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Tesla Model Y vs. Polestar 2, I-Pace, E-Tron and Mercedes EQC: How do they stack up?

Tesla's new, smaller electric crossover has lots of competition.


Tesla's new Model Y crossover will have plenty of competition when it goes on sale in fall 2020, as other new all-electric models flood the market. Polestar, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all have competing models that, at least on paper, will serve as strong competition to the Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the new model at an event Thursday in California.

Unfortunately for our purposes, as is usually the case with its cars, Tesla declined to share specific numbers, including exterior dimensions, horsepower, torque or battery capacities, for the Model Y -- figures every other EV manufacturer provides -- so there's only so much comparison we can do. With that mind, here's how the Model Y stacks up against the competition.

Sales of Tesla's newest car, the Model Y, begin this fall.



The Tesla Model Y's biggest advantage will be its affordable price, which will be as low as $48,200 (including a $1,200 destination fee) when the Long-Range rear-wheel-drive model launches next fall. That's set to fall to as little as $39,000 (before destination) when the Standard Range model arrives in spring 2021. On the other hand, the priciest Performance variant will cost $61,200 after destination.

Those prices are extremely competitive when compared with the Model Y's rivals. The Polestar 2, for instance, is set to start at $55,000, the Audi E-Tron will be $75,795 with destination, The Jaguar I-Pace starts at $70,525. No price has yet been confirmed for the Mercedes-Benz EQC, but a figure around $70,000 is expected.

One important Tesla Model Y pricing note: Buyers will have to pay for any electricity they consume at one of the company's Supercharger high-speed charging stations. Earlier Tesla buyers were able to charge for free, a huge benefit to those covering long distances.

The Model Y debuted Thursday night at an event in California.



The Tesla Model Y uses either a single rear-mounted motor or a twin-motor powertrain providing all-wheel drive. Though we don't have any horsepower numbers, Tesla does give an indication of performance estimates for the Model Y, which vary significantly depending on trim.

The quickest is the all-wheel-drive Model Y Performance, which Tesla says will run the 0-to-60-miles-per-hour sprint in 3.5 seconds and go on to a top speed of 150 mph -- numbers that beat out all rivals. Other models are still quick but less extreme in their acceleration claims. The Long-Range all-wheel-drive model trims those numbers to 4.8 seconds and 135 mph, while Long-Range rear-wheel-drive Model Ys hit 60 in 5.5 seconds and top out at 130 mph. Finally, the Standard Range car, which is rear-drive only, hits 60 in 5.9 seconds and manages 120 mph.

The Model Y's competitors are all all-wheel drive. The Audi E-Tron will hit 60 in 5.5 seconds and tops out at 124 mph, the 408-hp Polestar 2 reaches 62 in "less than" five seconds, the 402-hp Mercedes-Benz EQC is pegged at a 4.9-second sprint to 60 and a maximum velocity of 112 mph. And finally, Jaguar says the 394-hp I-Pace will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top out at 124 mph.

Power and Performance

Vehicle Horsepower 0-60 MPH Top Speed
Tesla Model Y Performance N/A 3.5 seconds 150 MPH
Tesla Model Y Long-Range AWD N/A 4.8 seconds 135 MPH
Tesla Model Y Long-Range RWD N/A 5.5 seconds 130 MPH
Tesla Model Y Standard Range N/A 5.9 seconds 120 MPH
Audi E-Tron N/A 5.5 seconds 124 MPH
Jaguar I-Pace 394 HP 4.5 seconds 124 MPH
Mercedes-Benz EQC 402 HP 4.9 seconds 112 MPH
Polestar 2 408 HP < 5 seconds N/A

Battery range

Perhaps the most important figure to EV buyers is battery range. The Tesla Model Y's range has yet to be confirmed by the EPA, and Tesla won't say how many kilowatt-hours its battery packs hold, but ranges are as follows: 280 miles for the Performance and Long-Range AWD models, 300 for the rear-drive Long-Range and 230 miles for the Standard Range models.

Based on what we know so far, those figures will compare nicely against Tesla's European competitors. The Jaguar I-Pace has an EPA-rated range of 234 miles on a single charge of its 90-kWh battery pack and the Polestar 2 is promised to travel about 275 miles on its 78-kWh battery. But Audi and Mercedes have yet to finalize driving range estimates for their EVs.

Driving Range and Battery Capacity

Vehicle Driving Range (Miles) Battery Capacity (kWh)
Tesla Model Y Performance 280 (est.) N/A
Tesla Model Y Long-Range AWD 280 (est.) N/A
Tesla Model Y Long-Range RWD 300 (est.) N/A
Tesla Model Y Standard Range 230 (est.) N/A
Audi E-Tron N/A 95
Jaguar I-Pace 234 90
Mercedes-Benz EQC N/A 80
Polestar 2 275 (est.) 78

Interior and spaciousness

Like the larger Model X, the Tesla Model Y can be optioned with three rows of seats (two rows are standard), which already gives an advantage over rivals that can fit just two rows of passengers. On the other hand, given the Model Y's relatively short length, we're curious to see just how much legroom is actually available in the third row.

Tesla also promises healthy amounts of cargo space, with 66 cubic feet of storage claimed when combining the "frunk" ahead of the cabin and the space within it. Of course, it's hard to compare apples to apples when we don't know exactly how much of that room is behind the second or third rows.

Still, we can look at the storage space offered by the competition in the abstract. In the I-Pace, Jaguar says you can find 25.3 cubic feet of storage behind the second row and 51.0 cubic feet with the seats folded. In the Audi E-Tron those numbers are 28.5 and 57.0 cubic feet. We don't have cargo-room figures for the Polestar or Mercedes just yet.

The seats will fold down to give Model Y buyers more cargo space.


Just like the Model 3, the Tesla Model Y has an ultra-minimalist cabin, with almost all vehicle controls relegated to one giant, 15-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. While putting every car function on one screen was met with skepticism, our experience in the Model 3 proved the system is easier to use than expected. There's also a glass roof that should allow plenty of light into the cabin. As usual, the Model Y will also have all of Tesla's latest-and-greatest in-car tech: the ability to unlock and smart the car with a smartphone, instead of a key, as well as Tesla-specifics like the "Summon" remote-driving function and Autopilot driver-assistance features.

What about the Model 3?

Of course, Tesla shoppers might want to compare the new Model Y crossover against the Model 3 sedan. Despite significant differences in dimensions, the two do share a lot in common, especially in terms of interior and exterior design. Figuring out the comparisons in terms of performance, range and price is a little trickier, though.

For instance, the Model 3 has far more trim levels than the Model Y. But at the extremes, it's easy to compare. For instance, the Model 3's base Standard Range, rear-wheel-drive model offers 220 miles of range and a 5.6-second sprint to 60 mph -- right on par with the Model Y Standard Range. But the sedan's presumably lower drag and weight (those figures have yet to be shared) mean that the Long-Range, rear-drive Model 3 can boast a 325-mile EPA driving range to the equivalent Model Y's estimated 300 miles.

The Model Y also commands a pricing premium. The Model 3 is now (finally!) available from just $35,000, or about $4,000 less than the Model Y Standard Range's planned starting price. Also note that the $39,000 Model Y isn't scheduled to arrive until about two years from today.