You'd never know the electric crossover was a heavyweight.
Manufacturers spend millions of dollars testing and refining the handling characteristics of their cars, so it's always interesting to see how production cars perform under independent testing, where the results and testing conditions are out of the hands of those who built the car. While most instrumented testing is usually conducted to ascertain performance and braking, a particularly interesting one is the moose test. The test simulates an evasive maneuver to avoid a moose or other large animal, basically testing a car's ability to make a sudden change of direction at a decent speed without losing control. We've covered numerous vehicles failing these tests. The most recent, and perhaps most surprising, was the BMW M4's tail-happy antics that wrecked a few cones in the process. Km77.com, the same YouTube channel that conducted the BMW test, has now posted its test of Tesla Model Y, but this time with wildly different results.
At 48 mph, the Tesla Model Y, running on Michelin Pilot EV tires, seems completely in control and impressively stable as it swerves through the cones. Remarkably, it displays minimal body roll. After the first left entry, the Model Y can be seen throwing its tail out slightly, but quickly recovers before entering the next set of cones on the right-hand side. The Model Y's best attempt takes place at an impressive entry speed of 52 mph. The car barely manages to avoid the first set of cones, but quickly regains composure, and settles down to around 40 mph through the midsection of the test, and enters the last section at 19 mph. The M4 could only safely navigate the course at an entry speed of 47 mph.
At higher speeds, the Model Y can be seen understeering, with the traction control systems correcting the outward push before the next set of cones. We are thoroughly impressed with the Model Y's results, especially considering the fact that it tips the scales at a hefty 4,416 pounds. We'd imagine the rear-wheel-drive version to be slightly more athletic, but the AWD certainly holds its own.
As for why the Model Y is so capable despite its weight and efficiency-minded tire setup, there's a very good reason. Because of the battery pack being mounted low in the chassis, it has a remarkably low center of gravity, meaning that directional changes don't see high-up mass dragging the car around. It's the same reason Tesla crossovers routinely score five stars in the NHTSA rollover test while other SUVs seldom manage better than four.