Tesla X 7 Seater Family Review: The premium luxury family option
Gas efficient, sleek, sporty, fast, high-tech, and IT FITS 7! – the Tesla Model X 7 Seater is the EV that families have been waiting for, right? Tesla kissed the minivan and the soccer mom wagon goodbye with the Tesla X, and here is my Tesla Model X Review for families who need 7 seats!
The Tesla X seems like it might be an incredibly practical way to transport your kiddos while saving at the pump, but is the Tesla Model X 7 seater worth the price tag?
Requirements for Family Vehicles
We are a family with 3 kids, 3 car seats, and at least one more (kid and car seat) on the way. We learned a long time ago that the standard sedan, while it might fit 5 adults, won’t fit 3 kids in car seats and their stuff for long.
Plus, knowing that we are a growing family makes purchasing a vehicle with fewer than 6 seats impractical.
Therefore, our family currently drives a Mazda5 minivan but has plans to upgrade to the gas-efficient Toyota Sienna Hybrid.
However, when my husband –a self-proclaimed Tesla nerd –told me that Tesla not only has vehicles that ditch the gas pump but also fit our family’s needs for a 6-7 person vehicle, I was shocked.
Tesla’s Family Options
Did you know that Tesla actually has 2 models of vehicles that fit 7? Believe it or not, Elon Musk and the gang included families with more than 2 children in their vehicle fleet.
Both the Tesla Y Long Range and the Tesla X (not the Plaid) have 7 seat configurations.
Both feature a 3 across bench seat in the second row, and a 2 across bench seat in the third row. (If you don’t need all 7 seats, the 6 seat configuration comes with captain’s seats in the second row.)
However, we all know that in addition to seating, every family vehicle has to also carry its weight in cargo space, comfort, and finally cost.
The Tesla X and the Tesla Y both deliver on form and function, but they deviate sharply on comfort and cost.
Compare the Tesla X and the Tesla Model Y
You can find all of the specs and information regarding the Tesla X and the Tesla Y here. You can even find a side by side comparison of their prices and specs here.
I spent lots of time reading studies, facts, and reviews about both, and I was still interested to know more!
Before I booked a contactless test-drive, it was important to know a few major details.
First and foremost, while the Tesla X runs more than $116,000, the Tesla Y runs in the $50,000.00 range. The $50,000.00 price tag of the Tesla Y makes it comparable in price to the Toyota Sienna or the Honda Odyssey.
But, second, that price tag comes with added bonuses. For example, the budget-friendlier Tesla Model Y can cover up to 320 miles per charge in 76 cubic feet of interior space. Contrastingly, the Tesla Model X can cover nearly 350 miles on a single charge in more than 88 cubic feet of interior space.
Both the range and the space are major differences. Would either of them be right for your family and your cargo needs?
The Tesla X 7 Seater Cargo Space
Both the Tesla X and the Tesla Y have 7 seat configurations that leave ample cargo space. Even the much smaller Y has room for sports equipment, groceries, or luggage in its 76 cubic feet of cargo space.
However, the Tesla X has an even larger interior with more than 88 cubic feet of interior space. That brings the Tesla X interior close to the 101 cubic feet of interior space of the Toyota Sienna, a noticeably larger vehicle.
Even with all of the seats in the upright and comfortable positions, the cargo space of the Tesla X leaves plenty of room for your family vacation luggage.
Need even more space? The Tesla X’s third row folds flat to create even more cargo space. Plus, the Tesla X has towing capacity for more than 5,000 pounds. So add a cargo hitch, a trailer, or just your bikes to the back of the Tesla for even more space.
On cargo space, both the Model X and the Model Y are sufficient, but comfort is a different story.
Tesla Model X Comfort
I have 3 small children; therefore, their current need for legroom is relatively small. Unfortunately, if you read my review of the Model Y, you will find that without running the risk of severing their toes, I was not happy with the third row option.
The Tesla Model Y third row seating is nearly unusable for everyday or long-range use.
The third row is fine for the odd extra kid pickup or even a quick trip, but is impractical for 5 children loading in and out everyday.
Because the Model X and the Model Y 7 Seat configurations have a three across bench in the second row, the third row has to get into the vehicle before the second row.
In both the Model X and the Model Y, the second row slides or lifts forward to allow the third row to get in. Therefore, the seats have to move each time my back row children get in.
While loading my children into the Y, their feet were nearly smashed in the process while their legs ended up pinned to the back of the seat in front of them.
Therefore, for growing families with larger children, that third row in the Model Y is a disappointing option.
Extra Space in the Model X
The Tesla Model X on the other hand boasts that extra 12-15 cubic feet of interior space. Therefore the space between the second and third row is much larger.
For my children, the third row became a comfortable fit when they were seated but took a long time to get in and get situated. Therefore, even though they could sit comfortably when they were situated, moving the seats was a drawn out task.
Plus, for me, putting a car seat in the third row would be a complete non-starter as I could not maneuver my way between the seats with the car seat and the child. So, rear-facing and convertible car seats would have to stay in the second row for our family.
As far as comfort goes, the Tesla Model X is far superior to the Tesla Model Y when considering the usability of the third row.
Don’t agree with me? That’s ok! I had the opportunity to speak with a very proud Model X owner who finds every seat in the Model X to be comfortable for him and his family. Although this owner had only the 6 seat configuration, even adult family members reported being comfortable in the back row.
However, for our family, moving the seats back and forth to load five passengers in the rear 2 rows would take some practice, but it might be worth it for the ability to say sayonara to gas.
This leads me to my review on cost and cost of ownership.
Tesla Model X 7 Seater Cost of Ownership
Teslas are 100% electric and require no gas at all. So, when you look at the price tags, factor in your gas prices.
Keep in mind that while you are no longer beholden to the rising cost of crude, electric transportation is not free either. While you will save gas money and do your part to alleviate emissions and pollution, electric charges do cost money too.
It isn’t “free” to run a Tesla. Electricity doesn’t grow on trees! And, those Tesla Superchargers are not free either.
Tesla markets that the Tesla X can run up to 348 miles per charge while the Tesla Y runs for up to 320 per charge. Further, a Tesla X can be charged on a Supercharger in as little as 15 minutes to reach a 150 mile charge.
Regardless, paying only about $6.00 for almost 350 miles of charge is a lot more appealing than the current cost of gas.
Even in the gas-efficient 2022 Toyota Sienna, 350 miles will cost you at least $40.00 every time you fill it up.
Driving the Tesla X is a tremendous gas savings over the life of the vehicle. This is especially true if you plan on using the vehicle for daily commutes and short trips that allow you to fully charge the Tesla in your own home prior to needing to drive it again.
The gas cost savings doesn’t even consider that Tesla’s cost of maintenance is far lower than other competing models. No oil to change, no gas to buy… the pros list gets longer and longer!
A family vehicle with seating for our growing family, no gas to buy, and lower long-term maintenance? Is it really worth the price tag?
TESLA MODEL X Price comparison
So, starting at $116,00 and even $126,000 (Plaid model) for the Tesla Model X, can you justify the cost?
First, let’s consider just the gas savings over the course of ownership.
Assuming that you compare just the Toyota Sienna Hybrid at 36 combined mpgs to Tesla X’s $6.00 per 350 mile charge, the Tesla is only an option for those who are looking for a premium luxury vehicle.
Over the course of a conservative 200,000 miles on the Toyota Sienna Hybrid at $4.00 per gallon, you can expect to pay about $22,000.
Over the course of 200,000 miles on the Tesla, however, you would pay an estimated $3,500 in charging costs.
Therefore, the Toyota Sienna could cost you about $67,000.00 over the course of your ownership while the Tesla X is going to still set you back more than $120,000.
That nearly $50,000.00 swing is not enough to convince a family of 6 to purchase the Tesla X by the price alone.
The only reasons that the Tesla X makes sense for families is if your primary motivations include the environment, the reduction of fossil fuels, premium luxury, or really high-tech style.
Tesla X Style
If we put aside the practical for a moment, you will find that the Tesla X lacks nothing in style.
From the scissor wing door option and the high tech displays to the full ceiling moonroof, the Tesla X is fun to drive, fun to ride in, and fun to be seen in!
Those are features that may be worth the $50,000 swing to you and your family.
Is the Tesla X 7 Seater Right for Your Family?
The Tesla X is not your ordinary mom vehicle. You are sure to feel edgy and next gen in the Tesla X 7 seater.
Ultimately, the Tesla X 7 Seater is comfortable for the family and a contender for anyone who is looking for a premium luxury SUV. However, it has a long way to go before it is a cost-effective family solution.
In the meantime we will keep hoping that Elon Musk and the gang keep larger families in mind!