Drivers and passengers alike traditionally consider minivans the ideal family car. From their massive cargo capacity to their spacious cabins, they really are practical for families. That said, minivans typically have low performance, are visually unattractive, and generally boring to drive. This has, in recent years, caused drivers to shift from the minivan to SUVs and luxury sedans for their family car.
If you want to make this transition, too and are dead-set on a Tesla, you may be concerned that purchasing one won’t be practical as a family car. Well, guess again! Tesla has plenty of options for you to choose from that are great for families. The question is, what model is the best?
Tesla has four main models: S, X, Y, and 3. Although they all look very similar, especially when they aren’t next to each other, each has characteristics that set it apart from the next model.
When thinking of these models in family terms, we’ll need to look at features that define a family car: occupancy, comfort, trunk size, miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (how far the battery will get you), and features.
Number of Occupants
The expectation when you own a family car is that there will be more than two occupants at any given time. This excludes two-seaters and two-doors right away. You need space! A Tesla Roadster, then, would not be the optimal choice.
The entry-level models 3, X, Y, and S all have five seats. The Model X has an advantage over the rest with an optional third row. If you have a larger family, or carpool, the third row is particularly helpful.
Just as important as being able to give everyone a seat in the car is cabin space. We’re talking about headroom and legroom.
Again, the Model X leads in this category. Because it is an SUV, it is naturally bigger than the other Tesla models. The catch is that when you add the third row, it gets a little crowded. But that’s a compromise you’ll have to make if you want an electric seven-seater SUV.
Another important feature in a family car is the trunk space. You need to fit groceries, luggage, emergency kits, backpacks, etc. You want to be able to go on that family trip without worrying about fitting everything in the trunk.
SUVs have the advantage over sedans. Case in point, the Model X’s trunk is a mind-blowing 88 cubic feet. The Model Y, which is also an SUV, has a 68 cubic feet trunk. Models 3 and S have 26.3 and 15 cubic feet trunks, respectively.
So if you’re looking for a Tesla with plenty of space in the back, the Model X and Y are your top choices. The way their trunks are shaped makes fitting big bags easier in comparison to the other two sedan models.
Since Teslas are all-electric vehicles, instead of looking at traditional fuel efficiency, you’ll want to consider the battery’s fuel economy equivalent. A family car will have to drive all over the place, and you want to make sure that the battery lasts. The same goes for family road trips — you don’t want to run out of battery on the highway!
It’s a little difficult to compare different Tesla models’ battery ranges. Tesla is constantly improving its battery with each new release. The first version of the Model X can travel 328 miles between recharges. The Model Y hits 316 miles. Model 3 has the smallest battery range at 250 miles.
The Model S, however, can travel up to 370 miles on one full charge.
Interior & Cabin Features
There’s one more aspect of family cars that plays a huge role in making them comfortable for everyone, and these are cabin features. Fortunately, all Tesla models have great family-friendly features in their cars.
Overheating protection keeps little ones from getting too hot on summer days. Another great comfort feature is the sky view, sure to keep passengers from asking, “Are we there yet?” For teens, keep them connected with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. When it comes to traditional cabin features like cup holders, you’ll get both your front and rear ones.
Tesla changes the interior features of each model with each upgrade. However, some things haven’t changed. The Model X has more head and legroom in the front seats and second-row compared to other Teslas, regardless of the model year.
The Tesla model that checks most, if not all, the boxes for a family car is the Tesla Model X. With a large trunk, extra seating, and decent mileage, it’s like it was made for a family. It doesn’t come cheap, though. This Tesla SUV runs $90,000 for the entry-level version. If the SUV is too expensive for you, then the second-best option for a family car is the Model Y. It is significantly cheaper, starting at $50,000.