Tesla Model Y overtakes Toyota Corolla to become the world’s best-selling car.
According to data released by market research organization JATO Dynamics, Tesla Model Y has become the world’s best-selling model in 2023 with global sales of 1.23 million units, surpassing Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Corolla, which have long occupied the top two sales lists. This is the first time that a pure electric model has topped the list of the world’s best-selling models, indicating that the automotive industry is accelerating its transformation into the electrification era.
JATO Dynamics collected actual sales data from 53 major auto markets around the world and made estimates in some regions, inferring that global sales of Model Y could reach 1.23 million units, while Toyota RAV4 and Corolla were 1.07 million units and 1.01 million units respectively. The detailed rankings are still to be announced in the second quarter, but Model Y has basically locked in the championship.
Model Y benefits from Tesla’s frequent price promotion adjustments and production capacity expansion. Tesla had previously predicted that global sales of Model Y would exceed 1.2 million units in 2023, becoming the world’s largest sales volume for a single model. Taking the Chinese market as an example, Tesla implemented multiple rounds of price cuts for Model Y in 2022, which stimulated a surge in Model Y sales in China, accounting for more than half of the total sales of Model 3/Y.
Of course, sharp price cuts also led to a decline in Tesla’s profits, but the hot sales increased the sales volume and still brought considerable cash flow to Tesla. The strong rise of Model Y ended the sales dominance of Japanese car companies for many years.
1. On February 1, Beijing time, Tesla officially announced that Model Y has been upgraded again! All Model Y models are equipped with a new generation of autonomous driving assistance hardware (HW4.0), adhering to the same purely visual route to further improve intelligent safety. In terms of appearance, Model Y’s exclusive “Quick Silver” paint is added, which has higher appearance and recognition, and full performance and aesthetics.
2. The price of this upgraded model remains unchanged, and there will be no price increase for additional materials! There are also some discounts during the Spring Festival (see the end of the article). As the best-selling car on the planet, Model Y surpassed Toyota Corolla for the first time to become the global sales champion in 2023. Since the price adjustment at the beginning of the year, some Model Y models have reached the lowest price in the history of the domestic market, and many consumers have said that it is “hard to find a car.” Such a champion model that continues to be a best-seller continues to add materials and upgrade product capabilities without letting consumers spend a penny more.
3. Three key words for this Model Y upgrade: see further, see more clearly, and calculate faster.
Ultra-long viewing range – The new generation of autonomous driving assistance hardware (HW4.0) is equipped with ultra-long-distance binocular cameras, with a maximum detection distance of 424 meters, significantly increasing the upper limit of detection capabilities, far exceeding the industry average. Model Y can see farther and be able to sense changes in road conditions ahead earlier;
360° ultra-high-definition perception – Model Y is equipped with 7 cameras with pixels increased to 5 million, which can clearly perceive changes in surrounding road conditions in 360 degrees. Parking at close range, changing lanes, and driving in narrow lanes are stress-free;
Significant increase in computing power – Compared with the previous generation, the chip’s computing power has increased by 5 times, helping to quickly process image information. In response to complex road conditions that change in real time, Autopilot and active safety respond faster and safer.
4. When it comes to intelligent driving route selection, Tesla has always adhered to the use of in-depth pure visual solutions and continued to improve safety performance. This upgrade marks that all Tesla S3XY models have officially entered the era of autonomous driving hardware 4.0. Prior to this, Tesla’s Autopilot automatic assisted driving system had made driving safety levels 9.2 times the national average.
On February 1, Beijing time, Tesla officially announced that Model Y has been upgraded again. Following the further evolution in October 2023, Model Y’s intelligent safety has continued to improve, and it has landed in the Chinese mainland market with a continuously evolving look.
In terms of appearance, the Model Y exclusive color – Quicksilver paint is added, and flame red is used instead of Chinese red, and starry sky gray is used instead of cold silver, making it more beautiful and recognizable.
In terms of performance, all Model Y series are equipped with a new generation of autonomous driving hardware (HW4.0), which can see further, see more clearly, and calculate faster, making driving safer and more secure. As a result, the automatic assisted driving hardware of all Tesla S3XY models has entered the 4.0 era.
In terms of selling price, according to Tesla China’s official website, the Model Y models still maintain their original prices—the Model Y rear-wheel drive version starts at 258,900 yuan, the Model Y long-range version starts at 299,900 yuan, and the Model Y high-performance version starts at 299,900 yuan. Starting from 363,900 yuan.
As the best-selling car on the planet, in 2023, Model Y became the first electric car to surpass the Toyota Corolla. Its strong product strength has continued to receive “real money” recognition from consumers at home and abroad. While it is difficult to find a car in many countries and maintains a high-speed and stable growth trend, Tesla still maintains the upgrade strategy of “adding ingredients without increasing the price”, allowing Chinese consumers to always buy stronger, safer and more advanced products at the lowest price in the world. Model Y.
(At the Tesla delivery center, a large number of new car owners lined up to pick up their cars.)
Part One: Detect farther, see more clearly, and respond faster, Model Y intelligent safety continues to evolve
The new debut of Model 3 in 2023 means that Tesla’s pure visual solution is mature enough. With the debut of this Model Y upgrade, the intelligent safety configuration of Tesla’s entire series of models has been pushed to a new level – so far, Tesla S3XY is equipped with the most forward-looking automatic assisted driving hardware (HW4.0).
Just imagine, as soon as the vehicle drives out of the garage, the traffic conditions at the next intersection are simultaneously reflected in Model Y’s “eyes”. Model Y has already been “handed in” before other vehicles have even started “reviewing the questions.” Equipped with an ultra-long-range binocular camera, Model Y has a maximum detection distance of 424 meters, greatly improving its detection capabilities.
The updated Model Y can not only “see” farther, but also “see” more clearly. In complex road conditions such as parking at close range, changing lanes, and narrow lanes, accidents such as scratches and collisions may occur if you are not careful. Different from the industry’s strategy of “highest pixels for the front camera”, the seven cameras mounted on Model Y are all upgraded to 5 million pixels (including rear view, vehicle perimeter, etc.), which can sense changes in surrounding road conditions in 360 degrees.
Just like human real-time driving, it relies on the collaborative processing of the eyes and the brain. If the camera is compared to a “visual organ”, then the chip can be regarded as an “intelligence center.”
The key to Tesla’s pure vision solution is that the system needs to have extremely fast recognition speed, be able to accurately identify and perceive actual road conditions, and then make accurate decisions through “thoughtful consideration.” Under the independent research and development of “technology madman” Tesla, the computing power of the HW4.0 chip has been increased by 5 times, and the processing of some special road conditions is faster and more accurate.
Tesla’s vision-based smart driving technology has developed so far, and more and more car owners have exclaimed “it smells so good” after experiencing it for themselves! Tesla’s increasingly sophisticated active safety features have repeatedly helped car owners avoid danger by accurately detecting nearby vehicles and obstacles.
Simulating the human eye’s pathfinding, Tesla insists on a purely visual solution to make the car “safer the further it drives.”
Regarding the understanding of “safety”, Tesla China’s official website has this sentence: The best safety is that there are no accidents.
Safety has always been regarded as the core of vehicle design by Tesla. A number of active safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure avoidance, have successfully helped reduce the severity of collisions or even prevent them.
According to Tesla’s safety report for the second quarter of 2023, Tesla’s Autopilot3.0 automatic assisted driving has made driving safety levels 9.2 times the national average. This also proves the superiority and effectiveness of Tesla’s “pure vision” solution. Forward-looking.
It is completely different from the vast majority of smart electric vehicle manufacturers who choose lidar and other routes. Tesla has always adopted a deep vision solution, relying entirely on mature computing power and algorithms to achieve automatic assisted driving and even fully autonomous driving.
In actual tests, Tesla engineers found that additional sensors such as lidar not only did not increase the accuracy of the information, but may also affect the final analysis rate and results. As more and more vehicles are equipped with lidar, they will interfere with each other and affect detection accuracy.
For example, when playing the “blindfold game” when I was a child, the logic is to cut off visual information, but other senses such as the nose and ears cannot provide accurate information quickly, and may cause confusion in brain processing. As the number of “blindfolded players” in the game increases, the level of confusion increases exponentially. This kind of “chaos” can create humorous and interesting effects in games, but in terms of driving safety, it may endanger lives.
When most car companies chose the conservative route of lidar, Musk decided to get rid of inertial thinking and start from first principles: roads are designed for biological neural networks and eyes. People do not have organs similar to radar and only rely on their eyes. If it can still identify the traffic conditions on the road, then the car can do the same.
In October 2015, Tesla launched the first-generation automatic assisted driving system. With the continuous upgrade of autonomous driving hardware and the continuous evolution of the Autopilot autonomous driving system, Tesla can perfectly handle complex road conditions such as sudden braking of the vehicle in front, high-speed “ghost probes”, driving at night, and turning and changing lanes.
Today, the real driving data of more than one million Tesla owners around the world helps train Tesla’s pure visual algorithm. With the support of OTA over-the-air upgrade, car owners can enjoy the updated intelligent driving technology by simply clicking “upgrade” and realize the normalized “one-click upgrade” of vehicle safety performance. From 2022 to now, Model Y has been updated 22 times through OTA, truly achieving “the more you drive, the safer it is.”
Not long ago, Tesla Tesla pushed a major software update through OTA, adding more than ten practical functions such as parking assistance 3D images and automatic blind spot cameras, strengthening the safety tips of automatic assisted driving and making the car better. Open, safer and more reliable.
Looking back at the Chinese car market in 2023, traditional fuel vehicles saw significant price reductions, while new energy vehicles continued to boom. The intensity of market competition can be described as the highest in history. From the final results, the cumulative sales of domestic passenger cars in 2023 were 21.703 million units, an increase of 5.6% compared to 2022, and the number of available models also reached 1457. So in such an “involution” year of 2023, who are the 11 favorite cars of Chinese consumers?
No.11 Hongguang MINIEV -237800 vehicles
In 2023, the 11th most beloved car model among Chinese people is the Hongguang MINIEV, which sold a total of 237800 units last year. However, compared to the record of 404800 vehicles in 2022, the sales of Hongguang MINIEV decreased by 70% last year. As for the reason for the decline in sales of the Hongguang MINIEV, the main reason is that there are more and more options for pure electric cars, and a more practical four door car can be purchased for just 20000 to 30000 yuan. In this case, the space and battery life shortcomings of the Hongguang MINIEV are exposed.
No.10 BYD Seagull -239200 vehicles
In 2023, the 10th most beloved car model among Chinese people is the familiar BYD Seagull. As a pure electric A0 class small car that was only launched in April 2023, Haiou achieved a sales achievement of 239200 units in just 9 months. The success of Seagull is not surprising. Firstly, in terms of model positioning, its price range of 73800 to 89800 yuan is very affordable. Although the length of the car is only 3.78 meters, it is not a problem to ride four adults. In terms of battery life, the pure electric range of 305-405km can basically meet a week’s commuting needs, and coupled with the strong influence of the BYD brand, it has almost become the first choice for many users to purchase pure electric commuting vehicles.
No.9 Changan CS75PLUS -245400 vehicles
Although the sales of new energy vehicles increased significantly last year, further eroding the market for fuel vehicles, the strong product strength of fuel vehicles has not been greatly affected. For example, the classic Chinese compact SUV model, the Changan CS75PLUS, sold a total of 245400 units last year, ranking 9th. Compared to 2022, the sales of CS75PLUS have even increased by 7% against the trend. What’s even more interesting is that CS75PLUS is still the best-selling pure fuel model among domestic brands in 2023. Its hot sales also prove that there are still a large number of users in China who need fuel powered cars that are affordable, stable in performance, and durable.
No.8 Volkswagen Sagitar -285000 vehicles
As is well known, gasoline powered cars saw a significant price reduction last year, with sedans like Volkswagen Sagitar offering discounts of over 30000 to 40000 yuan. In addition, the Sagitar itself has excellent fuel consumption, power, space, texture, and reputation, so in 2023, the Volkswagen Sagitar sold 285000 units, ranking 8th in new car sales. Compared to 2022, the sales of Sagitar have increased by 25%, and the strategy of exchanging price for quantity by joint venture brands has indeed achieved results.
No.7 BYD Dolphin -299700 vehicles
In 2023, BYD Dolphin sold 299700 new cars, a crazy increase of 46% compared to 2022, and became the 7th best-selling car in the year. Compared to the previous seagulls, although the price of the dolphin starts at 116800 yuan, its 4.1 meter size and a range of over 400km across the entire range still make it more practical than seagulls. Combined with its impressive exterior design and BYD’s brand influence, Dolphin does not have many competitors in the market.
No.6 BYD yuan PLUS -309800 vehicles
When it comes to BYD’s best-selling electric vehicle, people may think it’s the Han EV, but in reality, BYD’s best-selling electric vehicle in 2023 was the Yuan PLUS, with an annual sales volume of 309800 units, ranking 6th. Not only that, Yuan PLUS was also the best-selling electric vehicle among domestic brands last year. At present, there are not many options for pure electric SUVs in the price range of 100000 to 150000 yuan. The Yuan PLUS is not only a relatively rare and legitimate electric vehicle in this price range, but also performs well in terms of appearance, space, range, and charging. Therefore, buying a Yuan PLUS is basically an error free choice. Moreover, last year’s yuan PLUS had a discount of 10000 yuan, making the overall cost-effectiveness very high.
No.5 Volkswagen Lavida -345800 vehicles
In 2023, the former best-selling Volkswagen Lavida sold a total of 345800 new cars, ranking fifth on the list and still one of the favorite models among Chinese consumers. Compared to 2022, the sales of the Lavida have only declined by 1%. The reason for this is not only due to the good discount offered by the original Lavida model, but also closely related to SAIC Volkswagen’s launch of a new and cutting-edge Lavida model. Interestingly, compared to the Lavida, which has a pure Chinese exclusive identity, the Lavida’s new model is actually Volkswagen’s Virtus sold in Southeast Asia and Latin America, with some foreign ancestry. In terms of price, the starting price of the new Lavida is only 939900 yuan, and the entire series adopts the MQB A0 platform. The power is 1.5L naturally aspirated, paired with 5MT or 6AT, which are quite mature and reliable technologies.
Compared to the similarly low-priced Santana, the Lavida Xinrui has a more advanced MQB platform, larger size, and updated interior; In terms of price, it is much cheaper than the regular version of the Lavida starting at 120900 yuan, and with a terminal discount of about 30000 yuan, the actual landing price is only over 70000 yuan, which is still very attractive to traditional users.
No.4 Nissan Sylphy -376100 vehicles
In 2023, the most beloved joint venture sedan among Chinese consumers is still the Nissan Sylphy. Just like how the Sylphy lost its title of sales king in 2022, the annual sales of the Sylphy in 2023 were 376100 units, although it still ranked fourth, it decreased by 10% compared to 2022. Although the e-power version to some extent fills the gap in the single powertrain system of the Sylphy series, the gap in the plug-in hybrid field still makes it difficult for the Sylphy to compete with domestic plug-in hybrid sedans. Perhaps for Nissan, expanding the range extender plug-in hybrid version on the basis of the Sylphy e-power is the key to returning to its peak.
No.3 BYD Song PLUS -390200 vehicles
In 2023, BYD’s flagship SUV, the Song PLUS, achieved sales of 390200 units, ranking third for the year. Although the Song PLUS has emerged as a hypothetical rival in 2023, and products with core selling points such as the Deep Blue S7, Galaxy L7, and Haval Xiaolong MAX have emerged, BYD’s ace position has not been shaken. The Song PLUS is still the absolute king of new energy SUVs priced at 150000 yuan. However, the cost-effectiveness of the Song PLUS may not be as high in 2024. Faced with market pressure, BYD has also started to reduce prices and offer discounts. After the year, everyone can wait and see to buy it.
No.2 BYD Qin PLUS -434200 vehicles
In 2023, BYD’s flagship sedan, the Qin PLUS, ranked second among the most popular car models among Chinese consumers, with annual sales of 434200 units, a year-on-year increase of 40.8%. The hot sales of Qin PLUS are not surprising, as in February last year, BYD launched the Qin PLUS Champion Edition for 99800 yuan, marking the first shot in the price war for plug-in hybrid cars. In November of last year, the Qin PLUS Champion Edition was discounted by 10000 yuan across the entire series, so the entry-level version only costs 89800 yuan. Combining BYD’s brand appeal, Qin PLUS’s high warranty quantity, ultra-low fuel consumption, and exemption from purchase tax and other advantages, it is difficult for Qin PLUS to become popular!
No.1 Tesla Model -456300 vehicles
Finally, the most popular model among Chinese consumers in 2023 is the Tesla Model Y! Last year, this mid size pure electric SUV achieved sales of 456300 units in China, an increase of 44.7% compared to 2022, surpassing the BYD Qin PLUS to win the championship. Moreover, in terms of price, the starting price of Model Y exceeds 250000 yuan, far higher than the Qin PLUS DM-i starting at 99800 yuan, and it can still win the sales championship, which is very worth exploring. Although from today’s perspective, the intelligence, assisted driving, and charging speed of Model Y may not be at the top level, its power consumption and range will still be competitive in 2024. Moreover, Tesla’s brand is strong enough, and the popularity of charging stations is high, so sales are naturally guaranteed. However, we still do not recommend blindly purchasing the Model Y in 2024, because compared to models such as the Xiaopeng G6 and Zhiji LS6 priced at over 200000 yuan, the Model Y is still lagging behind, and there are rumors that a major facelift of the Model Y will be released this year. Friends who are not in a hurry should wait a little longer!
In 2022, the BYD Song PLUS DM-i brought down the Nissan Sylphy with its comprehensive product strength and excellent cost-effectiveness, which also led to the explosive growth of plug-in hybrid vehicles in China in 2023. In 2023, Tesla Model Y defeated BYD’s “PLUS duo” with its pure electric identity and became the best-selling model in the Chinese market, driving the birth of high cost-effective pure electric SUVs such as Xiaopeng G6 and Zhiji LS6. In 2024, the competition between plug-in hybrid, pure electric, and fuel will continue. Who will take away this year’s sales champion? We’ll see the end in a year!
Before deciding to purchase the Tesla Model Y, I had a significant question in mind: why do people often criticize the Model’s user experience compared to Chinese-brand electric vehicles, yet its sales remain consistently high? This seems to present a substantial paradox. In today’s review, I will explore the user experience of this vehicle from five different perspectives, covering version selection, exterior design, driving experience, comfort, and smart applications.
In choosing between the Standard Range and Long Range versions, based on my experience after six months of usage, I would like to offer some advice. If you don’t frequently engage in high-frequency long-distance driving, I would recommend prioritizing the Standard Range version. I opted for the Long Range version, and like many others before purchasing, I had some range anxiety, thinking the Standard Range version wouldn’t be sufficient. Consequently, I chose the Long Range version, only to find that, apart from spending extra money, I roam the city daily with a large battery that I hardly deplete. The only help it provides is a slight reduction in the frequency of charging. However, you have to pay a significant amount for this privilege. Think about how many times you could charge with the money saved. So, if I had the chance to choose again, I would go for the Standard Range.
Adding a note about the range, my Long Range version, when charged to 90%, can travel approximately 470 kilometers. Of course, using the air conditioning will cause some level of range reduction, but overall, Tesla’s range estimation is very accurate. I can confidently say there is absolutely no range anxiety, and you can drive without any worries.
Many describe the Model as resembling a walking computer mouse, but the first time I laid eyes on it, I genuinely found it beautiful. Regarding the Model Y’s interior design, some may consider it minimalist, but I don’t share that sentiment. I believe, except for the lack of a cup holder limiter, every aspect of the design is both sleek and attractive. Of course, aesthetics are subjective, and as a car owner, I’m quite fond of it.
Before choosing the white interior, I was initially concerned about its susceptibility to discoloration. After six months of use, I’ve discovered that it’s not an issue. The only thing to note is some slight patterns on the side of the driver’s seat, but there’s no need for anxiety; you won’t notice it in your daily routine. Just adhere to one principle: avoid wearing denim pants and jackets, and you’re free to use anything else. White feels like a spaceship interior, exuding a strong sense of technology. Many users worry about potential reflections on the white interior panels affecting rearview mirror visibility. My conclusion is that it doesn’t impact it at all. If you prefer black, then go for black.
As for the optional 20-inch wheels, they are visually appealing with satisfactory aesthetics, but they indeed don’t bring any additional practical value. In this regard, I think the 19-inch wheels are also good, quite attractive, and offer longer range with 8000 units of remaining paint. Choosing white seems like the perfect decision—visually pleasing and resistant to dirt. In the six months since purchase, I’ve only washed the car three times. Every time I contemplate washing it, I find myself hesitating, considering it a form of extravagance.
The driving experience of the Tesla can be summed up in four words: lives up to expectations. The acceleration pedal is my favorite part. In standard kinetic energy recovery mode, pressing the pedal accelerates, lifting it decelerates, and braking is done with the brake pedal. While traditional gas car owners may need to adapt, I love it because this pedal provides me with a strong sense of control over the vehicle. Each press and lift corresponds precisely to changes in speed, and subtle adjustments to the pedal result in very accurate feedback. This is most beneficial in two daily scenarios: turning at intersections and driving in slow-moving traffic.
When turning at intersections, I only need to gently lift my foot, and the vehicle decelerates. Then, turning the steering wheel results in a smooth turn. In slow-moving traffic, kinetic energy recovery allows me to precisely control the vehicle with just one foot. As for the brakes, the feel is excellent, with a linear response and no nodding sensation.
Regarding the low kinetic energy recovery mode, there is still some deceleration effect, just not as strong. In actual testing, in the standard kinetic energy recovery mode, releasing the acceleration pedal at 50 kilometers per hour and slowing down to 10 kilometers per hour took six seconds. In the low kinetic energy recovery mode, it took 12 seconds. In the low kinetic energy recovery mode, there is a noticeable reduction in the control over the vehicle. To safely turn, you need to switch to the brake pedal, and during slow driving, you need to switch between feet. Therefore, for my personal driving, I still prefer the standard kinetic energy recovery mode, but for my parents, I might choose the low kinetic energy recovery mode. These two modes don’t have an absolute advantage or disadvantage; they just cater to different users.
Next, let’s talk about the steering wheel. Tesla’s steering wheel is a single-circle design, where each rotation corresponds precisely to a unique angle of the vehicle. The advantage of a single-circle steering wheel is that it’s not easy to confuse the number of turns when turning. The Model Y has a relatively large turning radius. In scenarios like narrow parking lots and turning at intersections, it feels like the vehicle, after discovering an iceberg, is turning the steering wheel to the full extent but can’t turn in time, causing some inconvenience.
When driving the Model Y, another feature I appreciate is its visibility. Due to the higher seating position and the downward angle of the front end, I can hardly see the front of the car in my daily driving, giving the sensation of driving a flatbed truck with an exceptionally broad field of view.
If there’s one aspect of the driving experience that’s less satisfactory, it would be the suspension. Before purchasing, friends warned me about the strong jolts in the Model Y. After the actual delivery, I did feel as he said—normal road driving is fine, and you can feel the road very clearly. Still, sometimes it feels like running on a smooth road in socks. I know many users like this somewhat sporty tuning style, but if you prefer a more comfortable style, be mentally prepared for the suspension of the Model Y.
When I initially chose the Model Y over the Model 3, a significant reason was its spacious interior. Whether it’s the headroom or legroom, the Model Y offers a more comfortable and roomy experience. Comparing the second-row seating spaces of the Model Y and Model 3, in terms of the space between the second-row seats and the front seats, the Model Y provides approximately three to four centimeters more than the Model 3. Additionally, in terms of legroom, the Model Y seems to have an advantage of around six centimeters over the Model 3. Furthermore, the Model Y allows for foot extension beneath the front seats, while the Model 3 is confined within a certain space. Considering the higher elevation of the panoramic roof, the headroom in the Model Y is significantly greater. If your car usage leans more towards family needs, especially if you often carry more than two passengers, then the Model Y is indeed more suitable than the Model 3.
Regarding noise levels, the Model Y performs comparably to other vehicles. When passing through the same tunnel with closed windows, the noise level in the Model Y is approximately around 63, whereas in the same scenario, the Ideal L8 registers at around 58. Despite its average comfort experience, the Model Y stands out for its spaciousness. The storage space in the Model Y is exaggerated, featuring a large front trunk, and even a 20-inch suitcase in the front trunk poses no pressure. The storage space in the rear trunk is exceptionally large, with a massive compartment beneath, making the Model Y somewhat akin to a small cargo vehicle. Many owners use it to transport goods like groceries, furniture, and cement. I believe the Model Y has the potential to become the best-selling model globally in the first quarter, maintaining long-term dominance over the Model 3 in sales, primarily due to its ample space and extensive storage. Although its original positioning may not be as a family car, its spacious attributes provide numerous possibilities for many households.
Most of Tesla’s infotainment interactions are centralized on the center screen, equipped with a gaming console-level chip, ensuring a smooth and seamless user experience. You can browse articles, play games, listen to music, and even use Apple Music and mini-programs, meeting various needs for an in-car large screen. However, regrettably, it lacks support for 360-degree panoramic imaging. The current Model Y can facilitate parking and provide front-end prompts, including distance detection on the right front through an energy line to warn of potential collisions. This makes daily maneuvers such as parking in reverse, parallel parking, and narrow multi-segment turns effortless. However, a drawback is its inability to effectively detect relatively small obstacles, like parking lines on the ground and small obstructions on the roadside, such as curbs. This makes it prone to wheel scraping, a genuine pain point for Tesla owners.
The Tesla navigation system falls short of expectations. Despite having such a large and visually appealing screen, it fails to meet navigation needs, requiring the use of a mobile phone for navigation, which is truly frustrating.
The Model Y I purchased did not include full self-driving capabilities for three main reasons: first, the high cost, around 60,000 RMB; second, purchasing self-driving does not increase the vehicle’s value when reselling as a used car; third, full self-driving has not yet officially launched in China, making it impossible to experience complete intelligent driving. Tesla’s allure may come in part from full self-driving capabilities, so my perception is that, in terms of experience, Tesla falls short compared to some Chinese new energy vehicle models. However, in terms of technology, the Model 3 and Model Y are not lagging behind. Their positioning is that of basic models, focusing on providing a good driving experience, reducing costs, and promoting the popularization of new energy vehicles.
The Model Y’s assisted driving features are free to use, and most owners find them sufficient. In congested road sections, assisted driving can automatically follow other vehicles, and in closed sections, it can also automatically accelerate and decelerate. However, it cannot change lanes by activating the turn signal; for this feature, an additional payment of 30,000 RMB is required. Additionally, Tesla’s driving experience is perceived as emotionless, like a machine, for example, not decelerating during turns, which may make drivers feel uneasy. Overall, the Model Y’s experience is solid and worry-free. While it may not excel in some areas, its technological performance is strong, with few minor issues, making it convenient for daily use and providing a simple and stress-free experience.
Let’s reexamine the initial question: Why does Tesla consistently lead in sales despite being visibly surpassed by some aspects of Chinese new energy vehicle models? I believe one key factor is the brand. Perhaps some share the same sentiment as me—having test-driven various new energy models and finding them appealing but hesitating to make a purchase due to concerns about potential brand issues. Imagine spending 5000 RMB on a smartphone, only to find out the manufacturer went bankrupt the next day. You might reluctantly accept it, but if an automotive manufacturer were to go bankrupt, not only would software upgrades and after-sales services be affected, but the resale value of the vehicle would also suffer a significant blow. Since entering the Chinese market in 2011, Tesla has built a robust brand reputation over 12 years, influencing the purchasing decisions of many consumers. While the Model Y may not be the most comfortable or luxurious model in its price range, its consistent and reliable performance aligns with user expectations without introducing additional concerns about the brand. I am most looking forward to the launch of fully autonomous driving. With the construction of data centers in China and supervision from relevant regulatory bodies, the Model Y should reach a fully mature state by then.
This article aims to objectively document the challenges I faced after purchasing the Tesla Model Y and ultimately discuss the ideal and less ideal demographics for owning this car. If you are already an electric vehicle enthusiast, you may find this article less interesting. However, if you have relatively limited driving experience, primarily with traditional fuel-powered cars, take some time to read this; it may be helpful.
Regenerative Braking: Strong vs. Weak Mode
When I picked up my Tesla Model Y from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, the staff asked if I had ever driven a Tesla before. I replied in the negative, so they set the regenerative braking to “weak.” Tesla incorporates the controversial single-pedal mode, where pressing the accelerator increases speed, and releasing it induces deceleration. This not only reduces the need for traditional braking but also enhances energy regeneration, improving overall range. On the drive back from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, I noticed two things. First, despite setting regenerative braking to “weak,” it was not entirely disabled, and coasting distance after releasing the accelerator was relatively short. Second, the vehicle accelerated quickly, handled well, and provided an enjoyable driving experience, particularly on the highway, effortlessly overtaking other vehicles.
A few days later, I chose a less congested road and activated Tesla’s single-pedal mode. Once engaged, releasing the accelerator initiated a gradual and linear deceleration, akin to applying light traditional braking. To ensure a smooth deceleration, precise control over the release of the accelerator was necessary. Initially, mastering this could feel a bit bumpy, and if other vehicles followed closely, they might find your driving style disconcerting. A friend even expressed hesitance to tail a Tesla on the road, fearing abrupt braking. Indeed, Tesla owners unfamiliar with the single-pedal mode might encounter such issues.
Why is the single-pedal mode controversial? Some traffic accidents have been attributed to pedal misapplication. If you are a novice, you might struggle to master pedal control, necessitating extra caution at the beginning. Experienced gas car drivers should exercise even greater caution, as the pedal logic is different, and previously formed muscle memory may no longer apply. In the single-pedal mode, pressing the accelerator may put the vehicle in a deceleration state, and old muscle memory might mistake it for the brake, potentially confusing the accelerator with the brake pedal. However, it’s exhilarating to note that I adapted to this mode on the second day, and subsequent driving became increasingly enjoyable. The single-pedal mode provides a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience, and the nuanced control over pedal pressure allows you to immerse yourself more in driving. With simple pressing and releasing, it can handle over 90% of driving scenarios. My driving experience and enjoyment were once again elevated.
Parking and Charging
I’ve discovered that driving an electric vehicle in Shenzhen is more convenient than I had imagined. Charging stations are scattered throughout the underground parking lots in residential areas, and they are not exclusive to Tesla users. What’s even more surprising is that the cost of charging is quite economical. Considering a monthly parking fee of only 200 yuan, the overall cost of getting around should be cheaper than taking the Shenzhen metro. Many shopping mall underground parking lots also offer numerous charging stations, with some places even providing free charging with parking services. In Shenzhen, public parking spaces are plentiful, and electric vehicle drivers can even enjoy two hours of free parking in some locations. This undoubtedly provides a more convenient and economical parking option for electric vehicle users.
I have also started using Tesla’s standard assisted driving features, which prove to be very practical on relatively stable highways. Initially, I felt nervous every time I passed a large truck, inadvertently gripping the steering wheel tighter. Once the steering wheel is turned back, the assisted driving is disengaged, entering cruise control mode. In this scenario, I need to lightly press the brake pedal to deactivate cruise control, then quickly press the accelerator to maintain the vehicle’s forward motion. I find assisted driving to be more cumbersome than manual driving, as it requires learning not only the operational aspects but also when to enable and disable it to avoid confusion in unexpected situations. For example, Tesla may not recognize some temporary obstacles, requiring immediate intervention. Only when you become familiar with the system can you truly trust it. When you do trust it, you’ll realize why autonomous driving is a future trend, as it significantly reduces the burden of driving.
Long-distance travel using Tesla’s assisted driving is indeed much more relaxed. When your feet or back start feeling sore, you can move around and change positions. Most importantly, your focus doesn’t need to be constantly tense. Tesla’s assisted driving is stable, with excellent handling of some details. For instance, when passing an adjacent large truck, the steering wheel slightly tilts to the left to ensure a safe distance. I recommend choosing the middle lane when using assisted driving, as the error tolerance is relatively higher.
Who Should Buy a Tesla Model Y?
Transitioning from driving a gasoline car to owning a Tesla electric vehicle, my journey essentially went from being vaguely familiar with these new features to gradually adapting and eventually developing a liking for them. Therefore, my initial impression of the Tesla Model Y might only be an 80, but after extended use, I believe it deserves a 90. However, every new feature that enhances the driving experience requires careful consideration, time, and effort to understand and learn. Otherwise, accidents may occur due to unfamiliarity with these features, such as misapplying the pedal or failing to take control promptly during assisted driving collisions, among others.
So, who might not be too suitable for this car? Some people in life are not very interested in new things. I have friends who have driven a Model Y for over a year without ever using the assisted driving feature. Of course, it’s their freedom, and I don’t think less of them. I just feel it’s a bit of a waste, especially since we all paid for these new features, including my dad. If he were to change cars, I might not recommend a Tesla to him because he has driven gasoline cars for most of his life, and there’s no need to force him to adapt to this digital age.
But if you want a top-notch driving experience under ￥300,000 , I think the Model Y is a choice that won’t disappoint. Its spacious interior almost turned me into a cargo driver. However, this car does have some minor issues, such as an imperfect navigation system. For unfamiliar routes, I still rely on smartphone navigation. The lack of ventilated seats is a regret, and there are also some bugs in the voice system. As mentioned earlier, using assisted driving for long distances is enjoyable because I am a freelancer who usually chooses to return home during non-peak hours. If you are the type who wants to travel or return home by car during peak periods such as National Day or the Spring Festival, my advice is not to choose an electric car.
What is bigger; a Tesla Model 3 or a Tesla Model Y?
The Tesla Model Y is bigger in every dimension than the Model 3. At 4750mm long, it is 56mm longer than a Model 3. It is 45mm wider (1978mm) and 181mm taller (1624mm). The wheelbase is also 15mm longer at 2890mm.
What is the range of a Tesla Model Y?
The Model Y RWD has a WLTP claimed range of 455km.
How efficient is a Tesla Model Y?
With a claimed efficiency of 13.2kWh per 100km, the Model Y is one of the most efficient electric vehicles on sale.