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2016 Tesla Model X Review

The 2016 Tesla Model X offers quick acceleration, a spacious interior, and many intuitive tech features. Positives like these push this all-electric SUV to the top of our luxury SUV rankings, though plenty of question marks for safety, reliability, and ownership costs still remain.  

Pros & Cons

  • Outrageous acceleration
  • Sleek, user-friendly features
  • Athletic handling
  • It's an EV – zero emission driving
  • It's an EV – range anxiety
  • Middle row doesn't fold flat




Critics' Rating: 10.0
Performance: 9.2
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.

2016 Tesla Model X Overview

Is the 2016 Tesla Model X a Good Used SUV?

The Tesla Model X is an outstanding vehicle that appeals to a wide range of luxury midsize SUV buyers. It's an electric vehicle (EV), so you'll never have to put gas in it. However, you will have to worry about where you'll recharge it. Available as either a 2-row SUV or 3-row SUV, the Model X is athletic, comfortable, and high-tech, with weaknesses that are minor compared to most vehicles on the market. You’ll have to take a leap of faith when it comes to safety, reliability, and ownership costs. No information is available for these categories on the 2016 model year. 

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know in our comprehensive Tesla Model X review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with nine professional reviews.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Tesla Model X?

Prices for the 2016 Tesla Model X range from $71,500 to $160,000, with the average price landing just under $99,000 (based on a dozen 2016 Model X listings on our used car site). That makes the Model X one of the most expensive SUVs in the class. The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is the second most expensive luxury midsize SUV, with an average price of $65,300. That’s almost $34,000 lower than the Model X.

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How Much Does the 2016 Tesla Model X Cost to Own?

At the time of this review, five-year costs are not available for the 2016 Tesla Model X.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Model X?

The most significant changes for 2018 are increases in range and sprint time. The midlevel 100D can now drive 295 miles, an increase of 38 miles over the 2016 90D’s range. Also, you can now reach 60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds with the top-of-the-line P100D. Unlike the 2016, the 2018 Model X doesn’t have unlimited recharging on Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Oddly, a new Model X may actually be cheaper than a used one. On average, you’ll pay close to $100,000 for a 2016 Model X. Compare that to the price of a new Model X, which starts at $79,500. Federal tax incentives may lower that price by $7,500, bringing your estimated savings to around $12,000 over the average price of a used 2016 Model X. Note that availability of a new Tesla can fluctuate. You may have to wait if you decide to custom order a Model X.

Read about the new Tesla Model X »

There are currently no other all-electric vehicles on the market with seating for up to seven people. However, there are a few alternatives to the Model X that are worth considering. Spirited drivers will relish the sports-car-like performance of the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. A sumptuous interior adds to the Cayenne’s appeal. Leather seats are standard (unlike in the Tesla), and both rows of seats are roomy enough for adults to enjoy the ride. Though the plug-in Cayenne Hybrid’s all-electric range is only 14 miles, the Porsche costs much less than a 2016 Model X. The MSRP of a Cayenne Hybrid starts at $79,900, and it’s eligible for a $5,336 federal tax credit. The 2018 Volvo XC90 T8 is another luxurious plug-in hybrid to consider. Like the Model X, it can carry up to seven people with the available third-row seat. The XC90 has lots of space throughout the cabin and is well-equipped with an impressive amount of standard features. Prices for the plug-in hybrid XC90 start at $64,950 (before the available $5,002 federal tax credit).

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Tesla Model X?

J.D. Power has not released reliability information of the 2016 Model X. If the assurance of owning a dependable SUV is important to you, consider a 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid. It has a fantastic score of five out of five.

Read more about Model X reliability »

2016 Tesla Model X Recalls

Three recalls have been issued on the 2016 Model X, at the timing of writing. The largest recall fixes a potentially defective parking brake that may not work properly. Additional recalls address issues with the rear seats. One fixes a problem with the hardware that holds the second-row seat backs in place. The other addresses faulty third-row seat backs that may move in a collision.

See more information on Tesla Model X safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Tesla Model X Is Best? 

The Model X's first generation started with the 2016 model year, and it includes the 2018 Model X. However, Tesla constantly releases over-the-air software updates for its vehicles, so the differences between model years are ill-defined.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Model X »

Which Used Tesla Model X Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Model X comes in three trims: 75D, 90D, and P90D. The major differences between the three trims are range and acceleration times, starting with the 238-mile 75D. Otherwise, most features are available with any of the three trims. All three engines are powerful, so the one you pick depends on how fast and far you want to go. Pick the 90D for maximum range – it can drive an estimated 257 miles on a single charge. The P90D delivers the fastest acceleration specs of the bunch, reaching 60 mph in a blistering 3.8 seconds.

See 2016 Tesla Model X trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Model X?

The 2016 Tesla Model X has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is common for many luxury vehicles.

The Model X comes standard with forward and rearview cameras, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic pre-collision braking. Tesla's Autopilot features are also available. They allow the vehicle to autonomously steer around curves, maintain a set following distance behind the car ahead, change lanes when you use the turn signal, and pull in and out of a parking spot on its own.

See Model X safety scores »

2016 Tesla Model X Versus the Competition

The Model X is the only EV in its class, though there are some hybrid competitors. You won’t have to pay for gasoline with the Tesla, but you'll be limited by driving range and recharging times. In addition, the Model X costs more than most class rivals.

Which Is Better: 2016 Tesla Model X or 2016 Volvo XC90 T8?

The Volvo XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid that can go 14 miles on electric power alone. While that can't match the range of the Model X, the XC90 T8 does have the benefit of a gasoline engine, granting it a total range of 350 miles. The T8 has strong acceleration and excellent gas mileage for a 3-row SUV. It can carry seven passengers in comfort with its available third row, and it has more cargo space than the Model X. The Tesla is a better SUV overall, but the Volvo costs significantly less and has refueling options that are more accessible.

Which Is Better: 2016 Tesla Model X or 2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid?

The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid that can go up to 14 miles on electricity alone before the supercharged six-cylinder gasoline motor kicks in. The S E-Hybrid has powerful acceleration and is one of the most agile SUVs in its class. It can’t hold as many people as the Model X. However, the five passengers that do fit in the Cayenne Hybrid will be exceptionally comfortable, thanks to its supportive seats and luxurious appointments. Add in the Cayenne’s significantly lower price, and it emerges as the better buy of the two.

Compare the Model X, XC90 T8, and Cayenne S E-Hybrid »

2016 Model X Performance

How Does the 2016 Tesla Model X Drive?

The 2016 Tesla Model X is an all-electric vehicle (EV), which means it doesn’t use gasoline. Like other EVs, the Model X is quick off the line. Zero-to-60 times for the Model X range from 6 seconds down to an electrifying 3.8 seconds, which is quicker than pretty much every competitor. This SUV is agile and planted on winding roads, with hardly any body lean.

Does the 2016 Tesla Model X Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Model X 75D trim earns a 93 mpg-e rating from the EPA (learn more about mpg-e here). It can also drive about 238 miles on a single charge. Uplevel trims come with a larger battery and a range of up to 257 miles.

The Model X can be charged at home, though it's slow with a standard outlet. Upgrading to a 240-volt outlet provides a faster charging rate. Tesla also has a Supercharger network that you can use to charge your Model X more quickly. As of January 2017, new Model X SUVs no longer have unlimited free charging at Tesla Supercharger stations. However, the company confirmed that older models that had this free-charging perk – including 2016s – will retain it. Still, no matter where you choose to do it, charging the Model X takes substantially longer than filling a car's gas tank.

2016 Tesla Model X Towing Capacity

The Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Keep in mind that towing a trailer will reduce the number of miles you can drive. 

Read more about Model X performance »

2016 Model X Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Model X Seat?

The Tesla Model X has an elegant interior, though some feel that it doesn’t quite match the stylishness of some competitors. The standard configuration seats five, and an available third row boosts capacity to seven. There are no bad seats in the Model X. The second-row seats slide and recline independently, and the third row has ample headroom for adults. The Falcon Wing doors make it easy to get into and out of the rear seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Tesla Model X?

LATCH anchors in the Model X include two sets of lower anchors in the second and available third row seats. There are a total of up to six tether anchors: three in the second row, and three in the available third row.

2016 Tesla Model X Features

Standard features in the Model X include navigation, four USB ports, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 17-inch touch screen. Optional features include a 17-speaker audio system and an air filtration system. The touch screen dominates the dash, replacing nearly every physical button and controlling almost every function. This gives the Model X a high-tech look and feel. The screen is easy to use and easily seen from any angle.

See 2016 Tesla Model X specs »

Read more about Model X interior »

2016 Tesla Model X Dimensions

Tesla Model X Cargo Space

In total, the Model X has between 77.3 and 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space, depending on how many seats it has. These dimensions are higher than most other luxury midsize SUVs. A power liftgate comes standard, and there’s a storage area in the front where the engine would typically go.

Tesla Model X Length and Weight

The Model X is a 16.6-foot-long SUV. Curb weight ranges between 5,185 and 5,483 pounds, and gross vehicle weight spans 6,581 to 6,878 pounds. 

Where Was the 2016 Tesla Model X Built?

The 2016 Model X was built in Fremont, California, along with the Tesla Model S.

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