The Tesla Cybertruck Is Just ‘Ok’ Compared To The Competition

By automotive-mag.com 7 Min Read

Alex from Auto Buyers Guide recently had some time behind the wheel of the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck. Like most reviewers, Alex feels the Cybertruck stands out most for its unique exterior design and minimal interior. But as a truck it does not stand out, and the channel describes it as “ok” compared to the competition.

Charging and Range

The Cybertruck reviewed is the 600 hp, dual motor model. It sports a 122 kWh battery pack that is good for an advertised 340 miles of range. In range tests done by Auto Buyers Guide, the truck actually managed about 300 miles of range. 

DC fast charging (DCFC) with Tesla’s Supercharging network is restricted to 250 kW thanks to the 400v limitations of the current V3 Superchargers. 

The Cybertruck’s 800v architecture can handle higher power levels, but the only way to take advantage right now is by using an adapter with a third-party provider like Electrify America. Eventually, the 800v-capable V4 Superchargers should enable the Cybertruck to charge more than 300 kW. Although there is a lot of uncertainty around when this rollout will happen. 

Home L2 charging is currently limited to 11.5 kW which is comparable to most of the competition. The Chevrolet Silverado EV does have the option for 19.2 kW charging, but its larger battery pack means charging times are not much better than the Tesla. 

Styling and Interior

Alex is one of those rare individuals without an especially strong opinion on the look of the Cybertruck. While it isn’t to his taste, he thinks the decision to go with a bold design was smart. It immediately differentiates the truck from the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevy Silverado EV.

In theory, he also does not mind the stainless steel body panels. Unfortunately, it is difficult for him to ignore just how many imperfections are visible on the exterior thanks to the vehicle’s shape. “We do get ripples on the body panels,” Alex explains. “That’s why we really don’t find slab-sided vehicles like this much in the world. Because it’s really hard to make something this long actually be flat.”

On the interior, the lower ride height and low seat position make it easy to enter and exit the vehicle. The front seat itself is also far more comfortable than the typical half-ton truck and the heated and ventilated seats are appreciated. 

Rear seating has less legroom than competitors from Chevy and Ford, although headroom is comparable. The passenger space is also 3-5 inches narrower than most trucks in this segment, so three passengers in the rear will feel quite cramped.

Tesla Cybertruck

Capabilities 

On the capabilities side of the equation, load capacity (2,500 lbs) and tow capacity (11,000 lbs) are actually very good for the electric truck segment. Payload ratings are a black eye for most EV trucks due to the added weight of the battery pack.

Yet despite the large payload, the bed of the Cybertruck makes it difficult to compare with others since it is not a traditional size or shape. For starters, the back of the cargo bed matches the slope of the cab’s rear seats. This means the bed’s length effectively becomes shorter the higher your load must be stacked. 

The width of the bed is also hit or miss. It is slightly wider than the narrowest width of an F-150 bed between the wheel wells. But it is significantly more narrow compared to the widest parts of an F-150 bed (65 inches vs 57 inches).  

Still Alex drew attention to some very nice features like the the adjustable tie-down hooks, LED lights running the length of the bed, and the inverter with multiple AC outlets including a NEMA 14-50 outlet. 

Tesla Cybertruck

Driving Experience

On the road, the truck is undeniably fun with quick acceleration and a smooth ride. Handling feels very good at speed and the steering is quick, especially in the corners. 

But the steering might actually be a little too quick sometimes. “It is a full steer-by-wire system, there is no connection between here and the wheels.” He explains. “As the speed starts to decrease, now things start to get a little bit twitchier.” 

The lack of visibility is also a concern on the winding roads he frequently drives. The front pillars frequently obstruct pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles when going around the turns. Because of their size and length, it is also difficult to tilt your head to look around them. “The blind spots are definitely very large.”

The main display is crisp, bright and responsive, which makes it much more pleasant to use than the displays from Ford and Chevrolet. But its complexity makes it difficult to use at a glance while driving. He would prefer a few more manual control options. 

The rearview mirror options are similarly undercooked. The traditional mirror is blocked by the tonneau cover, and the digital rearview mirror is too small with a narrow field of view. 

Like many reviewers, it’s clear Alex enjoyed his time with the Cybertruck but felt it was a bit of a mixed bag. It’s not especially adept at being a truck but serves that function well enough and has great payload and tow ratings.

Still, what really makes the truck special is its performance behind the wheel and the wild aesthetic design. So if you’re not into the looks, you aren’t likely to find much to love here. 

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