6 seats vs 7 seats-- seeking actual owners' opinions

6 seats vs 7 seats-- seeking actual owners' opinions

There are enough people who got their X's now I wonder if you can share your opinion of the 2nd row seat. It's one of the options many have a hard time to decide. I think it's worth to have a thread dedicated to it. What are the reasons for you to choose yours and how do you feel about your choice now? There are comments about rear view being blocked by the headrests. I wonder how is that different between the two configurations. Also for people who have the 6 seat configuration do you feel the empty space in between looks a little weird without an arm rest or center console? Thanks for your feedback.

carlk | 1 januar 2016

I'm copying MYYModelX's comments in another thread so she won't have to repeat it here again.

I went out to try this and our 2nd row center seat does not move at all -- my husband thinks it's just not moveable, but I'm pretty sure from the videos of the launch that the middle seat is supposed to move in tandem with one of the side seats (can someone confirm)? With the center seat in normal position, he height of the driver does not make any difference in the center visibility, in my opinion. I tried to sit tall and I tried to sit short and it was blocked all the same.

With the two side seats pitched all the way forward, the sides had better visibility, so I would imagine if everything pitched forward to the same degree, visibility would be better, but I'm not sure you would want to manually move the seats forward and backwards all the time, depending on whether or not you have second row passengers.

UPDATE to my post above --
There IS a way to force open the FWDs once they have been stopped by an obstacle -- it is on the center computer pad. There is an "open" override button that can be pressed. But from the FWD inside door buttons and the remote, the doors cannot be forced open. Once they are stopped, the next button press will close them before you can try to open again.

I went out again and took photos of the visibility. I don't have Flickr, but if you're comfortable posting email address, I will email to you.

Additional info - last night, we had all the headrests up. The visibility out the back was almost non-existent. When I went out to take pictures just now, I did it with the 3rd row headrests up and with them down. When they are down, the visibility on the sides is fine and it's just the center that is blocked, so it's a lot better.

I think when all are up, because of the way the seats are staggered, almost all areas across the back of the car are obstructed. If you put the 3rd row headrests down and figure out how to pitch the center seat forward, I think everything will be clear.

Kitmin | 1 januar 2016

Personally for myself if I had to pick again I would keep what I have as is, the 7 seats. The middle seat for sure is tighter then the other 2 but that's ok because when I need that seat it'll come in handy.

Kitmin | 1 januar 2016

I should also mention that since there's a back view camera while you are driving which is the first ever for me, it helps a lot. So not sure if the obstruction would be a huge issue with that other feature.

vperl | 1 januar 2016

Five seat for me. Leave the urchin's with your ugly sister.
More room for party supplies.

Brian Vicars | 1 januar 2016

The 6 seater allows easier access to the third row and provides as convenient location of an electric refrigerator.

Triggerplz | 1 januar 2016

I'm getting the 6 seats and will add a custom made console/armrest..

carlk | 1 januar 2016

I would have chosen the 6 seat if armrests come with it. As it is now I'm still on the fence. The only question for me is how much difference it makes between the two for a better rear view. I wouldn't care about it one way or the other but the car is for the wife. I don't want her to complain if she does not feel comfortable with it.

Triggerplz | 1 januar 2016

@Carlk The armrest really do look good.The ones at the launch with the armrest were real nice.

Redmiata98 | 1 januar 2016

My understanding is that under the currently available configurater there are no armrests. The only difference between the 6 and 7 is that the center seat is removed and the other two seats might be spaced slightly different than in the 7 configuration. My contact at Tesla said he was not sure if they only removed the middle seat or if they also adjusted the spacing once the center was removed. He was VERY sure there were no armrests for the 6.

Triggerplz | 1 januar 2016

@Redmiata98 yep you right no armrest for the 6 but at the launch there were a few with armrest. I'll have an custom armrest/console made once I get the X

AlMc | 2 januar 2016

Correct: At the reveal the six seater had a nice console between the seats as well. We were specifically told that it was not available but as with the S, I would expect third party ones available in the near future.
As for sight lines: probably best to sit in the different configurations before ordering. There are more Xs on the road every day and many X owners are being very generous by showing other TM or TMC forum members their Xs. If I were trying to make a decision about visibility I would want to sit in one myself before pressing the confirm button.

carlk | 2 januar 2016

I still have a day to make change but at this moment I will stick with the 7 seat. The rear view issue sounds like just a small annoyance but not that big an deal. A few owners who got the 7 seat configuration said they would do it again in spite of this. Rear view in my S got blocked too when I have passengers there but thanks to the camera there is no issue when driving especailly when backing up.

I do welcome more suggestions especially from those who already got the car with 7 seats. I still have time to make change.

paradis | 2 januar 2016

I ordered the 6 seat for a few reasons:
1. Never plan on having 7 people in the car
2. Ease of getting to the third row
3. As a fly fisherman, I can lay a fly rod up the middle (probably should have been number 1) - good for you skiers as well.
4. Cargo flexibility/capacity
5. $1,000
6. Visibility out the rear

aesculus | 2 januar 2016

@paradis: +1. I would probably reorder the list but they are all important.

carlk | 2 januar 2016

The ability to carry long objects is not a concern for me though since I also have an S. The possibility of occasions that I will need to carry the 7th passenger is probably much higher than to carry a very long object anyway. For those who say they will never carry 7 people how do you know you will not have another kid/grand kid in the next five years? That's the main reason I'm leaning toward the 7 seat configuration. Plus both wife and I thought aesthetically three (sculptural piece of art) seats in a row is better than a big gap in between two. I don't want to bank on an equally good looking after market arm rest/center console in the future.

Triggerplz | 2 januar 2016

I just called Tesla and was told they are in the process of offering a center console and its already been designed

carlk | 2 januar 2016

Thanks that's good to know. It does change the equation quite a bit.

Triggerplz | 2 januar 2016

She went on to say it should be around $600 for it, I sure hope she is right

oragne lovre | 2 januar 2016

Six seats with a well designed center console will make X interior more esthetically desirable.

carlk | 2 januar 2016

I agree although I'd like arm rests to be part of the add on. I would think that will be the case.

kittylitter | 2 januar 2016

Carlk- After having my X for 2 1/2 days I will put in my 2 cents about the seat configuration. IMHO, the only reason to have the center seat is if you are moving that many people (I occasionally do). With third row head rests down, seats stowed, rear view mirror visability would be perfect without that middle seat.

That said, if Tesla had designed the middle seat head rest to fold as the third row head rests do, we would have a 7 seat winner.

sp_tesla | 2 januar 2016


Thanks for good news: "rear view mirror visibility would be perfect without that middle seat."

Looking forward to test drive X w/6 seats.

JeffreyR | 2 januar 2016

Hey @MYYModelX no need for flikr or other account-based service. Check out the Tips & Tricks for searching, posting pictures, and other useful tidbits.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 januar 2016

We ordered one car six seat and one seven. The six seat delivered Dec 31 and the seven is expected in the next week or so.

So far the six seat passenger comments have been very positive. We are traveling with four adults and a three year old in a kid seat. The open space makes the interior open enough that everyone feels connected while inside the car. It also just has a more open spacious feel.

My daughter asked if her car could be changed to a six seat. We will see how it goes once we get the seven seat.

We have been traveling with the kid seat in the third row and that seems to work well for us. That location started out because the kid seat rear strap attach point is located at the bottom of the second row seats. I don't think I have ever seen a kid seat with a strap long enough to reach that attach point location. My daughter refuses to use a home made extender that has not been tested and approved. The seat installs perfectly in the third row.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 januar 2016

I would be fine to drive the car with no center mirror. I usually adjust it so I can watch the entertainment provided by a three year old.

When backing the rear camera provides a much much better view and when going forward the side mirrors provide clear views. If you really want to see back while going forward just turn the camera on.

I suppose if you have never driven large vehicles with no center mirror visability it could be a little different to adapt to the rear view in a three seat row SUV vehicle.

I am surprised by all the rear view mirror size and visibility comments. Every large truck on the road has zero center mirror visability and those 80,000 lb trucks seem to manage just fine.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016


You compering truck to one of the fastest passengers car?, total different driving experience such as entering traffic, speeds, switching lanes, etc.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016


Also all those 80K lbs truck drivers should of gone to a special school & learned how to drive efficiently and safely.

aesculus | 3 januar 2016

And the semi trucks have huge mirrors, have signs plastered all over the place to tell you that they cannot see you if you cannot see them, and the new ones have always on review view cameras because the lack of good rear visibility is a known and huge problem in the trucking industry.

Making a car safe is not just about having the best crash test rating. A car with a poor crash test rating that avoids accidents is actually a safer car than one that is prone to accidents but has a great survivability.

Now I am not stating that the Tesla is a safety hazard, but visibility should be on the forefront of the engineers minds, especially given the target demographic of families that many are quick to point out.

carlk | 3 januar 2016

@Roamer does have a point. When back seats of my S is fully occupied the rear view is pretty much totally block too. I never felt unsafe when driving that way. I don't really need to know who is behind me in the same lane.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 januar 2016

I will say that the perfect seat solution would be a center seat that folded down and could be an armrest when not in use. I would bet future Model X seating iterations include a folding second row center seat.

The 6.5 seat Model.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 januar 2016

@carlk, I often drive my S with five people and the rear area stacked to the roof with luggage. Zero rear visibility.

On delivery day I drove the X 400 miles with the third row folded flat and cargo stacked to the headliner in the back. I still don't get the center mirror rear visibility concern.

I much prefer that my pasengers have full size seats and tall enough headrests that they are safe in a rear collision than haveing short seats so I can see back when the car is only occupied by one or two people.

I will give up some rear vis for safer seats anytime.

carlk | 3 januar 2016

The center seat could be a half seat for kid or for emergency use only. As it is now I'll be happy with 6 seats and waiting for center console/arm rest in the future.

aesculus | 3 januar 2016

Even if the center seat headrest was removable that would go a long way to help the visibility when you did not need a 7th adult passenger.

I have sat in an X twice and state that with the 3rd row folded and the absence of a center headrest/seat, the visibility would be a lot better.

If the only seat options when I order is what we have now, it will definitely be the 6 seats for safety, comfort and utility.

Ankit Mishra | 3 januar 2016

Wow!! Six seater X is turning out to be an unexpected asset in Tesla's arsenal. I think it might still be a popular choice even when Tesla introduces folding seats. Opinions?

carlk | 3 januar 2016

@Ankit Mishra

It's one more option for different needs or priority of different people. Not necessarily better or worse just one more option that will make some people happy or happier. I also want to add it's always a compromise. Center seating when occupied will block the rear view in pretty much every car even ones with a bench seat.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016

I much prefer that my pasengers have full size seats and tall enough headrests that they are safe in a rear collision than haveing short seats"

You think that the elegant aesthetic flag ship luxury cars like BMW, Lexus, Bentley Mercedes,Etc headrest are not as safe as the cheap looking view blocking Tesla, Audi & almost all the economical & low budget cars!

carlk | 3 januar 2016

@sp_tesla What are you talking about? The racing seat type in Model X is the safest seat design of them all. In an accident I'd rather be in the back seat of a Model X than any of those Mercedes or Bentley low pillow type head rest that could not save my neck.

@aesculus Removable or adjustable head rest is actually considered a weak safety design. People tend not to adjust the height or even not replace it every time they got into the seat.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016


I read that is best safety is achieved when the back of the head is actually in contact or touching the headrest, thus eliminating the backward snapping and banging of the head.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016

Typo correction:

I read that best safety is achieved when the back of the head is actually in contact or touching the headrest, thus eliminating the backward snapping and banging of the head.

carlk | 3 januar 2016

That's exactly why those seats are designed this way. Passenger's head will always block the rear window. A useful head rest needs to be at least to be at the same height and will block the rear view when no passenger is sitting on it. There is no way to get around it. OK there is a lame getting around which is those adjustable head rests but problem is they will still block the view if you put them at the high position. If you put them at low position most passengers would not bother to adjust it every time they get into the car which makes it as bad as those that do not provide good protection.

This is a known issue but the trend is head protection over clearer rear view. I actually learned that from Consumers Reviews years ago. Take a look at some of those high end performance cars like Panamera or Mercedes AMG. They also have this racing type back seat with high integrated head rest that...well..will block the view of the rear window.

sp_tesla | 3 januar 2016

Thanks for the update.

Red Sage ca us | 3 januar 2016

aesculus wrote, "Making a car safe is not just about having the best crash test rating."

Cool. Now, could you please go back in time about 25 years and explain that theorem to the NHTSA and IIHS? It was the changes in rollover protection back then that forced the roof supports for passenger vehicles to be much larger than ever before. This has reduced outward visibility considerably over the years in every legal car design on the road.

Red Sage ca us | 3 januar 2016

carlk: +1!

aesculus | 3 januar 2016

Red Sage ca us: These standards are set up for crash sustainability. They are not looking at the big picture. That is the way cars are judged right or wrong.

And good luck with changing the standard. While you are at it see what you can do about the bad science that went into switching between Standard and Daylight Savings Time. :-)

Red Sage ca us | 3 januar 2016

It just angers me, because I used to be a longtime Honda fan. The rollover test, offset frontal crash test, and pole crash test were all devised specifically to kill Hondas. It was their 'punishment' for developing the 1990 Honda Accord. The first mass produced gasoline powered Japanese car to: 1) meet CARB requirements for Zero Harmful Emissions; 2) meet heightened EPA requirements for fuel economy; 3) be classified by the EPA as 'Midsize'; 4) pass all phases of NHTSA/NTSB/IIHS crash testing with flying colors; and 5) become the best selling passenger car in America. The rest of the automotive industry had been lobbying CARB and EPA to say such an accomplishment was impossible, would be incredibly expensive to achieve, that no one would buy it even if they could manage the feat, etc. They wanted to delay the implementation of the required specs, or diminish their effectiveness. Then Honda did it. Oops.

ian | 3 januar 2016

@Red Sage - Weren't those two gentleman in California (Laguna Canyon to be specific) killed in a '96 Accord (early 90's anyway) when a Model S colided with them in an offset frontal crash? The S driver walked away BTW. Sounds like those tests have resulted in safer cars if you ask me.

MrBuffer | 3 januar 2016

@Trigger ~ I'm hoping the center armrest becomes an option. I'm always concerned when Tesla "confirms" something. I was told by Model X Inside Sales that the six seat option would come with armrests and no center console was available.

Considering the signatures don't have armrests, I'm guessing production versions will be the same. I think that means I was lied too :(

NumberOne | 3 januar 2016

I guess it is possible for sales people to not have all the info that they should have. Oh well...

carlk | 3 januar 2016

We'll get it just don't know when. It took a long while for S to get the promised center console too. I guess it's not a high priority item for Tesla now and most of those bright engineers probably don't have that much interests of taking on this boring project.

Ankit Mishra | 3 januar 2016

Well said. Consoles, visors, trays, shelfs-aint nobody got time for that.