What It's Really Like to Own and Drive a Tesla Model Y (2023)

What It’s Really Like to Own and Drive a Tesla Model Y (2023)

If you are looking for an InsideEV, Kelly Blue Book type of technical analysis, side-by-side comparison for a Tesla Model Y, this article isn’t it. Instead, I am a recent owner of a Tesla Model Y (for about 9 months), I’m here to share my honest and transparent opinion of owning and driving a Tesla Model Y. Plus, real numbers behind how much you pay and actually save on owning an EV.

This isn’t your Instagram posts about the funky features of Tesla and Tesla Model Y like the rainbows, or romantic fireplace, or the fancy dance moves (yes, these are real features). Rather it’s written to help you make a clear and confident decision to own and drive a Model Y for years to come.

Ready? Let’s go!

The Cost of Tesla Model Y

This is a tricky question as the price changed about X times since late 2022. As of the latest in July 2023, you are looking at a deep discount compared to what Model Y once cost in late 2022 (which was over $60,000 USD) if you order it a long-range with red paint. Instead, you now only pay $52,490.

By the way, if you want to get an additional $500 off on your Model Y, use my special link here to get your cash reward.

Tesla Model Y Cost

Additional savings since January 2023 as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 which qualified certain electric vehicles (EVs) for a tax credit of up to $7,500. 

Sample breakdown as shown below – the Est. 6-year gas savings is not helpful. Please ignore it for now. The rest is quite helpful for Massachusetts residents.

Tesla Model Y Pricing and Savings in 2023

The Learning Curve of Tesla Model Y

I highly recommend that you watch all the Model Y videos on Tesla’s official website or their YouTube channel. They really do help! I chose to watch them all day before I picked up the car and they were wonderful refreshers.

I had limited experience with driving a Tesla Model Y (or any Tesla cars) before the pickup. My 10-min experience was from a test drive a year before. So naturally I felt a bit nervous. This is very natural.

Since you probably already know that a Tesla car breaks with the engine, it took me about 20-30 mins to fully grasp and feel comfortable with the way it drives. Driving on local streets is actually a bit harder than driving on the highway with less steering and stopping.

Overall, I would say the learning curve is quite manageable. Within days, you will be obsessed with your car!

The Savings of Tesla Model Y

So how much does Tesla Model Y actually save you? I’m sharing my numbers below. Please keep in mind that I do not commute for work as I’m a home-based creator. On a regular basis, my trips often consist of:

  • Quick trips to the grocery stores and local farms
  • Taking mom to her medical appointments
  • Visiting family and friends within a one-hour radius of home
  • Occasional trips to cities between 3-6 hours away about a few times a year

With that said, you can still tell the difference and estimates between charing my EV vs. Gas, as shown below.

Last 31 days (EV charging spent $58, estimated gas saving is $60)

IMG 3535 | Feisworld

Last 9 months (Oct 2022 – July 2023)
EV charging spend of $348 and estimated gas saving of $325

IMG 3537 | Feisworld

Most of our charging happened at home where electricity cost was higher between Oct 2022 and May 2023. Still we managed to save about 50% of what it would have cost with gas.

The Long-Distance Charging of Tesla Model Y

Sure, charging at home is easy peasy but what happens when you are driving for 4-6 hours at a time? There are more Tesla Superchargers than ever before. When our Model Y hovers around 10% battery, you will see “Nearby Charging” option pops up automatically for you to choose from. With over 45,000 Superchargers, Tesla owns and operates the largest global, fast-charging network in the world.

While you navigate to a Tesla supercharger, your Model Y will begin battery conditioning automatically. By the time you arrive at the charging station, the battery will charge faster. From our experience, the charging starts off a bit slower and then speeds up 5-10 minutes in.

To fully charge our long-range Tesla Model Y from 10% takes about 20-25 minutes at a Supercharger. I recommend a quick walk around the neighborhood, some ice cream or simply sit in your Model Y to watch some Netflix and chill. 🙂

image 6 | Feisworld

The Tech & Entertainment of Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y has the same entertainment system as the other Tesla model cars. But as a busy creator and caregiver, I do not find myself using much of their Arcade and Toybox features. That’s just the reality! On the other hand, if you have a partner who’s traveling with you and prefers not to visit the same places (such as shopping), he or she will find the Theater option very entertaining. Here I’m referring to the Netflix, YouTube and Hulu options.

The sound system in Model Y is quite good. As for the screen, it’s more than big enough but it can get fingerprints easily. We are fans of these small, portable CareTouch cleaning wipes and keep them in our Model Y regularly.

Screenshot 2023 07 08 at 11.50.28 PM | Feisworld

Did you know that you can make and take Zoom calls directly from a Tesla? The camera works great when it’s daylight and less sensitive when it’s dark out (or when you sit inside a garage). To learn more about how it works, check out How to Use Zoom Video Calls in Tesla (December 2022) and How to Use Zoom In Tesla (Part 2) – Better Zoom Video Quality

The Comfort of Tesla Model Y

Everyone in my family (40, 50s, early 70s) all love driving and sitting in the car. Model Y is very spacious with lots of headroom, including people who are over 6 feet tall.

The gamer changer for first-time Tesla owners of any model? The panoramic roof. Wow! For that reason, I can’t imagine myself owning another car without a roof like this. It’s instantly relaxing and puts you in a good mood and meditative state. Especially when you are leaning back on the passenger seat, the view is serene no matter where you are.

image | Feisworld

The AC directional control is fantastic. It’s a touch-screen and you can control the direction of the airflow to left, right, up and down and completely change the way we experience climate control.

image 5 | Feisworld

For the headrest, I purchased these TESBEAUTY Tesla headrest when I first got the car. They are one of the best in our opinion but we find ourselves using them less and less. Model Y is naturally very fitting and comfortable, including long drives. For the first time ever, I didn’t even notice much of my drive from Boston to New York City which took nearly 4 hours.

Screenshot 2023 07 08 at 11.53.10 PM | Feisworld

The Storage of Tesla Model Y

My previous car was a BMW X3 and I loved the storage space. But I was shocked by how spacious Tesla Model Y is.

The Model Y serves up ample cargo space. Two-row models have 30.2 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 72.1 cubic feet with the second row folded down. In addition, the trunk has a hidden cargo space that is big enough to fit my Asian mother’s 6-7 bags of full-size groceries.

image 1 | Feisworld

Tesla Model Y has a “Frunk” as well. It sounds and looks so cute, and quite spacious. But we haven’t yet had the chance to use it.

image 2 | Feisworld

The Performance and Safety of Tesla Model Y

The performance is well-known for all Tesla cars. Yes, they want to and will go fast. Our Tesla Model Y accelerates smoothly, steering tracks very well.

Tesla cars come with 8 cameras and it really does help you see everything quite clearly. Whether you are backing up, switching lanes, or parallel parking – the cameras can work their magic.

image 4 | Feisworld

When it comes to parallel parking, I do want to warn any new car owners (Tesla Model Y or otherwise) to practice that as soon as possible. Do NOT wait until you are on a busy street with people honking at your to try. Tesla cars are heavy so avoid hitting the curbs as much as possible to avoid rim rash. Luckily we have discovered a service that covers tire and rim repairs for 5 years (for EVs). Here’s a quick link to learn more while I’ll prepare an article in the near future with more details.

The Tire & Rim Coverage You Need for Tesla Model Y

Tesla does come with decent coverage and warranty in general but it does not include tire or rim protection. Tire and rim damages are especially common among Tesla cars because they are generally heavier, and the metal of Tesla rims sticks out further than the tire rubber. I have heard that this is by design and improves the performance and speed of the car. However, this design leaves the metal rims as the first point of contact for curbs during misjudged turns.

The Weird Stuff with Tesla Model Y

In general Model Y feels really intuitive and easy to drive. The only times I struggled was with the alarm when I’m steering slightly out of lane on local roads, or driving closer to the car in front of me but nowhere near tailgating, my Model Y will beep rather loudly with a red alarming indicator on the screen.

I have to say that it was quite a shock to my system the first couple of times before getting used to this setting.

How do you reduce the forward collision warning on a Tesla?

Collision Avoidance Assist

By default, Forward Collision Warning is turned on. To turn it off or adjust its sensitivity, touch Controls > Autopilot > Forward Collision Warning. Instead of the default warning level of Medium, you can turn the warning Off, or you can choose to be warned Late or Early.

How do you turn off the Lane Departure Warning on a Tesla Model Y?

You can choose if and how you want Lane Departure Warning to operate by touching Controls > Autopilot > Lane Departure Avoidance and selecting between these options: Off: You are not warned of lane departures or potential collisions with a vehicle in an adjacent lane.

Conclusion: Is Tesla Model Y worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Our entire family is thrilled to own and drive this car. We even gave it a name because it has brought so much joy in our lives.

With the ups and downs of gas prices, the reduction of pollution, and the government incentives, it made much sense for us to switch to an EV.

Tesla Model Y clearly isn’t the only choice of EV. So far our experience has been great in terms of its quality, safety, reliability and customer service (which you can request right through the Tesla app).

Even with the price reduction of Tesla cars including Model Y since late 2022, we do not have any buyer’s remorse and continue to love this car every day.

Please let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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