It seems every year more and more car manufacturers are coming up with hybrid, and all-electric versions of cars. They’re growing in popularity. Iron Man himself (Robert Downey, Jr.) even showed up to The Avengers: Endgame premiere in one courtesy of Audi. You can’t actually buy an Audi E-Tron GT... but it sure looked incredible.
To be fair, Tesla hss been making electric cars look cool since day one. Granted, they’re not as flamboyant as those you see on the news, but a lot of headline-grabbing electric cars only exist in the concept stage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a concept car that doesn’t look incredible.
Teslas have a unique style that’s futuristic yet very contemporary, and at the same time beautifully understated. I simply adore the Tesla styling. The Model X complements the Model S and has similar subtle yet beautiful touches, inside and out.
The shape of the Model X looks like an average SUV, a closer look and you’ll notice that it’s one of the largest windscreens on any production car – Tesla claims it is the largest. The head and rear lights are beautifully styled and that little spoiler makes the whole rear of the car really pop.
Getting into the Tesla couldn’t be easier. As you approach the car, not only does the door unlock, it also opens for you. Another small touch from Tesla that’s adds to a great driver experience. This really is a ‘smart car’. As with a lot of ‘smart’ items around today, there’s an app for it, and Tesla is no different. Before you get into your Model X you can turn on your AC, open the trunk or ‘frunk’ (where the engine usually is). If you’re feeling particularly lazy you can even summon your car. I’ll be honest. I didn’t fully explore this feature. The idea of a driverless car approaching me made me feel a little uncomfortable. I stopped it in its tracks after a couple of metres.
A fantastic remote feature that is guaranteed to give you a giggle, though, is the ‘horn’ button. Simply wait until your friends are admiring the beauty of the car then fire up the horn and watch them jump. Is it juvenile and pointless, yes, but it still makes me laugh. Inside the Tesla offers the drivers and passengers more giggles. You can change the enormous touchscreen into a sat-nav view of Mars and it’ll show you cruising around on the red planet. Again, a bit pointless, but fun nonetheless.
There is another feature that may cause hysterics. Disclaimer: I know it’s juvenile, but it’s also very funny. the Tesla gives you the option to fire off fart noises at will. Yes, Elon Musk has installed some good old-fashioned toilet humour in his vehicle’s OS. Simply press the left jog button and your Model X will let rip. To add to the fun, there are a variety of rasps, burbles and squeaks to enjoy. Thankfully, Tesla hasn’t yet implemented a smell to be pumped through the car with each sound effect.
I digress. Back to the car’s drivability. Inside the Tesla, as with the exterior it’s very simple, yet elegant. The seats are very comfortable and the huge touchscreen that was the centrepiece of the Model S now takes a back seat, in contrast to the enormous windshield. I was immediately struck by how much you can see while driving the Model X. You feel like you’re driving level with the headlights and get to take in all the sights around you. I can only image how enjoyable a drive through mountains and forest areas would be.
You could argue that this huge field of view can distract your from driving, which is true, it could. To combat this dangerous distraction Tesla has its autopilot feature. I used it a few times during my weekend with the Model X. It worked well. It still freaks me out when a car turns and changes lane without me steering. With more time, I’m sure I’d get used to it. The autopilot feature did give me a little more freedom to take in the views provided by that large windshield.
That enormous touchpad is still something I wish every car had. It’s the best infotainment centre I’ve seen in any vehicle. Granted, I’m a tech nerd, so anything with a large touch pad with lots of options and things to change get my motor running. Tuning the radio to numerous international stations using TuneIn Radio via the internet is a dream.
Altering car settings with the swipe of a finger never gets old and even opening and closing doors is a fun experience. It’s so futuristic, yet all happening and available now. I’m yet to have a friend join me for a ride that hasn’t been impressed with the tech Tesla offers in the Model X ,or Model S.
For the real drivers out there the Model X doesn’t let you down. Ok you’re not going to be drifting around corners. All that weight at the base (the battery) makes it difficult. However, you can’t help but crack a smile when you put your foot down and you get copious amounts of speed in an instant. The P100D Model X may be a fraction slower than the Model S, but it’ll still go faster than 99% of all cars you’ll see on road. That is is quite a feat when you consider this thing seats seven people. It’s hard to describe how fast an electric car accelerates. I highly recommend you take a test drive to get a true sense of how fast this car is.
I do love Tesla and in all honesty, if I had the cash, I’d buy one tomorrow. However, there are a few issues. With it being so tech focused, it’s prone to a software glitch/crash now and then. During one journey the software glitched – the large touchscreen was stuck on a black screen and my dash showed me not moving and speed constantly at 42km/h. Thankfully this didn’t influence the driving of the car at all. I just never knew how fast I was going.
Then there is the biggest problem with owning an electric car – ‘refuelling’. At one point the battery was getting low, so some friends and I decided to make a 50km journey to a supercharger station (that should fully charge the battery in 40 mins) and get some dinner. The Tesla app tells me there are three out of four chargers in use and by the time we arrive, we figure more are likely to be free. Upon arrival, and with very little charge left, we discover the available connection is for a US model Tesla. I don’t understand why they need different plugs and the other units were charging ‘very slowly’ according to the car owners.
With 40km of range left we decided to make a 20km journey to a nearby mall where it had a standard charge point. Due to some traffic we made it with 10km of range left. Thankfully there was a free charger. If there hadn’t been, I fear an awkward call would have been made to Tesla. On this occasion it all worked out perfectly as we had some dinner and watched a movie. By the time I returned to the car (roughly six hours) the battery was full.
It all worked out this time, but it did make me consider, as your daily driver, if you can’t plug this car in at home, you’d have to make a weekly schedule to charge your car. Would it become a love-hate relationship? As it stands, I don’t think a Tesla would be the perfect car for me. There are a lack of supercharger stations in Dubai, currently. This could be the perfect car for you though. As a vehicle, it’s something well worth a few hours of your time to check out and experience. I’d be very surprised if the Model X didn’t impress you.