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Buyer’s Guide: Used Model X vs new Model Y?

Used Xs start at around $50k whilst the LR AWD Y comes in at $52,990

Tesla’s latest vehicle to enter production, the Model Y, has received lots of positive feedback from its first few thousand owners and is already predicted to be a future best seller. But would you be better off getting a used Model X instead as your all-electric SUV? To help you decide we’ve compared the two in a number of different categories below.

Which ones we’re comparing: used Model Xs start at around the $50k mark for 2016-17 75ds – we’d recommend spending an extra $3-4K and opting for a used 90d instead however – you can expect another 30-40 miles of range and (slightly) improved performance. Don’t bother looking at 60ds – firstly they’re incredibly rare to find as they were only produced for a short period and secondly you won’t get more than 180 miles per charge in one. A used 90d it is. As for the Y, we reckon LR AWD is the spec to go for with a 316 mile EPA range and a starting price $8k cheaper than the Performance – because who needs to go from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds in a family crossover?! And the $39k SR Y isn’t arriving till 2021, so we’ve excluded it from this guide. So, for the purpose of this comparison we’ll be comparing a late 16’ 90d (just before they were discontinued) and a brand new, LR AWD Model Y.

Range: the first thing many think of when they hear the words ‘electric car’ – both the X and Y are strong here, but the Y still wins hands down with its 316 mile EPA range. The X managed 257 miles when new (EPA), but with degradation (for the purpose of this comparison our X has 50,000 miles on the odometer) we reckon that figure is closer to the 230-235 mark. 1-0 to the Model Y!

Performance: perhaps not the first thing many consider when looking for a family SUV, but since it’s Tesla we’re talking about we can’t evade mentioning 0-60 times and power outputs. This one is close, with both the LR Y and 90d X having a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. However, the X just edges it with a 155 mph top speed (versus 135 mph in the Y) and 417 bhp power output (versus the Ys 362). Although many consider this category to be irrelevant, it’s probably still worth noting. 1-1.

Practicality: moving on to a much more important category, which is better in terms of boot space and for daily use? Both the X and Y are available with 7 seats and have a lot of space, but the X edges it with 2,367 liters with the seats down to the Ys 1,869 liters. It’s important to note however in the 6 seat config the Xs middle row is fixed, leading to a significant decrease in boot space. Both have similarly sized frunks, with around 185 liters of space each. As for the Model X’s notorious rear Falcon Doors, they actually work surprisingly well – opening at varied angles depending on the space given. There’s no fear of them hitting the roof of a parking garage, although sometimes it can be difficult to clamor into the back when they only have the space to open halfway. Still, for everyday use, especially with large families, the Ys regular rear doors are much more practical. A point each for what can only be called a tie. 2-2. 

Reliability: difficult to compare, given the Y is just out and long-term reliability is unknown. However, Tesla took a lot of time to develop it and it does share a lot of parts with the (relatively) reliable Model 3, but it’s completely new internal wiring setup could potentially lead to issues. As for the X, there’s a lot to go wrong, but in general they’ve held up well – especially with the Falcon Doors, which have had surprisingly few issues despite the complicated engineering behind them. In another 5 or more years however, the electronics behind those doors could definitely start to act up – especially on earlier 16’ examples. It’s also important to note that the general warranties will soon start to expire on 16’ and 17’ Xs – if they haven’t already (the general warranty lasts 4 years or for 50,000 miles). The Y wins here! 3-2.

Cool factor: here’s something a little different – how ‘cool’ is each car is or how much does it turns heads. Initially the Y may win here, as it’s the latest Tesla everyone knows about but it still hasn’t reached full production and is something of a rarity. However, overall and long-term it has to be the X. Those futuristic looks and (obviously) the Falcon Doors are always likely to turn a lot more heads than a neat, but somewhat bland, Model Y. 3-3!

Bonus round: so a tie it is? Maybe not – because there’s one major advantage the used X has over the Y that we haven’t mentioned yet – FREE SUPERCHARGING! Yes, it all adds up and supercharging can be expensive. In fact upwards of $3,000 can be spent on supercharging per annum if you do a lot of highway miles between two locations with a Tesla Supercharger in between. That’s $15,000 over 5 years. 4-3 and the used 90d X takes it!

It’s important to note whilst we did factor in as much as we could for this comparison, the Y is still a great option for many. Both are fantastic EUVs (Electric SUVs) and feature great tech and interior spaces along with class leading performance and range. For us the X wins, and if you do want to go with our recommendation we reckon you should look for a post September 16’ 90d X, so it has FSD hardware, and one with under 50,000 miles – so you still have a few months left on the warranty. What do you think? Which would you pick? Let us know your thoughts in the replies section below.




2 thoughts on “Buyer’s Guide: Used Model X vs new Model Y? Leave a comment

  1. I would agree with all of your categories but in the end the increased time on warranty for the Y beats the free supercharging hands down. I would have liked to see you compare consoles as well, the dual screen vs one screen on the Y. I have had an S and 3 and I prefer the model 3&Y display over the X&S. The lag time on the dial screen with older processors is a tad annoying, but only if you’re used to the new stuff. Overall I would side with a new Y which is what I am getting for my family members because when it comes to cars, newer is always better. PLUS THE TAX REBATE is only on new models. Great article though.

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