Why doesn't Tesla include basic features that other luxury cars have?

Why doesn't Tesla include basic features that other luxury cars have?

I really like my P90DL. I need 7 seats and there really isn't anything else that I would consider a worthy competitor. Closest for me is AMG GLS, but that is long in the tooth and nearly the same price.

But I wonder why the X doesn't have heads up display (I really like that in one of our other cars) or "surround view" that allows you to see obstacles from above? Seems like both features would be obvious to include in Teslas.

MXFan | 06/06/2017

In about a year or so, the car will drive itself. Will you really need a HUD or surround view then? Personally I'd rather they spend most of their time making FSD a reality rather than waste time on distractions.

burdogg | 06/06/2017

I am sure everyone could say that about varying features found in other cars - Massaging chairs and a plethora of others. While nothing wrong wondering - I don't think we will ever know.

My first take is cost? I don't know, but a lot of cost is tied up in the battery, so while other cars can do massaging chairs and make same profit as Tesla, Tesla by adding in everyone's wanted creature comforts takes away from profits?

I don't know, just musing. I also think though that to each is their own. I've never had a HUD, I have heard some love it, others think it is useless. Truly I think they went with what they felt would make a sleek car and rolled with it.

burdogg | 06/06/2017

Right there with you MXFan

TDinDC | 06/06/2017

Eh, ok. One person's luxury is another person's distraction. I plan to drive my own car for a few years more. Doesn't seem like much of a distraction to add these two features that are widely available on other vehicles.

With this reasoning, why bother with self presenting doors? Certainly not necessary, but I like them . . .

TDinDC | 06/06/2017

HUD is a great, great safety features. Having key safety information right there so that you do not have to take your eyes off of the road is truly amazing. I think it is a very important and useful feature. You have to admit that it would be utterly consistent with the Tesla "style."

burdogg | 06/06/2017

@myaccountmanager - I can't say one way or the other :) I have never seen one or used one. I have heard some people love them, and others that don't, that there are several times it does not work (ie can't see it as well).

I have no idea Tesla's reasoning though, or if they truly are just focused so much on FSD, that they don't want to invest time and money into something that won't be of any use. ?

burdogg | 06/06/2017

By the way, it has been discussed ad nauseam on the Model 3 forum - and of all the vehicles, the way that one is it screams HUD, but Elon has said no. So maybe Elon has something against them? I don't know.

bb0tin | 07/06/2017

Tesla already has 360 degree in dev mode

COrich | 07/06/2017

One thing everybody needs to remember about HUDs is that they don't work if you are wearing polarizing sunglasses. And, non-polarizing sunglasses don't cut down as much on reflected glare in bright sun conditions.

I, for one, am just as glad that there is no HUD to get in the way of cleaning the windshield or collecting dust. Or, if it retracts, to get stuck due to a mechanical failure. I didn't buy my X for "luxury" features as much as the other advanced capabilities (or promises thereof) and the promise for clean transportation as we have solar panels on our roof now.

TDinDC | 07/06/2017


I use polarized sunglasses with HUD, and it is projected onto the windscreen so absolutely no difference in cleaning. I'm not talking about a pop up display. I agree that pop up would be annoying

TDinDC | 07/06/2017


Thanks. Makes sense and I'm happy to hear.

Rocky_H | 07/06/2017

First off, Tesla does not use the word "luxury", ever. It is a sports sedan. The big thing I do like to remind people of is where the money goes when people are comparing a gas car to a Tesla that have the same sticker price.

A gas tank is an empty shell that costs maybe $200. The equivalent part, a battery pack for a Tesla, costs somewhere around $20,000. So the gas cars like that AMG you're talking about have a lot of overhead money to spend on mahogany and who knows what else. (Or hookers and cocaine for their advertising department maybe) I do wonder how they waste all that extra money, actually.

burdogg | 07/06/2017

That is what I was getting at - thanks Rocky_H :)

Realure | 07/06/2017

With Audi, VW, Mercedes, & Volvo soon to release competing models to Tesla, expect them to start including luxury features. Tesla has been alone with a luxury AWD offering, competition will be good for getting them to include those features we expect at their price point.

Heck, even the Model 3 will push them to get realistic in offering some differentiation so that the Model X and S actually feel luxury in comparison.

TDinDC | 07/06/2017

Buyers of Teslas are not particularly price sensitive. Whether you call it Luxury or not, I don't really care. My point is that if you look at the current features on a Tesla X, it is weird NOT to have HUD and surround view.

Hearing that surround view is already in Beta makes sense because all of the necessary hardware is already there.

HUD is not that expensive. It is a proven, widely available technology that would have a negligible impact on price, particularly in comparison with so many other features that have been included.

You can't call the Tesla X restrained in any sense of the word . . .

bb0tin | 07/06/2017

You are welcome

Uncle Paul | 07/06/2017

Every automaker has their own vision, and philosophy.

BMW is a great driver, Volvo is safe, Ford is value priced, GM has a little of everything.

Tesla did not set out to copy other cars, but to totally reinvent personal transportation.

The HUD does little to further their mission. It is complex, expensive, and adds little to the information they deliver to the driver.

Believe their display technology will in total be better than what is available on most other cars.

borodinj | 07/06/2017

My wife just got an Audi with HUD, and I was sort of looking forward to it. Now that I've seen it, I can take or leave it. It's barely visible with polarized sunglasses, and comparing it to my X without it, I really don't miss it in the X. That said, my opinion about it in the 3 might be different given the lack of a driver display in the 3.

2196004393 | 07/06/2017

You don't think that huge display is luxury compared to everything else on the market? Doors that open for your or present themselves? Summon? Get out of here... these are features that take luxury to the next level compared to the small things that are missing compared to the competition.

lilbean | 07/06/2017

Oh yes! So true! No other car opens the door for you. It doesn't get more luxurious than that!

MyXinTx | 08/06/2017

Having been a premium care owner for over 25 years (Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche), I can say that other than the price, current Tesla models are not in the same category, especially when it comes to interior fit and finish, or some of the advance technologies other than AP, which other vehicles also have (Audi Q7).

The inability to "have it your way" is a departure from most of the other premium cars costing 1/2 to 2/3 of the cost. ...What, no more upgraded charger available in a 90D?, only choice of 3 seat colors?

However, it is a performance vehicle, with brilliant tech integration and comes with a national charging network.

Worth the high cost???... debatable, but at this point I will never own anything but.

TDinDC | 08/06/2017


Exactly. This was my observation as well.

When I started the post, I didn't say I didn't appreciate the X. As I said, the car has no competition for my needs. That doesn't mean I have to think it could not get better.

And the labels don't matter. Lux v. performance. SUV v. Sports Activity Vehicle. Who cares.

And of course not everyone wants the same features. Some hate HUDs, and some really like them. This also shouldn't surprise anyone.

The question was more based on the fact that the car is so full of related technologies, and in fact the same technologies that would enable more features, that it was surprising to me that more weren't made available.

And lastly, this isn't serious. Nobody needs to get butt hurt over questions about Tesla. So long as you have enough to eat, enough to drink, your health, and the luxury to debate trivial points over a non-essential but remarkable piece of technology on a website, life is pretty f*cki**ng fantastic.

burdogg | 08/06/2017

I agree myaccountmanager - except I don't know anything about luxury vehicles so have nothing to compare to :) (I owned before Ford Expeditions, and a Nissan Altima).

It would really be interesting though to get a look into Tesla, why this and that, why not other things. My personal thoughts really do go to price - that Battery pack is way more expensive than what it takes to make the other cars. That alone shoots the price way up. So something has to give, and that is what makes me think they went with minimalistic interior and call it sleek and new.

But what do I know :) (Hint: I don't work for Tesla or involved in any management decisions :)

I of course got the car because of the drive :)

Vawlkus | 08/06/2017

Frankly I don't see the point of a HUD in a car at all. It's like 3D tvs: new tech that doesn't really add to the experience of driving. IMHO at least.

TDinDC | 08/06/2017

I don't think comparing HUD to 3D TVs is really a fair comparison. 3D TVs are just meant to amplify and improve the same exact activity that is going on before, except that it doesn't work very well and you have to wear risky business glasses, which is pretty uncool particularly since none of the kids know Risky Business and therefore don't understand why I watch movies with nothing more than my black 3D glasses and tighty whiteys.

But HUD is different. It reduced driver distraction because you don't need to look anywhere other than the road to get critical pieces of information. Obviously it will not be necessary once cars are autonomous. But so long as we have to drive, we are safer to the extent we don't have to look her, there and everywhere.

I am biased though, as I earn my living in part through the intersection of driver distraction and technology.

Vawlkus | 08/06/2017

On the contrary, the HUD distracts from driving as you try to read what it's telling you.

Again, this is all IMHO.

TDinDC | 08/06/2017

Well, Vawlkus, yes. viewing anything is a distraction.

However, if you take it as a given that there are certain limited items of information that drivers need to see (or will insist on seeing), then there is a base level of that type of distraction that will happen no matter what. We can take that as a given, right?

If this is true, then it indisputably is better to have that level of distraction located in a position so that you don't have to move your eyes too much, right?

That's the whole point of HUD: Reducing the distraction caused by looking at critical information that you must view as a driver (e.g., speed).

Realure | 08/06/2017

Anyone can defend Tesla for not including this or that as a fanboi, but the issue is that there is just so much lacking for a car in this price class. Other than the big screen, nothing inside the car impresses over the competition.

MXFan | 08/06/2017

Could the X have more luxury items? Yes.
But it has a lot of things that no other luxury car has:
1) big screen (as you pointed out)
2) big windshield
3) fast and quiet acceleration
4) internet connectivity for uploading car status and downloading updates
5) autopilot
6) falcon wing doors
7) all electric
Is all that worth the price? Yes. Would I like more? Yes, but I'm happy with everything it has or I wouldn't have bought it.

OvrICE | 08/06/2017

+1 @MXFan

Leli001 | 09/06/2017

I have used a HUD with navigation instructions and it is especially useful. A HUD with augmented reality would really drive home the point (no pun intended) of how useful a HUD can and should be:

Of course I understand that most of the cost went into the battery and there are many features that most if not all other cars do not even offer, as someone else mentioned.

But just a bit surprised that Tesla has not added some features as of yet that would be nice to have:
-powered front doors on the MS
-massaging seats
-powered third row seats
-speed sensitive volume control
-powered frunk (I know regulations are restricting this but at least a self-latching frunk lid)
-auto door protectors, really neat:
-headlight pressure washers
-powered rear window sunshades
-puddle lights
-cargo area button to lower rear suspension for ease of loading into trunk
-magnetorheological dampening suspension or at least FSD shocks
-torque vectoring
-auto-steering for trailer backup (
-wireless charging (this may already be in the works)

and the features others have mentioned: HUD, 360 cams., etc.

I still love my MX and would not trade it for anything else. Some other cars may have all those creature comforts but their major design flaw is lack of electric drive (I do not consider a hybrid as a replacement for a BEV) so I would still go with a Tesla any day.

TDinDC | 09/06/2017

@Leli001 yes.

Not about whether X is good or bad. Still nice to have additional options eventually. If you don't like them, don't buy them.

I frequently tell people that I didn't buy the X for the FWD (my family hates the attention, with the twins calling them "vulgar" and being incredibly embarrassed when we first got the X and everyone would film us when we opened the doors) or even really for the environment (I don't drive enough for it to make a difference and I'm not sure that for someone like me, at least, that coal produced power + battery waste is better than the small amount of gasoline use). I really like the X because it performs very well and does so many little stupid things exactly right. To me, the Tesla is to cars what the iPhone was to telephones when first introduced. A game changer. In that spirit, though, there are several additional little things that would just make sense, like those pointed out Leli001.

MasterT | 09/06/2017

Lots was said already, but back to the OP "... I wonder why the X doesn't have heads up display ... or "surround view"..."

My take on this is that, Model X, or S for that matter, are not luxury cars, they cost as some, but they are not, and Tesla simply does not have enough margin at current pricing to include these (HUD, 360) options.

Allow me, please.

Let's say Jeep comes out with a model with raised suspension, big wheels, and transmission to climb rocks (you know, like the aftermarket mods), which could easily make that car cost over $100k. Would that make that Jeep luxury? Hell no. Yes, this example is for a "special purpose" car, but our Teslas are also "special purpose" - no gas. So, the big chunk of the cost is spent on that "special purpose" - the battery. The next big ticket items are AP (hardware and development), FWD in X, the seats in X, tech integration, self presenting doors - you sum all that up and I dont think they have any resources (human, financial, or technological) left for anything else.

Could Tesla add more features? I'm sure they could, but I'm going to guess it would require further price increase, which would limit the customer base even further.

When my friends ask me if I would recommend Tesla for them, I always clarify: if you want a luxury car - no; if you get excited about technology, innovation, "bleeding edge" (which carries positive and negative experiences) - then, yes.

MasterT | 09/06/2017

Sorry, got sidetracked and forgot to conclude:

so, the OP title "Why doesn't Tesla include basic features that other luxury cars have?" attempts to compare "other luxury cars" to Tesla, which is not, hence the features that are basic on the former are not included on the latter.

We could also formulate a similar question a bit differently: why other luxury cars dont include features included in Tesla - self presenting doors, FWD, 2.3 (or 4.9) sec acceleration, flash door handles, panoramic windshield, 17" screen?

TDinDC | 09/06/2017

Not sure I understand the focus on the word "luxury" or the object to its use.

If you asked 100 people on the streets whether a Tesla is a luxury car, I am pretty sure that 98 would say yes.

But really, whether you call it "luxury", "special purpose" or "flying monkey but fast" doesn't really matter to the point of the original observation.

Also, I own a Tesla X not a different "luxury" car so I personally am totally uninterested in why a different car doesn't have a feature that a Tesla has as a defensive comparison conversation.

This is really about my surprise about the fact that if you plot out the features that a Tesla offers (granted that mine is loaded so I didn't really consider that not everyone may view the X the way I do), the absence of some features that are commonly available in the marketplace is curious since they appear to be squarely within the circle of features that are there.

The two examples I gave for these types of features include surround view and HUD.

The surround view is weird because the X already has every bit of equipment needed to offer it! So arguments about extra cost are really irrelevant. And the Tesla already has so many weird (and wonderful) features that you can't realistically claim that it would be "outside the vision" of the car to included it (pun intended). The availability in beta really proves this point.

The other feature is HUD. Ok, so you would have to add a little more equipment, but even hondas, toyotas and other very mid to low level cars have it so they are mass produced and the equipment is neither costly nor complicated. Ok, I get that some people like it and others don't (that's why you can turn it off), but again claims about "too costly" and "too outside the vision" of Tesla just doesn't ring true. Now, if you were talking about "why doesn't a Tesla have a supercharger", then I would be sympathetic that the feature is nonsensical.

With respect to feature creep, the points being made here sound like the points that would be made about Porsche, which arguably has as pure a vision as any modern car company about what their cars are. And yet they offer many, many features that arguably are not consistent with the "pure" version of the vision.

TDinDC | 09/06/2017

For the record, I HATE the autocorrect on this site and the fact that you cannot correct errors once posted.

Let me try one more time "flying monkey butt fast"

MXFan | 09/06/2017

Would most people like a HUD and/or surround view if it was available? Yes.
Will either be needed once FSD is delivered? No.
Do I want them to divert time away from FSD to have those features? No.
Can they do both simultaneously? Yes, but a matter of resources/cost.

My personal thoughts:
The surround view probably wouldn't be too hard to implement as that's just a software update and would be useful in the interim. The HUD's up display requires additional hardware and I don't see that being added just for the couple of years until we get FSD. My guess is we will see surround view in the next 6 months and HUD never.

TDinDC | 09/06/2017

Well, reading Musk's shareholder statement, it is believable that he bit off more than he could chew with the X by trying already to include very, very many complex features into the very first model, they ran out of time, and they have been playing catch up every since.

Maybe if they were a more mature company, they would have started out with the simpler models, and then introduce more and more features over time and each year. But because of what happened, they likely will be slower in changing the feature set than they otherwise might be expected to do.

Karan | 09/06/2017

@MXFan, in your list of unique features in Model X, couple of more to add - Summon and Auto Lane Change

Rocky_H | 09/06/2017

OK, I just had to post about that phrase "HUD's up display" on Facebook because it kind of broke my brain.

sp_tesla | 09/06/2017

myaccountmanager | June 9, 2017
Not sure I understand the focus on the word "luxury" or the object to its use.
If you asked 100 people on the streets whether a Tesla is a luxury car, I am pretty sure that 98 would say yes."

If you ask 100 people who actually own/drive other manufactures flag ship luxury cars, most would say I wish Tesla was luxurious as well.

johnse | 09/06/2017

On HUD being better for situational awareness...I think it has the potential to detract from it. A significant aspect to maintaining situational awareness is maintaining a proper scan. How often are you glancing in your mirrors, checking to the sides to know where your safe lanes for evasive maneuvers are, etc.?

A HUD fosters laziness because, "Everything I need is right in front of me." But it isn't. And you will be less fatigued if you move more rather than staring fixedly on the video game info display on the windshield. (Not deriding video games!)

poloX | 10/06/2017

coffee maker. actually, that is too much work, not luxury at all. how about a voice activated make to order expresso dispenser. just say it and you have a freshly made cup of hazelnut latte with 2% skim milk and light on the sugar.

seriously though, I don't care for HUD. If you need to look at the monitor, just engage AP and you can safely look for 10s or 20s.

I do agree that there are some other features that I really wish Tesla had, 360 bird eye view; live video of the cameras on my car streamed to my phone or iPad or computer...and it seems like the 360 view is in work.

On the other hand, if you imply that my X is not as luxury as other luxury cars is not a true statement. Do other luxury car have AP?, Auto lane change? Summon? Easter Egg light show? auto present door? auto air suspension adjustment memories per location? And soon, if you set your GPS to nav to your destination, auto lane change, over take slow car, auto changing freeway, exit... a and also soon to have this wonderful feature too: summon the car to come wherever you are and pick you up? and eventually, fully self driving?

generic | 10/06/2017

Tesla's approach has been minimalistic with respect to the interior which helps with reliability. Traditional luxury cars have lots of dials and switches for every function. This allows you to adjust a setting easier and without taking your eyes off the road than trying to tap the right 1 square centimetre on the corner of a screen to turn up the heat or seat warmers. On the other hand BMW wanted 2000$ to fix a small joystick toggle that broke off in our old X5 because they said they had to replace the whole panel. Voice commands are great if you memorize all the possible options but I find I stop using it after systems get it wrong 4 times in a row or ignore my command because it is not recognized.

I think more competition from Audi and other companies in the electric vehicle space will improve the ergonomics of the interiors overall. I love the big Tesla screen for visual display but personally I would also like more buttons to control essential functions like heat and cooling over touch screens without tactile feedback as to finger position or taps. Right now there is no competition for the MX and despite that Tesla build an amazing car that I absolutely love. Once there is real competition then everyone will gain.

Finally, Tesla hired the fellow that designed the award winning Volvo interior after the MX was built and I look forward to see how the M3 interior turns out.

Leli001 | 12/06/2017

I'm with you @generic, on the anticipation of the what the M3 interior will look like knowing Tesla got Anders Bell from Volvo. We originally ordered the new 2017 XC90, one of the reasons being the great looking interior, but cancelled due to poor dealer/manufacturer delivery targets.
In the end, glad it happened as we now have an MX instead.

Here's looking forward to future Tesla interiors! | 12/06/2017

Entertaining thread. I've been managing and tracking desired and implemented features for the Model S and X for 4+ years. Currently I have 400+ desired features, with over 100 implemented by Tesla, and about 100 that have never received a single vote (other than the submitter).

Now if Tesla implemented every desired feature, we'd likely have a $250K car, and Tesla would likely never stay in business. The trick is to provide features users want, but not so many that it becomes too costly, or too complex to build, or too unwieldy to configure, or too difficult for users to understand. It's a tough balancing act that every successful automaker has to make.

Even Elon has stated they went too far on the Model X - so many new cool features that it delayed production and caused major headaches with early production.

If you're interested, want to submit a new feature or vote on existing ones:

winkleyinv | 12/06/2017

Right there with you myaccountmanager & Leli001. I'm surprised there are no comments on lane change warning in the side view mirrors. I've had this on my vehicles for years. I know the dash will show when someone in the other lane is right beside you, but when I'm changing lanes, I need to see a ways behind me by looking in the mirrors and checking blind spots; my eyes aren't on the dash when making this decision. Even the owner's manual tells me to visually check when changing lanes. This seems like a huge safety miss. To say that self-driving will solve this and be here shortly would be a poor response. Autosteer isn't even available on my two lane roads and it leaves a lot to be desired on the highway. It is so jerky that it makes the drive uncomfortable, it stays in the center of the lane vs. hugging the side of lane to give vehicles beside you a little cushion, quite frankly scaring the crap out of me and changing lanes in autosteer is a ridiculous two stage swift jerk. I just can't imagine that self-driving is available any time soon giving the way autosteer works on my Model X 100D. I love the acceleration, but overall am disappointed and missing so many of the features that even $60k vehicles have. | 12/06/2017

@winkleyinv - Yep, blind spot detection could be better. I don't see much need for it on two lanes roads though. Best is to properly set your mirrors. Prime need for blind spot detection is when your car has the mirrors poorly set. There really shouldn't be a blind spot with proper mirror settings, but I know most car owners can't seem to set the mirrors on any car properly - hence the need for blind spot detectors.

As for AP, you didn't indicate if you have AP1 or 2, or what version software you're using. I've found AP2 on 17.17.17 to be quite stable, and a newer release is due at the end of the week. Hopefully that will work better for you. Changing lanes worked great for me this weekend on a 500 mile trip. Did at least 50 lane changes with AP. Smooth and never scary or jerky.

You are correct FSD will not be available for a long time. Tesla has stated this on multiple occasions.

Uncle Paul | 12/06/2017

Little need for a HUD in a Tesla.

Not sure what critical information you would want projected in front of your eyes.

If HUD was available, as an extra cost option, I wonder how many would spring for the extra cost.

The Tesla sensor array is far more advanced than any other manufacturer. Your dash will show solid objects are near to the front, side and rear of the vehicle, and warn you with a tone if you get too close.

There are many cameras, constantly sending information to the computer, that will make Teslas the safest cars in the world. Sending additional information to the human driver can often just be more distraction and cause an increase in accidents.

Saxman | 13/06/2017

Are you saying that the CURRENT Blind Spot detection is all that Tesla plans on implementing? Or, will it become comparable to other brands once more cameras are activated?