Review: Tesla Model Y Performance

    In the month of March, the Tesla Model Y was the 5th highest-selling vehicle in Australia. When I reviewed the Model Y back in July 2022, I highlighted how broadly appealing the car was, and that it would be a great fit for many Australian families, which has now proven to be true.

    The first customers received their RWD Model Y last August, while the Model Y Performance in Australia only recently started to be delivered to customers. Tesla has also just added the ability to order the Long Range variant, with an estimated delivery timeline of May – Jun 2023.

    Tesla’s Model Y has a big hit globally, the best selling car in Sweeden, in Denmark, in Netherlands and the best selling car in the UK. Here in Australia, we’re a little behind, but things are changing quickly with Tesla being able to supply more electric vehicles into the country than any other brand.

    This review will attempt to answer both the questions from those people considering their first EV, and those looking at buying their next.

    In this review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this vehicle stand out from the rest and explore its performance, design, safety features, and more. So buckle up and let’s dive in!


    Tesla designers have prioritised efficiency and therefore the exterior reflects that ambition. This sees the cars exterior formed into curvy, slippery surfaces and be void of any hard edges, ensuring the air that flows over and around the vehicle is disturbed as little as possible.

    Technically this measures out at a crazy low 0.23 drag coefficient, but the result to the customer are aerodynamics that delivers great range and a modest battery pack size compared to what we see elsewhere in the industry.

    The resulting look to the car, particularly the front bar, won’t appeal to all, but remains a modern look in 2023, despite being an extension of the Model 3 designed some 5 years ago, back in 2018.

    The black trim around the windows, and the lower-section of the rear bar, contrast the body well, as does the black 21″ rims of the Performance spec. Our review unit was white, but the car is available in black, grey, blue and red as well, outside of that, you’ll need to look at wrapping the vehicle to stand out among the growing number of our roads.

    While the MYP looks the same as the standard Model Y on the surface, those paying close attention (we are) will notice several subtle differences.


    Firstly there’s that Dual-Motor badge on the back with the giveaway red underline, a great indicator to look for if you’re rolling up to a set of lights. Next is the carbon fibre lip on the top of the boot lid, this not only looks good but also helps to reduce drag.

    Another difference is the red brake callipers, tucked away underneath the large, black 21″ Überturbine rims. These are wrapped in Pirelli PZero tyres (255/35RR21 98W) to yield even more performance than the already great Michelin Pilot Sport EVs on the RWD Model Y.

    This next difference is subtle but important, the MYP actually sits 15mm lower than the base model, this is designed to aid in handling and get that larger battery back even lower to the ground. This does come with a trade-off of slightly less ground clearance.

    You will also notice that the front fog lights aren’t blacked out, but are actually functional lights which is useful if you live in foggy environments, or just like more light on the road and the quad-light look for night driving.

    The next difference is inside the cabin and it’s about the only one. The brake and accelerator pedals of the Performance model are aluminium alloy pedals. This is a nice touch, however, there are plenty of 3rd party options to upgrade the defaults here.


    Travelling inside the Model Y is a really pleasant experience. The seats are incredibly comfortable and there’s plenty of leg space for rear passengers, even with a taller driver.

    As a driver, you have a great steering wheel (all electronically adjusted and saved to your driver profile) to control the car. Through the display, you can select from different wheel weights (Comfort, Standard, Sport) based on personal preference.

    If you’re on a road trip, you’ll enjoy the dual storage available in the centre console, glovebox, as well as the space in the door pockets which are lined with carpet, also helping to avoid rattles.

    Inside the glovebox, you’ll find a USB key used for Sentry Mode. This records clips from your integrated dashcam (the cameras around your car) great for accident investigation and can send an alert to your phone if your car is damaged or broken into.

    The console facilitates 2 spaces for large phones to wirelessly charge, providing a great get-in, phone down and drive-away experience.

    The rear seats feature ISOfix mounts for modern car seats to easily clip in and out and the rear row can be folded down easily from the boot, thanks to a couple of release buttons to lay them flat and load larger cargo.

    The experience in the back row is enhanced by the massive glass roof, allowing great visibility of the world above, from overhanging trees on a country road, or towering skyscrapers in the city, the glass roof is a real feature in the car.

    With the amount of glass, in the car, you may be concerned by temperatures in the cabin. On a very hot summer day, the car, can indeed get hot, despite the factory tint applied to the roof and rear windows. Fortunately, Tesla has thought of this and has two options.

    The first is an automated response from the vehicle (does need to be enabled), allowing the cooling to run in the event the cabin is determined to be in a thermal envelope that is determined as ‘overheating’. Naturally, this does consume a bit of power and the car is smart enough to limit this cooling so you can’t run out of battery with this.

    A second is a manual option, where you can fire up the Tesla app, enabling the climate control to cool the cabin ahead of you enter. This really only takes 5-10 minutes and you’ll be notified when the cabin reaches your desired temperature.


    Perhaps the most striking change new owners will need to adjust to is the transition to a single display, a large 15″ touchscreen in the center of the car. While this is confronting to look at, millions of people across the world are using this perfectly fine, every single day.

    In my experience after just a couple of days, this starts to feel natural and your muscle memory connected to where you look to get information about the vehicle shifts to glance left, rather than straight ahead.

    Of course, you have the ability to control many vehicle functions while driving by using voice commands, but for those that require you to interact with the screen, can be easily done, thanks to Autopilot which we’ll dive deeper into shortly.

    Mobile app

    The Tesla mobile app provides control over your vehicle in many important ways. You can control the vehicle by unlocking and locking the doors and windows, opening the frunk or opening/closing the boot, you can check the tyre pressures, you can control the temperature, controlling charging limits and scheduling and even controlling access to the cars, creating digital keys for others.

    If your car is parked in the sun, it’s great to be able to remotely cool it down before you get in the vehicle. If you’re in colder climates, you can turn on the heating, including the seat heaters, so it’s nice and toasty when you arrive at the vehicle.

    Other reasons for visiting the mobile app is to check the charging stats for the month, to check the odometer, and browse the Tesla Store for accessories.

    OTA Software Updates

    As the industry shifts to electronic vehicles, one of the great consumer-facing benefits that have come along for the ride is over-the-air updates.

    These updates allow the manufacturer to improve the vehicle over time. Tesla really leads the way in popularising these updates and over the 3.5yrs I’ve had my Model 3 Performance, I’ve experienced dozens of updates.

    My car now goes 5% faster than it did when it first arrived, it has a number of media and entertainment apps that did not exist when it arrived. Possibly the biggest improvements are those to Autopilot and how to detect speed signs or slow for crossings etc. The car handles zipper merges much better and slows for sharp corners.

    While other automakers like Polestar, BYD etc are starting to offer software updates, none come close to the frequency offered by Tesla. Many times these OTA updates are just bug fixes, but every now and then, they result in the car getting better, often in response to user requests on Twitter.

    When an update for your car is available, you’ll be notified through the mobile app. If your car is connected to WiFi, you can tap to download and install the update. The car will need about 30-40 minutes after which you’ll get in and be met with the release notes of what’s changed.

    Audio system

    Having great audio in a car is really a nice-to-have feature, one you could easily see automakers saving their budget on. Thankfully Tesla put a seriously great audio system in the Model 3 and has continued that through the Model Y. In the 3, you need to opt up to get a subwoofer, while all models of the Model Y include it, making music playback feel deep and strong.

    Perhaps it’s the double-pane windows now found in the recent builds of Model 3 and Model Y, but the audio in this car sounds even better than my 2019 M3P.

    If you’re like me and love to listen to your favourite driving playlist, great audio quality, will be an important feature for you. With Tesla not offering Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you are restricted to built-in apps like Spotify, TuneIn and more recently Apple Music, or roll your own solution and stream by Bluetooth audio from your phone.

    One feature you get with Tesla that you don’t elsewhere, is a vehicle account to listen to any track on Spotify without paying for a pro account. If you want your personalised playlists to come through to the vehicle then you will need a paid account.

    It is also worth noting that for streaming audio, you’ll need to pay Tesla for Premium Connectivity each month, currently priced at A$9.99. This also offers live traffic, satellite-view on maps while driving, as well as video streaming, caraoke, and browsing the web while parked.

    Bioweapon defense mode

    One option in the HVAC system is a feature Tesla calls Bioweapon Defense Mode. This is an air filtration system designed to protect vehicle occupants from air pollutants like exhaust fumes, smoke, allergens, airborne pathogens, and other potentially hazardous particles.

    This is above and beyond the standard air circulation option found in the cooling screen. While I never thought I’d find a reason to use it during my time with the car, it turns out this time of the year is when farmers burn their crops to ready the land for future yields.

    This burning-off process produced a substantial amount of smoke in the air and with the help of wind patterns, resulted in a very smokey Wodonga. This was the perfect time to test Bioweapon defense mode.

    Thanks to the larger size of the Model Y, Tesla fits a large, HEPA filter in all Model Ys to enable this feature which is incredibly effective in cleaning the air in the cabin.

    Space and Storage

    A significant part of the reason you buy the Model Y over the Model 3 is the additional storage and interior cabin space.

    The Model Y offers a deeper frunk and a much larger rear boot than the Model 3. The elevated suspension also allows for better ground clearance should you want to take it off-road.

    While many drives are completed solo, if you plan on regularly driving with other people, and especially with a full family, then the Model Y is a significant upgrade and easily justifies the few thousand dollars extra in the price tag.

    As a bonus, you’ll find deeper storage in the boot, when you lift up the floor cover. This under-boot storage is so deep you could easily fit rugs, chairs, and even a cooler or portable battery. The pockets on either side of this are also deeper, easily accommodating dirty shoes and clothes from trips to the beach or the bush (BYO bags).


    Many potential owners will be keen to understand the vehicle’s capability for towing. The Tesla Model Y is capable of towing up to 1,600kg.

    This tow package is available through the Tesla Store, as a Service Installable item. This means you can’t order the car with the towbar, but rather order it and get it installed after you take delivery.

    The Model Y features a black plastic cover in the lower rear bar that can be removed to insert the high-strength steel tow bar and 2” hitch receiver.

    The Tow Package includes 1x high-strength steel tow bar with 2″ hitch receiver, 1x trailer harness and includes a tow mode software package.

    Currently, the price of the Tow Package for Model Y is A1,970. This may sound like a lot for a package that still requires you to BYO a ball mount, but not wildly expensive compared to tow packages from other brands.

    Having the option to tow, at least smaller trailers and caravans adds to the functionality of the Model Y and puts to bed the belief by some that EVs can’t tow at all. Naturally, with an additional load on the drivetrain and often payloads that have not been optimised for aero efficiency, the drain on your range will be increased when towing.

    Track Mode

    The Model Y Performance comes with an extra trick over the other models, it features something called Track Mode. This enables the driver to visit a race circuit, engage race mode and have the laps of the track timed, with the data and footage saved to the USB key in the glovebox.

    In track mode, you’ll have your battery and brake temps visualised, along with the geforces your experiencing while having the most fun on 4 wheels.

    Because the car’s driven by software, Tesla allows you to customise the allocation of power delivery beweent the front and rear wheels and even allows you to decrease traction control in this mode.

    While it’s not designed for straight line burnouts, Track Mode will allow you to drift the car.

    Track Mode in the review vehicle was disabled, but I have it and have used it on track in my Model 3 Performance and love it. While many will never take their vehicle to the track, it is great to see this offered and is something quite rare in the EV industry.

    Autopilot, EAP and FSD


    Many cars on the market now have driver assistance systems, but they are not created equally, if you’re choosing between two brands, this may be a key differentiator.

    Tesla names their default driver assist technology (included in every Australian Tesla) Autopilot. There’s been a lot said about the name, but it’s a name, get over it, nobody is confusing this for an airplane system.

    Autopilot offers adaptive cruise control, slowing for cars ahead of you, along with lane centering (technically called Autosteer), which may sound similar to lane keeping, or lane guidance offered by other Automotive Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), but is very different.

    Autopilot uses the cameras, combined with computer vision AI to determine where the lane is. When enabled with a double-tap down on the drive select stalk, the car will stay in the middle of the current lane.

    This differs considerably to many other ADAS systems that simply detect the car approaching either the left or right lane line and adjusts the steering move back towards the center. This results in the car effectively playing ping pong between the lane lines and is a fundamentally different experience for the driver.

    The amount of driving that can be done leveraging Autopilot is significantly more than most other ADAS systems. Tesla does an amazing job of detecting lane lines in poor weather, and in heavy rain outperforms what I could see and do as a human.

    Even having 1 side of the lane marked is enough to enable AP, and there’s a surprising amount of these instances where other ADAS solutions would never support use in these areas. A lane bordered by a concrete gutter on the left and a painted white line on the right, is enough for AP to determine a lane and allow for activation. This means somewhere around 90% of my driving is done on AP, across city streets and highway driving.

    Autopilot adapts to the speed of the car ahead (the distance is configurable by the right knob on the wheel), meaning your car will brake as the car ahead of you slow down, something that can’t be said for those drivers illegally using their mobile phones, causing thousands of accidents per day.

    As good as any driver assist system is, it’s often the edge cases that showcase the dramatic difference between technology stacks. I’ve driven plenty of systems that completely give up when it comes lanes merges, while Tesla’s AP handles it gracefully (although I would like them to automatically throw a blinker).

    The cognitive load required to drive a Tesla on Autopiot is significantly lower than almost every other car on the market. Even those with pretty good ADAS like the Polestar 2, simply don’t have the edge cases handled to enable you to fully relax while driving.

    Enhanced AutoPilot and Full Self Driving Upgrades

    This review vehicle didn’t have EAP, or FSD enabled and I actually really missed it. When I picked up this Model Y Perf, it was brand new with just 11km on the odometer. This meant for the first 60ish kilometres, I didn’t even have Autopilot which was actually good, as it reminded me just what an asset that technology is in helping you drive.

    I regularly get to experience these two paid software upgrades, our Model Y has EAP (currently a $5k option), while my M3P has FSD (currently a A$10,100 option).

    It seems some non-Tesla owners clearly don’t understand what these software packages offer, so I’ll break down the experience in-car to eliminate confusion.

    When you buy a Tesla through their website, you will see a disclaimer that clearly indicates you are responsible for the vehicle.

    The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. Some features require turn signals and are limited in range. The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of kilometres of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions. As these self-driving features evolve, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.

    When you get the car, you have to enable Autopilot in the driving setting of the car, at which time, it is also explained to you what it does/doesn’t do and that you are still responsible.

    Some non-Tesla owners have suggested that Tesla owners are confused (no evidence of this) about the capabilities and imagine that a Tesla can drive autonomously today, it cannot.

    If you found yourself in a Tesla and somehow thought this was the case, you would drive the car, take your hands off the wheel, foot off the pedal, and very quickly find that the car does not follow the lane lines, and would slow down, clearly showing the driver that the car does not drive itself.

    Maybe you borrows a car from a friend and gets told enough to know you double-tap on the drive stalk to engage Autopilot. At this point, you may try to remove your hands, at which point you’d be told to pay attention (this happens every time you enable AP).

    With Autopilot keeping you safe, you’ll have up to 30 seconds before the display flashes a visual alert, followed by an audible alert, indicating you need to put your hands on the wheel. You’ll need to provide torque input to the wheel, letting the car know you’re paying attention. (Tesla will move to driving monitoring using the interior camera in the future).

    If you fail to do this, the display shows a red, hands-on-the-wheel graphic to let you know you need to take action. If you still fail to respond, it will slow the car to a stop, in the case where a driver has had a medical emergency.

    At this point, the car will enter what’s commonly known as Autopilot jail, a state where the driver needs to put the car in park before AP is available again.

    If somehow you managed to slip, trip and fall onto the button that costs $10,100 to buy FSD. At this point, the car will restart and you now you have FSD (Preview) in your car. You’ will once again need to enable the FSD Preview (beta) option in the car’s setting screen, where you’ll also be met with more prompts indicating you’re still in control.

    This allows for additional functionality (like overtaking slow cars on divided highways with Navigate on Autopilot). Your car will also be able to automatically slow you to a stop at red lights and stop signs, a significant safety improvement.

    It’s easy to criticise Tesla’s autonomous efforts for being late, but I wish more would take the time to actually understand what’s on offer here today, great safety improvements with a promise to improve over time.

    To fully evaluate if the FSD package is worth it, or will bein the future, you should take some time to watch FSD beta V11 videos on YouTube where those in the US and Canada showcase the latest builds of the software (not available in Aus yet) is capable of.

    This includes navigating city streets without lane markings, instead using driveable space as determined by an AI-powered occupancy network. FSD Beta is also able to turn corners of city streets, navigate carparks and even take roundabouts. Today, we need to disengage every time we reach a roundabout and re-engage AP out the other side. Once FSD Beta ships here, it should enable many to complete their daily commute without intervention.

    While this may not be the fully autonomous robotaxi future that Musk promoted on stage back in 2019, it will be a marked improvement and the best hope Australians have for autonomy in this country.

    In the United States, they have many driverless services running today, albeit in limited geographic areas. Google’s Waymo, General Motors has Cruise and in China, there’s a long list of companies that are offering paid rides without the cost of the driver. It is not clear if any are making profits at this stage, but what is clear is that none of these companies is coming to Australia any time soon.

    Even Ford’s BlueCruise hands-off, eyes-off system in some of their latest vehicles is restricted to US highways. Tesla really is it if you have hopes your car will do any more than a smart level 2 driver assist system, when is the big unknown question.

    The one thing I really missed from EAP/FSD was not having Auto Lane Change. This feature allows you to turn on the indicator to change lanes and the car will use it’s cameras to detect the environment around it, ensure there’s enough space to merge to the adjacent lane and perform the lane change safely and smoothly. This works so well, that it all but does away with head checks as the car will slow to allow any cars next to you to pass before completing the merge.


    This car is rdicilously fast, capable of racing from 0-100km/hr in a stunning 3.7 seconds, it’s a significant leap from the base model Y that offers a healthy, although slow in comparison 6.9 seconds.

    Practically, this means you’ll launch off a stop much faster in the MYP. While most will be impressed by the performance of the MY, there’s no doubt that it lacks that punch off the line that I’ve been completely spoilt by with the M3P.

    Thankfully the MYP delivers a serious response when you plant your right foot. If you’re trying to overtake or quickly maneuver to change lanes, or even avoid and accident, this level of responsiveness should not be undervalued.

    The Model Y Performance will be perfect for those who need the storage and space of an SUV but want the performance of a sporty sedan. Despite being larger, and heavier, this acceleration is just 0.4s slower than my M3P.

    As someone who has both a Model 3 Performance, and a Model Y RWD in the garage, this car is effectively the best of both of these, in one vehicle, which should appeal to many. Transport your kids safely to school and back through the week, then mum or dad could take it for a sporty trip through the mountains on the weekend.

    This performance is achieved through an electric motor in both the front and rear of the vehicle and if you’re wondering about the impact on range, Tesla says this is good for as much as 514km on a change, compared to 455km on the SR, thanks to a larger Long Range battery pack.

    What’s really impressive is that your storage isn’t compromised by the growth in the powertrain. I expected the extra room required by the additional front motor in the Performance would have meant the frunk would need to shrink.

    Having the ability to side-by-side the Model Y and Model Y Performance provided a great opportunity to confirm this wasn’t the case.


    Acceleration improvements are fine, but what about stopping? Those big red brakes aren’t just for show, they are actually a necessary inclusion to arrest the speed and weight of the MYP.

    The vast majority of your braking will be regenerative, meaning the brake pads aren’t actually used, instead the car uses the forward inertia to put power back into the battery pack, extending your range.

    If you do have an incident where you need to stop in a hurry, like a car pulling out in front of you, it is comforting to know you can stop on a dime if you need to bury your foot on the brake pedal.


    The new Model Ys are now coming with updated suspension from Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory. This aims to address any ride comfort issues that were reported around the Model Y.

    While many reviewers took issue with how firm the ride was, international sales data clearly indicates this was never a major issue, although Tesla did think it was valid enough to make a change.

    When driving the MYP, the tweak to the suspension is actually really hard to determine, it’s incredibly close to the ride that we get in our Model Y, but considering the MYP is riding on the larger 21″ wheels with less air to absorb the bumps, I guess this speaks volumes about the improvement, that I can’t determine a significant difference.

    When you stand on the accelerator, the nose of the Model Y Perf does raise up a little more, a subtle indicator of the softer suspension. When cornering hard, the weight transfer felt very similar, thankfully the car’s largest weight, the battery pack, is located in the floor of the car, giving it a low centre of gravity.

    If you’re pushing hard through a windy section of road, I think you’ll be impressed by just how well a mid-sized SUV can handle, I know I was. I wasn’t expecting it to offer the bum-close-to-the-ground feeling of a go-kart, but its ability to turn, accelerate and pull through a turn is like almost nothing else I’ve driven and will easily put a smile on your face every time you do it.

    Range and Charging

    When I picked up the car, it had done just 11km, this was brand new. That meant that I had to drive until around 60-65 km had been completed to unlock Autopilot. This reminded me how amazing even base Autopilot was, having to expend mental energy to stay between two white lines seems ridiculous in 2023.

    When AP was calibrated it felt like I went from white-knuckle driving in the city to a relaxed, country drive once I could enable it. 95% of the rest of the 350km drive up the Hume from Melbourne to Wodonga, was on AP.

    I didn’t fancy a full on range test where I’d run out the battery to zero, it’s not the reality of Tesla ownership, so pretty pointless.

    Instead, I can share that the potential 100% range shown on the display was 468km, which compares to the 435km of the MY. As many EV owners know and something everyone will soon learn is that you won’t ever acheive the theoretical maximum of the quoted 514km sticker on the windscreen.

    The vast majority of charging will occur at home, in your garage, overnight, when power is cheap. You can recharge at a rate of 12km/hr on a standard outlet. If you want faster than that, you can grab a faster wall charger.

    There are 3rd party options, but Tesla’s own Gen 3 Wall Connector (available in the Tesla Store for A$750 + around the same for installation) offers up to 25km/h charging for the Model Y on a single-phase 16A outlet.

    If you have 3-phase power, you can recharge at a much higher rate, as much as 75km per hour. For those with Solar on their roof, it’s possible you recharge on the weekend fort almost nothing during the daylight hours, then run the car for the week. Not everyone will be able to acheive this, but regardless, running an EV is dramatically chaper than legacy ICE vehicles.

    When you are taking a longer journey, then you’ll be searching for a DC fast charger. Tesla has a great Supercharger network and while they are in the process of opening these up to 3rd party vehicles, the vast majority still require you to have a Tesla to charge there. If you are a Tesla owner, you’ll have the most charging locations available to you to charge at.

    Typically you’ll spend between 20-30 minutes at a fast charger as you’re likely charging from 20-80% and not 0-100%. As you get to the top of the state of charge, the charging speed will taper off to protect the battery.

    If you’re travelling, the process is really simple, just put your destination in the GPS and let the car determine if you’ll need to stop charging or not. When you do, it’ll let you know how long you need to stop and you’d really have to be trying to run out of battery to get into trouble. The car will calculate the amount of energy required to get to your destination and let you know if you have insufficient charge to achieve that.

    More info on charging here.


    As good as this car is, nothing’s perfect. Easily the biggest complaint about the Model Y will not be a product feature, but affordability.

    I think many families upgrading their vehicle will look at an as their next vehicle. A lot feeds into that decision-making process, including design, performance, technology, and range but all of that is overlayed by price and availability.

    Even those who really want to buy a Tesla, nobody would describe them as cheap and if you don’t have the dollars, you can’t buy the car. If you go down in price points to other EVs, you have to sacrifice a lot and even then you are likely to struggle to get one in the next few months due to supply shortages.

    Tesla is scaling up production, and working hard on manufacturing efficiencies. After making 20ish% profit, they do pass those savings on to consumers where possible. Despite those efforts, those who have $30-$60k to spend on a mid-sized SUV will have to look elsewhere.

    My other complaint is the lack of lumbar support control for the passenger. This feels like a strange decision, to save a part that can’t cost more than a few dollars.

    Price and Availability

    The Model Y RWD starts at $68,900 + onroads results in a driveaway price of A$74,686 in VIC. The Model Y Long Range AWD starts at A$81,900 ($88,232 driveaway) while the Perfomrance model starts at $94,900 ($105,464 driveaway).

    Naturally, this ridiculous level of performance doesn’t come cheap, the price of the Performance-spec Model Y is priced at $30,778 (VIC driveway) more than the RWD.

    The car does look great on the 21’’ Überturbine rims compared to the 19″ or 20″ rims of the lower models, the car still features all the same technology and has the same interior and safety.

    This means someone buying a Model Y Performance really places a high value on the thrill of rapid acceleration (and some range) and is prepared to pay up for it.

    With that much difference in price between the two models, it is worth considering if you care about autonomy.

    While all Tesla vehicles ship with Autopilot, Tesla’s FSD software option is priced at A$10,100 (for now) and Enhanced Autopilot which includes many of the features, costs A$5,100. Those EAP features are:

    • Navigate on Autopilot
    • Auto Lane Change
    • Autopark
    • Summon
    • Smart Summon

    The FSD capability includes all functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot, but adds Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. This will slow your car to a stop, as you approach a stop sign or red light when you have Autopilot enabled.

    The one feature that is listed as ‘upcoming’ is Autosteer on city streets which we see in FSD Beta builds, currently only available in the US and Canada. What’s not specifically written here, but is part of the deal, is to get future Tesla software improvements (i.e. dodging potholes, debris etc).

    This means you could do what we did, which is to consider buying the RWD Model Y, adding a white interior, a software upgrade and being well under what you’d pay for the Performance spec.

    For those who have the budget, a full loaded Model Y Performance (red paint, white interior and FSD package) costs A$124,429 (VIC). If you want to get the car on finance, you can of course get your own car loan, if you go through Tesla, they use Plenti Finance who currently fofers a 7.31% interest rate.

    Despite the price tags being more than many spend, go try and buy a performance SUV that offers this level of acceleration for less than the MYP, good luck. The BMW iX xDrive50 for example offers a 0-100km/h in 4.6s and starts at $184,949 ($193,245 driveaway).

    In that context, the MYP represents good value for what’s on offer.

    To order a Model Y, or to spec up a potential build, you can head to and play around with options in the vehicle configurator.


    After having spent a week with the Model Y Performance, I really fell in love with what the car has to offer. The size and space of our Model Y, but with 90% of the performance of my M3P.

    For many, this will be a perfect combination, although you will need to pay up for it.

    The introduction of the Model Y Long Range complicates this decision a little further and may provide a happy medium between performance and price point, while still offering the storage, technology, comfort, safety and driver assists many families are looking for.

    If you’re looking for your next car to be an electric car and are shopping in the mid-sized SUV segment, then there are a range of options now across price points from the high $40k to 100k+.

    If you have enough for a base Tesla Model Y at A$74,686 driveway (VIC), it’s a brilliant car for the price tag. If your family budget can stretch a little further, then the new Long Range version is definitely the pick of the three. This will cost A$88,232 driveway but is well worth the additional $13k.

    For those less concerned about the price tag, the Model Y Performance is a brilliant car, not just an electric car, but a brilliant car all around. It will cost you A$105,464 driveway (in VIC) which is way more than most people should spend on a car.

    If you’re like me and love driving, then you’ll prioritise a great car over spending $60k on a swimming pool in the backyard. The review version you see photographed in this review was equipped with the $1,500 option for a white interior.

    If you can afford the price of admission (consider total cost of ownership, not just the up-front cost), then you and your family will be incredibly happy with a Model Y.

    If you love going fast, then the Performance model is absolutely ridiculously fast for an SUV and so much fun to drive.

    For most Aussie families who can afford to buy a Tesla, or can engineer their finances to stretch and make it work, the Tesla Model Y Long Range will be the pick of the lineup. This offers the comfort, safety, technology and the best range, while delivering 90% of the performance on offer in the most expensive model, a very fast 0-100km/hr time of just 5.0 seconds, which is probably half the time it takes your existing car.


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    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


    1. Like you, I have a 2019 M3P, which has totally and completely “ruined” me.
      Absolutely love my M3P, which has been both brilliant, and virtually faultless.
      I’d like to upsize, (mainly for when we have the grandkids) but just couldn’t accept 6.9 secs 0-100 for the RWD. By most standards that’s pretty reasonably fast, but of course the M3P is just next level.

      Anyway, for now I’ll stick with my M3P.
      As I said, I’m “ruined”. Even the 3.7sec of the YP is perhaps a tad slow LOL 🙂

    2. Great review, appreciated. Regrettably the jump before ORC to a Y from a 3 isn’t just a few thousand dollars. It is $11500 in SA as the Y does not attract the $3k government rebate and attracts additional stamp duty.
      The Y is excellent and I want one because my ICE vehicle is a Pajero Sport and the Model 3 is too low to the ground to get into and out of for my weary bones lol.
      Good news, I tested the Atto3 and it has the extra height I need and whilst it is 0.4 sec slower on the 0-100kph the inclusion of an opening sunroof, opening sunroof shade, V2L yay for camping make it compelling at $51500 after the $3k so $10k cheaper than the model 3!
      The jump from Atto3 to Model Y is $25k and the latter lacking V2L is disappointing.
      Will wait and see if Tesla puts more incentives into the Y.
      Yes the Y is bigger than the Atto3 no argument.

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    In the month of March, the Tesla Model Y was the 5th highest-selling vehicle in Australia. When I reviewed the Model Y back in July 2022, I highlighted how broadly appealing the car was, and that it would be a great fit for many...Review: Tesla Model Y Performance