by Michael Butler
Tesla is still up there as the biggest EV manufacturer in the USA, but it's no longer undisputed as there are now more players catching up than ever before. The Tesla Model X, a luxury midsize crossover SUV, was once the go-to in this class, but with competitors such as the Rivian 1S and BMW iX entering the US market, massive power and impressive range become less compelling that's all you bring to the table to try to win over customers. Don't get us wrong, we love how quick the Model X is, especially in Plaid guise, where it produces over a thousand horsepower - so you need just 2.5 seconds to get to 60 mph. Even the 670-hp dual-motor base model can dispatch the benchmark sprint in 3.8 seconds. But when it comes to value for money, modern tech, and build quality, this once dominant player is starting to fall behind, and if Tesla doesn't up its game, the Model X might not be able to catch up.
Besides a new style key card, the Model X carries over into the new model year with a new Standard Range model. It comes with 496 hp, a 269-mile range, and an $88,490 sticker price.
For those partial to the older fob, it can still be ordered as an optional extra.
Pricing for the Model X starts lower than ever before since Tesla slashed its prices recently. The Model X Standard Range will cost just $88,490, with the higher-output, bluntly-named Model X coming in at $98,490. A $1,390 destination charge is still applicable, however.
Depending on how much you're willing to spend, the price of the Tesla Model X can easily surpass $125k with all the option boxes ticked and if no incentives are applied. For even more performance, the Tesla Model X will cost less than that if you go for the Plaid model.
See trim levels and configurations:
The overwhelming theme of the Model X is its ability to squeeze your partially digested breakfast back up the way it came, thanks to brutal acceleration. According to Tesla, the base Standard Range model will reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, while the regular Model X can do it in just 3.8 seconds. Of course, the Plaid gets there in 2.5 seconds thanks to a 1,020-hp three-motor setup.
When you're not out-dragging muscle cars, the Tesla Model X handles decently. It won't feel as sporty as ICE equivalents like the Porsche Cayenne, but it can hold its own on a set of twisty roads and settles down nicely on the open road. Thanks to its AWD grip, the Model X will hold on for dear life through fast corners and shows minimal body lean. Steering feel is numb, but the standard adaptive air suspension offers a good balance between comfort and a bit of a sporty feel. We'd avoid the 22-inch wheels, as these can cause quite a stir on slow and bumpy roads.
When Tesla first introduced the Model X, we were blown away by its sheer capability, stylish and tech-filled interior, and excellent range. Those points might still hold water, but the truth is that other competitors are slowly but surely catching up, and without some significant advancements, the Tesla Model X will eventually fade into obscurity. In terms of performance, there's still very little that can keep up with this car, especially in Plaid guise, and with the long-range battery in place, the Model X offers class-leading range and brilliant charging times. But that's pretty much where the party ends. The interior is too sparse for our liking, and the tech, while decent, isn't as impressive as it was a couple of years ago. Tesla needs to work on its build quality too. With extremely capable competitors like the Rivian 1S breathing down its neck, the Model X needs a new party trick - even with the lower-than-ever pricing.
The Model X Standard Range is already impressive, but for just $10k more you could have it with 670 hp and still get 348 miles of range. If you want a Model X simply for runabout duty, the Standard Range will do just fine, however.
In either case, we would certainly opt to add the Self-Driving package, particularly as its price keeps increasing as more features become available. We'd avoid speccing the larger wheels, as this hinders towing capacity and reduces ride comfort. If you wish, splash out on some fancy paint, but we like the futuristic look of the standard white finish. We'd also stick with the standard interior color scheme. The white and black interior looks better, but it will undoubtedly be a headache to clean - something to consider if you're buying this SUV as a family car. Other than that, there's nothing to change.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Tesla Model X: