2018 Model X New Car Test Drive
Introduced as a 2015 model, the Tesla Model X battery-powered luxury crossover vehicle is now in its fourth model year. Little has changed for the 2018 model year. The available Autopilot system now demands that drivers pay closer attention to driving.
Tesla does not use conventional trim levels. Three Model X versions are offered, with different battery capacities and operating ranges. Each is powered by dual electric motors (one for each axle), driving all four wheels. A lithium-ion battery pack sits beneath the cabin floor.
The 75D model contains a 75 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack, with a range of 237 miles and 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds. The 100D version upgrades to a 100-kWh battery pack, promising a 295-mile range and 4.7-second acceleration to 60 mph. Topping the line, the considerably more costly P100D performance model also holds a 100-kWh battery pack, but gets a more powerful electric motor. Range is estimated at 289 miles, while acceleration to 60 mph is simply stunning, achieved in as little as 2.9 seconds.
Actual range varies according to conditions, but any of the three should be capable of traveling more than 200 miles before recharging. Partial recharging at a Supercharger station take 30 minutes, permitting about 170 more miles of driving. More than 8,000 Supercharger stations are currently available.
In 75D and 100D models, the two motors are each rated at 193 kilowatts (259 horsepower) The high-performance P100D gets a vastly more powerful rear motor, rated at 375 kilowatts (503 horsepower). The P version also features significant upgrades to its electronics systems.
All-wheel drive is standard. Cabins may be set up for five-, six-, or seven-passenger seating.
Falcon Wing doors are undeniably the most prominent feature, installed instead of conventional rear doors. Some observers may admire their innovative design, while others are sure to brand them gimmicky.
Tesla's Model X has earned the highest crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with an overall five-star rating and five stars in each separate category. The Model X has not been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Tesla calls it the “safest SUV ever.”
A rearview camera and a dozen airbags are standard. Advanced safety features include active lane control, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. Tesla's Autopilot system lets the car essentially drive itself, under certain conditions on well-marked roads.
The 2018 Tesla Model X 75D ($79,500) comes with 14-way heated power front seats, five-passenger seating, a power liftgate, LED ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, 240-watt nine-speaker audio, wi-fi connectivity, and Bluetooth. Both the rear cargo area and the front trunk can be opened remotely. (Prices do not include $1,200 destination charge.)
100D AWD ($96,000) is similar, but with a higher-rated battery pack (100 kWh).
P100D AWD ($140,000) gets the powertrain with the quickest acceleration, courtesy of a far more powerful rear electric motor and electronics upgrades.
Adding a two-seat third row for seven-passenger capacity is available ($3,000), along with a six-seat version ($6,000). Autopilot is optional ($5,000).