I posted a negative review (Where the Model S Fails) of the Model S interior about a week ago based on seeing a car in the Bellevue, WA showroom and having my test drive in Portland, OR last week. One of my primary complaints was the dashboard stitching, which in the cars I saw appeared to be made into standard cushioned dashboard material, and this looked totally out of place to me. I also commented on the trim materials, as they all looked fake and cheap to me. I also opined that there needed to be a no-touch way to reveal the door handles, as the test drive vehicle I saw had obvious finger smudges that the Tesla guys cleaned after every drive. I was told at my test drive that the Tech Package was needed to have the no-touch reveal option, and I wasn't sure I was going to spring for that.
However, today I saw a Model S in the Bellevue showroom. The dashboard (both above and below the accent trim line) looked like it was wrapped with real leather, and the stitching looked fine in that context. I was told by the salesperson that the leather dash and door inserts were part of the $1500 Napa Leather option.
Additionally, there seems to have been some changes made to the accent trim choices, as the material samples I saw today looked pretty good. Not BMW good maybe, but much better than I remembered. Gone was the Bananna stuff and it was replaced with something that looked fairly real, and the Lacewood even looked more refined.
Finally, the salesman today assurred me with 100% certainty that even without the Tech Package, a double-click of the key fob would unlock and reveal all the door handles.
So I'm guilty of forming an opinion based on prototype vehicles, pre-production material samples and untrained salespeople. Although I still think the touchscreen is way too big, and there's too much chrome and brushed metal trim, the Model S interior I saw today was pretty good. Not as slick as the exterior, but significantly better than my first introductions to the vehicle, and good enough for this BMW driver to feel comfortable switching from his life-long brand.
So can anyone confirm what I've stated above? Do you get real leather on the dashboard and door inserts when you get the Napa Leather option on a base Model S? Can the key fob be used to reveal the door handles without touching them if you don't have the Tech Package?
Thanks, and I apologize to Tesla for my snarky review. It was mostly based on outdated and incorrect information (as best I can tell). I still think the Model X dash design shown on the Tesla website is a big improvement and should be incorporated into the Model S in the future (please).