Tesla4Family : Love our new Model X :) but DO NOT BUY CURRENT 7 SEAT CONFIGURATION before reading this

Tesla4Family : Love our new Model X :) but DO NOT BUY CURRENT 7 SEAT CONFIGURATION before reading this

We got our Model X this fall. Extremely happy with Tesla experience so far EXCEPT the middle row seats for Model X 7 seat configuration. I thought other families should know about the middle seat experience if they are considering 7 seats option for family as well.

We ordered our Model X in August and got delivery in September and were super excited to get the car. We love the Model X and have been eyeing to buy 7 seat configuration for family for years.
The falcon wings are super exciting for kids - kids love it and their friends love it. Its the 'cool car' for them.

We always intended to use Tesla for all 3 rows - with kids and their friends. However, we soon realized the middle row seats were very difficult to move. The Model X 7 seater configuration has only 'MANUAL MIDDLE SEATS' option, which we were told work as well as electronic seats, but they do not!! (Tesla discontinued electronic seats for 7 seat configuration in Summer this year)

The manual seats really work very poorly compared to electronic seats. And they do not move forward easily to let the third row seat occupants out. For our car, we were surprised how hard it was to move those middle seat including the 'bench seat' and we realized there was something wrong with the middle row seats.

I had to take the new car to Tesla Springfield Showroom multiple times before the service guys understood problem - they were like, hey, these are new seats and really we don't have much experience with it.

Suffices to say, its been a antithetical experience than what Elon proposed as solution to third row entry when he introduced those beautiful middle row electronic seats.

Our Model X is currently back in service-station at Springfield where they wanted to replace those middle row seats. The service guys unfortunately don't have experience with these seats and appear poorly equipped to deal with it and appear clueless.

Suffices to say its not been a happy experience with middle row seats; but we love our Model X and patiently waiting to get middle row seats functional.

At this point, I would recommend not to buy 7 seats option with currently only available manual seats which appear poorly designed and poorly functional (Tesla got shortchanged by supplier??)
You could consider 6 seater option (still have electronic middle row seats, which make it easier to get in 3rd row) instead 7 seats option until there is more information about the new middle row seats.

Would post more updates as it evolves!

khanhvn | 14 december 2017

Got our 7-seat MX two weeks ago. Yes the middle row is manual, and it's a bit clumsy to move, but we got used to it, and it works out OK for us.

Tâm | 14 december 2017


Thanks for the warning but I think it's expected due to the nature of manual vs electric assisted second row seats.

Ohmster | 14 december 2017

I did not know of the change. Last I saw was the Tesla video showing off the electronic movement controls.

Darn. Darn. Darn.

burdogg | 14 december 2017

Are you comparing the pedastals to the bench now? Just trying to make sure I understand electronic vs manual. The only change I knew of was changing the 7 seater from the pedastal seats to the bench seat. This was so eveyone that was complaining that all the seats didn't fold down flat would be happy. It was a compromise. I for one, love the 6 seater with the open middle space, and love the pedastals! I really hope they don't get rid of those as well amidst complaints of lack of ability to fold those down too :)

inconel | 14 december 2017

I got the 6 seat and love the pedestal. When I bought the electric 7 seat did not fold but if I was buying now I would get the manual 7 seat over the electric 6 seat. I love the ability to fold flat for cargo and to recline the seatback of the 2nd row for a more relaxed sitting position.

MelaniaFromBrentwood | 14 december 2017

Article and official Tesla video here. Ours arrives in a few days. Our loaner had 7 seats and we loved. You just need yours fixed.

AstonZagato | 15 december 2017

I bought one of the last 7 seat monoposts. I never need to fold the seats flat (I have other cars I can use for that). I didn't like the look of the bench and much prefered the older setup.
The salesman said that Tesla had made the change because so many people wanted to fold the seats flat. But now the bench had come out, they were getting more people wanting the original monopost configuration.

SurAsh | 15 december 2017

Indeed, I would not be surprised if people realize that monopost seats were more functional than the manual configuration.

To me, the new manual seats are poorly designed and poorly functional. We compared the manual middle seats to our extended family's Acura MDX (spring mounted) and my 5 year old could operate the Acura seat easily; but the manual middle seats of my X, they couldn't move to get in or easily get out - that got our attention b'cos it could be a safety issue for children in case of emergency!

Will update soon!

inconel | 15 december 2017

In case of emergency I think third row passengers can just pull the lever to fold the second row seatbacks flat and jump out. Are the levers hard to pull in your car?

inconel | 15 december 2017

On the other hand imagine electricity is cut after an accident, the previous generation second row with pedestals can no longer be moved, and third row passengers are stuck. It could be worse.

SurAsh | 15 december 2017

The levers are not easy to operate also; Tesla probably would have been better emulating spring-mounted seats like Acura for manual configuration.

If you really use Model X to haul stuff and want middle seats flat most of the times, you would not care.

But once you have children in 3rd row, and they cannot get out easily on their own and you have to struggle with the manual seats, It will catch your attention. In that moment, it will feel like cheap and poorly functional middle seats in a SUV of future; and will get you thinking about safety.

These manual seats appear old generation; and really pushed back the middle seats decades back in terms of design - From futuristic mono-post beautiful design Elon introduced for middle row seats to straight back to SUVs of 90s ( I don't know if I am being harsh, but its what it feels like :) ).

zxed | 15 december 2017

I went to a showroom to see a 7 seater in person - I liked the build on the middle row for the 6's, but I really wanted to know if the 7 had similar seats or if they were bench seats., and when I was there in person., I saw the middle row had bench seats, just like my honda pilot did - and the quality of my honda pilot ones were better.

The SR explained that they changed the middle row seats (this is oct, in the US), and that one basically had to figure out what they wanted., do they want the nice 2nd row seats that do not lay flat? or do they want full lay flat with the bench? Once I knew I did not want an ugly bench seat., the question was 6 seats with center console and without., so., I pushed 1 of the seats forward., but my kids did not wait for it to go forward, they ran through the 2nd row, and from the middle all the way to the back seats., so., no center console it is.

It also helped that my boss has an 6 seater 90D., so when 5 tall adults needed to get in, the empty space between the second row, was again very helpful.

And i know I'm not providing constructive criticism here, so I apologize for that.

avesraggiana | 20 december 2017

I’m so happy I hit upon the new seven-seat bench at a Tesla showroom far away from where I live.

Compared to the slick, electrically operated six-seater configurations that were on display in our hometown San Diego showrooms, this new seven-seat, manually operated middle bench was a dud. Awkward to operate, it also made access to the third row seat difficult, and once seated back there, it made the cave-like third row seem even more claustrophobic.

Didn’t like it at all, and I passed over the seven seater configuration without another thought.

SurAsh | 21 december 2017

Update :
Springfield showroom called after having car w them for 2 days : they ordered/received the WRONG seats!!! Have to reorder :(

This is frustrating!

My constructive input is :
Bring back the electronic seats option for MX7 as well.

Elon should take all this input and bring back electronic seats option! Or may be try taking kids in MX7 with manual middle seats - pretty sure kids will reject the poorly designed middle seats!!

SecretSanta! I need my MX7 retrofit w electronic seats please!

lilbean | 21 december 2017

Tesla is probably like, "Omg they said they wanted fold flat seats"!

Ohmster | 21 december 2017

I wanted the six seat option with no console. Wife insisted on the seven. Lord I hope this is just my second inconsequential configuration regret on a Tesla and nothing more.

burdogg | 21 december 2017

I have said it over and over again - 6 seat without console is fantastic - just for what was said above about kids getting to the back without even moving the seats forward, AND the extra leg room if adults need to be back there. There have been some heavy critics of the NON Folding seats - that it can't be a utility vehicle and is a waste. It is just funny.

Like lilbean said - Tesla is shaking their heads - which is why I laugh, they make changes and a lot of times it is just because some are yelling the loudest while the rest are quietly loving their car.

MelaniaFromBrentwood | 21 december 2017

How about electronic fold-flat 7-seater?

avesraggiana | 21 december 2017

@MelaniaFromBrentwood. Now THAT, I could get onboard with.

carlk | 21 december 2017

Totally agree with burdogg just go with the 6 seater. It works better or much better than 7 seater in every situation other than when you absolutely need to squeeze 7 people in it. That's pretty much the conclusion since January of 16' when I ordered mine.

carlk | 21 december 2017

Sorry I might have missed something. Was monopole center row seats discontinued? Wow....If true that's another best Tesla innovation taken away because all those idiotic I want what my Merc/Lexus always have people..

burdogg | 21 december 2017

It was carlk - except for the 6 seater :)

carlk | 21 december 2017

Good. That's the way to go anyway.

Ohmster | 21 december 2017

Anyone other than Melania loving their 7?

lilbean | 22 december 2017

Yep, burdogg. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

inconel | 22 december 2017

I have the 6 seat without console. I would buy the manual 7 seat with fold flat now if I were to do it again. I like the fold flat and seat back recline of the new 7 seat.

bob | 22 december 2017

I have the new 7 seater - delivery mid Sept. I specifically pulled the trigger to purchase the X due to the fold flat rear and went in fully aware of the compromise. I am very happy with the configuration, but admittedly use the seats about 2% of the time, and the fold flat the rest of the time. We do have body squeaks in back of the vehicle that tesla has serviced once, but the squeaks have returned. I blame the new seats, but have not been able to confirm they are the source of the interior noise.

packpike | 22 december 2017

I think several people have said this before, but the recommendation is to buy what you will use most often. If you’re going to haul a lot of stuff often get the 5 or 7 seat config. My family has 5-6 travelers often so we got the 6 seater, no console. It’s awesome for us because it maximizes ride comfort for all passengers and ease of entry/exit. Would I like to carry a 7th person, yes, but it would be so rare that I didn’t want to make the other sacrifices.

Tdreamer | 23 december 2017

I have the new 7 seater too - I've used 7 seats twice in the three months of ownership (good), but I wish I had a six seater. New 7's definitely a PITA. Waiting for the SC to receive parts (replacement seat?) for a problem with the right side middle row seat (doesn't move forward as it should to allow entry).

And yet... still love my X!

cica3838 | 23 december 2017

Does the tilting bench seat really make it more comfortable?

inconel | 24 december 2017

Being able to recline the seat back makes a big difference for us in terms of comfort. Many of us adjust the recline of the seat back when we sit in front to make us more comfortable, should be the same when we sit in the back.

cica3838 | 24 december 2017

Yah, but 6 seater second row tilts. Isn't that the same?

lilbean | 24 december 2017

Tilting isn’t the same because it still won’t recline.

Ohmster | 24 december 2017

Will judge for myself in about 2 hours when we pick up our second Tesla family member!

SurAsh | 24 december 2017

If you are buying for family and kids will get in 3rd row by moving those manual seats, take them w you to test

Ohmster | 24 december 2017

I think if it was just me, I'd get the 6 no console. For family trips and such, and going to Home Depot, the 7 rocks. That's my story after an hour with the car and I'll sleep well with it.

burdogg | 24 december 2017

Congrats Ohmster - Glad it works for you :) Merry Christmas Eve :)

Ohmster | 24 december 2017

@burdogg. Thanks! And same to you and everyone else on the forum.

Grin on now and well into the New Year!

Ohmster | 24 december 2017

@burdogg. Thanks! And same to you and everyone else on the forum.

Grin on now and well into the New Year!

SurAsh | 4 januari 2018

HNY folks!

To catch up : while I still waiting for my new MX7 manual middle row seats for replacement - Elon asked on twitter around new year suggestions from Tesla owners as to 'how can we improve?'. In response, with my compliments for all hard work by Tesla team, I suggested, they bring back option for monopost seats for customers like me who are very happy with Tesla Experience but don't like those manual middle seats.

So I am wondering if anybody else who is not happy with manual middle seats explored/has feedback from Tesla about replace/retrofit manual middle seats with monopost electric seats?

AxeBro | 4 januari 2018

anyone with the manual middle row seats - can you move it easily with a car seat in there? my toyota sienna has a manual lever to pull that folds the back and tips the seat forward, but that doesn't work with a car seat for obvious reasons.

I was planning on placing my deposit this month and now this is a big let down.

AxeBro | 4 januari 2018

anyone with the manual middle row seats - can you move it easily with a car seat in there? my toyota sienna has a manual lever to pull that folds the back and tips the seat forward, but that doesn't work with a car seat for obvious reasons.

I was planning on placing my deposit this month and now this is a big let down.

SurAsh | 4 januari 2018

@ AxeBro : I would be cautious with current 7 seats config w manual middle seats are poorly designed and painfully poorly functional.

But you should personally try it - I would recommend that before you putting deposit in ask the Toyota Store manager to get you both the 6 seats and 7 seats configuration for comparison. Take your Sienna with you and you should personally try to both 6 seats (w electronic seats) and 7 seater (w manual seats) configuration at Tesla store and use middle and third row with both - for car seats in middle seats and entry to 3rd row.

Its important you try it out with all (family/kids) who might operate the manual seats before making the decision.

You would definitively love MX - just be aware of those manual seats functionality - don't assume they would work like charm - they are nowhere like the monopost seats!

Good luck!

AxeBro | 5 januari 2018

@Surash - thank you for starting this thread . I would not have been aware of this, bcause even in the showroom they had the monopod seats; the rep said that these are new seats (non shiny backs), and even drew my attention to the monopost saying there's space under there, and that it's like an airline with room underneeth.

Perhaps we should tweet this thread to @elonmusk ... easy in and out of a "family friendly" vehicle meas being able to operate it with a child seat in it.

josielpierce | 5 januari 2018

We just took delivery of a 7-seater. Our primary reason was we wanted a fold-flat back end. Plus, it was slightly cheaper anyway. Yes, they're a bit clumsy considering every other car manufacturer out there seems to have a pretty slick setup for a middle row bench.

On the other hand, omg we love this car!

avesraggiana | 6 januari 2018

If they brought back the middle seat all-mono-post configuration, I’d be all for it!

When I realised how clunky the manual bench seat was to operate, I chose the six seat, non-centre console configuration.

People choosing the manual seven-seat configuration have to made aware of the awkwardness of getting in and out of the third row, and the even more limited amount of legroom once the middle seat bench is locked back in place.

inconel | 6 januari 2018

is there a difference in third row leg room between manual vs pedestal seven seater?

lilbean | 6 januari 2018

I believe there is more leg room with the pedestal seats because the middle row seats can be adjusted forward and the manual row is fixed.

MelaniaFromBrentwood | 6 januari 2018

@lilbean We got a new 7 seater 2 weeks ago and the bench can manually be moved forward or back and the seats can even tilt backward! Not bad IMHO. I don't really understand all these complaints. Sure they're "manual" but it's one less thing to break, the seats are nice, they can actually fold flat, and they're SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. 6 seaters don't fold flat, have one fewer seat, and cost WAY more!! Our relative with a no-console 6 seater tried hailing a 50" TV from Costco and was barely able to. We, on the other hand, can carry several of them!

lilbean | 6 januari 2018

Thanks for the clarification, @Melania. Oops. Sorry for the misinformation. When I saw the manual seats, I couldn't see how to adjust them forward. How do you adjust them? Thank you.