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First Drive: Tesla Model X

With standard all-wheel drive and up to 542 km of NEDC range on a single charge, Model X fits an active lifestyle and includes ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear.

According to Tesla the Model X is the safest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history writes Geraldine Herbert

 

What is it? The Model X from Tesla is an all-wheel drive, all-electric SUV with seating for up to 7 that will just about keep pace with a Ferrari.

 

First impressions of the new Model X? With “falcon-wing” doors that open upwards and a windshield that sweeps from the front over the driver’s head and down to the rear this is about as futuristic as family motoring gets.

 

What about the interior?  Inside the clean lines and over all simplicity enhance that almost space age quality of the Model X but look a little closer and the fittings don’t quite reflect the high price tag. The hand-crafted and exquisitely tailored interior expected of a car with a price tag more than 100k is starkly absent.

Similar to the Model S a 17-inch touch screen in the centre console allows you to control virtually everything from the satnav to the steering feel and suspension so it eliminates the need for any buttons. Throughout it is spacious and can be ordered in five, six and seven-seat configuration. The high seating position allows for great all round visibility but rear visibility is not a selling point; thankfully the rear view camera more than compensates.

The rear “falcon-wing” doors that open up instead of out were apparently inspired by Tesla Owner Elon Musk’s struggle to get his twins into infant cars seats.  They not only look funky but are equipped with smart sensors that can sense when the owner is approaching and open on their own and even if you park in a tight spot they can automatically work out the right angle to open safely.  As a result access to the rear seats is simple and could easily be achieved with an armful of shopping or kids.

Model X is incredibly fast, accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in as quickly as 3.1 seconds.

How fast? That depends on which version you drive as it comes in a range of power outputs but none of them will leave you feeling short changed. The range starts with the 75d that comes with a range of 418 km. The top of the range p100d has a range of 542 and in “ludicrous mode,” will sprint from 0 to 100 in a neck-snapping 3.1 seconds.

 

Tesla Model X on the road? On the road the Model X feels more like a very fast MPV than a sporty SUV. The ride is harsh and there is quite a bit of road noise.  The steering is numb but accurate and it’s not a car you will yearn to take on a back road. But the intoxicating acceleration and sophisticated technology means these gripes will be quickly overlooked. And if you’re towing a horse box, small boats, jet skis or other toys, the Model X is the first electric vehicle with a 5,000 lb. towing capacity.

 

How much? Such performance and sophistication doesn’t come cheap so you’ll need upwards of €110k to get your hands on a Tesla Model X. plus Tesla reckon it will cost about €5-€7 on night-time electricity for a full charge.

 

What do I get as standard? Standard equipment in the Model X is good and includes a four-year 80,000km warranty and access to Tesla’s supercharge network. But the intriguing options list while expensive could prove very tempting and offers extras such as enhanced autopilot, premium sound and the chance of “medical grade air quality” – an air filtration system that will protect customers from a biological attack with a “bioweapon defence mode”.

 

How do I charge it? The Model X can charge from a standard plug socket but this is not recommended as it would take a full day so a specific home charger available from Tesla at a cost of around €1,000 including installation is the best option. There are also superfast chargers that can give you a half charge in 20 minutes, or an 80 per cent charge in 40 minutes. Only one is available currently, at Ballacolla Service Station at Junction 3 on the M8 but more superchargers are on the way.  Slower “destination” chargers are available at 10 locations across the country including hotels to facilitate overnight charging.

 

How safe? The Model X is yet to be crash tested by Euro NCAP but  the 12 airbags as standard, with head and knee airbags in the front, two side curtain airbags, four seat-mounted side airbags and two door-mounted airbags along with host of active safety features are there to give you peace of mind and keep you safe on the road.

 

3 words to describe the Tesla Model X?  Innovative; Sophisticated; Impressive

 

For more information check out  Tesla.com the Tesla facebook page, or follow them on twitter

 

Geraldine Herbert

17th May, 2017

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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