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Model S interior design

Hi everyone
I went today so excited with intensions to buy a model S but I was very disappointed with the interior design. I figured if I am paying at least 85K for a car, I would get a luxury sedan but the quality of leather as well as interior design was far from luxury. Unfortunately there is not much options for upgrade for the interior.
Do you agree, or have you found a solution (like aftermarket upgrades)?

strongly disagree. Its on par with my friend's Audi R8, my M3, and better than a friend's mercedes.

I disagree. I love the minimalist interior and smooth lines. My leather is quite luxurious IMO. The design of the B pillar and extra wear on the leather was an oversight as pointed out in many previous posts, but Tesla says they are working on a fix.

Having followed this forum for a couple of years, I will say there are some people that agree with you and some that don't. Many say they like the simplicity and quality of the inside. Others feel those are shortcomings. I suspect this it true with any car (or house, or hotel, etc.) That's why we have both Audis and BMWs, Hiltons and Hyatts and the like.

With the Model S, you are paying a premium for a paradigm shift. You are paying for the R&D costs to develop an all electric mass market vehicle. You are paying a premium for a large battery pack. Also built-in to the price is the "free forever" use of the superchargers. So really, this isn't comparable to a $100,000 ICE vehicle where none of these other costs are built into the price. Once you remove or adjust these costs to compare with an ICE vehicle, I don't know what the final "adjusted" number would be, but I would guess in the $40,000-$60,000 range.

I wouldn't expect the Model S interior to hold up especially well when compared to similarly priced cars from BMW, Mercedes, etc. They've been around making vehicle interiors a lot longer than Tesla. Remember, you are also paying a premium to be on the bleeding edge of automobile technology and to be a total badass. It's difficult to put a price tag on that.

I don't want a living room to drive in:-) I love the Tesla interior for its simplicity. But don't make a mistake - it is high quality!

I would say that I partially disagree. There are small details in the interior that are of lower quality than expected in an $80k car: the floor mats are horrible (but easily upgraded); the center console area is poorly thought out and constructed; the seats lack support. But in other areas the interior quality is comparable to other luxury cars I have owned (Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche). The obeche wood is delicious. The leather is very nice, especially on the dash (at least it's real leather, unlike some of the faux-leather dashes out there). The cleanliness and simplicity of the design is very refreshing.

I traded a $110k Audi S8 when I bought my Model S. Initially I missed the old-world coziness of the Audi, which had far superior seats, stereo, and very nice leather/wood design. However, the Model S feels so simple, and so open and spacious and airy -- I came to realize that it is not going for a "old world cozy" feel, but rather, a modern, clean, polished feel.

To me, it's the difference between staying at the Aria or the Venetian (Las Vegas). They are both very nice, they just use two very different approaches to "luxury."

@ david, I feel really silly asking this basic question... since Teslas are purchased directly from Tesla, how would someone go about trading-in an existing vehicle if there are no dealerships? I am in Arizona, would love to explore the trade-in option for my Prius if it saves me the headache of trying to sell it.

@ david, I've only stayed at Treasure Island so for me, the Model S interior is quite exquisite! :)


In some markets Tesla has partnered with AutoNation for trade-ins.

Tag- on question to one of the respondents to the initial question: 1) do you have a weblink for the floormat upgrade and 2) Same for any nice center console upgrade ideas. Can smell my late Sep delivery, so starting to want to do stuff.. Thanx.


2., communicate with BorisT,

AmpedRealtor - take your Prius to CarMax. That's what we did with ours - very pleasant and easy transaction. They gave us a very fair price.

I like the interior fine. Different strokes for different folks. (shrug)

Love the interior compared to our Mercedes that we sold for it! To me they don't compare.

I love mine.

I can see your point that the leather may be softer in a Benz, but compared to the computer in the Model S, all other cars are in the stone age. The display will eventually dominate your experience, and like other features of the model S, makes the interior way beyond anything else out there.

I used to complain about the interior. After living with it for 3 months, I have to say, it is minimalist, modernist luxury. Call me a fanboy or whatever, couldn't give a damn. It's really nice, simple and elegant.

@AmpedRealtor... not sure where you are in the valley but taking your car to CarMax is a painless experience though there are only two in the valley. We have sold two vehicles to them and received far more than 'trade-in' value and were even in the normal private sale range. They give you a quote that is good for 7 days and only takes about 30 minutes to get the quote and another 30 if you decide to sell it. It was worth our drive from Cave Creek to the location on the 202 in Gilbert.

Feel free to send me any questions as we just recently went through the whole buying experience (including loan from Alliant) and can let you know what to expect. It is a little different for AZ people vs. what you see other people experiencing.

May I kindly ask owners about the seats? I've been driving 10+ years 5 series BMW (535d, Alpina D10, 530d...) for business and their seats were comfortable to drive for 4-5 hours a trip without backpain.
I haven't yet had a test drive (read/watched plenty about MS) and am excited for all the technology, innovation and driving experience.
I'd just to hear some comparisons, please.
Thanks a lot in advance.

@ampedrealtor, Look in to the tesla guaranteed trade in. In Colorado, I went online and received a quote from autonation, it was a bit below fair trade in value. However, the trade in value was discounted from my purchase price and which had a significant sales tax advantage on my tesla purchase (~1500). As a result, it was nearly as good as a private sale price. Also, I drove my trade in until the s was ready, and left it at the tesla service center when I drove off in the model s - a very nice feature that saved my family an extra drive. The offset of the sales tax may be true only in certain states.

The shock of the change from MB interiors melts away after you bond with it.

Tesla wanted a unique identity, and they achieved it. It is nice in its own, fresh way.

Style wise, the flow of the lines on the dash is a bit patchy and busy for my taste, but I can make that criticism of many MB's I've had.

There are definitely functional nits you can pick - like the paucity of storage and spartan door detailing. But given how rich the whole package of advances in user experience is, the car is nonetheless quite compelling.

The rear headrest design choices are actually superior to what MB has long practiced, and far simpler to build and maintain. Tesla shed convention here to good effect.

@dokyjun Current Porsche and past MB owner and I don't agree. You may not like the minimalist design of MS if you want the "look at what I have" busy design of MB but it's really in the eye of the beholder. Nothing in MS doesn't say it's a well made high end car.

@tobi_ger I heard that before so I went to Tesla store particularly to try the seat. It feels very comfortable and supportive. I think it should be fine for me. My current daily driver is a Porsche Cayman S with sports seat.

@David4060 When was that you made the purchase. Someone mentioned Tesla dropped Autonation recently. Not sure what the situation is now. Anyone knows?

@carlk: good to know, thank you for replying!

I had the same concern when I did my test drive in Chicago. But my actual car feels like a luxury car.

I'm not sure if the black interior is what makes the difference, or if it is the fact that they have a prototype in the showroom and an older model (at least at the time) for test drives.

In short, while not perfect, I do think it's a nice luxury car interior.

I love the interior; sleek, minimalist, I could go on and on. I particularly love the use of suede accents, haven't ever seen that before. I've had three Lexus's; I like the interior of my Model S much more.

Hey, has anyone realized that there are only two cup holders in the Model S??

(sorry, I feel in a particularly sarcastic mood today)

Yes, but they're only usable if you have a hand growing out of your right elbow. :P

Your concern about the interior design is a big reason why I am now driving a 2014 Porsche Cayman S instead of a Tesla Model S. My choice was between getting the Model S to replace my current sedan or the Cayman S to augment it as a "fun" car. I know, I'll probably get labeled a heretic by the EV/Greenie community here for even considering such a choice, but it is what it is. And after just returning from a 600 mile roundtrip to a wedding this weekend in which the Cayman S got 29.2 MPG at 75+ mph and had my wife and I smiling the whole way being hugged in the 18 way adaptive sport seats, I didn't have any post purchase regrets.

The fact is, I wanted to fall in love with the Tesla. I've had a deposit one one since February 2012 and test drove it several times in the interim. But, the suggestion that the Tesla interior is even in the same league as, say a Panamera, is letting your EV glasses get in the way of your vision. The model S seats are about as sporty and form fitting as a Toyota Camry and the entire center console area looks like it came out of a golf cart. Please, folks, I was looking at the $105k 85kw Perormance edition. The additional cost that a really nice interior would have cost is negligible; Musk just needs to acknowledge that for that money, one is more likely to cross shop it with a Panamera than a Prius or Insight.

The technology is great and both Elon and Tesla still have my respect. I hope the Model S V2.0 is an interior worthy of the technology.

I personally don't find the interior nearly as nice as my Lexus. I'm not a minimalist kind of guy. I like my cup holders and pockets and lighted vanities, etc. Also, the back seat on the Model S is under-par in many ways.

I LOVE MY MODEL S. But the interior is my least favorite part. I'd give the Model S 10's and 9's across the board except the interior and back seat which I would rate 8 (because of the touchscreen otherwise it'd be a 5) and a 5 for the back seat.