With its lineup of electric vehicles, Tesla is an unconventional company that thrives on throwing normality out the window. And while breaking the mold can benefit consumers, the benefit is questionable in the case of the Model X. With enough gee-whiz gizmos to give William Gibson a thrill, the X seemingly sacrifices practicality and pragmatism for the purpose of showboating.
The Model X SUV doesn't shine brightly, unlike the Model S sedan, which impressed us and topped our road-test scoring system. Sure, the X is quick and doesn't consume a drop of gasoline. However, it isn't as quiet, doesn't ride as comfortably, and demonstrates severely compromised usability and utility in everyday use.
Novelties such as the prominent motorized "falcon wing" rear doors that articulate upward and the humongous windshield will be the talk of the neighborhood. But ultimately, any advantage they bring is outweighed by a bigger disadvantage. For example, the rear doors create an immense opening, but their time-consuming opening and closing act gets very old, very fast. Even the electrically-actuated front doors are overcomplicated, forcing constant fussing with fiddly flush door handles. And that huge windshield creates a panoramic view overhead but struggles to keep out intense sun glare.