$45,131 - $89,598

2017 Tesla Model S Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Tesla Model S was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

The Tesla Model S has an impressive interior, with abundant high-quality materials and an upscale appearance. Passenger space is mostly good, and all five seats are comfortable. Cargo space is excellent as well. The standard infotainment system is intuitive and visually appealing.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "Speaking of quiet, let's start with the Model S's luxury-car capabilities. We love the 17-in center touchscreen, which feels incredibly futuristic, more so than any infotainment system in any other modern vehicle. We also like the fit and finish and the general cabin materials, which would be impressive for any automaker, let alone a startup brand such as Tesla." -- Autotrader (2015)
  • "It also opens up new possibilities for creative packaging and design. 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 (2015)

Seating

The 2017 Tesla Model S seats five on standard leatherette seats. Heated and 12-way power-adjustable front seats are also standard. Upgrades include leather seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and two rear-facing jump seats in the hatchback.

Passenger comfort is excellent in the standard five seats. Legroom is also good all around, but rear headroom might be limited for tall passengers due to the sloping roof. The optional rear-facing seats are only suitable for children. 

There are two complete LATCH car-seat systems in the Model S, with a top tether anchor for the middle seat. While the tether anchors are easily visible on the backs of the seats, the lower anchors are located deep in the seat and are difficult to reach. It's also difficult to maneuver your hands around the anchors.

  • "The Model S is roomy, comfortably seating five (or seven, with an optional backward-facing bench)." -- The Washington Post (2016)
  • With its available rear-facing jump seats, the Tesla Model S electric sedan … can become a mini station wagon, although the jump seats are admittedly only large enough to fit two children in comfort. … Passengers are comfortable in all seating positions, although the front seats sit a bit low to the floor." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • 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. If you have a soft spot for classic station wagons and you opt for the optional rear-facing jump seats, you'll have seating space back there for two small children. The seats have multipoint safety belts, so no added safety seat is necessary, but they're also comically small." -- Edmunds (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features include automatic climate control, a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, front- and rearview cameras, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, a cabin air filter system, adaptive headlights, a power liftgate, a quick connection phone dock, a 12-speaker premium sound system, a panoramic glass roof, and a sunroof.

The Model S' central touch screen features a brilliant display and intuitive controls. Most functions in the car are controlled by this system, and it employs familiar gestures like swiping and pinching to zoom.

See 2017 Tesla Model S specs »

  • "In a Tesla, almost everything is controlled by a beautiful 17-in touchscreen. Whatever it is you want to do -- opening the sunroof, rolling down the windows or adjusting the climate -- you can do it all from this interface. The software is even updated periodically for newer features. The Model S is as innovative as anything out there." -- Autotrader
  • "Driving the Model S feels like driving an iPhone. The speedometer area just above the steering wheel is a screen: showing your music, turn-by-turn navigation, how you're using the battery. The dashboard between the two front seats is a screen: a 17-inch touchscreen the size of a sideways computer monitor, with maps, music, a Web browser, a back-up camera, your phone contacts and a calendar." -- The Washington Post (2016)
  • "However, a few bits of technology were glaringly missing. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto nor any kind of hands-free text-messaging function. Additionally, there is no satellite radio unless you upgrade to the premium audio package for an additional $2500, and the internet radio seemed finicky, with genre submenus sometimes appearing onscreen and other times not. Moreover, Tesla hasn't added any other third-party apps since it launched in 2012. Four years is a long to time to just offer Slacker and I Heart Radio. Many folks would love to have the option of Pandora and other third-party apps." -- CNET (2016)

Cargo

The Tesla Model S has two cargo areas: under the front hood (5.3 cubic feet of space) and in the rear trunk (26.3 cubic feet). The rear seat folds down to open up 58.1 cubic feet. Those values are better than what most rivals offer.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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. Additionally, there's a small frunk (front trunk) - the electric powertrain takes up less underhood space than a conventional engine - that serves up an extra 5.3 cubic inches for small items." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "You could easily fit a couple of baby seats, or cram in the haul of a big grocery-store shopping trip in the spacious trunk and 'frunk,' the under-the-hood front storage area where most cars keep the engine. (The electric motor that drives you is hidden beneath your seat.) Yet the car still ends up feeling less like a family wagon and more like a sleek, minimal, vaguely Scandinavian bachelor pad." -- The Washington Post (2016)

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