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MSRP: $69,900 - $104,500
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Tesla Model S Interior

Auto writers note that the 2015 Tesla Model S' interior stacks up well against other luxury sedans' cabins, with top-quality materials and advanced technological features, but some reviewers say rivals of comparable price feel more opulent. The Model S has a large cargo area for the class, and critics agree the seats are comfortable but that rear headroom is lacking for taller passengers.

  • "In other respects, such as the stitched-leather dash, soft-touch material and high-quality furnishings (the gear shifter is even sourced from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class), the Model S' cabin is everything one would expect from a luxury sedan." -- Left Lane News
  • "While the cabin materials are nice looking, they don't quite match those found in luxury cars in the Model S's same price range. In extensive testing, we've found the leather upholstery holds up well over time, but the leather seen in premium luxury brands feels a bit more supple and high-end. Elsewhere, the typical window switches and driver controls have been sourced from Mercedes-Benz, making them hard to fault by any measure." -- Edmunds
  • "Consider the airiness of the interior, unsullied by a driveshaft or transmission tunnel, and where a vast, showstopping touch screen somehow doesn't overwhelm the dash. It turns out that touch screens are really easy to use when they're huge and right in front of you." -- Car and Driver

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Seating

The Tesla Model S has five seats, leatherette upholstery and front seats that are 12-way power-adjustable and heated. Optional features include leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats and two rear-facing seats in the cargo area, which increase seating capacity to seven. Automotive journalists think all occupants will be satisfied with the Tesla Model S' seats, but a few comment that the front seats don't offer the same number of adjustments as those in rival luxury cars. They note that legroom is sufficient in both rows, but that there isn't a lot of rear-seat headroom for tall passengers. They also mention the optional rear-facing seats are a rare feature and are best suited for young children.

  • "Passengers are comfortable in all seating positions, and the driver and front passenger get new chairs for 2015." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In terms of comfort, both front and rear seats offer ample legroom for adults, though taller rear seat passengers may run out of headroom. The front seats are nice, but they do lack the multitude of adjustments (and, ultimately, comfort and support) found in other similarly priced luxury sedans." -- Edmunds
  • "The Tesla S offers a very unique 5 + 2 seating configuration with an optional rear-facing jump seat. These bucket seats have 5-point seat belts and should be comfortable for children under age 10." -- Chicago Tribune (2013)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2015 Tesla Model S include a 17-inch touch-screen display, a seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, HD Radio, a rearview camera, dual USB ports, navigation, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, Wi-Fi capability and dual-zone automatic climate control. In the absence of an ignition key or push-button start, the Model S has a seat detection sensor paired with the driver's proximity key, which allows the vehicle to start and stop based on when it senses an occupant in the driver's seat. A 12-speaker audio system, satellite radio, adaptive cruise control, advanced lane keeping assist with automatic steering, autopilot self-parking and a panoramic glass roof are optional.

Critics praise the Model S' large touch screen, saying it is easy to use and responsive. They report it operates very similarly to a tablet, with simple tap, drag and swipe motions to execute commands. A few reviewers comment that the seat sensor system can be frustrating, as it stops the car when the driver takes weight off the seat, such as when leaning to look backwards.

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  • "If you like the sensation of using a touchscreen tablet, you'll almost certainly love the Tesla's massive center control screen. There are very few buttons or knobs along the dashboard, replaced by a sleek 17-inch vertical touchscreen that controls almost all onboard systems. Besides looking futuristic, the system actually functions well, too. Users can configure the placement of audio, climate and navigation controls to their liking." -- Edmunds
  • "The 17-inch touch screen in the center of the Model S dash makes every other car interior look as antiquated as a rotary phone. This easily configurable screen operates like a tablet computer, reacting to finger taps, pinch and drag movements, and cursor control." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The highly customizable system can display two functions at once (nav and internet browsing, for example) and features numerous clever touches - to open the optional panoramic sunroof, for instance, simply summon an overhead image of the car and drag the roof as far open as desired." -- Left Lane News
  • "Get out of the seat and the car turns off. Fine. Unfortunately, a couple of times when I was backing up, leaning toward the passenger seat to look over my right shoulder, I must have taken enough weight off the seat that the car shifted itself into Park with a lurch. Another editor reported the same." -- Cars.com (2012)

Cargo

The 2015 Model S has 26.3 cubic feet of rear cargo space, which is excellent for the class. With the second row folded, the Model S' cargo space increases to 58.1 cubic feet, and an additional 5.3 cubic feet of space can be found under the hood. A power liftgate is available. Auto writers are impressed with the Model S' cargo area, saying it's due in part to the additional space from having no engine or fuel tank. Some comment that interior small-item storage space is lacking.

  • "You'd be surprised how much passenger and cargo space you can get in a car when you don't have an engine or fuel tank. The Tesla Model S is actually a hatchback, meaning there's a ton of cargo space behind the rear seats. In addition, there's a supplemental front trunk, or 'frunk' as Tesla calls it (is it a 'froot' in England?)." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Those third-row seats fold flat into the footwell, allowing for a capacious 26.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is significantly more than in other large luxury sedans." -- Edmunds
  • "Thanks to its practical hatchback configuration, the Model S offers a surprising amount of cargo space: a crossover-like 26.3 cubic feet is available behind the rear seats, while a full 58.1 cubes can be unlocked by folding the rear seats down." -- Left Lane News
  • "More troublesome than unintended consequences are the obvious oversights, like minimal front and backseat storage and inadequate cupholders." -- Cars.com (2012)
Review Last Updated: 4/21/15

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