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2018 Tesla Model X Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Tesla Model X was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.7

The 2018 Tesla Model X features plenty of premium materials, but its build quality leaves room for improvement. Nobody will claim the Model X looks cheap, but there are some rough spots regarding the fit and finish. The front seats are generally spacious, though second-row passengers might want more legroom, and the third row is best suited for kids. There's plenty of technology – including an enormous, responsive touch screen – and the Model X has more cargo room than most rivals.

  • There's no question that the materials are high-quality; all dashboard and door panels are covered with soft-touch material. However, our test car had multiple fit issues. The carpet was gapping in the driver's side footwell and the trim surrounding the windows didn't universally fit well. While not counted as interior fit and finish defects, there were also some exterior and body finish issues that we seldom encounter in luxury cars, including roughly-finished spots and gaps around the wheel well trim." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Inconsistent panel gaps, some paint and rubber gasket quality issues, and a few stray cabin noises from time to time reduce the quality feeling of this vehicle. When it's cold out, the rear doors make a fair amount of creaking and cracking noises. A Mercedes-Benz it's not." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • Since the X is an SUV, it's about more than the driving experience. There's a U in there, and the X does offer a lot of utility. You can order it with up to seven seats (ours had six, with the middle two on special Tesla-designed posts." -- Autoblog (2016)

Seating

The Model X seats five in its standard configuration, but you can increase capacity to six or seven with available upgrades. Standard features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a panoramic front windshield (featuring a single piece of glass that runs from the base of the windshield up to the roof over the front row of seats), 14-way power-adjustable front seats, and Falcon Wing rear doors. These double-hinged doors open from the roof and feature sensors to avoid obstacles when they open.

Heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel are available. Depending on whether you get the five-seat, six-seat, or seven-seat Model X, you’ll have up to four LATCH systems for installing child seats.

The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and have plenty of room. Thanks to the panoramic windshield, driver visibility is outstanding. The second-row seats have ample space, but they lack the generous accommodations of some competitors' second rows. Additionally, some tall passengers may want more legroom. The third row is best left for the children, which isn't uncommon in a 3-row SUV.

  • These seats look cool, with each perched atop a monopod. Power adjustments allow them to move fore and aft. However, the entire seat is one piece, so you can't adjust the backrest angle or bottom cushion angle without tilting the entire seat. Each seat is well-padded and wide enough to fit most adults. However, compared to other luxury SUVs, legroom is only adequate rather than generous. Moving the seat back creates more space for the second row while basically eliminating room in the third row. Consider the third-row seat suitable only for kids. The seat cushion is too low to the floor to provide adequate under-leg support, and both leg and knee room are in short supply." -- Consumer Reports
  • There's ample space up front. Headroom is respectable in the second row because of the door's 'skylight' windows. But second-row legroom could be better, and the front seatback is hard and knee-unfriendly. Third-row seating is tight and best for children only." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "So the basic idea is that the [Falcon Wing] doors open really wide and high, so if you need to put someone in a child seat, for example, you can reach in here really easily without having to duck down or tuck behind seats, and especially nice and easy to get in the seat back here. The seat's pushed up kinda far, but I can move it back. The seats are mounted on central pillars, which makes them easier to get in and out. There's also room underneath the seats." -- CNET (2016)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Model X include four USB ports, a 17-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a nine-speaker sound system, collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, power-operated and heated side mirrors, proximity key entry, and navigation.

Available features include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic parking, a summon feature, the Autopilot system, a 17-speaker sound system, satellite radio, and a high-amperage charger.

Teslas come with the largest touch screen on the market: a 17-inch behemoth that responds to smartphone-style gestures and has sharp graphics. It is used to control nearly all of the vehicle's systems. The screen responds well to inputs, but some reviewers feel the menu system is overly complicated. Others add that the large screen can sometimes be distracting, since it's pretty much always visible out of the corner of your eye. The Model X can automatically download system updates to improve functionality.

See 2018 Tesla Model X specs »

  • Like the Model S, a giant touch screen forms a glowing centerpiece for the dash. Since there are basically no normal knobs or buttons, this iPad-like screen is your interface for controlling audio, phone, and navigation functions. Big on-screen buttons and intuitive design prove helpful. But no matter how you slice it, the eye-catching screen can be distracting, even without using the built-in web browser when driving. Over-the-air software updates get beamed to the car, helping the car stay up-to-date with Tesla's latest innovations." -- Consumer Reports
  • The main touchscreen is huge, and it responds very well to your inputs, though the control menus are complex. Audio sound options are basic, but the premium system has an appealing sound quality. Internet radio, scrolling and playlist creation are all well-executed. Navigation is unreliable." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The futuristic feel is cemented by the X's giant touchscreen. Just like in the S, the screen is visible and usable at all sorts of viewing angles, works without too much difficulty, and allows for way more options than a million buttons would give you. And I'm a guy who usually loves physical buttons in cars. I guess it just took someone to do touchscreens right. … Just like the Model S, the X has the beta Autopilot software, which makes it possible to not touch the wheel for miles and miles of driving." -- Autoblog (2016)

Cargo

The Model X has up to 88.1 cubic feet of cargo space, depending on seating configuration. This includes both its front trunk and rear cargo area. That's one of the highest cargo capacities in the class, but there isn't a lot of small-item storage throughout the cabin.

The optional third row folds flat, which helps when you want to haul larger items. However, the second row doesn't fold at all, limiting cargo carrying versatility. A power liftgate comes standard.

  • The rear hatch powers opens to reveal a flat cargo area behind the third-row seats. The cargo floor can be flipped up to give access to a nice deep floor well that can help keep groceries corralled. The cargo area is also useful in carrying a few full-size suitcases. If you need more room just fold the third-row seats and you get an extended flat cargo floor. But be careful that you don't crush taller items with the sloping rear hatch." -- Consumer Reports
  • The second-row seats do not fold, limiting large-object hauling, and the articulating rear doors preclude bicycle racks or cargo boxes. The rear cargo hold has good height and depth, but it's on the narrow side. The front trunk is a bonus, at least." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • A sizable storage well beneath the rear floor adds further cargo capacity, as does the small storage space beneath the front hood." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

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