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Tesla Cybertruck Loses to Model X in Towing Range Test—Again

Critics wanted a redo after the first test, so they got one. The results were the same.
Nico DeMattia Avatar
Butter_EV

Back in March, MotorTrend tested the Tesla Cybertruck against the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning. A big part of the test involved working each truck to see which had the best range while towing. Bowlus, the company that built the trailer used in the experiment, then ran its own test with the Tesla Model X and found the electric SUV performed even better than the pickup. Some Cybertruck stans were so unhappy with the result that they asked for a redo, and they just got one. Sadly for them, the results didn’t change. 

According to the angry fans, the tests were too different for an apples-to-apples comparison. So Bowlus put both a Cybertruck and Model X to the test again, using the same trailer that MotorTrend used, to see which had better range. Once again, the Model X won.

The test was done with the help of YouTuber Butter_EV, who drove a 2024 Cybertruck AWD Dual Motor Founders Edition (124 kWh battery), while Bowlus drove a 2020 Model X Long Range Plus (100 kWh). Both used the same trailer, a 2024 Bowlus Volterra measuring just over 27 feet with a dry weight of 3,200 pounds. They also both drove the exact same 103-mile route, from Santa Barbara to Buellton, California, which included a 600-foot climb. Then, on a different day, they tested a Rivian R1S Launch Edition Quad-Motor (135 kWh) on the same route, with the same trailer, for good measure.

Bowlus

Both the Cybertruck and Rivian R1S struggled to get anywhere near the Model X’s trailer efficiency. Despite being the oldest car in the test, the Model X saw 2.39 miles per kWh while towing the trailer. The Model X would get a projected total range of 238.6 miles using that figure. By comparison, the new Cybertruck, which is supposed to be Tesla’s most capable workhorse, achieved just 1.86 miles per kWh. A full battery at that rate would get 228.6 miles on a charge. The Rivian was the least efficient, though, at 1.81 miles per kWh, and a 244.4 total projected range. In its defense, that specific model has the heaviest battery of the bunch and four electric motors instead of two like the others. 

Why was the Model X so much more efficient than the Cybertruck? Weight is likely the biggest culprit. The Model X Long Range Plus weighs 5,421 pounds, while the Cybertruck checks in at 6,603 pounds. Aerodynamics certainly played a factor, too. While the Cybertruck has a commendable 0.34 drag coefficient, the Model X’s Cd is just 0.24. Combine its better aero with a half-ton drop in curb weight and the Model X’s superior efficiency isn’t surprising. However, it does prove that the Cybertruck—the vehicle Tesla claims to be a game-changing workhorse of a pickup—actually takes a step backward compared to a nearly 10-year-old SUV when it comes to towing.

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