The big Tesla.
The one that seats seven and has every other firm on the planet that builds premium SUVs in a bit of a panic. Underneath, the architecture is similar to the Model S (massive battery pack, electric motors, aluminium chassis), but all Model X are four-wheel drive, so have twin electric motors, one driving each axle.
The flagship P100D starts at 582,300 AED. I’ll let you digest that for a second. So if you’re thinking that the Model X would be a perfect replacement for your current SUV, you might want to consider the entry-level 75D at 337,100 AED. And yes, that’s still more than an Audi SQ7, similar money to a Porsche Cayenne. It’s a hard car to nail down: visually akin to an overgrown hatchback, although the crossover tag probably suffices. Either way, not a car for going off road in, but onlookers absolutely love it. Rarely will getting in and out of the back of an SUV draw such a crowd.
What is it like on the road?
It’s a bubble of serenity on the road, gliding beautifully on its 22-inch rims. That’s a heck of a trick. It’s well behaved around corners for the most part, as all the mass of the vehicle is located below floor level, meaning body control is assured, roll is contained. But don’t push it – the brakes are a weak point, there’s little steering feel and it’s colossally heavy, so puts a heavy burden on its tyres. But this being a Tesla, it would rather do the driving for you. Autonomous mode is a better party trick than the ability to get to 100 km/h in under three seconds. Naturally, being electric, there is also a load of torque for you to surf around on.
On The Inside
Want seven seats? Of course you do. That’ll be 12,100 AED. The Model X is a five seater as standard. Once the thrill of using the Falcon doors has worn off, they’re slow enough to be annoying, and those back seats don’t provide that much headroom. Fold them down and the boot’s big, but the Model X comes across as more people carrier than full-house active lifestyle companion. It’s very pleased with itself. Although maybe it deserves to be.
The driving environment is clean and open, with a windscreen that arches back over your head and that impressive 17-inch touchscreen. This is as much of a draw as those fancy rear doors. Shame the materials and quality are more Kia than Bentley though.
Tesla got a lot of things right with this one. And it is the way of the future. Then there’s the fact Tesla makes being an electric car driver truly as easy as possible, with plans to bring more rapid chargers to the region.
But it is an expensive car. If you offset the cost against fuel costs, things look a little better. But still, at this price there are a lot of options.
The review is adapted from Top Gear’s original review, which you can find here.