Prescriptiveness characterises the Model Y’s handling as well. Great if that matches how you drive, but frustrating if it doesn’t. By any objective standard, it handles well. Stiff suspension and ultra-quick (two turns lock to lock) steering make this big, heavy car feel remarkably agile, because it has the grip to back up those responses, thanks to wide, Tesla-specific 255-section Hankook Ventus S1 tyres.

When you power out of corners hard, you can just about feel there’s some rear torque bias to the driveline, but the traction control is quite restrictive and won’t allow any real rotation. The stability systems in general are conservative but well tuned and won’t freak out when you lift off mid-corner, which isn’t always the case on heavy, tall SUVs. It’s easy to see how someone with little experience of performance cars could drive a Model Y and be bowled over by the prodigious performance, high level of grip and keen responses. However, it is all a little one- dimensional, and a Kia EV6, or even a Volvo C40 Recharge, feels more natural to drive. It’s competent rather than fun.

The one element that is simply poor is the steering. Its weight can be adjusted between Comfort, Standard and Sport, but even in Comfort it is heavy in a gloopy, unnatural way that is reminiscent of electric power steering systems of 10 years ago.

Particularly frustrating is that the Model Y takes 12.1m between kerbs to turn. Where there is no motor between the front wheels, most ground-up EVs allow massive steering angles with an excellent turning circle as a result. For comparison, a Skoda Enyaq needs only 9.3m and even the conventional four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid Jaguar F-Pace P400e requires less than the Tesla, at 11.9m.

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Tesla Model Y comfort and isolation

It is clear there are elements of car design that Tesla considers important, like performance and battery energy density, and others that it reckons won’t be enough of a deal-breaker for people and therefore not worth pouring money into. Ride comfort and refinement are clearly quite far down Tesla’s priority list.

The suspension is relatively well damped, but it just never settles down, not even on the motorway. Our car was on the smaller, 19in wheels, but you might as well go for the 20s if they take your fancy, because there is no pliant ride here to ruin.

Those big wheels seem to seek out every road surface imperfection and thump through them. You don’t just feel it. You can hear it too, because noise insulation is substandard.

In fairness, with no engine humming in the background, other noises are more obvious, but the sound level meter doesn’t lie, and at 70mph the Model Y is louder than a Skoda Enyaq by 3dBA, an Audi Q4 E-tron by 4dBA and a Jaguar F-Pace by a massive 7dBA. With its 70dBA, it is just as noisy as a Skoda Fabia, a small, relatively cheap hatchback. The huge panoramic roof and lack of a parcel shelf may partially explain this lack of acoustic refinement, but they certainly don’t excuse it.

The seats are good if not exceptional. The commanding driving position is appropriate and there is enough adjustment to suit most body types and all testers found them comfortable on long journeys despite the slightly short seat base.

Tesla Model Y assisted driving notes

For a company that offers ‘Full Self-Driving’ and ‘Autopilot’, you would expect it to have adaptive cruise control with lane following licked.

Not quite. First things first, the adaptive cruise control itself works well. Adjusting the speed with a scroll wheel is very easy, it anticipates fairly well and it is confident and smooth in speeding up and slowing down.

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However, the Autopilot lane following is unusable: it insists on being absolutely centred in the lane, and if you tweak it with the steering, it disengages. Make a lane change too quickly or too slowly and it disengages. Lane keeping assistance can be permanently turned off but generally works fine.

Our test car had the optional Enhanced Autopilot, which supposedly can make lane changes, take motorway exits and merge onto the motorway. Don’t bother – it’s hopeless. It has terrible lane discipline, it dithers, it slows down to a crawl on ramps and it has a phobia of traffic cones.