Forums

Thoughts about the Rear Seats?

Thoughts about the Rear Seats?

While the car has continued to get rave reviews, one of the negatives that I have seen from several reviews are the rear seats. The comment is that the rear seats are too low to the floor with very little room for your foot/toes under the front seats. This, the reviews says, results in an uncomfortable knee bend for rear seat passengers.

To all those who own or ridden in the rear seats, what are your thoughts. Do you experience knee bend and do you feel lack of thigh support? Do kids complain in the back? Any work arounds other than using another car option for long family road trips?

Thanks in advance

JAD | August 2, 2018

I find the back seat more than acceptable for a car of this size. It isn't a S class Mercedes, but far better than a BMW 3 series.

vmulla | August 2, 2018

15k miles on the car thus far, atleast 4k of them are road trips with kids in the back seats. No complaints.
My kids are 11 and 8, the younger one just stopped using booster seats.

kinupeiphone | August 2, 2018

Back seats are fine. Good thigh support. Probably better with second gen seats

scherer326 | August 2, 2018

anyone try three kids in the back. I have a 7 year old, 4 year old, and in about two weeks a newborn. My wife's suv will be the main long trip go to vehicle but for to/from work and around town if I need to drive the whole family. Wanted some thoughts. anyone here with 3 kids.

HummerMan3 | August 2, 2018

When I sat in a Model 3 in the showroom, I did realize that the seating position was pretty awkward in the rear. I didn't really know what to do with my legs, so I just kind of sat semi-Indian style (I'm short at 5'5"). I wouldn't imagine it's very comfortable for long trips. I have a short torso and would have preferred a higher seat height at the expense of headroom, but I see that they had to design them that way to accommodate the taller folk. As I'll be in the front 2 seats virtually 100% of the time, not a deal-breaker for me.

charles.a.braun | August 2, 2018

My 26 year old daughter is not a fan of the back seats. My 5 year old grandson, is cool back there though.

vmulla | August 2, 2018

@charles,
The minute your grandson can start riding in the front he'll stop being OK in the back seat, its way too much fun up front and even more fun in the drivers seat :))

CharleyBC | August 2, 2018

As mentioned above, the rear seat got a significant upgrade, maybe roughly around VIN 20000 (?). A bit higher and comfier with better support. They were apparently listening.

We packed 5 adults in recently. The other 4 got in at home, and picked me up at work, so I was number 5, and got in the right rear seat, and our adult daughter scooted to the center position to make room for me. We had two issues.

1. My seat belt receptacle was under her butt. She's quite trim, so that wasn't the problem. So she had to kinda rock to her left to enable me to buckle up. The point is that the center position is so narrow, that if occupied by an adult, the other seat belt receptacles are hard to reach.

2. Said daughter felt she was being impinged upon by the shoulders of her husband on the left and me on the right. He and I were able to relieve her discomfort by deliberately leaning toward our respective windows.

It was okay for an outing to dinner that was only several miles each way. It would be less fun for an extended road trip. But I don't really think this is a Model 3 knock. I suspect three adults across the back of most sedans of this size would be similar.

Two (or one) in back is fine so far. We have found the seating comfy. Not the wrap-around, caress-your-back comfy of the front seats, but no complaints. Also our longest trip has been about an hour at a time back there.

dmitriyM3 | August 2, 2018

a lot more space and leg room in the back vs. other sedans such as MB C300. I'm 6 feet tall & was surprised my knees were not bumping into the front seat for once before i installed kid's car seats. So for me more leg & head room is better vs. higher seat height.

Have 3 car seats/kids in the back now. Just did a 5 hour road trip few weeks ago & the only complaint I had from the kids was that they were not allowed to eat in the car. In 5 hours had to stop only once for bathroom break/charge.

GaryTheBadger | August 2, 2018

The height between the floor and the seat is too short, so adult thighs are not supported. I am not surprised children are fine with it.

mazur.stefan | August 2, 2018

My kids are 7 and 9. Tall for their age but still just kids. They are fine comfort wise but the 7 year old feels that she is a bit low in regards to the her window. I've had adults in the back, often with the 2 kids, and nobody as complained yet. Granted, I've never had an adult back there for more then a 1 hour ride.

I'm 6'1 and while I do find the back seats low, the fact that I have more leg room then most sedan I've been into more then makes up for it. Having said that, different people have different comfort zone. Again, I've not been in the backseet for more then 15-20 minutes (it's my car after all!)

For the record, my car is VIN 29XXX built in May.

Gpuszkin | August 2, 2018

@CharlieBC - This is really good feedback. I had not heard that Tesla upgraded the back seats making them a little higher. Was this reported somewhere (i.e. EM Tweet or some other source)? If true, this is great news.

vmulla | August 2, 2018

@Gpuszkin,
The seats are not higher, if they are they are not noticeably higher. They have better side bolstering, the new design makes the seats better for longer trips.

Gpuszkin | August 2, 2018

@vmulla - ok thanks.

I am trying to head off any complaints my family may have. I kind of made the "executive decision" when I put in my reservation in 2+ years ago which really peeved my wife (we always make big decisions together). I figured that since I am the sole income earner and I really need a car, I could make an exception this one time and beg for forgiveness in lieu of permission. My wife has decidedly taken an Anti-Tesla view all this time for no other reason other than the way I went about my purchase. If there is a significant problem with the car (and kids complaining in the back they are not comfortable would count), I will not hear the end of it...

CharleyBC | August 2, 2018

@Gpuszkin: I saw better before/after pictures somewhere and can't find them now, but the photos in this story aren't bad

https://electrek.co/2018/06/02/tesla-model-3-new-backseat/

gballant4570 | August 2, 2018

Gpuszkin, have you taken your wife to the Tesla store and showed her the cars? When I did that my similar issue disappeared.

scherer326 | August 2, 2018

@dmitrym3, how old are your kids. I have a 7yr old, 4yr old, and newborn in about 2 weeks. My wife’s suv will be our main long journey travel vehicle. For short term with the family do you think the m3 is doable with 3kids in the back (most likely two slim car seats for the time being)

Rocky_H | August 2, 2018

@kevintobrier wins!
Quote: “I have a short torso and would have preferred a higher seat height at the expense of headroom, but I see that they had to design them that way to accommodate the taller folk.”

The design of every car has to decide which way and to what extent they do this trade off of legroom versus headroom. I have a Model S, and the back seats are awful for headroom because they have the seat cushion so high, and I have a tall torso and need more headroom. I was amazed and pleased to find that the back seat of the Model 3 has a lower seat, so I can actually sit fully upright in the back of it. I didn’t mind crossing my legs a bit in front of me.

So whether it’s “good” or “bad” is entirely going to depend on whether each person carries more of their height in their legs or torso.

4barkie | August 2, 2018

I am 5'10, husband is 6'3" we both sat in the back seat when a friend was driving. The seat itself is ok but yeah the knee bend is uncomfortable for both of us. For my kids and their families everyone will be ok as they are between 5'2"-5'8" except for my oldest who is 6'5". Smaller kids will be fine even if you have 3 of them in the back.

japhule | August 2, 2018

The back seat lacks good thigh support IF the front seats sit too low preventing the people in the back seats to stretch their legs underneath the seats. Adjusting the front driver and passenger seats to be higher from the ground definitely helps and alleviate the issues for me when I looked at the car at the store.

ebmcs03 | August 2, 2018

They are fine.

TezCool | August 9, 2018

I spent a lot of time in Model 3 rear seat at Tesla showroom. It is quite low. Roughly around 10-12 inches from the floor. Plus, the seat surface doesn't have good contouring (very flat) and the seat back is too upright. Combination of these factors mean rear seats won't be comfortable for an average-sized adult, despite good legroom, headroom, and a flat floor. My wife's QX50 rear seats felt heavenly in comparison.

Just like @kevintobrien mentioned, I felt sitting with folded knees could work for short trips but for long trips, I would need to use a thick seat pillow. Another way to make rear seats a little more tolerable is to raise the front seats enough so that rear passengers could squeeze their feet under front seats. That made a lot of difference in comfort level.

MS-lover | August 9, 2018

I am 5'10, the seat itself is ok but the knee bend is a weird feeling but is not uncomfortable

gotoran | October 15, 2018

I'm only 5'6" and the there's virtually ZERO support under the thighs. The seat's just too damned low, even for a short person. That's a major negative for me since I don't want my elderly mom sitting on the floor Indian style. The bigger negative is the suspension. Chicago is one giant pothole and the ride was unacceptably harsh. And Musk's solution to let air out of the tires is unacceptable as well. The major problem is that the industry has moved to ever lower profile tires for the sake of esthetics. Heck, if it was possible, I'd put FIFTEEN inchers on there. Anyway, Mush is smart enough to fix the problem if he wants to. Once both of the issues above are addressed, I'm a buyer. Until then, nope.

billtphotoman | October 15, 2018

I am 5 11 and have more than enough room behind myself. But, I agree with several others that the seat cushion is too low and flat. I do undertstand Tesla had to make a tradeoff between rear seat head room, aerodynamics, rear seat cushion height and having the rear seat fold flat. I would have preferred perhaps a little more bottom cushion height and angle in return for a little less rear head room and having the rear seats not fold completely flat. Hopefully in future vehicles battery prices will be low enough that fewer usability sacrifices for the sake of aerodynamics need to be made.

RedPillSucks | October 15, 2018

@Gpuszkin Make sure you give her a chance to drive the M3. My wife is also quietly negative about the car, mostly because of how expensive it is, though we can afford it. We've bought most of our cars used and usually for less than 20k, so she was not happy about the Tesla. She did have a great time driving it on our road trip, though.