We just spent a few days in the Tesla Model X and came to the conclusion that, for all of its flaws, it is the school run machine of the future. Here are 10 reasons why.
Whether you like them or not, SUVs are popular with parents who want lots of space, a touch of luxury and to feel king of the road. But not all Chelsea tractors are created equal – and some are far more expensive than others.
The Tesla Model X has no real equal though, because it is currently the only seven-seater family wagon that uses only electric power to run and emits zero emissions locally while doing so. Everything else is either a hybrid or 100 per cent petrol or diesel.
So what else makes the Model X so special for the mum and dad of the future? Four days and a reasonable number of miles later, we came up with 10 of the more convincing reasons.
1) You can save lives at the school gates...
Without delving into the argument about overall CO2 emissions, which includes production and where your electric energy is made to recharge the car, no one can deny how clean an electric car is locally – and that is good news for the lungs of everyone around you. Air pollution is a big killer, after all.
2) ...Or survive a chemical weapon attack
Thanks to the Bioweapon Defense Mode, the Model X can circulate and clean its own air supply, which means you can drive behind the most horrendously smelly diesel car and never catch a whiff. It also means you could survive a chemical attack. Stink bombs inside the car will, however, remain a problem.
3) Lower your fuel bills
Fuel is expensive and is unlikely to get any cheaper, which makes electric cars even more tempting. Admittedly the Model X is expensive to buy, but never having to fill up again will be a big enough draw for penny conscious or eco-minded parents. Especially with a real-world range of more than 250 miles.
4) Reduce the chance of crashing
The Model X has Autopilot and various safety systems that can react to a hazard if you fail to do so, such as a kid running out to get his football. Meanwhile the battery pack is lower in the car, which makes the Model X harder to tip over in the event you hit something at speed.
5) Carry lots of people...
You can carry up to seven people in the Model S, but with much less space than the Model X. It is also easier for passengers to get in and out of the SUV, thanks to the fancy Falcon Wing doors that open outwards then upwards in spectacular fashion. When they are working, that is.
6) ...And without making them ill
Another plus of the Model X over the Model S and other seven-seater cars is that all seats face forward and the rearmost row has a less obscured view to the front of the car, both of which help prevent car sickness. Because no one wants chunder all over those fancy leather seats.
7) Keep sleeping ones asleep
With all the will in the world, it takes very little to wake up your little bundles of
terror joy during a car journey. The good news is that the Tesla Model X is virtually silent to start up, virtually silent when moving and virtually silent when it comes to a halt. The bad news is that a lack of engine noise means there is little chance of drowning out another rendition of the Frozen soundtrack.
8) Make other parents look twice
A new Audi, BMW or Mercedes SUV will get you the odd look, make no mistake, but if you want pointing and staring buy the Model X. Whether you think it is a good-looking car is irrelevant because nothing else in its class will make you stand out as much at the school gates. Especially once you operate those Falcon Wing doors like a big show off.
9) Resign being late to the history books
The absolute monster that is the P100D Model X will be overkill for most parents, but even the 417hp 100D can hit 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and all torque is delivered instantly, making it brilliant for safe overtakes. If speed is everything though, the P100D does 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds – the sort of pace needed to bring up your family's most recent meal in rapid fashion.
10) Enjoy fewer trips to Disneyland
There will be a price to pay for becoming a mum or dad of the future, unfortunately, and it is to do with the price. A 100D, which is the most sensible option, costs from £90,800. The 75D, which has a smaller range, starts from £74,500. As for the P100D, that costs £135,600.
Suffice to say, that is some serious dosh. Dosh that could be used to go to Disneyland. Or spend time away from the kids...