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#2

in Super Luxury Cars

MSRP: $69,900 - $93,400
Invoice: N/A
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Tesla Model S Interior

Most critics write that the 2014 Tesla Model S’ interior is upscale enough for a luxury car, though some mention that certain materials don’t live up to class standards. They like the Model S’ cutting-edge tech features, such as the large, user-friendly touch-screen display. The Model S has plenty of cargo space for the class, and reviewers agree that its front seats are roomy. However, some say its rear seats could use more headroom.

  • "Materials throughout the cabin are acceptable for a luxury sedan, but those who purchase the range-topping models might expect more than the Model S delivers. The leather upholstery in particular doesn't live up to premium luxury standards." -- Edmunds
  • "Though some areas could be improved, material quality is generally good throughout the simple modern cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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

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Seating

The 2014 Tesla Model S seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and power-adjustable and heated front seats. Available features include leather upholstery, heated second-row seats and a pair of rear-facing jump seats in the cargo area, which increase seating capacity to seven. Reviewers think the Model S’ front seats are spacious, though some point out that competing luxury cars have seats that are adjustable in more ways. They also note that taller back-seat passengers may want more headroom, but agree that there’s plenty of legroom in the second row. A few auto writers report that the optional third-row seat is rare for the class, and that it provides enough room for kids younger than 10.

  • "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
  • "Passenger accommodations are ample in the front seat, becoming progressively tighter as you move rearward. Headroom in the second row can be tight for taller passengers, and the optional rear-facing jump seats are sized for children only." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “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)
  • "Tesla says some changes will come soon via software upgrades, but missing features such as adjustable thigh support won't be downloaded through the internet." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Interior Features

A 17-inch touch-screen display, a seven-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, HD Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual USB ports and Wi-Fi capability come standard with the 2014 Tesla Model S. Instead of a key or push-button start, the Model S has a seat detection sensor, which allows you to drive when it senses someone in the driver’s seat. Available features include a glass panoramic roof, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a 12-speaker audio system and satellite radio.

Test drivers agree that the Model S’ large touch-screen display provides easy access to vehicle settings. Some also praise the versatility of the system, which can display multiple functions at once and respond to gesture commands just like an iPhone. However, a few critics note that the Model S’ driver's seat sensor occasionally stopped the car during backup maneuvers, particularly if the driver took too much weight off the seat.

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  • "The 2014 Tesla Model S features a cabin that one might imagine in a car of the future. Almost all knobs and buttons are absent, replaced by a sleek 17-inch vertical touchscreen that controls almost all onboard systems. Besides looking futuristic, the system actually functions well, too." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "Switching between screens is intuitive, and you can operate it by pinching your fingers, as on an iPhone. It's what you'd expect from a car conceived in Silicon Valley." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "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 2014 Tesla Model S has 26.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is quite large for the class. With the second-row seats folded, cargo space expands to 58.1 cubic feet. The Model S also has 5.3 cubic feet of cargo space under the hood. A power liftgate is optional. Reviewers note that the 2014 Model S has an outstanding amount of cargo space for the class, though some point out that the cabin could use more storage spaces for small items.

  • "Absent a gasoline engine, the Tesla Model S boasts a staggering amount of cargo and passenger space." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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
  • "These 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
  • "More troublesome than unintended consequences are the obvious oversights, like minimal front and backseat storage and inadequate cupholders." -- Cars.com (2012)
Review Last Updated: 6/20/14

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