on Friday, June 10. Initially, first customers ordering the RWD variant were slotted in a delivery window of August to November, and Performance customers were only told “late 2022”.

By Sunday, delivery time slots for both the RWD and Performance variant had been pushed back into February-May 2023 and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the EV maker would ramp up production to meet demand.

Now, the first customers are getting their chance to test drive the vehicles they ordered, many without even having seen the vehicle first.

Model Y acceleration

Initial questions from group members were regarding the substantially slower acceleration of the Model Y. In the RWD format, it can accelerate from 0 to 100km/hr in 6.9 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds slower than the 2022 RWD Model 3, and 1.3 seconds slower than the 2021 Standard Range Plus Model 3.

Tran says the Model Y’s acceleration was “slightly noticeable when comparing to the Model 3 RWD. Even bigger for the M3 SR+ (but we won’t talk about the LR or P, it’s obvious).”

But, he says it’s not a deal breaker. “Personally I don’t mind the 6.9s 0-100,” he said. “Much faster than the car I’m upgrading from.”

Model Y ride quality

Others wanted to know about the ride quality.

“Notice any vibration or rattles?” asked one group member.

“Not at all,” said Tran. “Build quality coming out of Shanghai is honestly solid and they’re only getting better.”

But, he said: “The center (sic) console already had a noticeable hairline scratch so it’s something that bugged me for a car that was basically brand new.”

“What was the ride like compared to the SR+/RWD? Firm? OK?” asked another.

“If by firmer you mean Model 3 Performance, then definitely not,” said Tran. “Smoother than the SR+/RWD and I personally (prefer) smoother driving,” he said.

To another similar question, he said: “Personally I’d say it was smoother. However, take it with a grain of salt as I don’t actually own any Teslas but have rather test driven the M3 SR+, RWD, LR and P.

“Ride quality is amazing on the Y – very good for the elderly and anyone else who wants a smooth ride.”

With regards to stability on turns, Tran said: “I’d say it’s slightly worse than the 3 due to its size and CoG (centre of gravity) being slightly higher, it just felt a little different.”

“How’s the turning circle? The 3 SR+ isn’t very good in that department,” asked yet another group member.

“I’d say it’s slightly worse than the 3 due to its size and CoG being slightly higher, it just felt a little different,” said Tran. “If the 3 SR+ to you isn’t great then I don’t think you’ll like it any better in the Y.”

Model Y road noise and double glazing

These two might sound odd to group together but are in fact related. The Model Y has double-glazed side windows, which apparently helps a lot with reducing noise from the road.

“How’s the road/tire noise inside the cabin..?” asked another group member. “I find the 18″ Michelin auto sports EVs tires on my 2020M3 SR+ a bit noisy on the motorways worse when it’s raining.”

Another member who owns a Model 3 chimed in: “Smooth sound. No much road noise. Yes I have m3sr and it can (have) very noisy road noise.”

“The double-paned glass helps tremendously. I couldn’t hear much of the outside and when comparing to the 3, it’s miles ahead.”

Another wanted to know whether the massive panoramic roof would impact the temperature inside the car.

“Hope the aircon is good. Does the glass roof cut out any UV rays or am I going to get sunburn?” they asked.

“You’ll be good! The glass roof comes pre-tinted from the factory and will block the UV rays,” said Tran.

Other Model Y questions

Other members wanted to know more about driving range, and what it was like to get in and out of.

Another group member who had also taken the Model Y for a test drive said: “Surpringly at 97% it showed 428km with 35km already driven.”

“I only trust the battery percentage. ,” said Tran. “Range fluctuates too much depending on your driving habits and especially because the car is so new. The Tesla is still learning.”

On getting in and out of the car, another member asked: “How much like an SUV/soccer mum car is it in terms of entry and seating? I don’t mind the 3 and stooping but I love my IX35 and just jumping in and riding high-ish?”

“Entry and egress definitely much better than 3 as its higher,” said another member who had seen the Model Y instore. “(I) checked it out in the shop specifically to test getting in and out.”

Those Model Y wheels

While there was definitely lots of things about the Model Y with which to be impressed, almost universally there was no love for those wheels.

“Those wheels are so ugly… why… the model 3 was so pretty, then we got these, why….I guess they want (people) to upgrade that’s why…” one commented.

My wife hates it,” said another. “Yes, it’s standard. Looks like I will have to gunpowder it.”

Hideous wheels,” said another. “It’s not only the bad look of the rims, but the wheels look way too small and disproportionate to the large body size of the Y. Need at least 20s on this.”

Another commented they would just remove the wheel covers. But be warned – when we saw the Model Y instore, a staff member warned this would reduce the vehicle’s driving range by 20-30 kilometres.

Note: The Driven editor Giles Parkinson will be writing about his three-day experience at the wheel of a Model Y later this week. Media reviews have been emargoed by Tesla until this Wednesday to ensure all had a chance to drive the EV.

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