Does Kelley Blue Book share the same Tesla Model Y pros and cons as Edmunds and Autotrader?

The floodgates are open, sort of. So far, Tesla Model Y reviews have come in from Edmunds, Autotrader, and now Kelley Blue Book. These official reviews join the barrage of independent reviews from YouTube influencers ... mostly Tesla owners.

Kelley Blue Book's Micah Muzio borrowed a Model Y from an owner for the above review. He's happy with the roomy interior and reclining rear seats, but he does point out the lack of quality. Muzio says the B-pillar doesn't fit correctly, the rear seats appear uneven, and there's something rattling. In terms of quality concerns on the Model Y's exterior, the lower bumper trim isn't fitted properly and the rear door alignment is off a bit.

There's no doubt this Tesla crossover accelerates quicker than most people will ever need, and, despite its larger size and classification, it handles much like the Model 3. The Model Y will even handle some light off-roading that other sporty cars aren't capable of.

Muzio is impressed with Tesla Autopilot ... when it works. He reminds us to remain aware and in control since the technology can get confused at times. Despite his initial reaction to the minimalistic interior, Muzio notes that everything works as it should. Tesla has done a solid job of arranging things intuitively. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a fair expectation at this point.

Once Tesla's Fremont factory is back in action, we'll begin to see more Model Y coverage from mainstream automotive review websites. In the meantime, it's helpful to compare the information and opinions we have so far. 

Video Description via Kelley Blue Book on YouTube:

Tesla Model Y | Review & Road Test

For the latest Tesla Model Y pricing and information: https://www.kbb.com/tesla/model-y/

The 2020 Tesla Model Y is a compact electric SUV build from the same foundation at Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. Kelley Blue Book’s Micah Muzio got his hands on a new Model Y and shares his impressions in this review.

Born from the Model 3 the Tesla Model Y is a compact electric SUV with a maximum 316-mile range according to the EPA, and a starting price around $54,000 ($54,190) for the long-range model, including $1,200 in destination charges. The Performance model, like our tester, is $8-grand more. But aren’t 0-60 times of 3.5 seconds worth it? A roughly $40,000 standard Model should arrive sometime in 2021.

Heads up, this particular Model Y is an actual customer car. So, it represents what you might actually buy yourself. Just ignore the fake carbon interior trim…And the probably not legal window tint.

Slip inside and the interior feels incomplete. No gauge cluster. Extreme simplicity. Take that, Scandinavia. The interior is roomier than the Model 3 because the roof is higher. In back the rear seats recline unlike in the Model 3. Boy that’s comfy. Seated behind myself I fit great. The Model Y’s glass roof is cool. But you definitely feel the sun on hot days.

Look slightly right from the driver’s seat and you’ll find critical info on the 15-inch center screen. Looking here rather than here takes some getting used to. But you will adapt quickly. Speaking of the screen, Tesla has done an exemplary job arranging the essential functions. Good thing because, besides the seats, nearly all aspects of the vehicle are controlled through here. Like in the Model 3, the steering wheel controls are used to adjust the mirrors, move the steering wheel, and control the audio system. If that sounds confusing, it is not. Same deal with using the screen to control the vents. It all just works. If Tesla would only include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto this would be my favorite infotainment interface.

Then we have autopilot. It works really well…when it’s working well. Though it can manage the throttle, brakes, steering and make lane changes, autopilot can also get confused, just like human drivers. So, please. No sleeping behind the wheel. I’ll also add that Autotpilot does an unexpectedly amazing job detecting trash cans. Owen Wilson “Wow”. Wing an extra $7,000 at Tesla and you can unlock “Full Self-Driving Capabilities”, enhancing the Y’s skill roster with automatic parking and lane change functions, summon remote vehicle retrieval using Telsa’s app, and automatic on-ramp to off-ramp freeway driving. Again, though it’s labeled “Full Self-Driving”, Teslas do not fully drive themselves. Again, no sleeping behind the wheel.

While we’re in motion I’ll note that the Model Y drives a lot like a Model 3. A low-mounted battery pack means a low center of gravity. Helping the Y trace corners with tenacious competence. And just like the Model 3, the steering feels stable driving in a straight line but has a sporting quick ratio off-center. Small adjustments affect your trajectory in a big way, so drive with precision.

Then there’s the acceleration. If you don’t already know, electric torque can be fun. Let’s see if it’s fun. (hard accel) Yup. Smooth relentless thrust is your reward for driving electric. Bask in its silent intensity.

If you’re motivated, you can drive your Model Y off road. Though the one dirt hill in Long Beach isn’t much of a challenge. For reference, here’s a Toyota Supra going up the same hill. For charging, a standard household outlet is impossibly slow while a 240-volt charger ads roughly 14-miles per hour charged. For fast charging on-the-go Tesla’s vast Supercharging infrastructure is the play.

As for quality issues. Our car’s b-pillar trim doesn’t fit right and neither does this lower bumper trim, the rear door alignment is slightly off, the rear seats are similarly uneven, and there’s a loud rattle coming from the rear somewhere. Among the 3 braking modes I love Hold. You can accelerate and decelerate using just the accelerator in most situations and the Model Y comes to a perfect, buttery smooth stop every time.

And no, Tesla is no longer eligible for federal tax incentives. But there might be state incentives depending on where you live. If you want a pragmatic electric vehicle the Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona EV, and Nissan Leaf can all be had for much less but the Model Y’s premium touches and technical strengths put it in another class. As of when this video was made the Mustang Mach E is still a mystery but depending on when you’re watching this it’s probably worth a look. As an alternative you might also consider the Jaguar I-PACE, or hey, how about…the Tesla Model 3. It’s $4,000 cheaper than the Model Y and quite similar. Or maybe spring for a Model X if you need more space and want to dazzle children at daycare.