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Tesla Model X – Personal thoughts and initial review

Tesla Model X – Personal thoughts and initial review

aesculus | 5 november 2015

Thank you. Nice report. I like your writing style.

I did find this insightful we all suspected this: I saw Franz von Holzhausen, head of design at Tesla and thought I could have a little chat with him. I finally got a chance and I was ready to ask him everything I could think of. I saw his eyes and I saw tiredness. I know exactly how that feels, so I resigned from asking any elaborate questions and went to my main concern; could the second row seats fold? “Unfortunately, no” he replied. They where such a big design project that they took a stand on what was physically possible to do with the functions they wanted out of them. If you want to carry and transport larger things, they provide the trailer hitch. Period.

asim77 | 5 november 2015

Bro, you've got strong hair game. Also great review. Takk!

JimModelX | 5 november 2015

Nice read out. Thanks!

Here's a dumb question you could have asked..."Does the Model X do Ludicrous Speed in Reverse?"

PJJAVA | 5 november 2015

Wonderful writing, very interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

Tâm | 5 november 2015

@Satheesh.net

Thanks for the report!

Satheesh.net | 5 november 2015

Thank you all for your positive feedbacks guys, really appreciate it!

@asim77 :)

David N | 6 november 2015

Thanks for sharing, and thank you being respectful to Franz' in recognizing his exhaustive state that night.
I do wonder in his remark on " that they took a stand on what was physically possible to do with the functions they wanted out of them"
What were the "functions " of the seat that prevented them from being able to fold flat?

Red Sage ca us | 6 november 2015

David N: I think most who have guessed were correct... The issue is that the seat belt must be attached to the seat itself, because there is no stationary 'ceiling' or side panels at the Falcon Wing Doors to attach shoulder straps, as found in traditional automobiles such as SUVs and minivans. Since the anchoring system for the Model X second row seatbelts is attached to the seats themselves, making them folding would have compromised safety. Tesla Motors chose to keep the easy access to the third row, and a better-than-maximum safety rating instead of having a folding seat or 'regular' swinging doors.

georgehawley.fl.us | 6 november 2015

I wonder if there might be a way to fix the seat belt problem and allow the seats to fold...

Red Sage ca us | 6 november 2015

President georgehawley: Perhaps... But does anyone really want to pay an extra $50,000 each for three carbon fibre folding seats with Kevlar five-point seat belt harnesses and Titanium attachment components...? Probably not.

Satheesh.net | 6 november 2015

There could be numerous reasons why they chose what they did. But for some it could be a deal-breaker that they can't fold...

adamgreen | 7 november 2015

I'm not clear on the term "fold" -- do the second row seats (or 3rd row) recline or change the seat back angle?

Tâm | 7 november 2015

@adamgreen

When you fold a piece of paper in half, it usually means folding flat.

Third row seats do fold as flat as a pancake.

Second row seats do not fold flat but they can be tilted toward the front and you can slide the whole seat assembly forward or reverse independently.

Both second and third row seats do not recline. Their backs do not tilt backward.

Does that help?

Satheesh.net | 8 november 2015

Actually @Tâm, the second row seats CAN recline. (At least what I remember...)

The third row is fixed though.

Red Sage ca us | 8 november 2015

The entire seat may be able to revolve backward slightly, but the back of the seat does not recline on its own, without the rest moving as well.

Tâm | 8 november 2015

@Satheesh.net

Did you personally sit in a second row seat and push the controls to recline the back of your seat down?

Or did you see someone in it?

I personally could not do it and I asked during the test drive on how I get the back reclined and the Tesla Rep said "Sorry, No you can't."

So at this point, unless there's a picture of second row seats reclining, there are just personal memories of each person but no official specifications or website info that we can rely on.

carlk | 8 november 2015

@Satheesh Thank you for the great write up. It's nice to see someone do it from the perspective of how the car generally stands instead of how this car would do for me.

As for the second row seat I agree with RS that they made easy access of 3rd row seats a higher priority. In other words they want the car to be more passenger friendly rather than cargo freindly when they could have only one.

Satheesh.net | 11 november 2015

Indeed. My memory from the launch evening is a little fuzzy. Partly because of jetlag and partly because of all the anticipation of the car and crowd. :)

Iowa92x | 11 november 2015

The Tesla X has no nosecone. Why did you say the nosecone is refreshing.

The X has a naked bumper.

MyXinTx | 12 november 2015

@Satheesh.net

"Actually @Tâm, the second row seats CAN recline. (At least what I remember...)

The third row is fixed though."

WHAT??? Seriously? This is info not yet presented, at least that I am aware of.

@carlk Who says they can only have one? What limitation is there that the 2nd row seats can't accommodate both people and cargo? Did I miss some statement by TM about this? Please enlighten me

aesculus | 12 november 2015

They tilt (the whole seat top and bottom together). We don't know by how much yet.

Red Sage ca us | 14 november 2015

This photo is from the interior of a 2015 Toyota Sienna:

The second row outboard shoulder belts attach to the sides of the vehicle, not the seats. Only the outboard seats recline independently. The center seat is removable, but doesn't have a shoulder belt, only a lap belt. All three seats can fold forward.

This is a photo from the interior of a 2016 Toyota Sienna:

Again, the outboard shoulder belts attach to the sides of the vehicle, not the seats. Only the outboard seats recline independently.

This photo shows that only the CENTER seat on the second row has an integrated shoulder belt. But though that seat can fold forward, it does NOT recline. That seat is secured directly to the seat on its left.

Per the NHTSA, the 2016 Toyota Sienna has an overall five star rating. But it only has a four star rating in two parameters: frontal and rollover crashes.

It seems that if you allow a shoulder seat belt assembly to be mounted directly to the seat itself, instead of anchored to a side wall (ceiling, or floor), you loose the ability to recline that seat. I am not aware of any vehicle that allows a third row to both recline, and fold. I am rather certain it is probably very hard to create a seat that is on a pedestal, but can still: tilt, swivel, recline, and fold flat -- while being safe enough to meet the highest crash test reqirements.

Satheesh.net | 24 november 2015

Here are the controls for the second row seats:

http://bildr.no/image/Ykhvb0FD.jpeg

Satheesh.net | 24 november 2015

Here are the controls for the second row seats:

http://bildr.no/image/Ykhvb0FD.jpeg

carlk | 24 november 2015

Hmmmm...the control does seem to indicate it can recline.

@carlk Who says they can only have one? What limitation is there that the 2nd row seats can't accommodate both people and cargo? Did I miss some statement by TM about this? Please enlighten me

No one knows what's the limitation but don't you think there must be one? These seats are probably the best passenger seats you could find in any cars. It's obvious that's the design direction they have set to. Tesla would have made the seats to fold if it can be done but apparently they could not do it without seriously impact the design.

Red Sage ca us | 27 november 2015

Satheesh: Hmmm... This seems like the control for the FRONT seat to me... Notice the circular part that is just ahead of the switch?

Photos of the second row control pretty consistently showed it as a single piece instead. Here is an enhanced photo of the interior:

See what I mean? The switches on the two seat rows are different.

Tâm | 6 december 2015

@Satheesh.net

You are right: It's official on Model X website that second row seats do recline as pointed out by @gfb107.

Remnant | 6 december 2015

@ Red Sage ca us (November 14, 2015)

<< This photo is from the interior of a 2015 Toyota Sienna: ... >>

In a Toyota, headrests can be removed, which might make reclining and folding easier. This doesn't seem to be the case in Teslas.

Tâm | 24 december 2015

@Satheesh.net

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/59301-Vin-0062x-pickup-in-...

Pictures are now flowing in from the delivery of MaxK VIN 600's:

A second row back and and bottom are one single rigid assembly so you can either tilt the whole seat forward or slightly backward.

It's just like a rigid capitalized letter "L".

In a traditional sense, their backs don't recline independently, your whole body: back, thighs, knees are tilted together.