While “Tesla first drives” used to be a mainstay of automotive YouTube, these days it’s difficult to find a content creator who has no experience driving a Tesla Model S, Model 3 or Model Y. But somehow Tesla managed to locate one of these increasingly rare car enthusiasts. 

The electric automaker reached out to YouTube channel Lucy on Cars and offered her a Tesla Model Y Standard Range for the week. Up until this point, she had no experience with Teslas and very little experience with electric vehicles at all.

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Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) Long Range (LR)

The model tested here is a 2024 Model Y RWD LR that has an EPA-estimated range of 320 miles with a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph. The top trim performance model has a much lower range of 279 miles but a top speed of 155 mph and a 3.5 second 0-60 time.


The Model Y has been a massive success since its initial release in 2020 with European production beginning in 2022. Tesla's electric crossover became the best-selling car in the world in 2023 and is on track for a solid 2024 result. But sales are certainly down from last year.

Simply starting the Tesla was a bit confusing. “We’ve got an unusual way to start it. It’s not a keyless start.” She explains. “You have to do something with this (keycard) to get it to start and it feels quite unusual. It feels like you’d have to get used to it.” 

Of course, if this were her car rather than a test vehicle, she would be able to pair it with her smartphone for a keyless start. Or she could pick up a key fob from the Tesla store. But since this is her first time in a Tesla, she was unaware of these options. 

As is tradition with any electric car review, we have a launch test that inspires a whistle and a headshake from Lucy. “Rapid!” She says.

While this is only the RWD Standard Range, she was still impressed with the model’s performance, especially when passing. “The sheer acceleration when you’re already [at] like 50 or 60," she said. “It's just silly, it’s stupid, how am I still accelerating that quickly?”

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On the exterior design, she says it isn’t the most striking car she’s ever seen. But it has a unique design language that isn’t trying to mimic current trends. In her eyes, a Model Y is no Porsche 911, but Tesla is playing in its own league. And for what it is, it’s a pretty cool looking car. 

She’s mixed on the door handle design. While they look sleek, she hasn’t gotten used to them even after a week. Every member of her family has a different way of opening the door. It’s true they are not immediately intuitive, but they eventually become second nature for Model Y owners. 

On the interior, Lucy says the materials are of a very high quality with great textures. She loves the glass roof and the ample rear-seat legroom. Her son’s large rear-facing car seat fits in the back seat with no issue. 

The seats themselves are comfortable with good lumbar support and customization options for the driver. Lucy also finds the seat's bright white interior to be quite beautiful. Although if this were her car, she’d go for a black interior. The white seats probably would not hold up to a destructive two-year-old.

Still, she found the minimalism to be a bit disorienting. “It’s pretty much unlearning everything you’ve ever known about driving a car. When I first sat in it I was like ‘Ok, there’s no gear shift, there’s no hand brake, there’s no door handle. There’s no dials in front of me to see what speed I’m doing.’”

In many ways, she appreciates the simplicity of the screen-focused interface. But a few irritations were impossible to ignore. Having to use the screen for everything from adjusting the steering wheel to turning on the heated seats can be more frustrating than if there were simply physical buttons. 

“I wanted to change my heating to make it cooler in here. And George at the same time was trying to change where his airflow was coming from. So you’ve got to wait for one person to finish before you can have a go.” Lucy of course acknowledges that over time you’d get used to these limitations. But it didn’t make the best first impression. 

On the positive side, she loves watching Netflix and YouTube, playing games in the arcade, or using external speakers to blast music in boombox mode. Although like most mature adults, she seems confused about why the car will fart on command. 

So after a week as her daily driver, Lucy found herself becoming more fond of electric driving than she expected. “You know I like my big engines, big 4x4s, my V-8 turbos. However, I think this car is something special.”

Lucy wraps up her thoughts by saying it’s the perfect car for non-enthusiasts who still want some driving fun. “The perfect combination would be like a V8 L332 [Range Rover] with this next to it on the drive. Because then you have both.” 

While she may not be ready to ditch the V-8s just yet, she is coming around. Have you converted any petrolheads to electric drive recently? Let us know in the comments below. 

Gallery: Tesla Model Y Off-Road Fun

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