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2019 Tesla Model X Review

The Tesla Model X has blistering acceleration, terrific handling, and lots of cargo space. However, a cramped interior and questionable build quality prevent the Model X from rising any higher than the middle of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. 

Pros & Cons

  • Supercar-like acceleration
  • Poised handling
  • Excellent amount of cargo space
  • Futuristic, intuitive features
  • Cramped third row
  • Stiff ride quality
  • Concerning fit and finish issues

Is the Tesla Model X a Good SUV?

The Tesla Model X is a good luxury midsize SUV that sets itself apart from the rest. It offers nearly 300 miles of all-electric driving, and it can bolt from zero to 60 mph in a supercar-like time of under 3 seconds. Not content to just go fast in a straight line, the Model X takes curves with composure and handles more like a smaller sedan than a midsize SUV.

The Model X benefits from Tesla’s well-established penchant for technology, with a stunning 17-inch infotainment display and a whole host of Autopilot driver assistance features. However, those come at the expense of substandard fit and finish for a luxury vehicle. The Model X has among the largest cargo holds in its class, but the cabin otherwise comes up a little short on space.

Should I Buy the Tesla Model X?

There are several reasons to consider buying a Model X: you want an eco-friendly SUV; you want an all-electric vehicle with a long range; or you just want a car that will turn heads around the neighborhood. However, membership in this club is expensive – the Model X has a starting price of $88,000.

If you’re set on a Tesla, you’d do well to consider the Model S sedan, which is a little less expensive and offers a longer range and better driving dynamics. If having an alternative-fuel powertrain isn’t a requirement, check out the luxurious and spacious Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Compare the Model X, Model S, and GLS »

Should I Buy a New or Used Tesla Model X?

The Tesla Model X was introduced for the 2016 model year, and it's only seen small changes since its debut. Tesla doesn't technically issue vehicles with model year designations, and you can employ over-the-air upgrades to add features or increase battery power or range. You may find used Model X examples with different ranges and power ratings than a new model, and some used models have fewer features, since some amenities became standard more recently.

You can likely save lots of money by shopping for a used Model X instead of a new one. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2017 Tesla Model X and 2018 Tesla Model X. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Model X »

We Did the Research for You: 14 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 14 Tesla Model X reviews – along with crash test ratings, performance specs, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Model X is the right new car for you. This 2019 Tesla Model X review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our car reviews remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Tesla Model X Cost?

The Tesla Model X starts at $88,000, which is one of the highest prices in the luxury midsize SUV class. You can upgrade the base model with an $8,000 range extender, or just spring for the $117,000 Tesla Model X Performance. The Model X Performance offers Ludicrous Mode for an additional $20,000.

Both models come standard with seating for five. The six-person configuration costs $6,000, and the upcharge for the seven-person setup costs a little less, at $3,000. Enhanced Autopilot driver assistance is optional for $5,000.

Tesla Model X Versus the Competition

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

The Tesla Model S is a luxury large sedan that shares many of the same underpinnings as the Model X. Both models have a similar list of features, standard all-wheel drive, and more cargo space than nearly all their respective competitors. The Model S has track-ready handling and even quicker acceleration than the Model X. Both vehicles are now solely available with a 100 kWh battery. The Model S offers up to 335 miles of range, while the Model X tops out at 295 miles. For each of its respective trims, the Model S also costs a few thousand dollars less than the X. The Model X can seat up to seven, and the 2019 Model S is solely a five-seat sedan. If you want the extra seats, the unique gull-wing doors, and the extra cargo space of an SUV, go for the Model X. Otherwise, you're better off with the more well-rounded Model S.

Which Is Better: Tesla Model X or Mercedes-Benz GLS?

If you’re not set on an electric SUV, you should consider the Mercedes-Benz GLS. This luxury large SUV has a much lower starting price than the Model X, at just over $70,000. However, the GLS features a with a more adult-friendly third row. The Mercedes oozes interior opulence, and it feels well-built, in contrast to the quality issues with the Model X. Though it can't match the Model X for blistering off-the-line acceleration, the GLS has engaging, balanced handling and a lineup of muscular engines. This Benz has a slightly higher maximum cargo capacity than the Model X, and a multitude of trim levels and option packages make it easy to find a GLS that fits your priorities and budget.

Compare the Model X, Model S, and GLS »

Model X Interior

How Many People Does the Model X Seat?

The Tesla Model X comes in three seating configurations: the standard five-seat setup, a six-person configuration with second-row captain’s chairs, and a seven-person arrangement with a second-row bench seat. All the seats are heated regardless of which setup you choose, and 12-way power-adjustable front seats are standard as well.

The front seats are comfortable and provide an expansive view of the road ahead and to the side, thanks to a panoramic windshield that stretches up over your head and back towards the middle seats. That roof affords a lot of second-row headroom, but legroom is unimpressive, especially if taller front-seat occupants need to slide their seats back. The optional second-row captain's chairs offer the best third-row access, though they only tilt and slide as a single piece. Like in many 3-row SUVs, the third row is best suited for children.

The Falcon Wing doors are useful for getting into the car in tight spaces. However, they open slowly, and if you're parking somewhere with a low ceiling, prepare to duck in under the doors. 

Model X and Car Seats

The Model X can have up to four complete sets of LATCH car seat connections, depending on the seating layout. Lower anchors in for the second-row outboard seats are easy to access, but three tether anchors are underneath carpet, making them hard to find. The third-row seat upholstery is stiff, and the lower anchors are set deeper in the seat. The tether anchors are similarly tricky to use.

Model X Interior Quality

The Model X is full of quality materials and soft-touch surfaces. The overall interior design is futuristic and what you'd expect from a brand run by a guy who's also helming a space program. The chief complaint, though, is what plagues Tesla's other vehicles: unimpressive build quality and some noticeable fit and finish issues. There are gaps in interior panels, exterior body fit issues, and more squeaks and noises than expected from a luxury SUV. A fair amount of road and wind noise also plagues the Model X’s cabin.

Model X Cargo Space

The Model X’s overall cargo volume of 88 cubic feet is among the best in the luxury midsize SUV class. That space is split between the traditional rear cargo hold and a smaller front trunk, or "frunk,” where a car's engine would typically go. The SUV's high roof line affords good utility in back, but the cargo opening is a little narrow. A storage space under the floor provides extra space.

The optional third row of seats folds down to open up more room, and so does the second-row bench seat. The available captain's chairs in the second row don't fold at all, preventing you from hauling larger items. The Model X's unique rear doors and curved roof also don't allow for installation of a roof rack.

Model X Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The command center of the Model X is a 17-inch touch screen that takes up practically the entire center stack, extending up into the dashboard. Its brilliant display boasts large icons and quick processing times, and it recognizes smartphonelike gestures like swiping and pinching to zoom. The interface also handles more mundane settings like climate controls. The buttons for those features are small, and their placement at the bottom of the screen can make it difficult for the driver to reach or adjust precisely.

Nearly all features in the Model X are standard. The list includes an air filtration system, Bluetooth, a 17-speaker stereo, satellite radio, navigation, two USB ports, voice command activation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Read more about interior »

Model X Performance

Model X Engine: Keep It 100

Tesla doesn't rate their vehicles with horsepower or most other traditional indicators of performance. Instead, they offer up battery size and zero-to-60 times. Every new Model X features a 100-kWh battery that delivers breathtaking acceleration. Step on the accelerator, and instant electric torque rockets you off the line, with continuously smooth power delivery up to freeway speeds and beyond.

The standard Model X goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Many sports cars would be happy with that time, but it's not enough for this Tesla. The Model X Performance trim shaves the time down to 3.5 seconds. With that edition, you can enable Ludicrous Mode, a $20,000 upgrade that gives the Model X a zero-to-60 time of just 2.8 seconds. That makes the Model X the fastest SUV on the market.   

Model X Gas Mileage, Range, and Charging: Like Nothing Else

The regular Tesla Model X has an operating range of 270 miles. With a range-extender add-on, you can bump that up to 295 miles – the SUV's maximum advertised range. The Model X Performance has a range of 289 miles.

You can charge the Model X at home via a standard household outlet, though Tesla recommends the upgraded 240-volt wall connector. The latter can fully charge a Model X in around 10 hours. Tesla owners also have access to the nationwide Supercharger network, which offers the fastest possible charging for a fee. You can recoup about 170 miles of driving range in just 30 minutes of Supercharging, and it takes about an hour and a half to fully charge the SUV using this method.

The Model X gets an EPA-estimated 87 MPGe combined city/highway, while the Model X Performance comes in at 85 MPGe. Those figures are among the highest for electric or plug-in hybrid SUVs. To learn more, check out What is MPGe?

Model X Ride and Handling: Sedan-like

The Model X comes standard with all-wheel drive, which gives it good road grip and solid cornering capabilities. Some critics hesitate to call it truly sporty or agile, but there's a consensus that the Model X drives more like a sedan than a top-heavy SUV. The batteries are integrated into the chassis, helping the Tesla achieve a low center of gravity, which reigns in body lean around turns. The ride quality may be too stiff for some shoppers, especially over broken pavement. The ride only gets worse with a combination of larger wheels and low-profile tires.

Read more about performance »

Model X Reliability

Is the Tesla Model X Reliable?

The 2019 Tesla Model X does not have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Tesla Model X Warranty

Tesla covers the Model X with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and an eight-year/unlimited-mile warranty for the battery and drive unit.

Read more about reliability »

Model X Safety

Model X Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tesla Model X an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Model X also earned five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

Model X Safety Features

The Tesla Model X comes standard with Autopilot driver assistance features like forward and side collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Optional Enhanced Autopilot gives the SUV the ability to maintain and adjust speed with traffic, stay in its lane or make lane changes, automatically park itself, and drive itself to you out of a parking spot.

Read more about safety »

Which Tesla Model X Model Is Right for Me?

Choosing a Model X is pretty simple. Base and Performance are the two trims. Both feature a 100-kWh battery and all-wheel drive, though range and acceleration times differ between the trims. You can upgrade the base model for more range, and add Ludicrous Mode to the Performance trim for faster acceleration.

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X starts at $88,000. It has a range of 270 miles, and you can upgrade the range to 295 miles for an extra $8,000 at the time of purchase. The Model X comes standard with five seats. A six-seat configuration is optional for $6,000, and a seven-seat version is optional for $3,000, making it less expensive than the six-seat upgrade.

Standard features include 12-way power-adjustable front seats, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, an air filtration system, and a panoramic windshield. The infotainment system includes a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a 17-speaker stereo, satellite radio, navigation, two USB ports, voice command activation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The Model X comes standard with a rearview camera, forward collision warning, side collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. An upgraded suite of driver assistance features bundled under Enhanced Autopilot is a $5,000 option. For those who don’t add this feature when ordering the car, Tesla offers Enhanced Autopilot as an over-the-air update for $7,000 after delivery.

Tesla Model X Performance

The Tesla Model X Performance retails for $117,000 and has a 289-mile range. Ludicrous Mode, which enables acceleration that’s 20 percent faster, is optional for $20,000. The Model X Performance also comes with carbon fiber interior accents and ventilated seats, but it otherwise offers the same standard and optional features as the base model.

See 2019 Tesla Model X specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Tesla Model X is a good choice whether you’re looking for an SUV or an electric vehicle. It has engaging handling, quick acceleration, and long-range electric driving, but it also has one of the highest prices in its class. There are also a lot of unknowns regarding long-term reliability and quality for the Tesla brand.

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

  • "If maximum seating space isn't a priority, you might consider one of the rival electric vehicles that are coming out this year, such as Audi's e-tron or Jaguar's I-Pace. They're both functional five-seaters with an established dealer network. Then there is the multitude of traditional gasoline-powered SUVs, such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Land Rover Range Rover, which feature similar towing performance and better utility. Ultimately, though, if all you want is either the quickest-accelerating SUV or the one with the craziest doors, you'll no doubt be quite satisfied with the Model X." -- Edmunds
  • "Looking at the Model X with eyes wide open shows that Tesla was trying too hard to be different, just to be different. The end product detracts from Tesla's impressive achievements, reducing practicality and adding complexity." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "If you're looking for a luxury SUV that is truly unique, but that can also accommodate the needs of a family on the go, check out the … Tesla Model X. Its features and speed will delight colleagues and kids alike, and its zero emissions help keep the planet green." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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