Opinions on Interior finishes being cheap?

Opinions on Interior finishes being cheap?

I might get a lot of backlash for this comment but is it me or do some of the interior features seem cheap and out of wack compared to how well designed the rest of the car is?

1. What is with the seats...Get me some sportier seats that replicate BMW's sport seats...the leather looks cheap in my opinion and especially the back seats make me feel short changed as there's very little luxury feel...

2. Interior door panel - i just don't get the feel of it. I want a sport luxury sedan and i feel like it's a Kia with an attempt to distract the lower quality with sleek design...but i can't get past feeling it with my hands and thinking cheap...

3. Middle console- Are we all just waiting and waiting forever for this third party after market maker to provide consoles for the middle? This is an obvious knock that people talk about all the time so i won't spend too much time on it, but the whole middle console between passenger/driver just plain sucks.

All this being said, i love the drive, love the concept of performance electric and I'm getting the car...I just wish that with such a flawless design on the exterior, that the interior could've met and complemented the car better. Screen is awesome (although i think the UI needs serious work)...i just have to accept that i may be paying for some aftermarket cosmetic upgrades that help with the seats and middle consoles...

Wooly | June 20, 2013

I have a Mercedes. It has the exact same gear shift, turn signal, and cruise control stems as the Model S. I am very familiar with the way they work so the transition for me will be easy. They are fine on the Mercedes. (except for the terrible location of the cruise control lever that you hit every time you want to hit the turn signal) However, if I wanted Mercedes parts, I would have bought a Mercedes. This is an original, ground breaking vehicle. All I'm saying is that it should come with original ground breaking parts that match this car, not somebody else's car.

2-Star | June 20, 2013

Of course, Mercedes (Daimler) has a 14% ownership interest in Tesla, and Tesla is providing the batteries and drive trains for the new MB B-Class and probably others in future years. Just might have something to do with it... | June 20, 2013

I guess we could have waited another year for the start of production so Tesla to design and manufacture the minor parts sourced from MB, but the parts look good and are designed well. I have yet to hear of any complaints about these parts failing. I really don't see the issue - most cars have parts sourced from various secondary suppliers, and I'm happy Tesla pick high-quality suppliers like MB.

AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

I think it was smart of Tesla to source parts from Mercedes. They have a partnership, so why not? Besides, I don't own a Mercedes and wouldn't have had any idea if you hadn't mentioned it.

tari | September 28, 2014

For those still looking for a place to put your stuff... assuming you don't have six kids, may I remind you that that cargo area where the jump seats would normally go under the trunk gives you an absolutely enormous place to store your belongings, previously unheard of in any vehicle. I'm very athletic and go to the beach and train acrobatics a lot so I keep a change of clothes, bathing suit, something warm, beach towel, wet naps, extra water etc. back there and it's all completely hidden from view. Out of sight out of mind until I need it. The air suspension adjusts accordingly and I couldn't be more pleased. One or two pairs of sunglasses can fit in the glove box or just sit in the center, headphones and screen protector go in the front seat pocket, daily use accessories such as meter change container for LA, mints and such hide away under the screen, yoga mat in the frunk along with a cooler in the microwave for fresh seafood and such from the farmers market. All that leaves the P looking immaculate on a daily basis while always having what you need.

grsamy | January 13, 2015

Today myself and my wife went for our first test drive with the intention to book a 85D by today itself. No doubt this is an excellent car when it comes to performance and features. But hugely disappointed with the interiors (mainly the quality) and decided not to buy. I've reserved for model X, hoping it would be better. Of course I cannot avoid comparing MS with my other luxury car/suvs considering the price tag. Btw I'm willing to pay more to upgrade the quality.

damonmath | January 13, 2015

I really like the Tesla doors. My E550 coupe has plastic pockets that truly cheapen the leather inserts. I also love my textile Tesla seats over the leather in both my E550 and E350. I don't slide around and they are super easy to clean and maintain. If I had to complain about anything it would be the lack of interior lighting and rear seat armrest and cup holders. The new executive seats look cool, but I feel there should be a flip down pass through armrest with cup holders as standard equipment.

kwen197 | January 13, 2015

The P85D Next Gen ( Recaro} seats are a huge step toward "Best In Class".
I would suggest people over 200lb's should try tem before buying.
Rear cup holders are available from third parties, already covered on other threads.

rus3439 | March 7, 2015

I own BMW X5 and Mercedes SL500. Went to test drive Tesla S today. Interior was a slap in the face. I felt like I was inside ford fiesta - everything just feels cheap and plastic. Napa leather on their seats they said. It maybe so but it just looks and feels like faux leather. Steering wheel felt like а thick and huge dodge minivan's wheel. No storage whatsoever. Lots of nothiness inside. Went inside my bimmer and immediately appreciated attention to detail, leather quality and overall awesome use of space. Tesla just isn't worth the money with this interior. Yes acceleration is nice but no kick on the freeway. My SL500 will destroy it after 65 mph.

Al1 | March 7, 2015


"Mercedes (Daimler) has a 14% ownership interest in Tesla"

Where is this coming from if I may ask. I thought they had 5% and sold it last year with excellent returns. Way better than what they would get from their own cars.

Madatgascar | March 7, 2015

@AI1, 2 -Star's post is like 20 months old. Yes MB sold their shares.

Al1 | March 7, 2015


To each his own. Expensive cars are always meant to make a statement. Tesla definitely makes one. Mercedes definitely needs to rethink one of its own in post Tesla world.

I guess it can be about quality of leather.

Al1 | March 7, 2015


Thanks for pointing it out. :)

I wonder how one could even find a thread 20 months later to comment on it today.

avanti5010 | March 7, 2015

@rus3439: Some people have more money than brains. Those with more brains choose not to spend their money on unreliable and overpriced German junk.

Qwiksilver | March 7, 2015

I'm an early adopter. I have a black interior. B-pillar wore, and was replaced.
I've applied gaffers tape over the b-pillar corners. Matches the finish perfectly.
Not noticeable. Will replace the tape as it wears.
Gaffers tape is durable, matches perfectly and leaves no residue when removed.
Your suggestion worked well.

ssvssv74 | October 4, 2015

interior is piss poor for this price! but, it is still an amazing car. interiors of kia's are on par w tesla.
compared to my 911, no contest. but can't have it all. i still enjoy the tesla very much as my DD.

Rchop0 | October 4, 2015

Imo the interior has come a long way in 3 years. Still not at high end Audi Porsche bmw level but the drive and performance more than compensates imo

prp | October 4, 2015

Somebody needs to go drive a kia. The tesla interior is vastly better. Also better than my former new bmw.

NKYTA | October 4, 2015

And the media needs to stop labeling the MS as a luxury car. That'll happen real "soon". Meh.

prp | October 4, 2015

Intersting observation nkyta. Indeed the tesla website does not tout the model s as a luxury car. Very much selling technology.

NKYTA | October 4, 2015

As always, from the start. A performance sedan, and, oh by the way, enjoy your launches (I'm kid less but my nephews enjoy them, up to the speed limit, or thereabouts). ;-)

david.baird | October 5, 2015

The design of the MS interior is OK - could be a lot more aesthetic, IMO, but it's not horrible.

The materials used are dreadful - they look cheap and feel worse. My previous Volvo XC90 was much higher quality in every respect.

I can appreciate that MS isn't a "luxury" car as such, but the materials used could be improved, surely? Plus Tesla ought to offer upgrades to better quality as per other manufacturers.

My car is an early 2014 P85...

Anyway, I've said the above many times on this forum, so no surprises there. I has a discussion with someone who thought it was because it was an American car and in general they tend to have shabbier interiors, compared to European cars. I have no idea if that's an accurate or fair statement through.

Yes I would buy another, not I would bot buy another brand. Yes I will buy a Model X and also a Model E for the wife.

david.baird | October 5, 2015

Bloody hell, where's Brian when you need him?