Tesla Model Y Much Cheaper Than These 3 Competitors

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Reporting on the Tesla Model 3 Long Range gaining eligibility for the $7,500 US tax credit, and then reporting on your “last” chance to get 1.99% APR financing on a Model 3 RWD, I started thinking about how cost competitive the Model 3 has become. But then I remembered that Americans hardly ever buy sedans these days, that it’s all about crossovers and SUVs. So, it hit me that we were ripe for an update on how the cost of a Tesla Model Y compares to the costs of its top competitors in the States.

As it turns out, the Tesla Model Y is now much cheaper than its competitors — and that’s not even taking into account long-term fuel costs.

Now, there are always going to be different opinions about which cars are in competition with each other. Heck, someone could be deciding between two very different types of cars — I’ve seen it many times. Though, overall, similar size and similar class is the best we can go with for an article like this. So, I’ve pulled up the BMW X4 and the Audi Q5, which I think are the closest match to the Tesla Model Y in that regard. Then I threw in one more SUV that might be a little more of a stretch but seems like something a Model Y shopper might cross-shop, and which is also one of the 10 top selling SUVs in the US, the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Each model comes at various price options, of course. The Model Y can cost $44,990, $47,990, or $51,490 before adding options and special software features. The Audi Q5’s three core starting prices (MSRP) are $45,300, $52,200, and $57,700. The Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $36,495, $38,035, $38,785, $42,640, $43,149, $45,905, $60,995, $62,569, and $67,040. BMW X4’s pricing starts at $55,000, $66,400, and $79,100. There are a couple of things that stand out here.

First of all, with the high-end Model Y starting at $51,490, it’s far cheaper than the high-end versions of the Audi Q5 ($57,700), Jeep Grand Cherokee ($67,040), and BMW X4 ($79,100). So, already, Tesla is winning if you’re going for the best version of one of these models.

Secondly, though, is the bigger point. The Model Y is eligible for a $7,500 federal EV tax credit. That effectively brings the cost far below the cost of these competitors no matter where you look (assuming you can take control f the same pit). Here’s how the low-end pricing for these models compares if you’re doing your best to pinch pennies:

  • Tesla Model Y — $37,490
  • Audi Q5 — $45,300
  • BMW X5 — $55,000
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee — $36,495.

Again, that’s without even logging expected gas savings. The Audi and BMW are much, much cheaper, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee is more or less the same price on the low end.

Returning to the higher trim for each of these models, but applying the $7,500 tax credit this time, the following is the result:

  • Tesla Model Y — $43,990
  • Audi Q5 — $57,700
  • BMW X5 — $79,100
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee — $67,040.

Actually, looking at that, the high-end Model Y is cost-competitive with the low-end Audi Q5 and BMW X5! And surely the Jeep Grand Cherokee as well if we were to roll in gas savings.

Considering that the Model Y also drives smoother, is quicker, and doesn’t pollute the streets we drive on, it’s hard to see why anyone would buy one of these competitors to the Model Y instead of the Tesla Model Y. Now, if we were to compare the Model Y and other electric crossovers, maybe we’d have some real competition. Next time?

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