Please improve the interior so I can buy a Model S.

Months after test-driving the Model S, I bought an Audi A7, sad to say. I post the following comments in hopes that Tesla will read them, heed them, make adjustments, and make the Model S more appealing to mainstream buyers like myself so that we can participate in the sustainable transport revolution.

I loved the concept, drive, look, and state-of-the-art technology of the Model S. It was different enough to get me excited about buying a car again. And it doesn't sacrifice range, power, or style as its EV predecessors do. Though it's more expensive and can't be justified by fuel savings (until gas goes north of $8/gallon), I could afford it as a second car and would really have fun owning one and participating in a revolution.

But I couldn't get past the interior.

Unfortunately, this is a very competitive class of cars and the Model S interior is far behind that of its rivals. The German automakers have evolved their cockpits to wrap around the driver just the right amount of tasteful appointments. I understand that the touchscreen eliminates the need for knobs and buttons and that's what's cool about the Model S. But it doesn't eliminate the need for door pockets, handles, hooks, armrests, and possibly even a more traditional shift lever just because many of us are used having these things.

Does the dash need to be pushed so far under the windshield just because there is no engine under the hood? Couldn't the touchscreen be a bit closer to the driver and angled that way to make the driver feel like the only one in the car (which they usually are)? Could the air vents be in better proportion to the large screen? Why can't there be something that fills in the space next to the driver's right leg, just because there is no transmission there? And how about a simple, familiar shift lever near my right hand to make me feel like I'm driving a car instead of a golf cart? Why can't the front seats be more substantial? Are these oversights all to save on the weight of the vehicle? Or was the interior simply an afterthought relative to the more substantial innovations of the Model S?

The Model S, as I configured it, was over $90K. And there's no pre-owned inventory. So I ultimately traded in my 15-year-old Lexus for a 2012 Audi A7 costing almost half as much and I love it. But I'm still burning gas and that's still in the back of my mind. So I'm hoping that Tesla will re-style the interior - they've solved many more difficult problems - and the next version of this car will win me over in the not-too-distant future.


Tesla isn't losing any opportunities, they are selling their cars as fast as they can build them. Apparently there are more than enough people willing to buy the car with the existing interior.

I was waiting. However, Elon's willingness to go broke in order take a chance to make the world a better place got to me. His sincerity and passion really moved me. Also he is right! I can barley afford model S but am buying one. I don't even drive much!

Only through constant growing sales will Tesla succeed. I am sure they will improve every thing over time. They might even sell upgrades. Passionate people tend to do things like this over time.

However, it is't always about my personal comfort and whats. We need to leave cleaner air for the future people. Buying a fantastic car has got to be one of the most painless ways to do this! Certainly, I am taking little risk and giving up nothing of any importance!

Anyone can hug a tree but that won't do much to clean the air.

The phrase "Like putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind when I look at mist ICE cars now. No matter what is done to the interior of competing ICE cars, the fundamental aspects of the car cannot compete with the Tesla.

"most" ICE cars

I am holding off buying another Audi, BMW, Porsche until they build an all EV performance sedan that is better than a Tesla.

@JonathanL - that sums it up nicely.

The ownership experience of this car is so many light years ahead of anything else that I can honestly say people who are holding back due to the interior truly do not "get it." Which is fine, Tesla can't make them fast enough for the people that do get it, so by all means don't make them wait any longer than they already have to on account of your comparatively trivial aesthetic hangups.

You're comparing the price of a brand new car to a 2-year-old one??? Apples & oranges! So let's make it fair: a new Audi A7 runs around $70K I believe. Your Tesla config at 90 becomes 80 after rebates (at least in CA), and my estimate for gas and maintenance savings over 8 years (the battery warranty period) is in the $15-20K range, which brings the price down to $60-65K, which is cheaper than the Audi. No, it doesn't have all the luxury features, but it runs rings around Audi in performance and safety (and looks, IMO) And I just love the cargo space, also much better than Audi. Also love the cargo space between the front seats -- enormously convenient for a purse, bag of groceries, six-pack of beer, whatever.

BTW, Audi was also one of the few other cars I considered -- It would have lost out to BMW, if it wasn't for Tesla.

@ richardthomas,

Elon has expressed shame over the seats.

Really? When did he express shame? Or are you using hyperbole the way that you used it when you said you wanted to offer "brutal feedback" to Tesla? You seem to throw words out there because you like to see them, read them, and possibly even hear your own voice in your head as you read them back to yourself.

Elon has never expressed anything of the sort. He has acknowledged that the seats could be improved. There are ways to improve everything, always. That's how a product evolves. This has nothing to do with shame. Perhaps you could use a thesaurus?

@ampedrealtor -- it was in an investors meeting. Somebody called it out and he laughed with a little embarrassment and admitted the seats were bad. I'm not going to argue over our definitions of the word shame, but that's how interpreted it. Who cares?

P.s. You're overthinking my posts. Take a break now.

@ richardthomas,

I'm not overthinking your posts, I'm correcting them so as to make them factually correct. But facts can be so inconvenient and sometimes get in the way of making a point, right?

@ampedrealtor -- your posts are a blur now. Seems like good grammar but not a lot of meat on the bones. Good luck next thread.

Yet you constantly find it necessary to respond to my meaningless, blurry posts... My grammar must have left you spellbound. Wait until you meet Brian H!

Wear ar Bryan wen u nede im

I could not disagree more. I was caught between a dark blue A7 in stock at my Audi dealer and ordering a Tesla. The A7 cabin felt too overwhelming. Too many buttons. To many panels crowding my driving space. The simple clean lines of the Tesla remind me of a modern upscale house.

Here's what sealed the deal for me. The day I looked at the A7 it was snowing in Chicago. I went to the Audi dealer and was told they weren't allowed to take any more cars for test drives, because someone hit a stop sign on a test drive. After sitting inside the A7, the interior started turning me off. We went to the Tesla showroom in Oak Brook and I asked if they were going on test drives because of the snow. They said, absolutely. We want people to know how well the car handles in the snow. I was amazed and sold after the test drive. Unfortunately I will never know if the Quattro AWD is worth anything. But I don't care. Tesla rocks!

Funny, in San Diego I got to drive the a7, but only after driving to the gas station to get gas. Great comparison to the Tesla. O:-)

Tried to take up the challenge of writing a sensible sentence containing "luxurious minimalist". So far, no luck. Anyone?

"The absence of clutter, the spacious interior, the openness displayed within an airy cabin is all it takes to convince one of the grandeur that awaits those who accept luxurious minimalist design as a core philosophy."

BH: How's that?

Should be a comma between the two adjectives... "luxurious, minimalist", no?

Prolly so. I was mostly asleep when I wrote that and stuff. ;-)

I guess we have a lot of different opinions on luxury. I'm sure a few would love this luxury interior, but I doubt Tesla will offer it soon. Then again, make enough posts on it and... no I guess not.

Who's Audi is that?

I think it's the Audi 7.5, coming out in 2015! It's so futuristic I know everyone will want it.

The Hugh Hefner Edition.


It looks as though Doc Brown did a trial run using a beater before he bought the DeLorean...

stephen.bennett wrote, "I loved the concept, drive, look, and state-of-the-art technology of the Model S."

Others have probably mentioned... Once you subtract the ~$45,000 cost of the battery pack, you basically have an immobile car in the range of $24,900... that needs an engine, transmission, exhaust, etc. If that cost you around $10,000 to add to the mix, you are around $34,900. Now, try to buy it at a Dealership, instead of direct from the manufacturer, and you have a $49,900 sticker price.

You know what? I've noticed over the past thirty years or so that around Los Angeles, people really don't mind taking a perfectly fine fifty-thousand dollar car, and doing $20,000 worth of thoroughly unnecessary modifications to it in order to customize the vehicle precisely to their own specific taste. And people who buy $100,000 cars, or $250,000 cars, spend even MORE.

There are numerous companies throughout the United States that will do custom automotive upholstery for you. Take a look. Give them a call. Get a quote. But leave Tesla Motors out of it.

Thank you.

@Red Sage - Well done, sir. After reading your 'luxurious minimalist' post I will be unable to ever read any of your posts again because of the compulsion to avert my eyes that now occurs when I see your name.

(Forgive any typos in this post, I was averting my eyes)

my wife is 5'4" and as such, moves the seat forward so she can reach the peddles. By doing so, the cup holders are then located behind her and are useless... I get having the minimalist bits, but it would be easier for her to drive the car if the cup holders were under the computer screen...

bak_phy: Great point! I think that may have been part of what Elon meant when he said the car was designed with men in mind. I'm certain there will be a slightly different configuration with the Tesla Model X. I believe that it will be improved further for all heights, widths, and body types in preparation for Generation III. I have faith that the Model S interior will likely be updated right about the same time as GIII comes out. That way people who were paying for the higher end car wouldn't have to wonder why the car that cost less... had more. ;-)

bak_phy - While not free, you might consider the center console, which has additional cup holders. Tesla makes one (which might start shipping again around about this time), and there are other third-party center consoles with cup holders. Here's my list and pictures of various options: http://teslatap.com/modifications/center-console/

Red Sage is dead on - Tesla has learned a lot from the Roadster, then the Model S - each iteration gets even better, and the X should be better yet.

@stephen.bennett, wishing you all the best..hope you have as much fun with your A7 as I have with my Tesla. That being said, as a Tesla owner I have to say the interior design of Tesla is superb! Better than any other car on the road. I would not want Tesla to change anything. Believe it or not...the design is simple and that's the way most owners like it!

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