Road Tests

Road (and space) Test: Tesla Model X 90D (2017)

Car Wars: My other car's a TIE Fighter

By Rob Gill Published

Tesla Model X


A LONG time ago, far far away from a Ford Galaxy, there were X-wings, TIE Fighters and Imperial Shuttles.

But this is the future on planet Earth. The Tesla Model X.


An all-electric, zero-emission SUV that’s warp-speed fast.

The Model X is stuffed with futuristic tech — but we’ll come to that in a bit.


Because the sci-fi swagger starts with those Falcon Wing doors.


Not only do they make bystanders dribble with excitement, they work in the tightest of spaces.

Imagine a 30cm ruler. ruler

Now imagine trying to get your little stormtrooper in a car — in that tiny space — when some moron has parked on top of you.

It’s not going to happen.


You’ve got the width of the door to contend with for starters. And then the width of your bum.

Not even Kylie could manage it.


But the Model X only needs 30cm of clearance because those rear doors open upwards on hinges and then outwards, using sensors to stop them hitting anything. (Gullwing doors don’t fold.)


The opening is so large Mrs D Vader can WALK IN and buckle up her little ones without ducking — or braining them on the car roof lifting them out.

And who hasn’t done that before?


Key facts:  TESLA MODEL X 90D

Price: £90,700

Power: Electric (90kWh battery)

Emissions: Zero

0-62mph: 4.6 secs

Top speed: 155mph

Range: 303 miles


Now Tesla is well known for its face-melting performance. But a seven-seat SUV that’s quicker than a Ferrari?

A seven-seat SUV that’s quicker than a Ferrari?

Yep, the big-daddy Model X P100D can do 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds in “ludicrous mode”. With luggage stored front and back. And it’ll do up to 336 miles on a charge.

This test car is the semi-skimmed 90D version — 90kWh battery, all-wheel drive — which bangs out 0-60 in 4.8. It’s awesome. Smooth, silent, spacious with instant, uninterrupted speed.


I tried really, really hard to stop myself pinning it everywhere but I couldn’t. And the regenerative braking is so good it’ll be light years before it needs new pads.

I tried really, really hard to stop myself pinning it everywhere but I couldn’t

The cabin is like a spaceship too. Everything is controlled by that slick 17in touchscreen, there’s a “bioweapon defence mode” air filter system — yep, it’s American, folks — and you’re cocooned by an XL-sized windscreen that rises way above your head.


But the real beauty of a Tesla is that it’s future-proof. It’ll never go mouldy.

One morning, you’ll go to your car and find that it’s just got safer, faster or smarter, because Tesla pings out over-the-air software updates. For free.


Topping up at a Tesla supercharger is also free. And you get 170 miles of charge in just 20 minutes.

The only unpleasantness is the price of the car itself. The basic Model X 75D starts at a whopping £82,000.

The Model S saloon, equally as good but without the magic doors, is £59,000.

But in 2018 we’ll see the £35,000 Model 3. It’s the same size as a BMW 3 Series but all-electric. Bring it on.

VERDICT: Out of this world.


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