Every now and then it’s good to check in on Tesla’s website because you never know what kind of news you’re going to stumble across. For example, the Tesla Model Y’s ordering page now boasts two notable updates: Pricing and details for a new more affordable rear-wheel-drive standard-range model, as well as the electric SUV’s three-row seating option. Coincidentally or not, both changes come less than a month after official reviews of the Ford Mustang Mach-E—the Model Y’s latest EV challenger—started hitting the newswire.
It appears that Tesla is trying to undercut the Mach-E’s price tag as a way of swaying buyers away from the shiny new pony. The “Standard Range” Model Y serves as the model’s base trim level and starts at $41,990. It carries an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles. That means the Model Y Standard Range is $8,000 less expensive than the all-wheel-drive Model Y Long Range model. It also is $2,005 cheaper than the $43,995 entry-level Mach-E, before applicable state and federal incentives are factored in, and it still offers 14 miles more range. Remember, Teslas no longer qualify for the full $7,500 Federal EV tax credit—but the Ford does.
But Tesla hasn’t stopped there. For an extra $3,000 you can have seven seats installed in both the aforementioned “Standard Range” and “Long Range” models. The Model Y Performance, on the other hand, doesn’t carry the option for seven seats, staying a five-seater. The Mach-E, for reference, will only seat a maximum of five regardless of trim.
Despite the positive reviews behind Ford’s newest EV, the Model Y is now a much better value than it was before. The only other electric SUV that undercuts the Model Y is the Volkswagen ID4, and that offers a total of 250 miles of EPA-estimated range. But, like the Ford, it also won’t seat more than five. With challengers from Ford, VW, and even Volvo, the electric SUV wars are finally heating up, but it looks like Tesla isn’t backing down.