25,000 km and 1-year later, here is my Tesla Model Y review including tips and takeaways.
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! Last year at this time I was flying across Canada to pick up my brand new Tesla Model Y. One year and 25,000 kilometres later, I am once again in Eastern Canada and making my way west. This time, I have plenty of tips to take with me.
With that, here is my Tesla Model Y review after one year of ownership. This includes my likes and dislikes after 25,000 km and two trips across the country.
Tesla Model Y Review – Likes
Getting to know this car has really drilled home some significantly awesome things about it. Here are my favourite things about ownership over the past year.
One of the biggest non-environmental draws to an electric vehicle is the instant torque they provide. After a year of driving the Model Y, I’m not sure I could ever go back to a “normal” vehicle. As I found driving a loaner ICE vehicle, stepping on the gas left me confused. Stepping on the accelerator in my Model Y is oh-so-satisfying. Even after one year, it still brings a smile to my face every time.
It’s no secret that Tesla Autopilot is great. This was part of the reason I went with Tesla in the first place. What is surprising is just how much I use it. Also, how I feel when I get to my destination because of it. The bulk of my road trips are spent on Autopilot. In turn, I find I arrive more alert and refreshed than I would have if I drove without it. Autopilot gives you the ability to enjoy the ride that much more which, on long road trips, makes all the difference in the world.
Tesla Supercharger Network
Tesla‘s biggest advantage over all other EV makers is its Supercharging network. I didn’t really appreciate what this means until a good eight months into ownership.
Despite driving 1,500 km off the Supercharger network without issue, it wasn’t until a trip into the British Columbia’s interior did I really appreciate the speed they bring. On this trip I was restricted to third-party chargers that, although L3, were only pulling around 30kwh. This meant more time charging and longer days.
Then I drove 600 km on the Yellowhead through Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is where I really got a taste of what the competition is up to. At the time, this stretch had no Superchargers and only a couple L2 charging options. Most of those were broken. The lack of options and reliability made for a very long day. This made me realalize that non-Tesla EV’s just aren’t set up for success on road trips…yet.
Over Air Updates
Since owning my Tesla Model Y I have received several software updates. This has included minor things such as games and entertainment updates to full-on performance issues that increase range. What other car does that?
Charging at Home
Last up on my likes in this Tesla Modle Y review is the ease of charging from home. This isn’t Tesla specific but something I have enjoyed nonetheless. For my day-to-day driving, plugging in at night is more than sufficient and is oh-so-convenient. Aside from squeegees, I do not miss gas stations at all.
Tesla Model Y Review – Dislikes
Now, I could go on with things I like about my Model Y however I do need to acknowledge that this past year hasn’t been completely smooth sailing. From dealing with a lengthy repair to terrible customer service, there have been some challenges.
Even though I am a year into ownership, in reality, my time with the car is significantly less. This is thanks to an accident from my first Turo renter and the length of time it took to get it repaired. In total, my brand new Model Y was damaged and in the shop for close to six months. This was largely due to the fact that getting parts for Tesla can take some time.
This makes sense though. One factory pumping out a car that is in high demand is gonna also struggle with supplying parts. I will chalk this up to the growing pains of a new car company and will assume as more factories are brought online, these wait times will shorten. Still, if you are considering buying a Tesla, it’s good to know what you are getting into.
Technically, I knew Tesla’s customer service was going to be an issue before I purchased my Model Y. That said, this past year I came to realize just how bad it truly is.
I have documented and ranted in depth through posts on this site but what I have not shared is that I came close to lawyering up. Despite documenting and doing everything I was told by my sales “advisor,“ I was denied repairs on some glaring issues present from day one. This, I can only assume, is because I went beyond Tesla’s normal process and picked up my car out of province.
On the positive, after physically talking face-to-face to someone at a service centre, I was able to get the car detailed. This got most of the residue, that was there from delivery day, off.
The remaining dings and dents will have to serve as a reminder. My recommendation to any new owner is, if there are issues with your car on delivery day, refuse the car and wait for another. This, I know, is easier said than done as demand and delivery issues remain. Still, if quality issues concern you (and they should for anything brand new really) it truly is worth it to get it right from day one.
Fit and Finish
Now according to some Tesla Model Y reviews, quality has improved. That said, if demand is high and processes are rushed, there are going to be issues. I certainly suffered from gaps and alignment problems as an early adopter.
I assumed that these issues would be fixable after delivery but the blanket answer I got was either it’s “within spec,” “this is as good as we can adjust it,” and “this isn’t as bad as others.” In all cases, there’s nothing that can be done. This just goes to show that Tesla is 100% a tech company first and car company second.
Good or bad, Tesla owners are passionate, to say the least. One thing I learned over this past year of ownership is just how devoted some are online.
When posting questions about panel gaps being within spec, some owners, despite shelling out upwards of $90K, seem to think this is OK. “It’s amazing tech!” is the consensus with diehard fans. Yes, I agree Tesla makes the most advanced cars out there but this blind acceptance has been an eye-opener.
Also, the attitude towards new owners with, albeit frequent questions, has been shocking. Comments are, more often than not, sarcastic and down right rude. Maybe it’s just the state of the Internet now but in some Facebook groups I have noticed full on trolls, ie the same people spewing negativity…but not you, the reader of this post, of course. 😉
Last up on what I dislike from my one year Tesla Model Y review is, potentially, the battery drain. I say potentially as the verdict isn’t out yet. I am currently on my second cross-country trip and this time around, I am noticing less range and more charging stops. After one year, the range, in short, is concerning.
I seem to be getting closer to 325-350 km than 500 km a charge. Now I am fully aware that range is tied to driving habits however, my habits have not changed. I mainly drive 10 km/h over the speed limit and I rarely let the battery go below 10% and over 90%. This seems to be the recommendation from Tesla. I have used my share of Superchargers so that may play into this…
I will follow up with a dedicated post once home and after I can look at all the specifics in detail and see where I am at within warranty and expectations. Stay tuned.
Just the Beginning!
Despite my struggles with Tesla service, fans online, and a battery that seems to be loosing capacity, overall, this past year has been incredibly fun and educational. 25,000 km in and with the US border yet to open up, this EV adventure is just getting started!