Come On Guys, You Probably Wouldn’t Want To Take A Tesla Model Y Any More ‘Off-Road’ Than This

He's not exactly fording the Mississippi...but what do you expect?

Tesla Model Y blue
This is a Tesla Model Y, very much “on-road” – where it’s more or less meant to be. [Photo: Tesla]

When most folks talk about the Model Y, there are many critical points to cover in terms of making a buying decision. More space than a Model 3? Yep! How about a rage over 315 miles? Check that one off the list. It’ll even do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, which puts it on par with a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. One thing you probably won’t speak of much is it’s off-road ability. Why?

Because it’s not an off-roader.

Go ahead, grab your pitchforks, Tesla devotees, and burn me in effigy for saying that. But when Mike McGinnis took his brand new Model Y “off-road” , Car and Driver astutely pointed out the sheer magnitude of salt thrown his way.

Yes, he’s not traversing the Himalayas. He’s not fording the mighty Mississippi. Here’s the thing: the Model Y has 6.6 inches of ground clearance. That’s lower than most other crossovers, not to mention the Toyota 4Runner‘s 9.6 inches and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon‘s 10.8 inches. We took our long-term Tesla Model X off-road late last summer, and off-roader it ain’t. And that’s fine — the car’s practically everything else you want from a car, and it’s not like we’re overlanding our way to work everyday. Although that would be pretty sweet if you had, say, a Jeep.

Just saying, guys — as great as Tesla’s are, they don’t have vertical takeoff. At least not yet. They can’t be all things, and they’re still pretty damn good at what they are. And for those who dare to take their Model Ys “off-road”, at least we can collectively see what they can do without risking going out there and damaging one ourselves. In fairness, I think this tweet sums up what’s happening best:

Solid point there. Now, taking the Cybertruck off-road. That will be one we’re going to put together as soon as we can possibly do it. In the meantime, for those who want to take their Model Ys on something more difficult or who believe they can do this and a whole lot more with their Honda Civic…you know how the adage goes about putting up.

If you do actually manage that, though, please send the video to and we’ll sing the praises of you mountaineering in your small hatchback. I mean I did just discuss the response over a Tesla driving through a puddle. Speaking of Teslas going off-road: