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Is Model Y a luxury car?


Oct 23, 2019
M3, MY = definitely not luxury
MS, MX = doubtful, not good enough when it comes to interior materials, fit and feel

Teslas are nice cars and might have premium drive trains and tech, but let's face it, a luxury car is so much more than that.

At the price point for a nice MS or MX you can be looking at offerings from MB that are, let's face it, much nicer inside and out. Yes, the MB will be ICE and not as quick 0-60 and less tech, yada, yada, yada... But for a true luxury car you need unquestionable paint, fit and finish, premium interiors, quiet cabins, and so much more. Ever been inside a MB S Class? That is the benchmark I'd use for luxury.

Your answer is based on your definition of luxury - albeit a perhaps traditional - but good answer. However, one could argue that today what is "luxury" has a broader definition. I walk up to my Model X and the door opens for me. I get in and tap the brake the door closes. I can open and close all the doors by a touch of the screen. I am not burning gas/oil to drive. I can be on the freeway and it is very good at driving itself. The voice commands are very good. It has OTA updates - getting better all of the time. HEPA filtration system. The smoothness and acceleration - no competition. So does the MB have finer materials in the interior - sure. Better fit and finish - perhaps. ( I have no problems with my 2020). Some might even say price point helps define "luxury" for which the S and X would qualify. So as many things in life there is no clear or one answer.


Mar 22, 2020
Tesla is a “luxurious” car because it drives like one (even though you don’t feel pampered)!

No it does not drive like a luxury car, it drives more like a performance car, lots of power, hard suspension. It offers many technical advances, but I do not consider them to be luxury, just progress beyond current automotive standards.


Dec 12, 2020
Luxury is subjective. To me it's a luxury car.

yes, luxury is subjective. Especially people compare their previous economy car to tesla, tesla would feel luxury to them.

And it is very unpopular to suggest tesla is not a luxury car. Many tesla owner spent $60k on this car, they would feel more justified if it is a luxury car.

Believe what make you feel good! Enjoy the drive!
I believe a Model S is at least attempting to be a luxury car. A Model Y is not.

My vehicle prior to my Model S and Model Y was a Porsche Macan. It was a base model, with a few feature boxes ticked, but overall it was far ahead of either vehicle as far as fit/finish/refinement. Porsche dealers and service are wonderful. I was treated like royalty by them, even if I did own the cheapest vehicle in the lineup. But, you paid for what you got in Porsche - annual maintenance costs were usually in the area of $1.1-$1.2k - and that's not taking into account tires. Fuel economy was good, not great. Reliability was very good generally, and having that dealership experience made it a lot easier if/when something broke. I always got a loaner, no question. It was always another equally or better equipped Macan or Cayenne.

Tesla, on the other hand, has some fundamental advantages. The performance of my MY LRAWD in a straight line is almost as good as a Macan Turbo (a ~$100k vehicle), and I expect it to be as good if the performance boost gets purchased - all without the attendant sound and fury. No gas cost and virtually no maintenance costs are huge over the likely life of ownership, for both cost and convenience purposes. The ability to heat/cool the car at will without poisoning someone is a fundamental advantage.

But, is either vehicle a luxury vehicle? The Model S is trying - it's heavy, loaded to the gills with sound deadening, and has the look/dimensions of a big luxury sedan. The switchgear is largely borrowed from Mercedes. The finishing touches are trying to be luxury - chrome trim, lighting under the door handles, etc. It drives mostly like a luxury vehicle, emphasis on smooth and predictable, if a bit dead. Think of a big BMW sedan with a large V8. As a *true* luxury vehicle, it falls sort of falls apart in the margins, particularly on reliability/service/general ownership experience.

The Model Y isn't trying to be a luxury vehicle - it's trying to be something like a taller Volkswagen GTI. Stiff (mostly), spartan, lots of space, good to great performance, 90% of the features you might want at the highest price point. Starting price on a top trim GTI is in the mid-$30k. A Model Y should ideally hit right at the mid-$40k mark, to account for no gas or maintenance costs, the more advanced driving features, the AWD, and the greater performance features. Basically, I think the Model Y's most direct competition is an...inflated VW Golf R. Not luxury. But darn close.
I'd also vote "No" it is not. My CX-9 has more amenities and feels more plush, at a distinctly lower price point (although it is highly spec'd). Even that car is not a true luxury car, but very close. I honestly don't think Tesla pretend that the MY is a lux car. It is an expensive car, and a very fast car (two things that can be attributed to luxury cars) which give it some appeal to those who aren't necessarily into the "EV" thing. IMO, it's comfortable enough, techy enough and fast enough to (barely) justify the price premium. But once the market is flooded with more desirable EV's, my opining may change (I'm looking at you Lucid Air, Fisker Alaska? Pickup and Rivian R1T).
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Apr 3, 2016
Peoria, AZ
Great thread, and some excellent points in response. If Tesla is not a traditional luxury car then at the very least it is a new category of luxury, perhaps "tech luxury"? Tesla not only makes us question what a luxury car is, but what a sports car is. Is a Tesla more like a Lamborghini or a Camry? It's revolutionary nature makes it hard to place in many of the traditional categories that we often use to classify cars. And when/if Tesla's robotaxi plans become reality, does that make a Tesla a Taxi?!


Jul 18, 2020
new york
A Tesla is not a luxury car. A Tesla is a Tesla.

You get a Tesla for what you pay for. However, as other car makers finally catch up to where Tesla is now, Tesla will have moved into new territory.

A Tesla is a Tech car.

This is probably the best answer. Not a luxury but a tech car. I can't think of another vehicle that can use tech to as a description.
I'll say, Yes, Tesla's are luxury cars in terms of what is considered a luxury car overall (i.e. Lexus, Acura, Infinity and etc are considered the luxury car branch of their companies). My MY is nicer than the Acura's and Lexus' I've owned. Any Audi, Mercedes or Bimmer is still considered a luxury car, not just the //Ms, AMGs and S's. So, because of that, I do consider Tesla's to be luxury cars. Or at the very minimum, Luxury* cars.

However, I will say it's not a high end luxury car, along the lines of previously mentioned //M, AMG, and S.


custom title
Oct 24, 2018
Tesla's are high tech cars but not luxurious in any way compared to their equivalent priced counterparts. I haven't rode in any of the new Raven S/X's yet, but every other 3 and S all have poorly insulated interiors, mediocre comfort, ride quality, and general low attention to aesthetic details.
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Nov 29, 2020
My definition of luxury is luxury appointments which the Tesla does not have. Quilted seats, fine leather, attention to detail everywhere and a luxurious ride. None of these are included in a Model Y so I would say no it is not a luxury car. All of us know what we are buying from the getgo so no reason to complain about the price vs luxury because the only thing "luxury" about a model Y is the price and performance. That being said, I love my Y, never been so exited about owing a car since my first brand new car in 1981, a Toyota Supra.
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