Although the Tesla Model X and Model Y are both SUVs, there are definitely some differences between the two in terms of specifications, such as size, appearance, and features. Knowing these differences is key before committing to one vehicle over the other.
The Tesla Model X and Model Y differ in the following specifications:
- Interior Space
- Battery/Battery Economy
However, it’s worth noting that both models do have certain features that are quite similar to one another.
Let’s dive right into the specification sheets for both vehicles. Here you will learn what all the technical mumbo jumbo on the vehicle spec sheet means (this includes terminology like MPGe, which stands for “miles per gas equivalent”). Most importantly, you will be able to make a well-informed decision about whether to buy the Tesla Model X or Model Y.
Design & Appearance
The 2020 Tesla Model Y has an exterior design that takes after the Model 3 sedan. This becomes immediately obvious if you look at the front of the vehicle. The front bumper and the positioning of the lights are the same. If you are someone who likes the exterior design of the Model 3, then you can consider the Y to be a more spacious upgrade.
The Model Y and Model 3 look so much alike that you may mistake one for the other at first glance, as Motor Trend magazine puts it. The primary distinguishing factors between the two vehicles include their heights, the coupe-like shape of the Y, and its muscular lines.
At the rear, the Model Y bears much more of a resemblance to the Model X than it does to the Model 3. Both the X and the Y have a hatchback trunk that can be opened automatically.
The front bumper and lights are where the Model X really sticks out from the Model Y. Perhaps the most significant difference is the black bar at the front bumper with a shiny Tesla emblem at its center. The Y has a solid front bumper with a Tesla logo on top of the hood. This emblem is smaller than the one that comes standard with the Model X.
If you are unhappy with the exterior design of either Tesla vehicle, there are plenty of aftermarket products available that will give your car the look you want, including:
One of the primary differences you’ll see between the Tesla Model X and Model Y is in its size, both on the exterior and interior.
Is the Tesla Model Y Bigger Than the Model X?
The Model X and Tesla Model Y are Tesla’s answer to the burgeoning market of mid-size SUVs. As such, they will be larger than sedan models like the Model 3. This could be something to consider if you have a small garage or driveway.
Although both models are similar in stature, the Model X is slightly larger than the Model Y. Compared to the 2020 Tesla Model Y, the Model X is:
- 11.3 inches longer
- 2.1 inches wider
- 2.1 inches taller
These values apply to the standard trims of each model. Any modifications will result in slightly different dimensions. An example of such a modification would be a custom front bumper.
The dimensions of the Model X do give it some advantages over the Model Y if you are looking for a vehicle that emphasizes cargo space. There will also be a little more legroom in the Model X, as will be discussed in further detail below.
How Much Bigger Is the Tesla Model X?
The Tesla Model X is slightly larger than the Tesla Model Y. Even with the differences in size, the Tesla X is not much harder to turn around than the Y:
|Dimension||Tesla Model X||Tesla Model Y|
|Width without mirrors (in.)||78.7||75.6|
|Minimum Ground Clearance (in.)||5.4||6.6|
By the numbers, the Tesla Model X is just slightly larger than the Tesla Model Y. The significant difference here is the length of the vehicle, with the Tesla Model X being nearly a foot longer than the Y; this likely won’t affect the ease of storage, but it is something to consider if you have an unusually small garage or driveway.
These vehicle sizes have a minor effect on the turning radius: The Tesla Model X has a turning radius of 20.4’ while the Y has a turning radius of 19.9’. With such a minor difference, you will not have to sacrifice maneuverability.
How Heavy Is the Tesla Model X and Y?
The 2020 Tesla Model X is a little heavier than the Tesla Model Y. The Model X has a base curb weight of 5,531 pounds, while the Y weighs in at 4,416 pounds.
Note: The base curb weight of a vehicle is the weight of the base trim model of that car, without any occupants and equipment added.
At just over 1,000 pounds more than the Model Y, the Model X still has a greater battery range (351 miles as compared to 316). This is something to consider, as energy efficiency is often a concern with heavier vehicles.
This is a case where buying the slightly larger vehicle won’t necessarily mean that you will be expending more resources. With the Tesla vehicles, there are fewer trade-offs involved than would typically be the case with a buyer looking to upgrade to a larger vehicle.
Available Interior Space
Another difference between the Model X and Y will be in its interior space, including cargo space and head, leg, shoulder, and hip room.
The 2020 Tesla Model X has more cargo storage space than the 2020 Tesla Model Y, by a decent margin. In general, cargo space is a strong suit for the Tesla cars with plenty of room at both the trunk and under the hood.
Here is the breakdown of the cargo storage space for each model:
- 2020 Tesla Model X: 88 cubic feet
- 2020 Tesla Model Y: 68 cubic feet
As you can see, the Tesla Model X has 20 more cubic feet of storage space than its counterpart.
The significant limiting factor for available storage space in either model is the seating configuration. The Tesla Model X comes with the option to add two captain seats in the second row; this will restrict rear cargo space because captain seats cannot be folded down.
Otherwise, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of having a roomy trunk in the Tesla Model X. If you are someone who finds yourself frequently folding the second row back, you are encouraged to get a ToughPRO Cargo/Trunk Mat or a similar product that will protect the seating fabric in the vehicle.
Head, Leg, Shoulder, and Hip Room
It is of utmost importance to the daily driver that their vehicle feels comfortable to drive. Any vehicle that is ready to go head-to-head with the other SUVs on the market needs to emphasize comfort for the family. The following table breaks down the space available in the front driver and passenger seats in both the Tesla Model X and Y:
|Dimensions||Tesla Model X (5-seater)||Tesla Model Y (5-seater)|
|Front Head Room (in.)||41.7||41|
|Front Leg Room (in.)||41.2||41.8|
|Front Shoulder Room (in.)||60.7||56.4|
|Front Hip Room (in.)||55.6||53.8|
As you can see in the table above, there is little difference between the 2020 Tesla Model X and Model Y when it comes to leg and headroom.
However, the Tesla Model X is certainly more forgiving in the categories of shoulder and hip room.
|Dimension||Tesla Model X (5-seater)||Tesla Model Y (5-seater)|
|Second Row Head Room (in.)||40.9||39.4|
|Second Row Leg Room (in.)||38.4||40.5|
|Second Row Shoulder Room (in.)||56.8||54|
|Second Row Hip Room (in.)||59||50.6|
The second row is really where the Tesla Model X shines, making it the clear favorite for families in the market for an SUV, although the Model Y actually has more legroom than the Model X here. This advantage can be offset by the fact that the X has 8.4 more inches of hip room in the second row.
Battery & Battery Economy
Assuming a 90% charge, the Tesla Model X will last more miles than the Model Y without having to be hooked up again. If the battery range is a concern, there are several ways that you can maximize the battery life (briefly discussed below).
- 2020 Model X: 351 miles (EPA estimate)
- 2020 Model Y: 316 miles (EPA estimate)
Altogether, the Tesla Model X has a battery that will last an estimated 35 miles more on a full charge compared to the Model Y.
How Do I Make My Tesla Battery Last Longer?
You can increase the range of your Tesla battery by using the Tesla Energy App to track driving patterns. The app will tell you what you can do to prolong the range of your battery. You are also encouraged to charge your Tesla regularly, never letting the battery charge to above 90% or diminish to below 20%.
How Is Fuel Economy Calculated in Electric Vehicles?
Fuel economy in electric vehicles is expressed in MPGe, which stands for “miles per gas equivalent.” According to Fuel Economy, 1 gallon of gas is equivalent to 33.7 kWh, with kWh being the abbreviation for kilowatt-hours. The MPGe is thus an effective way to compare just how efficient the batteries in these vehicles are.
|Circumstance||Tesla Model X Long Range||Tesla Model Y Long Range|
|City||99 MPGe||127 MPGe|
|Highway||93 MPGe||114 MPGe|
|Combined (City/Hwy)||96 MPGe||121 MPGe|
If you go with the performance option for these vehicles, then you will have to sacrifice some MPGe. Note that the Tesla Model Y has a significantly better fuel efficiency rating than the Model X, primarily because the Y is slightly smaller.
Despite this, the battery range on the Model X is longer than that of the Model Y. The long-range Model X can last 351 miles on a single charge, while the Model Y lasts 316 miles. These factors together can make both models viable SUV options for the suburban family.
Model X and Y will also differ in the features they offer, although some features—like those related to safety—will be a bit similar.
Tesla has outfitted its vehicles with safety features that put to rest any misconceptions that the electric car is less safe than any other modern vehicle. In fact, the 2020 Tesla Model X comes with a 5-star safety rating. The 2020 Tesla Model Y has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Safety features in both the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y include:
- Forward Collision Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- Crash Imminent Braking
- Dynamic Brake Support
When it comes to safety, the Tesla Model X and Model Y are in the same ballpark. The safety features in these vehicles give the Tesla SUVs a competitive edge with the 5-star safety rating beating out some of the more popular SUV models.
Some differences in exterior features include the Tesla Model Y’s panoramic glass roof and Model X’s falcon-wing doors.
Panoramic Glass Roof
The 2020 Tesla Model Y has a panoramic glass roof much unlike that of the Model X. The expansive glass ceiling stretches the length of the vehicle and was met with much celebration when Tesla first introduced its design to the world.
The Tesla Model X has no choice but to take a different design path; this is a result of the falcon doors in the back of the vehicle. The support system for these doors has placed an obstruction where the glass would otherwise continue.
Still, the glass roofs of these vehicles are a feature that is not all that common in SUV models; this is the sort of feature that cements Tesla’s status as a luxury vehicle.
However, there may be some concern amongst people that believe that these vehicles will become excessively hot when the sunshine is on full blast. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: you can find reasonably-priced sunshades that will block out the burning summer sun.
Falcon Wing Doors
The Tesla Model X has falcon-wing doors while the Tesla Model Y does not. These are doors that open upwards rather than outwards and to the side in the way that standard car doors do. If you are interested in this futuristic-like feature, then the Tesla Model X should definitely be an intriguing option for you.
Note: Regarding the safety of the falcon-wing doors, there is no need to worry about them being opened in tight spaces and causing damage. The doors are equipped with sensors that monitor the surroundings to ensure that the doors open safely.
The interior fabrics of the Tesla X and Y models are very similar. However, there are a few differences worth noting here. Coming in at a higher price range, the Tesla Model X does have some interior features that the Y doesn’t:
- Black synthetic leather seat trim and black/white synthetic leather come standard in both models. The big difference is that there is a cream seat trim available in the Tesla Model X.
- In addition, the Tesla Model X has a leather steering wheel while the Model Y does not. The leather steering wheel can be preferable for those who spend more time behind the wheel.
- The steering wheel in the Model X is also heated; this is a feature that cannot be enjoyed by owners of the Model Y.
For the most part, the interior features of the Tesla Models X and Y are much the same. One of the areas where there is a clear difference is in the appearance and functionality of the vehicle’s dashboard:
- The Model Y has a more simplistic dashboard than the Model X. The Y has just one 15” horizontal tablet touchscreen that displays both the necessary gauges and infotainment. This screen is located in the center of the dashboard.
- The Model X has two display screens. One of these screens is mounted behind the steering wheel. The second display screen is 17” and displays all the information, including entertainment and mapping. The two display screens offer all the bells and whistles that many modern dashboards do.
The autopilot option is available for all models of Tesla vehicles. Although every Tesla vehicle can include the autopilot feature, you do need to buy software for the system to be activated. There are two autopilot packages available: autopilot and full self-driving capability.
Autonomous driving is not a reality quite yet. This system still requires the driver to be attentive at all moments, so that they can take over control of the steering wheel in certain circumstances. These situations can pop up randomly over the course of driving, so you will not be able to plan a trip that is fully-autonomous.
Here is how the autopilot features in both Tesla Models X and Y reduce your duties as a driver:
- Eight external cameras
- 12 ultrasonic sensors
- A powerful onboard computer
The autopilot feature makes Tesla SUVs an excellent option for families. Although the vehicles are not fully autonomous, they will serve families with young children well; this is a group of drivers that has to deal with distractions during driving frequently.
The Tesla SUV crossovers may not be thought of as vehicles that are capable of towing much of anything. However, there is a clear favorite among Models X and Y when it comes to towing small trailers.
The Tesla Model X has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. The Tesla Model Y is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds, provided that it is equipped with a tow hitch and class II steel tow bar. The Model X will also need aftermarket modifications to be used for towing, as these vehicles do not come standard with these features.
Both the Tesla Model X and Y have Tesla’s signature AWD (all-wheel drive) motors. These vehicles are outfitted with both a motor in the front and a separate motor at the rear. The dual motors are responsible for digitally delivering torque to the front and rear wheels.
The Tesla Model X, the larger of the two models, also has a higher top speed than the model Y. The X has a top speed of 155 mph, while the Y has a top speed of 135 mph.
As far as acceleration goes, the Tesla Model X can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The Model Y takes 4.8 seconds, even though it is slightly smaller than X.
The performance options have even greater acceleration. The performance Tesla Model X can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds while the same option with the Model Y results in a vehicle that is capable of going from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.
Horsepower ratings in electric cars are not discussed in the same manner as the value in gas vehicles. In fact, Tesla does not list official horsepower ratings. The horsepower in Tesla vehicles is defined as the max power the battery can deliver to the wheels at once.
As a vehicle with greater towing capacity, you would expect the Model X to have more horsepower than the Model Y. The Tesla Model X has a horsepower of 259 hp in the front engine and 503 hp in the rear engine (762 hp total).
The max horsepower that the Tesla Model Y can deliver 450 hp. It is still worth noting that this value further confirms that the Model X is the more powerful vehicle, and as such, is the more versatile of the two vehicles if you need to tow small trailers.
There is not a significant difference in the tire sizes of the Model X and Y, although the X does come with the opportunity to get wheels that are slightly larger than the wheels of the Model Y.
The tires’ sizes vary slightly:
- 2020 Tesla Model X (Front): P265/45R20
- 2020 Tesla Model X (Rear): P275/45R20
- 2020 Tesla Model Y: P255/45R19
What Do the Numbers on Car Tires Mean?
For those who are unfamiliar with the terminology, here is a brief note on what the numbers on the side of your tires mean. You will find this information helpful when you have to replace your tires or if you ever want to customize them:
- The “P” stands for P-metric, meaning that it is intended for passenger vehicles.
- The first number after the P is the tire width in mm (1 mm = 0.039 in.).
- The second number is the aspect ratio, defined as the ratio of the tire’s cross-section to its width.
- The “R” stands for radial, describing the direction that the layers of the tire run in.
- The next number after the R is the diameter of the tire.
Why Does the Tesla Model X Have Differently-Sized Tires?
Although there are few differences in the tires of the Model X and Y, one thing really stands out. The Tesla Model X has differently-sized front and rear tires. The difference is in the tire width, with the rear tires being 10 mm (0.39 in) wider than those at the front.
Wider tires have better traction, according to Phys Link. The reason why these tires have better traction is not because of the increased surface area, but rather the composition of the tire. Soft compound tires need to be wide enough to support the weight of the vehicle. All other things being equal, soft compound tires will have better traction than a narrow tire that is made out of a hard compound.
Wider tires also tend to experience less roll, providing better cornering performance. With the Model X being slightly larger than the Model Y, Tesla has made the necessary adjustments to the tires to ensure that the SUV is easy to maneuver.
Tesla’s SUV Models X and Y are similar when it comes to their general look and function. However, their many differences in specifications—such as size, features, battery, and economy—make them ideal vehicles for different people, depending on what you want out of your car. So, before you purchase your next SUV, use the above information to determine which Tesla model is a better fit for your cruising and commuting needs.