Another reason Y Tesla is a hit: As the Model Y finally goes on sale in the UK, we test the electric compact SUV months before it arrives

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  • Tesla announced last week that the Model Y is now on sale in the UK, taking orders starting Friday
  • We’re driving the entry-spec model, the Long Range AWD, which costs £54,990. Is
  • The first deliveries will arrive from the Shanghai Tesla factory in early 2022 – but we’ve taken one around Surrey

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For a car that took nearly two years to hit UK shores, the new Tesla Model Y certainly isn’t hanging on.

The elegantly minimalist yet eminently practical SUV family crossover has a burst of acceleration that makes it one of the hottest – or it should be the best – school-powered, shopping or leisure vehicles to go on sale in the UK.

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And I’m one of the first to drive on British roads, as the order book opened just a few days ago.

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Almost time to fly: Tesla’s latest car – the Model Y compact SUV – is set to hit UK shores early next year. We’ve previewed how it fares on UK roads. And here’s our initial verdict

Just last week it was confirmed that Tesla’s long-awaited compact SUV was coming to the UK in early 2022 – and customers could start placing their orders and leaving deposits.

Its arrival came just days after it was confirmed that the Model 3 it is based on became the country’s most bought car in September 2021 – topping the monthly sales chart for the fifth time.

Last week I had the chance to pick up a test car from Tesla’s depot in Brooklands in Surrey – once the site of the world’s first purpose-built race track, but now a combination of business and shopping park, as well as hosting a luxurious motor car and the Aviation Museum.

I even pitched the car with a scale model of the Concorde to celebrate the two craft with awesome take off and cruising speeds.

Time to get behind the wheel of Tesla’s latest arrival

For someone who has never driven a Tesla before, there are a few basics that you have to turn your head around first.

First, there is no key.

You can program your smartphone to act as a key – or use a credit-card-sized electronic key card, which you wave near the door to give access.

Just last week it was confirmed that Tesla's long-awaited compact SUV is now available to order in the UK - and British customers can start dropping deposits for two versions, including this long range AWD.

Just last week it was confirmed that Tesla’s long-awaited compact SUV is now available to order in the UK – and British customers can start dropping deposits for two versions, including this long range AWD.

Prices start at £54,990 for the Long Range version in the UK, with a pricier Model Y display also available to order

Prices start at £54,990 for the Long Range version in the UK, with a pricier Model Y display also available to order

Ray Massey poses inside the clean and clutter-free cabin of Tesla's new UK arrival, with the first delivery of the Model Y hitting UK roads in early 2022.

Ray Massey poses inside the clean and clutter-free cabin of Tesla’s new UK arrival, with the first delivery of the Model Y hitting UK roads in early 2022.

Once inside, you can wave the card again to turn on the electric motor and battery. Pull the stalk near the steering wheel down into ‘D’ to drive, and you’re away.

The car I drove was the entry-level Model Y long range all-wheel drive, which started at £54,990 and had a range of 315 miles.

If you drive judiciously, this should get you from London to Newcastle in one go.

Tesla Model Y: Will It Fit In My Garage?

Model tested: Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD

cost: £54,990. From

On sale: Now

first delivery: beginning of 2022

Seats: 5

Length: 4,751 mm

Width (inc mirror): 2,129 mm

Height: 1,624 mm

Wheelbase: 2,890 mm

Surface: 167mm

top speed: 135mph

0-60mph: 4.8 seconds

0-62mph: 5.0 sec

Category: 315 miles

Transmission: all-wheel drive dual motor

Display: 15 inch touchscreen

Load Space: 2,158 liters (includes 1,854 liters rear and 117 liters front trunk)

turning circle: 12.13 m

Mine was an early left-hand-drive version on Dutch plates, with right-hand-drive cars expected to start filtering out of Shanghai, China in early 2022.

It can comfortably go up to 60mph in 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 135mph.

The raw acceleration figures don’t quite feel like a rocket-like boost when you push the go-fast pedal and result in your seat being pinned firmly in place as it takes off. It really does shift.

And much more is yet to come.

An even more powerful Model Y, priced from £64,990, follows the performance model mid-year with a 298-mile range and top speed limited to 150 mph, but 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds. With an acceleration of mph, that would give a supercar a run for their money in a straight line sprint.

For now, the Long Range Model Y is more than enough for me—and many of you, I’ll assume.

Yet for all its pulling power, the Model Y is a very pleasing and attractive car, driving well in city and urban areas, with good maneuverability and the ability to spin at six pence, turning only 12.13 meters. with.

You can set the amount of braking ‘resistance’ to help re-charge the car while you drive, and enable ‘one-pedal’ driving which allows the car to move naturally when you take your foot off the accelerator. Gives break.

There are two drive modes: Chill and Standard. While the Chill makes power delivery easier, it’s the latter that I preferred, offering an on-tap grunt to get you out of tight spots.

On top of that you can specify the steering as Comfort, Standard, and Sport to boost feedback or more.

Tesla’s Autopilot safety system is also included as standard, with ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving’ options available as paid extra.

Also as standard is Autosteer, Traffic Aware cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward and side collision warnings, blind sport monitoring, lane departure avoidance, and ‘obstacle aware acceleration’.

I took it for a spin in the Brooklands shopping zone, and even popped in for a picture at a filling station—where the supply of petrol has been daunting. There is no need for unleaded with this car.

And as well as home charging, Tesla has a nationwide and Europe-wide range of chargers.

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