Tesla Model X Buyers Guide

The Model X was the second mass produced car from Tesla and has been in production since 2016. There have been few large changes to the car since it started production until 2021, but we cover the changes there have been together with the common issues to provide our buyers guide.

Why the Model X?

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You're probably here because you're interested in the Model X, in which case only the Model Y is probably a consideration but this is smaller, the 7-seat option is compromised in comparison to the Model X and is not as premium. A model S shares the same platform and has plenty of room for 5 adults, but it is still not as big inside. There's just something about the Model X that makes it fairly unique.

You may also want to see what you can get for your money across the Tesla range and our Tesla Worldwide Inventory Search enables you to do just that, listing both new and used cars, and those sold by Tesla and through 3rd parties. We believe this is the only resource in the world that does this.

Model X naming convention

Tesla have adopted two basic naming conventions over the years for the model variants. The older system used a combination of letters and numbers:

The later convention is to simply quote range e.g. Standard Range (equivalent to the 75D), Long Range (100D) or Performance (P100D), although more typically they use "Dual Motor" for the long range and "Dual Motor" for the performance (note the underline). All Model X under this naming convention are all wheel drive.

Significant changes

There have been few significant changes to the Model X since its launch. Tesla do make many smaller changes all the time with the the changes to the Model X documented here.

All cars come with autopilot hardware with all but the very earliest cars using the Tesla system. More details on Autopilot are below.

The Model X had a lot of running model changes to address design issues over the life of the car, but relatively few significant ones.

The first major change was the update to the MCU in 2018. The new MCU was significantly quicker in operation and unlocked some capabilities such as sentry mode and dashcam, although these features also improved with the advances in autopilot hardware.

The only other significant change before 2021 was the Raven model with new suspension and different motors. This happened in 2019. Tesla have also made tweaks to battery and motors and the Long Range became the Long Range+ but essentially it was the same car with just some performance tweaks.

In 2021 Tesla performed a significant interior update with other changes such as tri-motors with the introduction of the Plaid model. This model is still yet to be released and current expectations are late 2021 in the US and 2022 in the rest of the world.

New or used?

This question is asked less frequently on the Model X because the entry price for used Model X is still around the price of the performance Model Y. Until production of the 2021 Model X starts there are some inventory cars available but these are disappearing fast although they are often discounted quite significantly. We'd suggest avoiding the earliest Model X cars especially with the smallest batteries as the range is quite limited and chose a Model Y in comparison, unless you need the 6 or 7 adult seat configuration.

The 2021 updated Model S is a different proposition. When these are available, we will be able to comment further. The last of the new Model S built prior to the update are now available for sizeable discounts and should not be dismissed, however if you are looking at new prices it seems prudent to us to wait for more news on the updated model.

Battery size and range

After determining the model of car, the battery capacity and therefore range is the next main consideration (accepting exterior and interior colour is personal choice). Tesla have offered a 60, 75 and 90 battery and later a 75 and 100 kwh battery, before finally dropping the 75 battery altogether. The 75 battery has a relatively short range especially in winter so in cold climates or for anybody who expects to travel more than 150 miles in a day, we would recommend looking at the 100/long range battery. We would definitely avoid the 60kwh battery.

The actual range is subject to a lot of factors including temperature and the type of roads you are driving on. Faster driving, especially in the Model X reduces range quickly and the larger cabin can require more energy to heat in colder weather. You are also unlikely to want to start from 100% and end on 0% and therefore the working range is approximately 80% of the theoretical full range. Taking these factors into consideration, and adjusting for real world experiences, we have worked out the approximate summer range (temperatures above 15 deg C) and winter range (temperatures below 3 deg C but about -5 deg C) for the most common models to be:

Model
Summer
Summer 80%
Winter
Winter 80%
Standard range/75D on 20"
230 miles
185 miles
190 miles
150 miles
Long Range/100D on 20"
300 miles
240 miles
240 miles
190 miles
Performance/P100D on 22"
280 miles
220 miles
220 miles
175 miles

Model years and Performance

There have been a number of variants of the Model X with a variety of batteries each with different range and performance figure. Tesla use a hidden model iteration code to denote the differences.

For each variant we have listed the predominant years the cars were being sold. Occasionally Tesla have unsold models which they first register alongside newer models, we have ignored these when this is obvious. Some model codes may only be available in some parts of the world. The specifications include the different testing regulations in place at the time they were tested. The most realistic measure of range is the EPA figure which reflects moderately paced driving in summer.

Model Code
Years sold
Range
Acceleration
Top Speed
60D (MT60A)
2016 - Early 2017
- Miles/355km WLTP
0-100km/h 6.2s
-mph
209km/h
75D (MT75A)
2016 - 2018
237 Miles/382km EPA
259 Miles/417km NEDC
0-60 mph 6s
0-100km/h 6.3s
130mph
209km/h
Std Range(MTX01)
2019
255 Miles/410km EPA
- Miles/375km WLTP
0-60 mph 4.6s
0-100km/h 4.8s
130mph
210km/h
90D (MT90A)
2015 - 2017
257 Miles/414km EPA
304 Miles/489km NEDC
0-60 mph 4.9s
0-100km/h 5s
155mph
249km/h
P90D (MT90P)
2015 - 2016
250 Miles/-km EPA
- Miles/467km WLTP
0-60 mph 3.7s
0-100km/h 3.9s
155mph
249km/h
P90D + Ludicrous (MT90L)
2015 - 2016
250 Miles/-km EPA
- Miles/467km WLTP
0-60 mph 3s
0-100km/h 3.2s
155mph
249km/h
100D (MT10A)
2017 - Early 2019
295 Miles/475km EPA
- Miles/565km WLTP
351 Miles/565km NEDC
0-60 mph 4.7s
0-100km/h 4.9s
155mph
249km/h
Long Range (MTX03)
2019 - 2020
328 Miles/528km EPA
- Miles/507km WLTP
0-60 mph 4.4s
0-100km/h 4.6s
155mph
250km/h
Long Range/+ (MTX05)
2020
351 Miles/564km EPA
314 Miles/507km WLTP
0-60 mph 4.4s
0-100km/h 4.6s
155mph
250km/h
Long Range+ (MTX07)
2020-early 2021
371 Miles/487km EPA
- Miles/561km WLTP
0-60 mph 4.4s
0-100km/h 4.6s
155mph
250km/h
P100D + Ludicrous (MT10L)
Late 2016 - Early 2019
289 Miles/465km EPA
337 Miles/542km NEDC
0-60 mph 2.8s
0-100km/h 3s
155mph
249km/h
Performance (MTX04)
2019 - 2020
272 Miles/-km EPA
301 Miles/487km WLTP
0-60 mph 2.6s
0-100km/h 2.8s
163mph
261km/h
Performance (MTX06)
2020
305 Miles/-km EPA
301 Miles/487km WLTP
0-60 mph 2.6s
0-100km/h 2.8s
163mph
261km/h
Performance (MTX08)
2020
300 Miles/-km EPA
- Miles/548km WLTP
0-60 mph 2.6s
0-100km/h 2.8s
163mph
261km/h

Autopilot

Except for very early Model X cars, all cars come with the Tesla system.

The level of autopilot features (assuming using Tesla hardware) is linked more to the software option chosen and less the hardware.

When looking at used cars, if you want Full Self driving capability it may be better value to find a car with that level of option already purchased as used prices do not reflect the purchase price of the option. However, if you find an otherwise perfect car at the right price it may be an option to pay for the upgrade after purchase.

There is a simple visual way to tell if the car has the Tesla Autopilot system or not and that is looking at the side repeaters on the front wing. If they have a camera built in they use the Tesla system, if they just show a Tesla logo, they are the older system.

If you have access to the car, or the seller has provided suitable screenshots then you can also refer to our guide to what options and hardware a Tesla has fitted..

Options and upgrades

From when the model S was launched up until around 2018 there many options available on the Model S. Some of these options became standard fit over time, others were dropped all together. We highlight the main ones:

What features does the car have?

To find out autopilot hardware, premium audio, cold weather pack etc, you need access to the car and follow this guide to find out what hardware versions a Tesla has. Many dealers are now including the required pictures in their adverts and those that do, clearly understand the cars.

Free Supercharging

The Model X came with free unlimited supercharging for the life of the car until the mid April 2017 where it only the first owners had free supercharging and eventually the benefit being dropped altogether.

Matters changed again in July 2019 where cars which previously had supercharging for the life of the car have had the free supercharging benefit revoked when passing through Tesla's hands, ie taken in as part exchange, or returned at the end of a finance agreement, even if Tesla then sell the car into the trade. You now need to check the car regardless as the car may have been sold by Tesla as a used car in the past and had this happen to it.

Key issues

Below is what appears to be a lot of potential issues with the cars. Owners of cars, especially as they get older or reach higher miles should expect the need to perform routine maintenance or have to fix some common failures. Tesla parts can be expensive, but increasingly third part solutions are cropping up to solve the problem more cost effectively.

Warranty

Model X cars come with 2 manufacturer warranties.

One covers the battery and motor and was originally for 8 years and unlimited miles, changing at the beginning of 2020 to be a mileage limited warranty. The original warranty had no performance guarantee as was effectively a failure warranty, whereas the replacement warranty for cars from 2020 offered a maximum degradation threshold.

The second warranty is the general car warranty for everything else. This lasts for 4 years or 50k miles, which comes sooner.

Tesla also offered a used car warranty of 4 years, 50k miles warranty or 2 years up to 100k miles in total depending on whether the car was under or over 50k miles. Some used cars may still have the some of this warranty remaining. For more recent purchases Tesla have changed the their used car warranty top one extra year after the current warranty expires.

What would we buy used?

We feel the pick of the range is the 100D or later Long Range and with either the 6 or 7 seat configuration. The 90D appears to only be 10% smaller capacity but in practice is 15% smaller, and as you are unlikely to work the battery below 10% or above 90%, the extra capacity translates to a benefit of 20-25% more working range.

While the P/Performance models have extra power and accelerate faster, in such a large car and given the capabilities of the non-performance version, coupled with the drive shaft issues, it doesn't seem worthwhile. The price premium of the MX Plaid over the Long Range would also having us buy the Long Range, although some have argued the MX Plaid is better value than the MS Plaid.

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