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Considering Model X (Current Model 3 Owner)

Hi All,

I’ve recently purchased a Model 3 for my wife and I really like driving it, however I’m a pretty big guy and it’s a tight fit. One of our other vehicles is a minivan we use for beach weekends, day trips to campgrounds or snow, and road-trips to Vegas and what not.

So you see where this is going - In theory I’d like to replace the minivan with the Model X (or any electric SUV/minivan should they exist).

My concern with the model X are all the “horror stories” from both owners and pundits. I figured I would post here to get some more personalized data / advice:

1. Model X pro/cons from real owners.

2. Known issues to watch for. (Recalls performed, updates made?).

3. Particular model years to beware or prefer? (I’m not opposed to buying 2nd hand if the vehicle is relatively the same- but if there is a specific model year that’s “best” I’d like to know.

4. Trim specific - any particular configuration that’s a “must have.” For instance, I love to have a 4 seater, made by removing the third row of a 6 seater — is this possible? Should I just get 5 seat?

5 any other Model X advice?

I appreciate anything you’d all like to share with me! Thank you!
 

ndinh

Member
Mar 30, 2022
15
6
LA
No advice here but I'm in the same boat. Recently picked up a model S for my wife and in the market for a X to replace our X5. I've done as much research as I can without actually ever being in the car (youtube vids, forums, etc). I've concluded that it's safest to avoid 2016s since it was the 1st year and they haven't worked out the kinks. Model year 2018s seemed to have somewhat of an improvement on build quality. I'm specifically looking at the 6 seaters but have to consider with that configuration, the 2nd row doesn't lay flat which may be an issue. Everything else seems to check all the boxes. These cars are way overpriced at the moment, IMO, considering a newer BMW M5 or Pananamera costs less but thats like apples and mangos.
 

EbS-P

Member
Apr 21, 2022
38
16
NC
The MX is not a replacement for a minivan. Full stop. It’s either a high performance luxury SUV with way more emphasis on the S than the U or it’s a stupid high performance SUV. Read the tire wear thread. Once there is any competition for a real 7-8 seater BEV prices will really drop. Check out Vinfast. They have a 7 seater. Seems neat but I have no clue about any details or availability.

Get a MX because you really want one then all little things like it eating axels and tires won’t bother you as much. Get one because you really like the doors and don’t care that they will hit you and that other impatient parents will drive around you because they are slow to close. I think the smart money is get a MY. And keep the van.

Keep reading the more you know…..
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,031
10,039
Visalia, CA
...Vinfast...
Barebone EVs have been built and delivered in Vietnam since last Christmas but not those prototypes that are being shown on the US tour. In January CES, it said it could start production this year but I think that's too optimistic. It still has to pass all the US safety tests so it is questionable to be able to finish all that this year. With the expensive tariffs for imports, I am not sure it will be practical to buy even if it's available this year. The US factory will be constructed in the Triangle Innovation Point industrial park, Chatham County, North Carolina starting in July 2024.
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,437
2,885
Redmond, WA
My wife has had an X for 4.5 years and 63k miles. Although she still says she misses the S she had before that, she really likes the X.

I had a Model 3 for 4 years. She had absolutely no interest and would not drive it. I got a Y a few weeks ago - she had test driven one with me, and says she probably will drive it some day, but now she "can't" because she hasn't set up her seating position. I have been pushing her to drive the Y because it's more efficient, and so we can save the X miles for vacations, towing and such, but obviously driving the Y is not a big priority for her. She really likes the X.

What she likes about it:
  • Can tow the trailer we just bought
  • relatively unique
  • easy ingress/egress (especially when driving around her 86-year-old, 6'4" 300lb father with a bad back)
  • can easily throw her bike in the back - she does that a lot
  • huge windshield, great for vacations in national parks
  • biohazard filter great for when forest fires reduce air quality
  • tons of room and different places to store things - she took it on long camping trips with friends before the trailer
  • room for a ModernSpare underneath the cargo floor
  • a nice ride (for a Tesla) with the air suspension
  • free Supercharging
  • two displays - more info available at once
  • exceptionally comfortable seats and seating position
  • some people appreciate the viable 3rd-row seats, although we didn't need them and don't have them
I wouldn't list the falcon-wing doors as something she "likes"; they are not what we were looking for when we bought the X. But they have worked just fine; we have no complaints about them. It is kind of nice to have all of that space and some rain protection when you are loading a grandkid or a bunch of stuff in to the car.

For daily driving around town, I prefer something like the Y (or especially the 3). They handle better, are more efficient, and are easier to park. But my wife still prefers the X even around town, and even I must admit the X comes in handy when on vacation, towing, carrying elderly passengers, carrying a ton of stuff, etc. It is a nice, smooth, comfortable vehicle for vacations.

That said, the X has been - by far - the least reliable of our 7 Teslas. Most issues have been really minor; it's never left us stranded or anything. Everything has been fixed under warranty, but we have had:
  • a small bad spot in the paint at delivery
  • windshield wiper fluid tank was cracked at delivery, and it leaked a little fluid
  • one falcon wing door seal was pinched on delivery and could leak; it was replaced and no problems since
  • 12V battery recently got low enough it needed replacing (but everything still worked)
  • display got a yellow band around the edges (pretty minor! but they fixed it with UV)
  • squeaky control arms were just replaced last week
  • one window regulator got wonky and was replaced
  • one falcon wing door sensor came loose, and had to be re-attached
  • the "acceleration shudder" (it shakes on rapid acceleration, especially with suspension high) has been addressed twice...but is still a small issue
Oh, one item that wasn't under warranty:
  • constant firmware revisions eventually resulted in displays often freezing or rebooting. A $1500 update to the latest MCU fixed this, but we didn't want any of the new features and were not planning to upgrade...I am unhappy that we had to upgrade in order to get the car to work properly. Although at least we avoided the inevitable eMMC issues by getting this done...
I agree that the earlier models appear to have been the least reliable, with things improving slowly over time...at least until the recent refresh. So later is generally better. Although some of the earlier ones had ventilated seats, free supercharging, free connectivity, etc that later ones lost. Note that updates are continuous, rather than by model year - so a car built at the end of one model year may well be identical to those from the beginning of the next model year. Note also that the changes are not always positive...Tesla often makes changes to either reduce costs or speed up manufacturing, and some of them have (usually temporary) negative effects on reliability. Not every newer car will be more reliable than every older car.

THIS thread has a fairly recently discussion about the various seating options. It sounds like you don't need the 3rd row, so I'd say the 5-seater is probably the best way for you to go.
 
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My 2016 Founders X had numerous teething problems and it spent more time at the Service Center in the first 3 months than on the road. As it was #under 60, I expected problems. After the teething problems were fixed, it was fine until the screens started freezing. There was a recall that fixed it but I opted for the $1500 infotainment upgrade. After that upgrade last year it worked fine all the way up to the trade-in (@67k miles) last week. It had the AP1 which included autopilot that kept you in your lane and adaptive cruise control. I was satisfied with it and only traded for the increased mileage with the larger battery. It had free unlimited supercharging and lifetime premium connection that transfers with the car also.
I moved from a 2014 S mainly because of the difficulties of entry/exit. The X is MUCH easier for entry (I am 6’3”) and the elevated seating provides a greater and longer view of the road. The falcon doors are a bit slow but not glacial and I never had a problem with them. The ONE problem with the X is that due to its weight, it wears out tires fast. I only averaged about 33,000 miles on a set.
The X is great BUT do NOT take a test drive in one because then you will definitely then buy one!
 

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