Thanks to Tesla releasing the Model Y Owner’s Manual as they started deliveries today, we can finally put the speculation and weird measurement methods to bed and say, confidently, exactly how big it is.
Here it is, in short. Compared to the Model 3, the Model Y is:
- 2.2 inches longer
- 2.8 inches wider in terms of body width. With mirrors extended, it’s 1.6 inches wider. With mirrors folded, it’s 1.2 inches wider
- 7.1 inches taller
- .6 inch longer wheelbase
- 1.4 inch more front overhang, .2 inch less rear overhang
- 1.1 inch higher ground clearance
- 2.2 inch wider track on base wheels, 2.6/3 inch wider track front/rear on 21″ wheels
In terms of interior dimensions, the Model Y has:
- .7 in/1.7 in more headroom front/rear
- .9 in less legroom front, 5.3 in more legroom rear
- Shoulder room virtually unchanged
- .4 in more front/1.8 in less rear hip room
- 53 cubic feet more rated cargo volume (*the big difference is likely due to change in measurement methods between the Model 3’s three-box to the Model Y’s hatchback configuration)
And in terms of weight, the Model Y is:
- 344 lbs heavier (for Long Range AWD configurations)
- 309 lbs higher GVWR (refers to the “loaded” weight of the car), which means…
- 35 lbs lower recommended cargo capacity (886 vs 921 lbs, including cargo and occupants)
- Same weight distribution – 46%/54%
- Same towing capacity: Zero. (“Model Y is not equipped with towing.”)
The turning circle on the Model Y is 1 foot wider, 39.8 ft instead of 38.8 ft. It has 20 mm wider tires (255 vs. 235), except in 21-inch configuration, where front tires are 20 mm wider and rear are 40 mm wider (275mm). It also uses different wheel offsets.
So there you have it. All the main physical specification differences between the cars, in actual numbers, for real, published by Tesla. We don’t need to use water bottles, grainy dashcam footage, or the Jayscale anymore.
Compared to other medium SUVs, it’s longer than most of them. They’re usually in the high 170s to mid-180s for length, and the Model Y is 187 inches long.
But it’s also lower than most of them, measuring in at just under 64 inches tall when the rest are in the mid-high 60s. That might come from the lower ground clearance, with the Model Y being 6.6 inches off the road and other medium SUVs being in the 6-8.5-inch range.
It also has better second row legroom than most of its class and and comparable cargo capacity to most.
What we notice is that the Model Y is in fact much taller than the Model 3, as expected. This doesn’t translate into significantly more front headroom, because the seats in the Model Y sit up much higher than the Model 3 seats do. It will allow for easier entry for people who have a harder time getting into lower cars, though. And besides, the Model 3 has good headroom in the first place.
The Model 3 does have more legroom though, at least in the front. But again, this wasn’t much of a problem, and the Model Y’s higher seating position means your legs won’t stick out as far in front of you as in the Model 3 anyway. Rear legroom and headroom, which was a slight weakness of the Model 3, is greatly expanded in the Model Y.
So it should be more comfortable to sit in, but it’s also a bigger car. But not a lot bigger — with only about 2 inches difference in length and width, it shouldn’t be much harder to park. The front overhang might affect some people with steeper driveways, but the higher ground clearance should make up for that.
Cargo volume is much greater, but cargo weight is slightly lower. So you can fit bigger stuff into your Model Y, and its cargo system seems well thought out, with multi-level covered compartments in the trunk and a deeper frunk than the Model 3. But you shouldn’t plan to shove any more weight into it than you can already carry in your Model 3.
People do often exceed the max GVWR in their vehicles when they really need to carry a lot of stuff, but it can cause damage to your vehicle and affect handling making the car less safe, so you shouldn’t do it.
Those are the main specification differences we could find. Have you noticed any others? Have a look at the Tesla Model Y Owner’s Manual and let us know if anything stands out to you. It starts on page 188.
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