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P 85 test drive driver's seat impressions

Finally got to test drive the MS at the Scottsdale dealership. Coming from an E 63 AMG I was very impressed ( read: blown away!)- enough to decide to get one. My biggest issue however was the drivers seat. Coming from a car with active side bolstering and infinitely better adjustability I was very disappointed. The car I test drove did have performance seats but was not a P 85 +. My question is for those of you with the plus- are the seats any better? I was pleasantly surprised by the interior quality though- give all that I have read on the forums, both good and bad about the overall interior quality of the MS. I wouldn't buy the MS without the plus, its just way too floaty otherwise. I have heard that Tesla is making changes to the seats in 2015- should I wait? My other option is the Panamera GTS and when it comes to this issue( driver's seat) the Panny rules. In all others its Tesla all the way.

In terms of comfort, I believe, all Tesla seats are the same.

That said, it may take a fee additional adjustments and getting used to before it starts feeling 'right'.

I wouldn't get the "Panny" as, as you also say, Tesla rules in all other respects, even if you don't like this one.

Get a pair of Merc AMG seats and place them in your new Tesla. Problem solved. The seats have been an issue for what two years now and still no better seating or even an option to have real sports seats or extra comfy ones like the BMW.

Merc seats are what I miss most after I sold the w211 E. The feel of the hi qual leather, the many adjustments and the solid and overall quality of that leather. I'd done close to 200K km when I sold it and even the driver seat looked like it was brand new. Now leather crinkle, no "ass print" in the foaming, and no noticeable wear and tear of the seats. Truly the best seats I ever had both in comfort, adjustability, durability and overall build quality.

I wouldn't think twice about ripping out those cheap Tesla seats and replace them with proper Merc seats. On the plus side that will make the original Tesla seats look brand new when you one day sell your Tesla.

Is a custom re upholstery job out of the question? Some good custom guys out there that could satisfy your requirements I am sure!

@Edward
Based on Elon's comments about the complexity associated with modifying the seat ie making it not only recognize a presence, but titrating an air bag response to weight, I'd say an upholsterer won't be up to the task. As to the OP, I've not compared my P85+ seat to any other, but I think they're all basically the same. I don't think a test drive necessarily does the seat justice. Many of us that have logged marathon seat time have found them very forgiving. I think it's somewhat analogous to first trying a mattress that seems too firm, yet ends up giving you your best night's sleep with no back pain the next morning.

@torst1, you slipped in ahead so would like to mention the Tesla heated seats and driver sensing system should be considered a possible incompatibility problem. Even though replacing the Tesla seats may better in some ways keeping the systems intact may be the only option. It is possible the Merc AMG Seats would be compatible but who knows for sure. Hence my suggestion above.

I was going to get the Performance Seats...and asked the differences, as I was not impressed with the standard seat. The sales rep told me that the differences were only cosmetic and that the P Seats are just the same as the normal seats...just "lipstick" on them. I was somewhat disappointed.

Rish

The seat in P85+ is the same. It's just fine for me who came from Prosche's sports seat (Cayman S).

Yes, Tesla's seats could and should be better (Elon even said so), but test drives don't allow one adequate time to adjust the seat properly. Although I didn't fiddle with seat adjustment everyday, I struggled with adjusting mine. Finally after about 2 months I got it right. Depending on cost, I might still consider upgrading when Tesla offers new front seats.
However, the other features of the car far outweigh the seat issue.
Still best car ever.

@torst1: I wouldn't think twice about ripping out those cheap Tesla seats and replace them with proper Merc seats.

Yeah, that's not really gonna be feasible. Aside from the custom brackets you'd have to have made, most of the Merc seats' features wouldn't work in the Tesla, since they depend on communicating with the car's computer.

The airbags won't work, either. Not just the seat air bags, but certainly the passenger air bag (which depends on detecting someone in the passenger seat to be enabled) and possibly the driver air bag as well.

The seats... how many times has that been discussed - seems like some love it and some don't love it.
I love them and when you make the seats like Mercedes seats then I will hate them.
A furniture store has how many couches?... unfortunately Tesla comes only with one couch.

I was very used to massive magnesium framed Mercedes SL perforated leather seats. They were very good, and I was incredulous about the Model S seats.

But I've had a couple Model S's for over a year, and I actually love the seats now. When I go back into my SL, it seems old school, and actually doesn't feel as good anymore.

We acclimate to something new, and then it seems normal to us.

There is no way I would drive the Mercedes because of its seats. The Model S is just a way superior ride.

I wish along with the steering wheel and other interior components, Tesla bought the seats from Mercedes -- preferably the S Class :)

We also have an E class (550) and found the seats disappointing. I found the Tesla seats tolerable but my girlfriend hated them but apart from the seats and uninspiring wood trim we loved everything else about the Model S. So much that we feel a P85 is a better car than anything made by Mercedes at any price. We do hope they upgrade the interior and seats as they continue to perfect the Model S.

I bet the new seats are just months away. They do know the seats suck. Elon has admitted this himself during the Norway town hall.

I ordered a Model S June 27 and was told by the "ownership advisor" that it would come with the newly upgraded seats when it is delivered in September.

"Elon has admitted this..." - would Elon argue with a customer about a seat? NO.

sudre;
A few adjustments won't require a fee. ;p

I hate the active side bolstering in my wife's E-Class. I turn off the feature whenever I have to drive her car for any distance. I am not racing the car and see no need for active bolstering on every curve, no matter how benignly it is driven. The seats are too snug and become too warm over time. The model S does not need this type of bolstering because of its much lower center off gravity. It just doesn't lean on curves like the Mercedes. I hate it so much that I spent $13500 to upgrade my 40 to a 60 and add supercharging so I will never have to drives my wife' car on road trips again.

@Dramsey
You said:
Yeah, that's not really gonna be feasible. Aside from the custom brackets you'd have to have made, most of the Merc seats' features wouldn't work in the Tesla, since they depend on communicating with the car's computer.

The airbags won't work, either. Not just the seat air bags, but certainly the passenger air bag (which depends on detecting someone in the passenger seat to be enabled) and possibly the driver air bag as well.

When you go to highly skilled car customer they can alter and manipulate almost anything, and if not they will whip and hammer things to shape.

Brackets are such an easy task for any one that work customization is not even worth mentioning. I think you see the obstacles rather then the possible gain from getting great looking seats that will meet your every need.

Airbags are mounted in Merc seats also. So I guess it is all about a sensor or something. Use the sensor from your donor Merc. Or better make your car tailor figure it out.

Seats control and memory function should really be as easy as grabbing the controls also from the donor car. Maybe if you like all functions like auto retract seat when parking to ease the climb out you must tap into OBC, but I am fairly sure it would be doable to get all functions working including memory settings.

Go talk to a custom car company with highly skilled people and I am sure you will surprised.

@Dramsey
You said:
Yeah, that's not really gonna be feasible. Aside from the custom brackets you'd have to have made, most of the Merc seats' features wouldn't work in the Tesla, since they depend on communicating with the car's computer.

The airbags won't work, either. Not just the seat air bags, but certainly the passenger air bag (which depends on detecting someone in the passenger seat to be enabled) and possibly the driver air bag as well.
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I think you are all wrong mate.

When you go to highly skilled car customer they can alter and manipulate almost anything, and if not they will whip and hammer things to shape.

Brackets are such an easy task for any one that work customization is not even worth mentioning. I think you see the obstacles rather then the possible gain from getting great looking seats that will meet your every need.

Airbags are mounted in Merc seats also. So I guess it is all about a sensor or something. Use the sensor from your donor Merc. Or better make your car tailor figure it out.

Seats control and memory function should really be as easy as grabbing the controls also from the donor car. Maybe if you like all functions like auto retract seat when parking to ease the climb out you must tap into OBC, but I am fairly sure it would be doable to get all functions working including memory settings.

Go talk to a custom car company with highly skilled people and I am sure you will surprised.

@Mark K
It is not about driving a Tesla or Driving a Mercedes.
It's about tailor the Tesla to meet your needs. Why settle for seats that are under par? Even if there are techy bits in the Tesla seats some smart electronic or data guru for sure will find a way around those problems. And as few companies really do any heavy Tesla mods bringing your Tesla to well known customizer just might be a challenge they would grab with both hands.

Remember, they need their portfolio as well. If they can tell customer that they have made grand customization to a Tesla that is yet another star for them.

@Kleist wrote:

"Elon has admitted this..." - would Elon argue with a customer about a seat? NO.

---

Actually, the answer would be yes. While Elon agreed with the person who complained about the seats and admitted the seats are not what they should be he disagreed with the person who complained about the upgraded audio system. He told that person the Model S has one of the best audio systems he has experienced in a production car. So I don't think he has a rule about not arguing with a customer per se and I think he generally speaks his mind. Which is a good thing.

My only hope with this upgraded seat is that this time they allow an ergonomic expert to design the seat rather than a designer who just wanted to make then look cool. Or they should just buy the seats from the Mercedes S class with the massage and ventilation functionality :)

The Tesla seats are fine in the real world. I just finished a 2 1/2 hour non stop trip and arrived without any fanny fatigue. Anybody who can do 3 hours or more non stop must have a really big bladder.
In the real world they feel better than on a short test drive. That's not to say they couldn't be improved, going from good to t great., But hopefully not with a lot of side bolsters, and I wouldn't pay 10 cents for massage ability, though ventilation (A/C cooling) might be nice. One thing I have noticed is that they don't seem to be as critical in terms of exact adjustment as some cars i've driven.

Yeah, they may be fine in the real world, but have they fixed the painful rectal itch that they are causing?
(see SF white paper for details on this issue and many others).

If you want to reduce the floaty feeling, consider a P85 without the air suspension (ie: coils). I think you will find it less floaty than the air suspension. It certainly hugs the road better than my mom's CLS55AMG.

@WEB_SRFR - as I said before, for me the seats are perfect. Put a Mercedes seat in there and I will complain ( buy another car ). People are not made the same...

Disagreeing and arguing have a different meaning.

@Kleist: I'm so glad you are happy with the current seats. Good for you :) Many including Elon seem to agree the seats should be better and offer more support. The seats are being redesigned.

So when it comes time for your next Tesla maybe you can special order it with the older seats so you don't have to buy another manufacturer's car because maintaining the feel of the current seats is so important to you :)

I have to agree these seats don't make a great first impression, but living with them they always seem comfortable and I have never been so fresh when I arrive. They may be better than they seem :-!

@WEB_SRFR - that is nonsense to order it with the older seats. Throwing Elon in there is silly too. I have no issue improvements, but throwing in the - for me - crappy Mercedes seats ( and we have one dust collecting example in our drive way ) is nonsense too. Please don't get me wrong... my wife and I do not agree on the firmness of the bed. Options are fine, offer different seats... my only concern is that the "softy" mafia ruins the seats for the folks that like it a bit more firm. That it, nothing else...

@JAD - exactly. Driving 9 hours from the Bay Area to San Diego in the MS you feel no seating discomfort, I have done it our Mercedes and I wanted to get out in Gilroy... if we only had the Mercedes I would be flying tonSan Diego. And not be misunderstood - test driving the MS is was not convinced at all about the seats, but actually driving often long distances for the last 18 months - now I am a convert.

I drove over 300 miles in 51 hours. The seats were excellent. No back pain and no fatigue.

I got the Recaro performance seats in my CTS-V coupe. You should read the comments about them in the Cad forum. Some love them, some like the standard better. I would rather go on a long drive in the S seats than one in the V with the Recaro's.

I like the seats in the S, they are different, yet I like the way they feel. I like the openness of the S VS the "cockpit" of the V. Hmmm, seems like I only buy alphabet cars. V's, S's,.....


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