When it comes to cross SUVs, the Tesla Model Y has long been at the top of the pack. Thanks to its combination of excellent range, technology, and very public CEO, Tesla has enjoyed years of dominating the electric vehicle segment. However, the competition has quickly started to catch up and what was once an environment where you would be hard-pressed to find a worthy Tesla Model Y competitor, it’s a very different conversation today.
Even as the Tesla Model Y remains one of the best-selling vehicles in the world, you no longer have to settle for an alternative as many similar vehicles offer comparable range and value.
Let’s take a look at the 7 best alternatives to the Tesla Model Y currently on the road today.
Why Look for a Tesla Model Y Alternative?
As good as the Tesla Model Y is, the company still suffers from numerous reports of quality control issues. Panels out of alignment, poor paintwork, cameras not working, etc. are just a few of the reasons Tesla Model Y buyers might find themselves initially frustrated with their purchase. Additionally, the dramatic shift away from a more traditional infotainment system to a single large 15-inch touchscreen can be jarring for many people.
More importantly, one of the biggest reasons that people are looking away from the Tesla Model Y is its stale body style that hasn’t been updated since the vehicle was released. Add that to the idea that other vehicle manufacturers put a greater emphasis on driver comfort and it’s easy to see why a Tesla Model Y alternative might be of interest.
Right from the jump the Volkswagen ID.4 comes off as the everyday Tesla Model Y alternative. It’s good-looking, offers a multitude of trim levels, and includes up to three years of 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America.
As Tesla has moved around the pricing of its Model Y trim levels, the cost difference between it and the Volkswagen ID.4 has varied over time. However, each of the four different trim levels with the ID.4 (Standard, Standard Pro, S, Plus) offers pricing that will be less expensive overall compared to Tesla when you consider the addition of things like Enhanced AutoPilot with the latter.
As far as battery range, the ID.4 hits between 209 and 275 miles, which is decidedly less than the Model Y but an understandable tradeoff given the lower price. One area where there is not much tradeoff is cargo space as the Volkswagen ID.4 provides 64.2 cubic feet with the backseat down against Tesla’s 72.1 cubic feet. Each trim level of the ID.4 offers at least 10 inches of infotainment space, a hands-free liftgate, a heated steering wheel, lumbar massage chairs, and IQ.Drive or Volkswagen’s driver’s assistance package.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Working to position itself as one of the premier Tesla Model Y competitors, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is doing pretty much everything right. With its concept car good looks for a style all its own, it’s a stark contrast from the oddly rounded Model Y exterior.
Available in four different trim levels, the Ioniq 5 starts with a $41,450 MSRP on its entry SE Standard Range trim level, which is more than $8,500 less than the Tesla Model Y’s equivalent standard model. There is also a definite difference in range as the Hyundai only provides 220 miles against the Tesla’s 279.
However, the range gap closes significantly when you jump up to the SE trim level for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which produces 303 miles of range on its RWD model. Regardless of which trim level you choose, Hyundai introduced dual 12.3-inch displays to modernize the interior and infotainment experience of the Ioniq 5. The driver’s instrument cluster provides all of the necessary details about range, traffic, and navigation. The second screen offers a more standardized experience with even more vehicle details plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
Like its sister vehicle with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 makes a convincing argument to leave the Tesla Model Y in the rear-view mirror. Sporty, speedy, and snazzy looking, the Kia EV6 offers a car that begs to be looked at on the road, all while offering competitive pricing and range.
Starting at $48,700 MSRP, the Wind (RWD) trim level offers 310 miles of range which is more than the entry-level trim of the Tesla Model Y offers all while being priced more than $1,200 less. The GT-Line trim level begins at $52,900 and also offers 310 miles of range which make the Kia EV6 more consistent as far as battery life over the Tesla Model Y.
You get decidedly less range on the GT trim level with 206 miles, but with a 4.5-second 0-60 time, it’s a lot of fun to drive for commuters looking to stay close to home. Regardless of which trim you select, you get the benefit of Kia’s advanced charging technology with DC fast charging, bringing the EV6 from 10-80% of battery life in just around 18 minutes. Add in the same dual 12-inch displays as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and you have a car that looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The debate might still rage on as to just how true to the Mustang name the Ford Mustang Mach-E is, but that’s really beside the point. As a Tesla Model Y competitor, the Mach-E is more than prepared to hold its own.
On the outside, you get the benefit of the Mustang looks that have been popular for decades but it’s the inside of the Mach-E that really stands out. One of the Tesla Model Y’s biggest selling points is its gigantic 15-inch touchscreen. Well, Ford wasn’t about to be shown up so it unveiled its own 15.5-inch vertical touchscreen on the Mach-E that can help control just about every function of the vehicle.
On top of its wonderful touchscreen, like Tesla, you can use your smartphone as a key to lock, unlock, and monitor charging on the Mach-E from anywhere. As important as technology is, to truly compete with the Tesla Model Y you need range and plenty of it. This is why Ford has introduced a variety of trim levels offering between 224 and 312 miles of range on a single charge all while being a ton of fun to drive. Plus, with Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0, you get driver assistance features including Adaptive Cruise Control, Evasive Steering, and Intersection Assist.
One of the most economically friendly Mercedes available, the Mercedes EQB is similarly priced to the Tesla Model Y but definitely more luxurious. Available in three different versions, the more entry-level version of the EQB is the 250+ trim level, which offers 245 miles of range. Priced beginning at $52,750, there is no question the Mercedes starts with a higher MSRP over the Tesla Model Y, but between the more refined leather and Mercedes build quality, you are absolutely getting what you pay for.
While, 245 miles is the max you can achieve with the Mercedes EQB as higher trim levels reduce the overall range in favor of more premium materials and specs like a multi-camera view system, panorama roof, and 64 colors ambient lighting. What you sacrifice for the Mercedes on the range is more than made up for with its beautifully designed interior including an arguably best-in-class voice control system that Tesla has yet to attempt to compete with.
Mercedes is also providing every EQB buyer with a complimentary two years of 30-minute DC Fast Charge sessions at Electrify America stations across the United States. This will come in handy as the EQB can recharge from 10-80% in approximately 32 minutes.
Audi Q4 e-tron
Like the Mercedes EQB, the Audi Q4 e-tron is an attempt to take the Tesla Model Y and beat it at its own game through higher quality materials and an overall better driving experience. With an estimated range of up to 265 miles on a single charge (trim level dependent), the e-tron isn’t so far removed from the Tesla Model Y pricing model, with a starting MSRP of $49,800 to $62,900 at its highest trim level.
One of the biggest niceties of the e-tron is the heads-up display, which is the first Audi model to feature augmented reality providing real-time vehicle information. Driver assistance features like Audi’s Pre-Sense don’t quite measure up to the Tesla Model Y’s Full Self-Driving, but it gives you an additional level of safety by automatically braking to avoid a potential accident. Rear cross-traffic assist keeps your blind spots in check and alerts you to any upcoming vehicles whether you are parked or in the middle of traffic.
Audi also enables connected services via your smartphone to help with remote charging, planning trips around charger locations, climate controls, as well as roadside assistance.
Volvo C40 Recharge
Volvo’s first true electric crossover has come for the Tesla Model Y with a sportier style and a number of luxury trims. Unlike Tesla which opts for a more futuristic interior with its minimal style, Volvo has stuck to what it knows and updated the interior of the C40 with its usual luxury fit including an interface completely run by Google. With Google Built-in, the Volvo C40 offers a slew of Google tools, including Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play with the Play Store for downloading apps all while offering over-the-air updates for the latest software available.
Where the Volvo falls down a little is with the range as all three available trim levels max out at a proposed 226 miles of range on a single charge. This is almost 100 miles less than comparable Model Y trims all while charging roughly the same amount. Because of this, Volvo has outfitted the C40 with some of the most comfortable seats in its class as well as an advanced driver assistance package that speaks to Volvo’s commitment to safety.
When it comes to choosing a new electric car, most conversations will focus on whether getting a Tesla is the one and only option to pursue. The reality is that you shouldn’t fall under the Tesla spell as there are some outstanding alternatives available between these seven vehicles. While not all of them can provide a comparable range, many of them beat Tesla on the ride and build quality, interior comfort, price, and an overall luxury look and feel.
What’s more is that, with any of these cars, you have a much more extensive network of dealerships and customer support options at your disposal for anything that could go wrong over the course of your EV ownership.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Tudor Alexandru/Shutterstock.com.