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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020
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The Tesla Model X has finally arrived in Ireland. We took it for a drive.

We got behind the wheel of the new Tesla Model X and turned it up to 11.

Image: Tesla

FIVE YEARS AFTER the first Tesla Model S saloons hit the Californian highways the all-electric car maker has finally made it to Ireland. But what makes Tesla so special?

Tesla makes two models, the Model S saloon and the Model X crossover. (The Model 3 is on the way but realistically won’t get here until early 2019.) Last week, I drove the Model X.

Source: Tesla

Depending on the battery chosen the Model X has a range of 417km and 565km. And here is Tesla’s first trick – when it comes to single-charge range there is Tesla, and then there is everybody else.

Source: Tesla

Engine-wise, Tesla didn’t just get the technology right – they aced it and superseded all expectations.

Take the car’s now-infamous Ludicrous Mode. Frankly, it is just that – it is stomach-in-your-mouth exhilaratingly fast and yes, even the Model X comes with this feature. It has instant max torque (966Nm for the P100D) from 0 rpm and 0 km/h. It can go from 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds. Even the ‘slowest’ Model X can do the 100km/h dash in just 6.2 seconds.

Source: Tesla

The Smart Air Suspension lives up to its name. Using the touchscreen, you can raise or lower the Model X when climbing a steep road, navigating rough terrain, or unloading passengers and cargo. Then, using GPS location detection, the car will remember and re-apply settings automatically each time it reaches that location.

The Model X will also remember other settings such as your seat position, mirror positions, and the time of the day you turn the air-con temperature up or down and will reapply these each time.

Source: Tesla

All cars feature a 17-inch touchscreen which controls everything from the air-con, to the radio, to the sat nav to opening and closing the doors.

You can even tell the car how you would like the doors to be opened and closed. You can open the doors using the brake or by pushing the flush door handles. But you don’t have to touch the doors at all – they will open for you automatically, and to close the door you just touch the brake again.

And, possibly the coolest thing… when you are listening to the stereo and you need that little push over the edge, the volume buttons go to eleven.

Source: Tesla

Each car comes with Autopilot 2.0. This is a suite of driver assistance technologies that owners can choose to switch on. I tested the Autosteer with lane change and Traffic Aware Cruise Control and both systems worked well.  There is also an option to turn on the biohazard cabin filter to protect the car’s occupants from toxins. This car really can save your life.

You can also download the Tesla app and use it to drive the car in and out of a tight parking space whilst you stand outside.

For me though, it’s not Autopilot that’s exciting – loads of manufacturers offer the same sort of features now – but the speed at which Tesla is advancing these technologies.

There are constant improvements being made. All you have to do is press the touchscreen to accept the download and when you wake up your car has a new feature. Tesla is bringing its products to you. It is improving your car all the time. Your Tesla is better now than it was when you first bought it. What other car can you say that about?

Source: Tesla

Inside the Model X, everything is different to a ‘normal’ car. It shows real outside-the-box thinking. The Model X features the largest glass panoramic windscreen in production and it is stunning. Those Falcon wing doors that open outwards aren’t just cool, they are super practical too.

They are double hinged, have a tighter opening angle than the front doors and they make getting in and out a doddle.

The car can be had with five, six or seven seats. Oh and those two rearmost seats fit two adults. It really is the ultimate family car as it is so flexible and will adapt to your growing family needs.

Source: Tesla

The cheapest Tesla Model X you can get is… wait for it… €110,270. But that includes all taxes and charges and SEAI Grant.

The Tesla Model X is a premium car with supercar performance and its price tag reflects that.

However, I have been in an Audi Q7 e-tron hybrid that costs the same price and would I choose the Model X over this? Absolutely. I can’t tell you about all the game-changing aspects of the Tesla Model X in this one review. There are too many and they are all worth mentioning.

Source: Tesla

I didn’t even touch on the James Bond Easter egg – name your car 007 and the photo on the touchscreen turns into the Lotus Espirit submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me. All I can say is go to the new showroom in Sandyford and experience the cars for yourself.

Driving a Tesla really is an experience and one that is only going to get better and better in years to come and you won’t even have to change your car to get the latest developments. Buying a Tesla really is an investment in the future of motoring.

READ: Which are the most reliable car brands? >

READ: Review: Is the new Audi Q5 really a rugged SUV or just an overgrown executive car? >

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