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2018 Tesla Model X Review

Though the 2018 Tesla Model X has a few shortcomings, it offers performance that few other SUVs can match and has a spacious, feature-filled interior. For these reasons, it finishes in the top third of our luxury midsize SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Absurd acceleration
  • Long all-electric range
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Large, crisp touch screen
  • Inconsistent build quality
  • Second row has less legroom than rivals
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Is the Tesla Model X a Good SUV?

Yes, the Tesla Model X is a good SUV. It has a longer range than most other electric vehicles, and it delivers outstanding performance. It is also more efficient than most class rivals. The Model X handles relatively well, but the ride could be smoother. Inside, the Model X has spacious front seats, lots of features, and tons of cargo space. However, the second-row seats have less legroom than some competitors, and the interior build quality is a little lagging for a luxury vehicle.

Should I Buy the Tesla Model X?

The Model X certainly deserves consideration if you want an SUV that's enjoyable to drive and has ample cargo space. However, it may not be the best choice if you plan to carry rear-seat passengers regularly, or if you're looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to interior styling. Additionally, the Model X is one of the most expensive vehicles in the luxury midsize SUV class. While there are plenty of reasons to like this Tesla, it wouldn't hurt to check out some competitors, such as the Audi Q7 and Tesla Model S.

Compare Model X, Q7, and Model S »

Should I Buy a New or Used Tesla Model X?

The Tesla Model X was introduced for the 2016 model year. The 2017 model added a new 100-kWh battery. The 2018 model reduces the trim lineup to three and lowers the base price by a few thousand dollars, though it still has one of the highest starting prices in the class.

You may be able to save yourself some money with a used vehicle. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 Tesla Model X and 2017 Tesla Model X. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare 2016, 2017, and 2018 Model X »

We Did the Research for You: 20 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Model X generation, which runs from 2016 to 2018.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Tesla Model X Cost?

The Model X has a starting price of just under $80,000. That's a higher base price than virtually every rival – by tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. The Model X is also more expensive on the high end. Its performance-oriented P100D trim has a starting price of $140,000, which is more than every rival's top trim. To ease the cost burden, you may be eligible for up to $7,500 in tax incentives on a new Model X.

Tesla Model X Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Tesla Model X or Audi Q7?

The Audi Q7, which is a gas-powered SUV, finishes ahead of the Model X in our class rankings – and its starting price is roughly $30,000 lower. The Model X is more efficient and has much quicker acceleration, but that’s not to say the Q7's engines are weak. Both SUVs also handle well. The Audi has an extremely luxurious cabin and more passenger space in the second row, but the Model X provides more cargo space and edges out the Q7 on the technology front. Despite the Model X’s high-tech feel and incredible performance, its price is too far beyond the Q7's for most buyers to justify buying it over the Audi.

Which Is Better: Tesla Model X or Tesla Model S?

Though the Tesla Model S is a luxury large car, it has a lot in common with its SUV lineup mate. Both have exceptional range for an electric vehicle, both have more cargo space than most of their peers, and both have incredible acceleration. However, the Model S handles better and has a more upscale interior. It's also slightly more efficient, has a longer range, and costs a few thousand dollars less. The Model X provides more space for passengers and cargo than the Model S, but if you can live without those advantages, the sedan is the way to go.

Compare Model X, Q7, and Model S »

Model X Interior

How Many People Does the Model X Seat?

The Model X seats five as standard, but optional seating configurations allow you to seat six or seven. There are no complaints up front; drivers and those riding shotgun have plenty of head- and legroom, as well as outstanding visibility. Second-row passengers may want a bit more legroom, but they are unlikely to feel cramped. The third row is a tight squeeze for most adults.

Model X and Car Seats

The Model X may have as many as four full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors, depending on which seating configuration you get.

Model X Interior Quality

Shockingly, build quality is a bit of a weak spot for the Model X, as there are uneven gaps in the panels and other inconsistencies in some places. On the bright side, there are a lot of soft-touch materials.

Model X Cargo Space

Because there is no engine (the electric motors and battery packs are engineered into the car's chassis), the Model X has a front trunk (or frunk) under the hood, in addition to the rear cargo hold. Together, they provide up to 88 cubic feet of cargo space (depending on the seating configuration) – one of the highest totals in the class. That's plenty of room for some large items, like camping gear. The space could be more versatile, however, as the second row doesn't fold down.

Model X Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Model X include four USB ports, a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and navigation. Available features include a 17-speaker sound system, satellite radio, and a high-amperage charger.

For all its technology, the Model X doesn't offer connectivity features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, it has plenty of other bells and whistles, most of which are controlled via the gargantuan 17-inch touch screen. The screen has crisp graphics and responds well to inputs, but the menu layout could be simpler.

Read more about interior »

Model X Performance

Model X Engine: Plenty of Hustle

The Model X delivers the kind of acceleration that most competitors only dream about. Every model in the lineup sprints from zero to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. The high-performance P100D trim makes the dash in less than 3 seconds, making it one of the fastest vehicles around – SUV or otherwise.

Model X Mileage and Charging: Changing the Game for SUVs

People expect EVs to knock their socks off when it comes to efficiency. The Model X has somewhat low ratings by electric vehicle standards, but it's still far and away the most efficient SUV in the class. It earns 91 mpg-equivalent in the city and 95 mpg-e on the highway.

Compared to a gas-powered rival like the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the Model X will save you about $1,600 each year in fuel costs.

As for charging, you can charge the Model X at your house via a standard 120-volt outlet. It will charge considerably faster with a 240-volt outlet, however. Model X owners also have access to Tesla's nationwide network of Supercharger stations. At one of these stations, you can recharge up to 80 percent of the battery's full range in about half an hour. Additionally, owners can get up to 400 kWh (or about 1,000 miles) of charging for free each year at the Supercharger network, with a small fee incurred after that.

Model X Ride and Handling: Surprisingly Sporty

The Model X is a pretty big vehicle, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's a plodder. This Tesla handles well and provides sharp steering, making it a good match for most winding roads. The engaging agility comes at the expense of ride quality, however, which suffers as the pavement gets worse.

Read more about performance »

Model X Reliability

Is the Tesla Model X Reliable?

The 2018 Tesla Model X does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Tesla Model X Warranty

Tesla backs the Model X with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and an eight-year/infinite-mile battery and drive unit warranty. These warranty terms are similar to those of many luxury vehicles.

Read more about reliability »

Model X Safety

Model X Crash Test Results

The 2018 Model X has a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Model X Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. Available features include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic parking, a summon feature, and the Autopilot system, which is a suite of driver assistance features that can – at its highest level of application – drive the car without human intervention.

Read more about safety »

Which Tesla Model X Model Is Right for Me?

Model X buyers should stick with the base trim. It has a shorter range than the higher trims, but by less than 60 miles. It's also available with pretty much every feature you can get in higher trims, yet it costs much less than they do. In other words, you can add several features to the Model X 75D and still pay less than you would for one of the higher trims.

Tesla Model X 75D

The Model X 75D has a base price of $79,500 and a 237-mile range. Standard features include navigation, four USB ports, a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, heated front seats, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, a nine-speaker sound system, collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, a panoramic windshield, Falcon Wing rear doors, and an automatic liftgate.

In its base configuration, the Model X 75D seats five. For $6,000, it can be reconfigured to seat six, with or without a second-row center console. For $3,000, you can get the seven-seat cabin configuration.

There are several option packages you can add. The Premium Upgrades package ($6,000) includes an air filtration system, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and more. The Enhanced Autopilot package ($5,000), adds several driver assistance technologies that allow the Model S to drive down the highway and park itself with minimal oversight from the driver.

If you add Enhanced Autopilot, you can take it a step further with the Full Self-Driving Capability package ($3,000). This system more or less does everything a human would when behind the wheel. It can navigate routes, move through intersections (while adhering to stoplights and stop signs), and automatically park after you step out of the car at your destination.

Tesla Model X 100D

The 100D has a starting price of $96,000 and delivers a 295-mile range. Its features are otherwise the same as the base model. The same option packages are available as well.

Tesla Model X P100D

The high-performance P100D starts at $140,000. It comes standard with a 289-mile range and the Ludicrous Speed upgrade. Other standard features include a cabin air filtration system, a premium audio system, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The P100D offers the same option packages as the lower trims, with the exception of the Premium Upgrades package (because those features are standard in this trim).

See 2018 Tesla Model X specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Tesla Model X is an SUV with outstanding performance on top of the benefits that EVs already have, like excellent efficiency. But while the Model X has some notable advantages over its competitors, it also lags behind rivals in some areas. That's why it doesn't finish higher in our class rankings – and why it's in your best interest to shop around before buying.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Tesla's Model X has much more in common with the company's iconic Model S sport sedan than with any SUV or crossover we've ever seen, but then that's a big part of its draw. Like the Model S, the all-electric Model X has explosive power, the range of a conventional gasoline-powered SUV, all-wheel drive and a superbly outfitted cabin that can seat up to seven people." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Yes, it is now obvious that the company can build an astonishing vehicle. The S is mind-blowing and, just as we were all about to recover, the X blew our mind again." -- Autoblog (2016)

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