As we all know, the emergence of electric cars hasn’t been the most welcomed thing. When we picture and EV, we think small and/or crappy or way more expensive and not much better than similar equipped options. That is, until Tesla showed their hand. The Roadster was Tesla’s first crack at electric vehicles and while it was cool, it fit into the small category. Fast forward a few years and Tesla drops the Model S. The Model S proved that EVs, can be reasonably sized and priced, and also run with Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Fast forward a few more years and Tesla gives us the Model X, which was destined to be something serious. Just off of the experience I had at a Tesla showroom at Lenox Square in Atlanta, the Model X was way more impressive than I previously thought.
Before I continue, while on my trip in Atlanta, I saw more Model S’s in two days, than I have since it has been on the market. It’s almost like they hand out Model S’s like goodie bags at a birthday party. Anyway…
When I walked into the Tesla showroom, the was the Model S at the front door. Right behind it was the Model X, which is a unicorn in all of my photographic adventures. The Model X was the centerpiece to the showroom, with its headlights on and the infamous Falcon wing doors up. It was definitely a fine piece of machinery and a technological marvel in my opinion.
The facts that I already knew were the 3.2 second zero to sixty time, the capacity for three rows of seating and of course the falcon wing doors. Still, the Model X was very mystical to me. Why was the Model X, so hyped up? What made this vehicle more special than an Explorer or a Enclave? I mean, the “EV” side of things was a given, but seriously what was all of the hype about? The pictures on the web aren’t of its good side and the only really cool feature (that I knew of beforehand), was the gullwing style rear doors. I was about to learn what made the Model X so special.
First of all, the Model X is more of a looker in person. There isn’t a lot of overly done body lines and not a lot of chrome, which is redeeming. It looks somewhat athletic but not overdone. It was appealing enough to be a looker but not overly rakish and it doesn’t follow a similar design like most new crossovers do. The outside can only be explained with a few words. It is the inside, where the magic happens.
The interior of the Model X, greets you with a clean but minimalistic appearance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. the phrase “less is more” definitely applies to the Model X. You still know that you are in a $80,000 plus vehicle (this one was the P90D which was closer to $125K), without being overwhelmed by an onslaught of buttons and switches. You are meet by a massive touch screen which controls the entire vehicle, a long windshield which provides perfect forward visibility. Looking at the top of the windshield, you can still see the sky as if the windshield was built to give the driver a panoramic view of the outside. The driver is met with a rather simple steering wheel and gauge cluster, which seems more like a Notification Center than speedometer and tachometer.
As far as the seating goes, you can have the 5 seater or the 7 seater. Granted the third row seats have enough room for smaller people, it’s nice to know that you can carry a few more people. I think this, in combination with the “Falcon” wing doors, makes the Tesla fairly easy to get into. I’m about 6ft tall and still had head room in the second row. The doors open up enough for someone way taller than me. The seats are all comfortable, with a premium feel.
My favorite feature, outside of the very comfortable leather seats, was the massive touchscreen control center. This setup makes a 12.9″ iPad Pro look like an iPad Mini. You can literally control everything from this screen. Do you want to know the battery consumption but still want to read the latest post on The Car Files, split the screen. This isn’t even the best part.
My favorite piece was being able to adjust the ride height on the go. You can select the very low setting to make your Model X look really cool at car meets or select the very high setting to assist with potholes. You don’t even have to adjust the suspension everytime you encounter potholes either. When you adjust the suspension in a certain place, when you return to that specific place, it will automatic adjust for you. You also, use the same screen, with the push of a button, to open or close your doors and windows, position the seats, control lighting, and many more basics car controls. While that is kind of weird not having to pull your doors shut, it’s convenient. Just imagine, not having to close your doors while it’s pouring rain outside. Your Armani (or walmart brand) clothing will not get wetter than they already would get.
The Tesla Model X is without a doubt, one of the most technologically advanced cars on the road today. Unlike most “tech” cars, you can play with your Model X realtime and your not just buying a car that says it’s technologically advanced. So what makes the Model X the benchmark? Simple. The Model X combines high tech, high fuel economy and high power, without compromise. Even with and $80 to $125k price point, you get the best of all worlds. Name cars, let alone SUV’s, that allow you to reach the technological tip of the iceberg, while allowing you to avoid trips to the gas pump. Or a car that you can rip to sixty in near three seconds, but allows you to carry your family. If you can name one, let me know in the comments. Until then, the Tesla Model X is the benchmark.
Here are a few more pics of the Tesla Model X P90D.