I compared the specs on the Model Y and the Highlander. The Highlander has more internal space and it has a higher towing capacity. It also has a higher net payload with a slightly lower curb wieght.
However, in day to day soccer mom use, getting groceries and launching a fishing boat, the Highlander and Model Y fill about the same market space. I do not know about the reliability of the Tesla vs the Toyota, but I do know that the Toyotas I have owned have seen the mechanics the least.
With the latest rounds of price cuts by Tesla I am curious about the Model Y. It seems that it might be a good road trip car for my wife and I. So checked to see if the prices were compelling enough to go and test drive one.
Short answer, its getting close.
I chose the base model Y with the long range option and AWD.
1000 for color
1000 for two tone interior
1000 for tow hitch
6000 for advanced autopilot with summon. (It would be nice it had autopark also as I live in a Condo and getting dropped off and picked up at the front door would be nice)
The price came out to 57,500 with a 7500 tax rebate for a FOB price of 50,000 even.
However, this is a auto that cannot be duplicated by Toyota as the do not have auto summon.
So, if I remove the enahanced auto pilot the FOB for the model Y drops to 44,000.
I assumed that the Model Y is very well equipped so chose the Highlander XLE AWD. (Not Hybrid) as the Toyota comparison vehicle.
Note the Highlander had few color and interior options so I had to settle for what is available. Also, I could not add a tow hitch or towing package to the Highlander.
As equipped the Highlander came out to 45,000 FOB.
If you delete the tow bar from the Model Y, the Model Y drops to 49,000.
Doing a litte research insurance and the Model Y will run about 300 more a year to insure, so the insurance diference will cost about 1500 over a five year span than the insurance on the Toyota. This eat up some of the lower operating cost advantage that the Model Y has.
So, without subsidies, the Model Y costs about 9 percent more than a roughly equivelent Toyota Highlander. With subsidies, it is about 8 percent less.
My guess is that with mark ups and accessories that are not optional, that Highlander will cost the same as a Model Y without subsidies on the Model Y and quite a bit more when the Model Y is subsidized.
While I am happy with my current automobiles, if I had to buy another car, I would likely look at these two vehicles.
If things continue to improve on the cost of Teslas, we can expect the Tesla to be an easy choice for most people who are looking at vehicles that match the functions of the Teslas.