BEHIND THE WHEEL: Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel
MONDAY JANUARY 30, 2023
Opening the Nissan GTR’s door handle unveils an airy, minimalist cabin. Side mirror controls and steering position adjustments are done using the screen together with buttons on the steering is definitely unusual. Not something to complain about because it is just another way of doing things. Truth is, these settings are done once and we’ll stick to it so there’s really no need to have controls littered all over the place.
That’s no bad thing either because it’s got a fast processor and graphics are well laid-out and beautiful. Everything from autonomous driving displays to air-conditioning controls is done here. The screen is packed with features, I am good with technology yet some time is needed to wrap my head around this interface. Baby boomers will suffer from information overload, maybe they won’t because functions that matter are placed at the bottom of the screen so there’s nothing to fear.
50 kwh lithium ion battery price
1 speed automatic
0-100 km/h: 6.9s
Top speed: 217 km/h
What’s really unusual is once you get going and letting go of the throttle, regenerative braking. It is so aggressive that it feels like the car is applying the brake pedal on its own. So it was pretty counterintuitive the first 20 minutes of my drive where I needed to recalibrate my driving style. I guess this is what the one pedal driving technique that electric car owners have always been talking about. With the most unexpected characteristic out of the way, everything else is very much like a car we are used to.
The steering on this rear-wheel drive model is small and accurate despite standing at 162 cm tall. There’s fun while attacking junctions although it weighs in at nearly 2000 kilograms. Brakes feel reassuring and are adequate for a car in its class however hard braking will make the Y squirm. Since electric cars do not have an engine or exhausts, wind and road noise will be more apparent but those have been kept at a minimum in spite of having a massive glass roof that amplifies sound.
The low noise cabin combined with 13 speakers and a subwoofer presents a high fidelity grade sound system. Audiophiles will not be let down by this in-house Tesla sound system which has tight, controlled bass while highs only goes bright after 70% volume. Compared to the B&O system in my car, both are certainly in the same league but I will need to play lossless files in both cars before I decide on who’s better.
Ride too is above average for suburban drives and on the freeway, the cabin is quiet thanks to dual glazing front windows. Those two combinations make long trips much more pleasant even with 20” Induction Wheels. If you don’t mind the looks, save some money with the smaller standard rims and on tyres later when they need replacing. I too will stick for the standard white paint and black interior as it should be on a base model like this one.
Power is just adequate, enough for normal driving and not something to scare anyone with all that instant electric torque. That said, traction control does come on even on the straights when conditions are damped. After all, this is the rear-wheel drive version, it is better to be safe than sorry. That aside, sport mode is nowhere to be found because that is only available in the Performance model.
It is little wonder why Tesla is regarded as the Apple of smartphones. The surroundings are constantly being monitored by the car. It shows when you drive a little too close to the curb, alert comes on when you’re over the speed limit and even bins on the nature strip show up on its radar. With the ten thousand dollars full self-driving option, the car will obviously drive itself and tell you when the traffic light turns green.
From the negatives I heard, the only one that stands is the speedometer being on the smaller side tucked on the right corner of the screen. It’d be better to have a head up display or hidden behind the beautiful wood trim in front of the driver. Another downsides like rattling was not heard during my time in the Model Y while build quality stands somewhat true with stitching on the doors certainly look unflattering.
Having finally driven a Tesla, it is easy to understand why they have beaten automobile giants. The automation, standard features and all things considered, good value. Basically giving the people what they want at the same time cutting out the middleman. Tesla cars take driving fatigue out of the equation and when you feel like enjoying the pleasures of driving, it still delivers. I am all for the crescendos of petrol engines and if petrolheads aren’t appreciated by car manufacturers, I don’t see why we should save them.