Previewed by a concept in 2012, the Model X's front end falls in line with Tesla's newest design language. Its tall, arched roof line helps it achieve a low drag coefficient of 0.24, a figure that makes it one of the most aerodynamic crossovers on the market today.
The second and third rows of seats are accessed via futuristic falcon doors that slide up and pivot completely out of the way. The system gives passengers unobstructed access to the second and third rows, but it prevents motorist from fitting the X with a roof rack. The trade-off is that the X has two trunks, and it can tow up to 5,000 pounds when it's properly configured.
Model S drivers will feel right at home in the X. The dashboard is dominated by a massive 17-inch touch screen, and traditional analog instrument cluster has been replaced by a high-resolution digital unit that can be configured by the driver to display a wide variety of information about the car and its surroundings.
The X is available with a medical-grade air filter that Tesla claims is ten times larger than the ones found in the average crossover. The company explains that the cabin is consequently as clean as an operating room in a hospital. If that's not enough, there's a "bioweapon defense mode" that captures particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, in addition to bacteria, viruses, pollen, and mold spores.
The Model X lineup is divided into four models called 75D, 100D, and P100D, respectively. Every variant comes with all-wheel drive.
The 75-kWh model has a 237-mile range and a zero-to-60 time of 4.9 seconds. Note real-world range will vary greatly depending on factors such as your driving style, how much weight you're carrying, and the outside temperature.
The 100D model is the range champ of the lineup. It comes with a 100-kWh battery pack, which is the largest unit Tesla currently makes. It offers up to 295 miles of range and a 4.8-second sprint from zero to 60 mph.
Finally, the top-of-the-line P100D hits 60 mph from a stop in a supercar-like 2.9 seconds when Ludicrous Mode is engaged. Range goes up to 289 miles.
Tesla is building a nationwide network of "Supercharger" fast charging stations that can replenish about 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes, thereby enabling worry-free long-distance travel -- provided your route includes supercharger stations along the way. There are numerous stations along the east and west coasts, in Texas, and in key Midwest regions, but Tesla is constantly adding new units across the country.
Unlimited use of the Supercharger network is free for Model X buyers with a referral code.
Standard and optional features
The list of standard features includes navigation, a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a 240-watt sound system, a GPS-enabled Homelink transceiver, parking sensors on both ends, a blind spot monitoring system, full LED headlights, power-folding and heated door mirrors, a panoramic windshield, keyless entry, an automatic tailgate, wood trim, and 20-inch alloys.
The Model X offers space for five passengers in its standard configuration, but buyers can pay extra to get six or seven seats. Other options an air suspension (which is standard on some models), a better sound system, a hitch, a towing package, a tire inflation kit (the X doesn't have a spare), and a faster 72-amp on-board charger.
One of the most popular options is Tesla's Autopilot technology. It's a suite of semi-autonomous driving aids that help the driver keep the car in its lane and at a steady speed.
Customers can also choose from several option packages. The cold weather package bundles heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and wiper blade defrosters. The premium package adds doors that open automatically as the driver approaches, the aforementioned HEPA air filtration system, ventilated front seats, leather arm rests, an Alcantara headliner, LED ambient lighting, and LED fog lights.
One of the safest cars on the market, the Model X comes standard with head and knee airbags in the front, two side curtain airbags, four seat-mounted side airbags, and two door-mounted airbags. It also ships with traction control, electronic stability control, automatic emergency braking, and a lane departure warning system.
Right now, the Model X's main rival is the Jaguar I-Pace. The segment it competes in is about to get really crowded, really fast.
The Model X isn't cheap, and buyers who are willing to consider gasoline-burning models can compare it to other fast, well-appointed people-movers like the Porsche Cayenne, the Maserati Levante, and the Mercedes-Benz GLS.