Love Tesla, but their interiors...

  • SUPPORT THE SITE AND ENJOY A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE!
    Welcome to Tesla Owners Online, four years young! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of TOO. We now offer yearly memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://teslaownersonline.com/account/upgrades

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
    Did you know we have a YouTube channel that's all about Tesla? Lots of Tesla information, fun, vlogs, product reviews, and a weekly Tesla Owners Online Podcast as well!

$ Trillion Musk

$XRP: what we hold is digital gold.
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
1,157
Location
Jersey
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Reservation
#1
I've been a Tesla fan since 2009 when I first saw the Model S prototype in person and sat in a few Roadsters. There's no doubt in my mind that their products are superior to anything else on the market in many aspects, including charging network, battery technology, efficiency, performance, manufacturing, safety, autonomy, customer loyalty, etc.

But the one thing that hasn't impressed me is their interiors. I can live with it... but for the premium that you pay they just don't have that wow factor. I had recently test driven the Model 3 with white interior, which was what I originally wanted. Needless to say I had found it quite undesirable as it showed the slightest bit of dirt on the white ceramic dash and finger prints on the piano black center console. Sure, it has that simple elegance with a modern look and feel to it if kept clean. But when dirty, to be frank it looks cheap. As a prospective customer it makes me want to refrain from spending extra for more "luxurious" options and just settle for the base model. It won't keep me from buying a Tesla, however, at least in the near term.

Tesla needs to up their game especially now that more offerings are on the horizon such as Rivian and Byton, to name a few. Plus they need to capture that market of folks who desire luxury - more than "sporty" or "techie", which are more appropriate terms to describe the Tesla design language. Most people outside of this forum are disappointed by Tesla's interiors and question why they would pay over $100k for an S or X as I've personally driven friends and colleagues in a 24 hour Model X test drive. They would rather buy a Land Rover or Mercedes Benz because they have an interior that feels like they got their money's worth. I have yet to hear a non-Tesla fan say that they are impressed with the interior of a Tesla.

My hope is that the next generation of vehicles would lay this concern to rest. What I find fascinating as well is that not a lot of Tesla fans are complaining about this even though IMHO this change could only be beneficial for Tesla. Thoughts?
 

Love

Tesla Quad Cities
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
2,149
Location
Iowa
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#2
There might be something to this thought I just had... if you recall the cars listed as the "top 5" that people are switching from to Model 3, we're not talking the lap of luxury really. Nice cars, no doubt... but Civic, Accord, etc aren't really overwhelming anyone with their interiors. (I picked those two because I've owned one or more of each in the past).

I'm perfectly happy with my interior, coming form my most recent car being a Kia Optima. I LOVE tech so it just fits me perfectly.

I'll definitely say that I think you're right that they need to step their game up though. I can't recall the hire they made but I believe they were going to address this with who they brought on board... I'm too lazy to search right now. EDIT: Ian Kettle from Volvo, I unlazied myself.

My guess is a late 2019 refresh for the S and X that will blow everyone away. ;)
 
Last edited:

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
13,909
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#3
Tesla needs to up their game especially now that more offerings are on the horizon such as Rivian and Byton, to name a few.
Byton and Rivian are going to have the same issues - their interiors won't even be as good as a current-day Tesla.

The Jaguar I-Pace has a much better interior than a Tesla. But it's just so deficient in more important areas that I don't think it matters. It's less efficient than a larger, heavier Model X, doesn't go as far on a charge, and is not capable of charging at supercharger rates for road trips. It doesn't have a world-wide network of well-placed and fairly reliable fast chargers to enable long trips. The infotainment/navigation system is just so incredibly slow, unresponsive, and downright primitive compared to a Tesla.

I think Tesla still has several years before other automakers catch up in these two areas. Hopefully Tesla can up their game by that point. I really, REALLY hope they can figure out how to correctly paint a car by then. :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

FRC

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
2,154
Location
Athens, Ga
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#4
I agree with much of what Trillion says. However, I don't think that the Model 3 interior lags not functionally but visually. The features hidden in that screen are phenomenal but the casual shopper can't see them. I think this was intentional by the designers to set the car apart, but perhaps they went too far? I'm concerned that the (American?) buying public equates luxury and quality with the number of knobs and buttons in a car. When those who haven't drunk the Kool-Aid first look in our cars, they are struck by what's not there, not by what is. Is there enough there to get them to test drive? I'm not sure, but obviously the test drive will be key in any Tesla sales strategy. One drive and you're hooked! I have a 10 week old white interior, BTW, and I love it! Easy to clean, no stains, beautiful, and I'm certainly no neat freak! I completely agree about the piano black. It's an easy fix post- delivery with a wrap, but why do I have to wrap the console I just bought with my $70k car, Tesla?
 

TrevP

TOO Founder / Administrator
Founder
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
7,328
Location
Toronto
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#5
The interior has been a constant refrain for years.

My take on it is this: Tesla has deliberately simplified the look of the interior in order for the cars to age more gracefully. The rest of the auto industry make changes every 3-4 years as planned obsolescence to keep buyers coming back , something Tesla doesn’t suffer from.

By focussing the changes in software instead of physical interior changes it keeps the car looking newer longer. I think the materials are decent enough, sure they could be a bit better but overall the modern simpler look is something I prefer and nobody I know has ever complained about it, rather they marvel at it. I think most people equate luxury with lots of visual points of interest: knobs, dissimilar materials, stitching, trim work etc...

Think about it: if you simplified the interior of a Mercedes to the level of what Tesla has done would you still think of the car as luxury?
 

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,346
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#6
I have to say I disagree, but it’s a personal taste thing so pure personal opinion.

All interiors look bad when dirty. The goal is to keep them clean :)

Tesla did opt for the shiny black center console which looks nice but yes it’s a finger print magnet. Mine stays clean throughout the week but I’m OCD.

I’m a huge fan of the minimalist interior though.
 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
4,626
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#8
I do think most people think of luxury as thick supple seats, warm dark woods, and many others. I do think Tesla went a bit cheap on a few things, carpets and floor mats are way thin, and a heated steering wheel and cooled seats are required in my books to be really top of the line luxury, but for what this car is and the way it operates, I think it brings new definition to luxury that some just aren't ready for, it's as noted by @SoFlaModel3 , it's simplicity, minimalist, it fits a younger generation from some of our forefathers (and foremothers) that love all those hundreds of buttons and being surrounded by things.
 
Last edited:

Love

Tesla Quad Cities
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
2,149
Location
Iowa
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#9
I do think most people think of luxury as thick supple seats, warm dark woods, and many others. I do think Tesla went a bit cheap on a few things, carpets and floor mats are way thin, heated steering wheel and cooled seats are required in my books to be really top of the line luxury, but for what this car is and the way it operates, I think it brings new definition to luxury that some just aren't ready for, it's as noted by @SoFlaModel3 , it's simplicity, minimalist, it fits a younger generation from some of our forefathers (and foremothers) that love all those hundreds of buttons and being surrounded by things.
This is exactly what I would have said in my earlier response had I been more awake, either by having received more sleep, or copious amounts of caffeine. Nicely done GDN.
 

Jay79

Top-Contributor
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
599
Location
Michigan
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#10
It's very subjective of course, to each their own. I have a hard time comparing the Model 3 to anything else because it's just so unique to itself. Perhaps this is the new luxury interior styling that will be emulated in the future. I personally love it, seats are soft and comfortable, accents are tasteful and its a big leap forward on design. My only gripe would be not using Alcantara on the headliner but I'm over it now, kinda ;)
 

MelindaV

☰ > 3
Moderator
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
10,434
Location
Vancouver, WA
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#11
my main complaint on the interior is that it does not have leather. But that really can be said of most car manufactures now - going with 'vegan' or whatever else they want to call it.
second to that, more of a wish for an alternate, I wish the carbon fiber trim was an option like on the S/X over the piano black trim.
but besides those two material items, the style, look, feel, function of the interior I love.
 

kort677

Top-Contributor
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
442
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach FLA
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#12
the tesla trade off was the a minimal, almost spartan interior was offset by the leap in the new technology being introduced.
the thinking was to expend the designen efforts into the tech and provide a basic, functional interior, the earliest cars had virtually no interior storage like door or seat pockets, lighted vanity mirrors, etc. etc.
that was great 6+ years ago when the S was introduced but the tech in the cabin really hasn't grown very much, see browser, and IMHO it is time for the wizards of tesla to up their game regarding the interior.
 

Spiffywerks

Top-Contributor
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Messages
402
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#13
Only thing I wanted was Alacantra headliner... and real leather seats. Didn’t get either. Not losing sleep over it.

IMO, if you *really* wanted “fancier” interior surfaces, you could always hit up an automotive upholstery shop. They would be more than happy to cu$tomi$e your interior!
 

JasonF

Top-Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
1,831
Location
Orlando FL
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#14
Before the Model 3, I had a Mitsubishi with leather seats, and soft-touch plastic everywhere. I test drove a Chevrolet Bolt before finally getting a Model 3. The Bolt's interior felt like a step down from the Mitsubishi, with cheap hard plastic everywhere - and that car was spec'd at $44,000. I feel that the Model 3 interior is far superior in the same price range.

I also consider that because of the price of its closest range rival at $44,000, the Model 3 is essentially an entry-level performance electric. The interior is amazing for one of those. Tesla may be thought of as a luxury carmaker, but the Model 3 is a real driver's car.

I'm never really in favor of ridiculous luxury appointments in cars anyhow. It has nothing to do with whether I can afford them - I just feel like the R&D money is better spent on making the car more fun to drive, adding more convenient features, and in the case of electric, more range. I feel that luxury appontments are just a manufactuer's way of distracting the buyer with shiny things that don't do anything.
 

Jay Jay

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
261
Location
Castle Rock, Colorado
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#15
I don't understand at all when people say "gee, I could get a more luxurious interior for the same price!" Are they forgetting that Tesla's are EV's with incredibly futuristic technology? That's where the premium in the price comes from...durrr.

We LOVE the interior of our white on white M3. It feels incredibly clean, spartan and futuristic. Would I love it if they added a few touches here and there? I dunno, maybe. But we're very happy with it and everyone who rides in it comments much the same.
 

ltphoto

Active member
Green Level Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
92
Location
Sandy, UT
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#16
I'm in the same camp. I love the white interior in my AWD MCR! Wouldn't change a thing. The last thing I want is tons of buttons and knobs cluttering up everything and ending up contributing to rattles and squeaks down the road.
 

Gavyne

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
348
Location
SoCal
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#18
I wasn't a Tesla fan, and I was impressed by Model 3's interiors. But I think people's needs and wants are different. For me, I'm all for spaceship vibes and the clean IKEA interior. I was sold on that, being a science/tech geek it was love at first sight. And now I can't stand looking at any "luxury" interiors from other cars because they just seem so dated and inefficient. This is where we bring up iphone vs nokia, tablet vs laptop, etc.. things are changing and some people are quicker at adapting than others.

I'm a sys admin, I need a keyboard to type on, which is why for the longest time I used a desktop & laptop. But when Apple came out with smart keyboards that fit on ipads, I made the switch and never looked back. Now I look at all laptops as this big, bulky, heavy, inefficient piece of dated hardware. This is how I look at cars now, comparing Model 3 interiors to others.

I don't think the Model 3 was ever meant to be a luxury vehicle. Even Tesla themselves call it "premium sedan". For what you get, I think it very much fits the premium sedan description. For real luxury, you're looking at massage seats, fancy LED's, extra screens, buttons/dials, and shiny blings that make you feel luxurious. You can pay a high premium for those things if you want to buy say an I-PACE. For a fully decked out luxury feel in I-PACE, you're looking to spend way more than a Model 3, and you receive much less tech and innovation in return. For some that means a lot to them. But I'm not quite sure that's the market Tesla is going after with Model 3. I do think some of what people asked for are fair, things such as heated steering wheels since they're a necessity for those driving in cold climates.

Now Model S and X, that's a different story. I think they should definitely luxury those cars up even more, it'll help them stay competitive in the upcoming 3-4 years when EV's from luxury carmakers come out with their cars.
 

$ Trillion Musk

$XRP: what we hold is digital gold.
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
1,157
Location
Jersey
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Reservation
#19
Not by more buttons and knobs do I suggest in order to achieve more luxury, but rather by using various textures, colors, materials and geometry.

Take the Rivian RT1 as an example. Almost no buttons and yet they’ve managed to create a more luxurious interior for a pickup truck!

fdd2a4da-9b69-4c67-b741-3eb7a1505f9d-jpeg.18322
b044530b-ee41-46c9-a343-75e77f9de8f6-jpeg.18323


I agree with @TrevP that Tesla was deliberate in creating simple (yet purposeful!) interiors first for important reasons: room for improvement, lower cost, and ease of manufacturing. I have no doubt that the interior design will progress in increments for years to come. It’s just that IMHO I wish I could have the Rivian interior paired with Tesla engineering today: a bit more elegance and sophistication.

Not the most important aspect of owning a Tesla, but it does help enhance brand perception from a larger audience. I expect more luxurious appointments to be made available for the Chinese market soon.
 

Gavyne

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
348
Location
SoCal
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#20
I think to be fair, you should wait to see Tesla's pickup truck interiors before claiming Rivian's being more luxurious in feeling. Personally I see Rivian's interiors to be very much like Tesla's, it doesn't give me a more luxurious feel, just different since it's bigger...it's a truck. Feels like looking inside a Model X.