Marques Brownlee highlights key flaws with new Tesla Model Y

Calum Patterson
Marques Brownlee next to Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y, the latest in the manufacturer’s lineup, has been attracting a variety of opinions. Marques ‘MKBHD’ Brownlee has one of the most influential review voices in tech, and has now given his verdict.

Elon Musk’s renowned Tesla brand has been the leader in innovation for electric cars, but is not without criticism. Although known primarily as a reviewer of smaller tech like smartphones, tablets and laptops, Brownlee has made a habit of discussing electric vehicles in particular on his channel.

Most notably, he sat down with one of Musk’s billionaire counterparts, Bill Gates, to discuss the positives and negatives of electric cars.

Bill Gates and Marques Brownlee
Marques chatted electric cars with Bill Gates himself.

Although he makes clear that he’s “not Top Gear”, and can’t provide as much insight into the actual driving side of things beyond a lay perspective, his tech knowledge shines through in his summation of the Model Y.

Tesla’s “most important” car?

He ambiguously calls it Tesla’s “most important” car, explaining that it boasts many things he likes, including agile and responsive handling, but he also has some pretty significant complaints.

Speaking specifically on the minimal interior and lack of buttons, he said: “Now that I’ve had this car for almost two weeks, I’ve gotten used to a lot of it, but some of it I kind of wish was still a regular button.”

Simple things like window wipers, opening the glovebox, and air-con, are all controlled through menus on the screen. “Sometimes I want to just put the air on my face with just one little [button] … I wish I had a little bit more manual control.”

Another small niggle is the key, which is simply a card that is placed on a rather slippery center console. As you can imagine, it slides around as soon as the car accelerates or brakes sharply.

Poor build quality

But, some of Brownlee’s main criticisms are around the build quality – a critique that may surprise Tesla enthusiasts. He highlights that for $70,000 “you want things to be built well, and even in this Model Y that Tesla gave me, I found it had some pretty big panel gaps, potentially letting water into the car.”

He also pointed out a flimsy sun visor, a misaligned hazard light, as well as the rear spoiler not even being properly attached.

Despite the flaws in build quality and some of the design choices, Brownlee’s overall verdict was still generally positive, but far from perfect.