Worried about Model X seating.

Worried about Model X seating.

Went with the St. Louis, Missouri Tesla Enthusiasts to state capitol to complain about anti-Tesla legislation earlier this year. Rode in Lydia's Model S and found the seat really uncomfortable. Love the car, the stock, etc., and want an X. Here is the trouble. I love the seats in our RAV4. You can recline the front and back row of seats. The head rests can be removed. All of this flexibility allows someone with a bad back or other problems, to make the front row passenger seat into a leg rest while you are riding in the seat behind it in a reclining position. So basically a passenger can ride in a nearly flat position, or at least in a reclining position. Just went for a great test drive again in St. Louis with a great guy at the showroom named Hunter. I could not get comfortable with driving his car because the headrest for the driver does not adjust. It seems that the angle of the headrest is too low and too sharp.

I want an X very much, but if the seats don't have lots of optionality, at least as much as my old Toyota RAV4, I will be almost impossible for us to imagine owning an X. Surely the seats in the Model X will be better than the mundane RAV4?

I hope the visibility is better too. Being high up in an SUV is sort of fun because you can see better. If the windows are taller on the X that would be good too.

I am posting now because I have been advised by both Hunter and the test drive follow up person (sorry I forgot your name), that the company reads these posts.

Also, tweeted Elon about the same thing.

The Model X could be so wonderful. Not only must it look good, it needs to feel better than it looks. I do not know how to get there from here, but I sure hope that riding in a reclining position while looking through big panes of glass cross country for free will be possible in the X.

It is better to look good and at the same time to feel extremely comfortable. I so want the X to be a fabulous success in both things.




gfb107 | 20 juillet 2014

Don't know about all you other concerns, but based on the photo below from the prototype, the head rests appear adjustable, at least in the second row:

There are a few more photos in the Second Row Bench thread.

jan.anglin | 20 juillet 2014

Thanks for responding. I hope that the X's front passenger seat can fold backward and be flat. The RAV4 front row passenger seat slides really far forward, right up to the dashboard. Then you can remove the headrest and recline the back of that same seat to a nearly flat position. Where the headrest of the front row passenger seat was before it was removed, now lines up perfectly with the leading edge of the second row seat, making a smooth surface. So the front seat has been flattened and moved forward to the dashboard and in combination with the second row seat that is directly behind it, functions as a chaise lounge. Further, the backrest of second row passenger side seat can also be reclined into a nearly flat position, allowing a passenger to ride in a comfortable position similar to a family room recliner that is fully reclined.

The inherent flexibility in the RAV4 seats, makes it really nice when transporting someone who is not feeling well. This configuration also allows someone who has been driving long distance with a companion to take a break from being in a strict sitting position as driver, swap seats with the passenger and take the weight off of weary driver's "sit" bones.

Toyota has "nailed" seats in the RAV4 that can adjust from perfectly erect to fully reclined.

I truly hope that the Model X will meet or exceed that benchmark.


jan | 20 juillet 2014

I suspect but do not know that the 2nd and third row seats will fold flat offering ample room for a passenger to recline, if necessary, independent of front passenger seat position. I don't know how to use seat belts while lying down, an important safety consideration.

Tâm | 20 juillet 2014

I do think that second and third rows do fold down flat for additional luggage space.

This is from TMC:

jan.anglin | 21 juillet 2014

Thanks for the feedback. The RAV4 optionality does allow the passenger sitting in the second row seat using the first row passenger seat as an ottoman, has the use of the second row seat belts.

Maybe the X will be as comfortable as the RAV4. I surely hope so. My purpose in starting this thread was to bring these ideas to Tesla designers.

But there is a big probability that unless they were aware of the RAV4 design earlier, then it may be too late in the design pipeline to even consider this concept.

I hope not. The Mercedes steering wheel didn't go back to first principles... and perhaps seating doesn't need to go there either.

But what do I know...? I just want this company to succeed phenomenally. And I do not want to buy an X and long for the comfort of my old RAV4.




Roamer@AZ USA | 21 juillet 2014

Mr Safety would like to note that riding with the seat reclined prevents the seat belt from functioning properly.

jan.anglin | 21 juillet 2014

Mr. Safety may have a valid point, and it is well taken. However, we do often use this optionality and only on rare events in the back of the second row passenger side seat fully reclined. The majority of the time the position is more like a partially reclined "recliner"... legs up and the back of the recliner is leaning back, but not all of the way. In that position, I believe the seat belt will work as well as it normally would. Also, the rider is resting on the seat itself, which has springs and some cushioning.

Not a perfect situation, but this arrangement has given us and other RAV4 owners on our street optionality that really helps. For example when our neighbor Chris had a badly broken foot, it was more comfortable for him to ride in that position while his wife drove. Less throbbing, etc., while his foot healed. This arrangement allowed Chris and Rachel to take some trips that otherwise would have had to have been canceled.

I am not trying to get anyone to buy a RAV4... I just want the X to be the best in absolutely every way. Not just for people who love the RAV4 seating, but for everyone. Elon is a genius engineer... but he cannot think of absolutely everything.

And I imagine that a RAV4 is beneath his price point, he may have never driven it or if he had done so, needed to fool around with the seats.

Thanks for all of the replies to this worry. I do hope that the seat design people read this comment. Even if it is too late to affect the outcome of the X. If the timing of this post is too late, maybe the team will consider something like this for the ---

Model |||

Thanks to everyone who added content to this thread.




elizabeth.gottfried | 25 juillet 2014

I'm looking at that photo and wondering WHERE people in the 3rd row are supposed to put THEIR legs...?? I saw the "unveiling" video and all the grown men getting out of the back seat, but I REALLY need for big kids (6-foot-plus) to be able to ride in that 3rd row. my last two trips to california and the Tesla showroom have NOT proved lucky enough to catch an X in there.

NumberOne | 25 juillet 2014

In the picture above, the second row is all the way back, possibly to make the second row look a little bigger. If it is moved slightly forward, there would still be enough room in row 2, and row 3 will b much improved.

jan.anglin | 28 juillet 2014

Crossing my fingers that the seats will be better than I imagine that they will be. I hope that I am worried over nothing. But cannot buy an X until I can check out the seating in person. Ugh!

Mr. Peabody | 29 juillet 2014

I expect the third row seating headroom to be as bad or even worse than the Model S rear seat headroom. They can lower the seat to get more headroom but leg comfort will suffer. I don't think 6'+ passengers will Be able to ride back there for more than a few miles.

I know people expect an SUV, but the MX is not one. The CD is reported to be the same or lower than the MS, and that would not be possible without a similar slope to the rear deck. The MX may be 6 inches taller, but in my expectations that adds 6" to the headroom of the kids 3rd row seat on the MS (actually worse than that since it will be forward facing).

Red Sage ca us | 30 juillet 2014

I'm pretty sure that the seven passengers who rode in the Tesla Model X during its reveal in 2012 were all at least six feet tall.

Paul Carter | 30 juillet 2014

There were people getting rides in it during the reveal event and all said it was fine. As per Red Sage, including people that were six feet tall. I would say very similar to the back of the Model S (or better... I'd bet better).

john_mathon | 29 janvier 2015

I hope Tesla understands that seating flexibility is really important to buyers. One thing I have found really excellent in Vans I've had is the ability to remove or fold forward the second row seats so that the 3rd row seats have lots of room or that people can sit in the 3rd row yet you are able to use lots of space between the first and 3rd rows to put stuff. The feeling of spaciousness that you get by being able to take the second row out really makes the experience for passengers in the third row exceptional. They can really spread out.

If the 2nd row can't fold forward then it would be ideal if it could be pushed back to give lots of room to the 2nd row. In other words my preference is to make a really spacious row that can be used for multiple purposes instead of demanding that there always be 3 rows. Many times you aren't carrying 7 people and would just like a really awesome experience for the 4 or 5 who are in the car.

It also gives the flexibility to use that space easily when loading the vehicle up with stuff. Someway to convert the back into lounges like described with the Rav (which I own and love as well) would be good. Possibly someone at Tesla can be creative in creating a truly novel and amazing seating situation. Seating is important enough for me to make me sign up now or have to wait and see.

Red Sage ca us | 29 janvier 2015

john_mathon: The television show 'EXTANT' showed the Model X using only the third row. It also showed a driver's seat that swiveled to face the rear (during autonomous driving).

Customers already queried Elon Musk about the option of having a removable second row. He said it would make for a rather expensive van, but he would look into it.

Photos of the Model X prototype interior already show that at least the outboard seats of the second row slide forward and backward. The center seat likely does the same as well.

It has already been confirmed that the Model X can be purchased without the third row. It is optional now.

jan.anglin | 17 février 2015

Recently visited a Toyota dealership near here and found out that Toyota has redesigned the RAV4 seats. A new RAV4 does not have the optionality that I described from living with my older RAV4.

So, Ugh.

It is unlikely that the X will have the seating that I liked so well in previous RAVs and it is also certain that RAVs going forward will not have wonderfully flexible seating either.

Thanks for all of the posts on this thread.


vandacca | 17 février 2015

At the Year-End conference call, Elon Musk said that the Model-X 2nd row seats is a marvel to look at. It sounds like they have really focused on the seats in the Model-X (at least the 2nd row seats). I'm hoping that the first row seats are also much improved.

jan.anglin | 17 février 2015


I know that Elon has worried about the look. On a long trip, well put it this way, my back and legs will be more worried about feel, than how it looks.

I hope Elon has focused on comfort as well as how things look.

But, in fairness, he is no dummy, so hopefully he made the seats comfy.

Thanks for responding.

Jan | 17 février 2015

I haven't done the math yet but I'm pretty sure you can tow a RAV4 with a Model X, enabling very flexible seating options assuming that you wouldn't require some sort of public transportation waiver. The as yet unannounced Tesla Van will carry a RAV4 in its cargo bay.

jjs | 18 février 2015

More patents for george.

Lucythesplainer | 18 février 2015

Could always fold down the seats and throw a bean bag back there. maybe snake the seat belts out through the crack somehow? bungies? duct tape? :-)

jjs | 18 février 2015

Duct tape, the handy man's helper. If you do that you will have to paint your X Red Green.

Brian H | 18 février 2015

Ah, yes. The famous two-tone red-green paint. AKA black.

vandacca | 18 février 2015

<@i>@Brian_H, I think @jjs was making an obscure reference to The Red Green Show where duct tape plays a pivotal role.

vandacca | 18 février 2015

@Brian_H, I think @jjs was making an obscure reference to The Red Green Show where duct tape plays a pivotal role. | 18 février 2015

Great idea! I will suggest that Tesla include an optional duct tape dispenser in the second row, contingent on not slowing the production schedule.

Brian H | 18 février 2015

Yeah, I know. Have watched many episodes. And I was making a color wheel joke.

jjs | 19 février 2015

@vandacca - Your are correct. :)
@Brian H. - Thank you for an even more obscure reference! :)
@george - Your list of patents grows by 1. :)

dguisinger | 19 février 2015

Out of curiosity, what is special about the 2nd row seats that Elon is saying they ran into problems and delays with them?

vandacca | 19 février 2015

@dguisinger, nobody knows what is so amazing about the 2nd row seats and why they ran into difficulties with it. Elon simply teased about it at the last conference call.

I suspect that if you review the upgraded Executive Seats of the Model-S, you may start to get an idea of what Elon is hinting at.

vperl | 19 février 2015

Worried about seats.

I am worried about head and leg room in rear seats.

Leg room for actual people that are not tiny 13 year olds. actual adult person about 6 ft 1 inch.

Seats are secondary. No leg room who cares what the seats are.

Plan to take trips with actual people not tiny 5'5" 120 pound children.

Repeat leg and head room. Back seats as well as front seats.

Brian H | 19 février 2015

Elon just wanted the "look" to be even better. No functional issues.

Red Sage ca us | 26 février 2015

At the Model X Reveal, all seven occupants were men who appeared to be at least six feet tall. None of them needed to be folded in half, or in thirds, to fit in the car. Of course, none were of the 6'-6" to 6'-9", 320 lbs to 400 lbs ilk some of my buddies occupy either. Franz von Holzhausen appears to be about 6'-5", and 220 lbs or so...

ian | 26 février 2015

I'd be surprised if ANY of those guys were over 200! ;-)

carlgo2 | 27 février 2015

I dunno about women wanting a more feminine SUV... around here women drive the most bad-ass SUVs you can buy. Musk might be wrong about that, unless he is just getting nervous about the X design.

Red Sage ca us | 6 mars 2015

I'm pretty sure that Elon was speaking of the daily use and functionality of Model X, as compared to Model S. Seating position, viewing angles, general ergonomics, sun visor size, etc. Things like that and stuff. He always said that style was an important factor for the Model X, regardless of expected gender of a prospective buyer.

tpmeyer | 23 mars 2015

I can't see how two rows of front facing seats will be anything but clunky. Tesla doesn't do clunky. Ever. The middle seats must have tons of optionality in order to make the 3rd row of seats viable. My guess is that the middle seats disappear into the floor or spin around to rear-facing with a touch of a button. Then it will be trivial for passengers to get into the third row seats. After the 3rd row occupants are situated, the middle seats can be adjusted accordingly. They can be kept rear-facing to allow interaction among the 2nd and 4rd row passengers, or adjusted into a forward facing configuration. The middle row could also be laid perfectly flat and flush against the 3rd row seats to create a queen sized bed out of all of the seats. Stuff like that is common place in RVs. Anything short of that will be a disappointment.

Brian H | 23 mars 2015

The MX is competing with RVs now? Gaahhhh ....

tpmeyer | 23 mars 2015

Queen-sized bed plus Autopilot makes the whole United States the size of a postage stamp.

vandacca | 23 mars 2015

Now all we need is Tesla to release their upcoming "Auto-Charge" feature, so the thing will charge itself. Stick a vacuum on the front and you have an over-sized Roomba!