When it comes to charging times and infrastructure, other manufacturers have a lot of catching up to do. When it comes to the business of building cars properly, Tesla still has a lot of catching up to do. At some point in the future, these two things will overlap, and the result will be the best EV ever made. For now, back to the Model S interior.
The most recent interior upgrade is a huge improvement. We love the mix of complex advanced features mixed with simplicity. The new infotainment layout is more traditional, but works a charm. Still, we prefer to have some features apart from one central interface, if only to decrease the amount of time your eyes are off the road. We firmly believe that climate control should always be a separate feature with its own buttons, and the same goes for a volume dial that also allows you to switch it all off with a simple press. Having said that, we do appreciate the shortcut buttons located at the bottom of the touchscreen.
Other than the silly square wheel and the iffy build quality, the interior is quite nice. The quality seems to be good, but given Tesla's poor history in this particular department, we'll reserve comment until it has been on sale for a while.
This is yet another department that benefits from the skateboard design. Having a flat floor and a 116.5-inch wheelbase results in a lot of room to play with, and Tesla makes the most of it. Thanks to minimalist design, the Model S feels roomy. You can create the illusion of even more space by opting for a lighter interior color.
Front passengers get 42.7 inches of legroom, but the rear legroom is a bit tight at 35.4 inches. Front headroom is adequate at 38.8 inches, but taller passengers will struggle with the 35.3 inches of rear headroom, which is surprisingly less than you get in the smaller Model 3.
|Tesla Model S Trims||Model S|
|Headroom Front Seat||39.7 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.1 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||42.4 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||35.5 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||58.4 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||55.1 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||54.8 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||50.3 in.|
Like the exterior color options, Tesla keeps it simple on the inside. There are three trim options to choose from, with All Black and Ebony decor being the default. In this trim, the Tesla feels a bit too Germanic for our liking. Why go the alternative route, and have an interior that's so similar to what we've come to expect? For an additional $2,000 you can upgrade to Black and White synthetic leather with Walnut trim. It looks spectacular, but is perhaps not the best option if you're transporting messy kids. The Cream leather with Walnut trim is perhaps the best of both worlds. We would have liked more options. Where's the red leather, Tesla? All performance cars should have the option of a red leather interior.
Over the years, people have generated a lot of content that focuses on Tesla's blistering performance in a straight line. Yes, it can outrun a Lamborghini, but did you know it can also do it while carrying enough luggage for a family of four to go on an extended holiday? The power liftgate reveals a trunk measuring 26.3 cubic feet in size, which puts its ICE rivals to shame. A small frunk also adds a handy few cubes extra for a total of 28 cubic feet. Fold down the rear seats in a 60/40 split and the available space grows to 58.1 cubes. Because there's no engine up front, you also get a 2.1 cubic feet frunk, which is useful for quick trips to the shop.
|Tesla Model S Trims||Model S|
|Max Volume||61.4 in.|
Tesla's have always been a bit gimmicky, but we'll gloss over those particular features and focus on the things that impact day-to-day comfort. The 2022 Model S comes as standard with a tinted glass roof, tri-zone climate control, a phone key, wireless and USB-C charging for every occupant, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with a memory function for the driver, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column and heated steering wheel, a driver information display with critical driving information, and a rear-seat entertainment system that's powerful enough to rival modern gaming consoles. The safety spec includes a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking.
The Tesla packs a serious punch in this department. The 2022 Model S comes with a 17-inch central touchscreen that controls everything. You can also use it to watch movies and for gaming. Tesla doesn't say whether this system deactivates once the car is on the go, which is worrying considering how much faith some Tesla owners put in Autopilot. Underneath the new main infotainment system you'll find two neat upright smartphone wireless chargers.
The rear entertainment system has up to 10 teraflops of processing power, which Tesla says is good enough to rival the newest consoles. Rear passengers get wireless controllers and can play games via Tesla Arcade. A 22-speaker system sound system is standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity.
Alas, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto still aren't available. Tesla prefers you use its own app, which is quite comprehensive. There are numerous conspiracy theories about why Tesla doesn't allow third party apps to run in its cars, but we reckon it's just a case of Tesla wanting to be in complete control of its software. With advanced systems like Autopilot, it makes sense not giving any sort of access to a third party system.