Tesla Model Y: First Impressions

Tesla Model Y: First Impressions
My new 2023 Tesla Model Y

I got a new Tesla Model Y (2023, made in Gigafactory Berlin) yesterday. Because I live in Turkey, I had to travel from Ankara to Istanbul and pick it up in person. This is my second EV; previously, I owned a Mercedes EQC 400. After picking up the car, I drove back from Istanbul to home. Here are my first, initial impressions, fresh from the oven:

  • The interior is very spacious. Better than the Mercedes in every way. The panoramic rooftop adds a lot of air, and you can feel it.
  • UI is responsive. Whatever I click comes up instantly. I thought it would be slow or unresponsive. Navigating the map was delightful, for example.
  • Certain functions, such as the camera app, come up instantly. On the EQC, I had to fiddle around, and even by clicking on a button, it would a couple of seconds to see the surrounding. The Model Y even works if I'm driving, so I can watch who is tailgating me.
  • Autopilot isn't as good as I imagined. It constantly disengages, and I have to enable it again manually. I don't know what I do wrong, but even holding it with two hands, it's very brittle. The Mercedes EQC was miles better.
  • On my way, it suddenly started to rain. I wasn't sure how to turn on the wipers. Found it on the settings menu. I guess it'll take time to get used to the UI, but I would expect certain things, such as the wipers, to be available on the home screen.
The rear is very spacious due to the lacking transmission tunnel.
  • No transmission tunnel on the middle back rear seat is a game changer. Especially useful because we have kids and sometimes someone else is traveling with me. The Mercedes EQC, even though it's an EV, had a fake transmission tunnel.
  • The native maps app works well. I can zoom in/out. Way better than any built-in navigation (Audi, Mercedes) and CarPlay (Apple Maps, Google Maps).
  • After a Software Update, my iPhone BT's disconnected, and I couldn't connect it for 1hour. However, I could still lock/unlock the car. So somehow, my phone was connected, but Tesla refused to list it. I had to restart the Tesla OS several times, which was frustrating. Sometimes it felt like the UI and the whole car's software is still in Beta. Maybe I had a bad day.
  • The Music app (Apple Music) works well. I also like that the UI gives me certain tips, such as how to pause or skip a song via the button on the steering wheel whenever I touch the UI. That's a great way to teach the user how to use a new car.
  • I charged twice on my way back to Ankara from Istanbul. Once at a third-party charging station and second on a Tesla Supercharger. On the first one, I had to find the appropriate app, had to scan a QR code, make sure it worked fine, wait 1 minute, and then it started to charge. I also wasn't sure how to open the charge port. When I arrived at the Tesla Supercharger, I only did plug in the charging cable. The experience was surreal. Previously I had a Mercedes EQC 400, and fiddling with the third-party charging station app was a common experience. I now understand what it means to use the Supercharger stations.
  • The interior quality is decent. Because I've watched a lot of horror clips from terrible-made Model Y videos, I lowered my expectations quite a bit. But it's nicer than I expected. The Mercedes, hands down, feels much chunky and solid.
  • The seats are not comfortable and are not ventilated. They got hot very quickly. I don't know what I can do about it.
  • Interior storage options are plentiful. I love the big cup holders. They are 100x better than the tiny cup holders in my old car.
  • The Tesla provides a lot of information about my charging/driving habits. For example, it includes things like the windspeed of my driving route.

That's it. I love the car; driving is fun and a new experience. I now understand why people rave about it. It's delightful to use. I'l plan to write a long-term review in the future.