Last week, I was afforded a rare opportunity. I was able to try on and ride in the Tesla X SUV. The only one on the island upon which I live.
This fully electric 7 seat SUV crossover has a sticker price of $270,000 CDN and it shows.
This review is from a physically disabled passenger’s perspective, so it will deal with getting into and out of the car, storage space and comfortabilitly of the ride.
First I tried getting into the front passenger seat from my manual wheelchair. This proved quite difficult as the seat height needed a lot of adjustment and the opening was quite tight . It took effort, but I was able to sit in the front seat, which seemed fairly comfortable. There is more than ample storage. My manual wheelchair fits nicely in the boot with room to spare. If more space is required, you can find it under the hood in what’s called the frunk. At first, the gull wing doors seem like a gimmick, but after getting into and out of the back seat with ease I understand why they’re there.
Once settled into the front passenger seat, the first thing I noticed was the huge computer screen easily accessible and easy to read. The next thing I noticed was the wind screen which extends above your head providing a panoramic view.
Like other electric cars, the engine makes no sound, which takes some getting used to, especially while driving, as the road noise becomes impossible to ignore. Thankfully, the sound system kicks ass.
Sounds like a great car right? Unfortunately, for me, this is a sport car masquerading as an SUV. It hit every bump in the road like they were chasms and speed bumps felt like we got air and crashed down. Because it’s an SUV, the center of gravity is higher putting all of the pressure on the neck. Each bump sends the head moving side to side causing me pain. I finally had a ride with my hand bracing my neck, to lessen the jostling. Riding in the second row was marginally better in that I could remove my hand occasionally. The suspension is super tight and it rides less smoothly than a Miata. I imagine driving the Tesla X would be a lot of fun for lovers of hot rods or go carts, but as a family car, it won’t provide a comfy road trip. Even though it’s technically a luxury car, in that you’ll have to pay luxury tax on it, the ride is anything but luxurious. I have pain issues from my left shoulder going to the left side of my neck that were exacerbated by both the rough ride and the seat which seemed comfortable when the car wasn’t moving but became intolerable after 5 minutes of driving.
The good news is, it doesn’t work for me and my disability and that’s great cause I can’t afford it 😉