$78,000 - $135,000

2018 Tesla Model S Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

The 2018 Tesla Model S looks the part of a luxury car. The cabin is spacious, attractive and brimming with premium materials. The seats are roomy and comfortable, and there's plenty of technology, including a giant touch screen. The Model S is a class leader in cargo space as well.

  • "It's truly impressive that a company as young as Tesla has the build quality buttoned up this tightly. The panel gaps are tight, the materials are excellent, and everything feels expensive." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

Seating

The Model S seats five and comes with leatherette upholstery and heated, 12-way power-adjustable front seats. Upgrades include leather seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and two rear-facing jump seats in the hatchback that bring seating capacity to seven.

The spacious cabin offers plenty of head- and legroom in both rows. Drivers will appreciate the excellent visibility in all directions, and the large doors make it easy to get into and out of the car. The availability of two third-row jump seats makes the Model S unique among luxury large cars, though it's worth noting that the seats are really only suitable for children.

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

  • "The cabin feels huge, and all occupants have a ton of leg- and headroom. Overall, a very airy and wide feeling." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

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, side collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring.

Available features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic parking, a summon feature, a 360-degree camera system, the Autopilot system, a cabin air filter system, adaptive headlights, a power liftgate, a quick connection phone dock, an 11-speaker premium sound system, a panoramic glass roof, and a sunroof.

The centerpiece of the Model S' technology is the large touch screen. It controls most of the vehicle's functions, and – surprise, surprise – it's easy to see. It also responds well to inputs, though the interface could be more intuitive. The Model S automatically downloads periodic system updates to help improve the functionality of all of the vehicle's tech features.

Autopilot can control your speed, steer, change lanes, brake, and detect impending collisions. It's not a license to completely check out and read a book while you’re behind the wheel, but it does let the car assume virtually all driving duties in certain situations. Using the summon feature, you can even have your Model S park itself or leave a parking space and drive itself to you. However, some test drivers find that some of the driver assistance features, including Autopilot, don't always work as well as you'd like them to.

See 2018 Tesla Model S specs »

  • "The main touchscreen is huge, and it responds very well to inputs, though the control menus are complex. The audio options are limited, but the premium audio system has an appealing sound quality. Internet radio, scrolling and playlist creation are all well-executed. Navigation is unreliable." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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)

Cargo

The Tesla Model S has more cargo space than almost every competitor. It has two cargo areas: under the hood (2.1 cubic feet of space) and in the trunk (26.3 cubic feet). The Model S' hatchback design allows you to greatly expand the cargo area. Folding the rear seat down opens up 58.1 cubic feet. There's some small-item storage space in the cabin as well.

  • "The Model S has a usable front trunk and a massive rear trunk. It's a lot more space than other large luxury sedans offer." -- Edmunds
  • "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)
  • "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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