The Tesla Model Y is the most popular electric car worldwide and is set to claim the top spot in many countries in 2023. In this post, we will look at the details of this electric SUV and explore whether the Tesla Model Y is a great family car for road trips and daily use.
What Criteria must a Family Car Meet?
Every family has different needs, especially depending on the age of the children, but several factors always remain important in a family vehicle:
Other storage options
Roof box possibilities
Interior - legroom - seating - driving behavior
We will examine these aspects in more detail. If there are other aspects important to you, feel free to give your feedback under this post, and we will try to include them.
Tesla Model Y Range
The range is a crucial aspect for all-electric cars, but it becomes even more important when you have two or maybe even three children and want to drive long distances fully loaded on vacation. The Tesla Model Y is a very efficient vehicle and makes family trips possible.
Compared to a diesel car and visiting a gas station with a Tesla Model Y you will most likely visit a Tesla Supercharger where you can easily recharge your Model Y and make a little break.
Our recommendation for any family is the Model Y Long Range, which comes with the largest battery of all three Model Y versions and has an EPA range of 330 miles or WLTP of 533 km, which is very good for short trips as well as road trips.
Range depends on each driver and driving style. A car with a battery can achieve different ranges with different driving styles.
If you have had some experience with your Tesla range don't hesitate to share it with us on E-Car-Review. Of course, we also welcome your experience with other EVs and want to know which other good car fits with a family.
Tesla Model Y Trunk Volume
The trunk space of the Tesla Model Y is unique even compared to other electric cars. It is easily possible to transport a stroller. A child seat can be stored in the trunk if it's not in use.
The extra space is especially clear when comparing it to the Tesla Model 3, a mid-size sedan. Many customers switch from the Model 3 to the Model Y due to the trunk space and higher entry which is one of the most important factors for older people and when you have kids in the back seats.
The trunk becomes smaller in the configuration with 7 passengers. However, this version has been removed worldwide for the time being. Tesla might bring this version back to the market at some point.
Tesla Model Y - Other Storage Options
Compared to a combustion engine car, an electric car can offer much more storage options. In the back trunk, there is a small compartment below, which is the volume of a whole suitcase.
At the front of the Tesla, there is a small storage space, which is used by most models for charging cables or safety products.
With the market launch in Grünheide, the build quality deteriorated for a short time, but the new factory has brought some positive changes. For example, side compartments can be installed in the Model Y trunk, perfect for umbrellas or other small items.
Difference between factories
The size has improved compared to the China Teslas. Tesla Model Y models also allow the use of storage boxes under the front seats. Here, additional utensils can be stored. This is important for a family car and children, where every inch of the vehicle is important.
The large space advantage has been confirmed by many car tests, and well-known cars like the E Tron or a Jaguar I Pace or other vehicles like an ID5, have not been able to convince in this topic compared to the Model Y.
The market for electric SUVs worldwide is highly competitive, but with the production in Shanghai, Germany, Austin Texas, and Fremont the Model Y has fought its way to the first position worldwide with full force.
Tesla Model Y Trailer Hitch
A Tesla Model Y can be ordered with a trailer hitch. However, with 5 passengers and luggage, the maximum load must be kept in mind. The price for the trailer hitch is 1000$ or 1,350€. The maximum weight is 1600 kg or 3500 lbs.
All details and functions that need to be considered can be found directly in the Tesla manual. Topics of safety and electricity are also explained there.
Tesla Model Y Roof Box
A roof box is a good option for more space, but in all tests, it is clear, that a box on the roof has a very negative effect on the range. Therefore we recommend relying on a roof box only in absolute emergencies.
We have received a lot of feedback from Tesla Model Y owners with children who have traveled with strollers, child seats, and luggage on vacation. A roof box was not an absolute must for any of them.
Electric cars now offer so much space that the trunk and other storage options in the electric SUV are completely sufficient.
Tesla Model Y Interior
The interior is a hallmark of Tesla, and Elon Musk has had a significant influence on it for years. Many car manufacturers are still caught in a design world that belongs to the past.
A Tesla car is a positive surprise for many, as one enters a whole new world. With a central screen and a clean and simple design, the Tesla Model Y offers a whole new experience. The same experience is also found in the Model 3, Model S, and Model X.
The design and the large space in the interior, as well as the software, are aspects that make the Tesla Model Y so unique. This approach is similar to Apple, which has been successfully implementing this strategy for many years.
Tesla Model Y Legroom
The legroom in the Tesla Model Y, as befits an SUV, is very good. We recommend a test drive to personally experience this aspect. For children in a child seat, we advise using a seat protector to prevent wear.
Tesla Model Y Seating
The Tesla Model onY was originally planned as an SUV with 7 seats. However, this model has disappeared from all configurators worldwide. When Tesla will find a place for this model in production is unclear.
The decision could also be related to low demand, but this seems very unlikely due to the frustration of many customers. The third row is a nice option, as you have more car seats and you can use them to avoid having two cars driving to one destination at some occasions.
The rear seats would take away one of the main advantages of family cars which is the storage room but for many a 7 seater was an option but Tesla changed their mind.
Tesla Model Y driving behavior
When you have children in the car, the powertrain and performance variant are certainly not the most important aspects. The focus is on a good body and smooth, trouble-free driving behavior.
The powertrain of every electric car is sporty, and this is no different for our favorite, the Model Y Long Range.
One thing that most customers criticized about the Tesla Model Y in 2022 was the hard suspension. Tesla has since made improvements, clearly showing that feedback has been received (even if this reaction does not happen in other areas).
Such an improvement allows children to sleep comfortably in the car on long holiday trips, making it the perfect electric car for children.
Driving your Tesla Model Y through city streets smoothly depends also on your steering wheel. The newest steering wheel in the Tesla Model 3 2024 comes with a lot of improvements, that you will see once you sit inside of the new Tesla Model 3.
We do expect this update to come in late 2024 with the new Tesla Model Y. The back seat will also have a little touchscreen and the windscreen wipers and the battery range will be better. The driving position can still perfectly be adjusted as before, to ensure smooth driving.
One more aspect when it comes to driving behavior is the question if you sit comfortably, especially in the summertime it can get very hot in the front seats. The new Tesla Model Y will have a ventilated car seat which is a major upgrade to other Teslas in the past.
Are There Alternatives to the Tesla Model Y?
The Model 3 can be used very well with one child. The sedan drives fast and quietly and has very good consumption.
However, in comparison to an SUV like the Model Y, it cannot offer the same space. There are, of course, other SUVs trying to compete with the Model Y.
Therefore, we first recommend a Tesla test drive with the Model Y and then with another SUV from a different brand. It's a big difference to see pictures and descriptions online and then actually drive the electric car during a test drive.
When it comes to the storage space and how many child seats you can have in general both cars offer three seats, nevertheless the space is different and for every owner that wants the maximum space for their child seats and all that comes with it, the Model Y is the best option.
If you have more than one child, we would not recommend buying a Model 3 based on our experience, as it would only have enough space on long trips and during vacation times with roof boxes.
We want to point out that this is a matter of individual taste, and many people have many opinions and preferences. Therefore, we recommend everyone to form their own opinion and can only give a tendency here.
The Tesla Model Y is a very good family car and can convince with good software, plenty of space, and good range. In addition, the well-functioning software makes Tesla a very good overall package.
Due to the pricing policy, we recommend the rear-wheel drive or Long Range version. The Performance variant is only a value-added in terms of performance at the price, but this does not reflect in a better range.
When it comes to the experience with the Model Y we know that most customers are very happy with the seating configuration, the entertainment options, and the minimalist interior.
The safety ratings are very high and on long road trips, you can use the Tesla Supercharging Network to charge your Tesla.
This great family EV might not offer a third row at the moment, nevertheless, the second row is perfect for small children and older kids.
During long journeys, your children can even play arcade games which is one of many other features, that Tesla offers, while you are charging your car.
For further informative blog posts we suggest a few for you and look forward to helping you over there as well:
If you have enjoyed our family vehicle blog post don't hesitate to share your experience on E-Car-Review. We are looking forward to hearing, if you agree with the five stars in safety ratings if the car fits well for a long road trip, and if as described the back seats have enough space.