Rear Seat Height

fmcotton

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#1
I had the opportunity to sit in the back seat of a Model 3 this weekend. The backseat is very low or the floor board is very high. I’m only 5’ 8”, but I felt like my knees were way to high compared to my seating position.

Honestly I loved virtually everything about the car except the back seat. I can’t imagine having to sit in the back seat for more than a 30-45 min ride would be comfortable. Having to sit back there for a road trip might be on the brink of almost torture.

Is this an EV thing because of the battery in the floor board? I haven’t been in any other EV yet but will be test driving others this summer before I get called to order my Model 3 in the fall. I’m just wondering what if other EVs also have this issue. Is this an issue with the Tesla Model S, Chevy Bolt, or the Nissan Leaf?
 

garsh

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#2
Is this an EV thing because of the battery in the floor board?
To some degree, it's a Tesla thing. The "skateboard" chassis style means that the entire floor is raised.

Nissan has a battery pack that is raised under the seats, and dips down in the rear footwell.


But this is mostly an issue in all cars. In order to get good rear-headroom specifications, car makers will usually put the rear seat cushion down low. It's ok for kids riding in the back, but uncomfortable for adults.
 

skygraff

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#3
Do you feel that the seat was too low/knees too high or was it more about the lack of thigh support?

As much as I like that the seat backs go flat when lowered, I felt that the bigger issue was lack of support under the knees rather than how high the floor or low the seat bottom was. Thinking about getting some thigh/knee support cushions I could somehow make look OEM but have them removable for when I put down the seat backs.
 

Michael Russo

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#4

skygraff

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#5
Sat in it again today and, quite honestly, didn't find it as bad as I'd thought it'd been the first time. Compared to bother the S (same problem as Bjorn's tall friend) and my mom's Toyota Solara, I thought both the headroom and leg position was more than acceptable if not slightly better.

I really don't think even thigh supports would be necessary for even a long drive. I'm an inch or two (depending on the doctor's office) shorter than Bjorn's pal but don't know who has the longer legs between us.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#6
The following observations are of course specific to me, my height, my weight, my fat a** and all other things particular to my personal tastes and I am sure others will have differing opinions but having now had the opportunity to sit in one (thanks Bryan!), my issues with the back seats are twofold. One, the lack of thigh support and knee position due to the lowness of the seat and two, the lack of foot room. The headroom is fantastic as others have noticed. While I won't have the opportunity to have adults in the back seat very often, I wouldn't want to submit them to having to sit behind me (6'2") for any length of time. I was hoping that the Model 3 would have similar back seat comfort to my wife's Sonata Hybrid but sadly, it does not come close.

That being said, the front seat has to be the most comfortable environment I have ever had the pleasure to sit in. Everything sits perfect for me and by not having to adjust the steering wheel to accommodate the view to a binnacle, I can set it lower so that it is in very comfortable reach of my hands while resting my forearms on the armrests in the door and the center. I can certainly live with the back seat drawbacks.

Dan
 

garsh

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#7
I wonder how hard it would be for someone to create an aftermarket item to raise the rear seat height. I'd gladly forgo some headroom for better thigh support. My kids are still under 6' (but taller than me and still growing - I'm going to have to ask my wife who their real father is someday).
 

Dan Detweiler

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#8
I wonder how hard it would be for someone to create an aftermarket item to raise the rear seat height. I'd gladly forgo some headroom for better thigh support. My kids are still under 6' (but taller than me and still growing - I'm going to have to ask my wife who their real father is someday).
Don't ask, don't tell...just sayin' ;)

Dan
 

Dan Detweiler

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#9
To some degree, it's a Tesla thing. The "skateboard" chassis style means that the entire floor is raised.

Nissan has a battery pack that is raised under the seats, and dips down in the rear footwell.


But this is mostly an issue in all cars. In order to get good rear-headroom specifications, car makers will usually put the rear seat cushion down low. It's ok for kids riding in the back, but uncomfortable for adults.
I believe the batteries are stacked under the rear seat so this reduces rear head room. I think it is either stack them and reduce headroom or go with a single layer and lower the seat. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Pick your poison.

Dan
 

pjfw8

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#10
I believe the batteries are stacked under the rear seat so this reduces rear head room. I think it is either stack them and reduce headroom or go with a single layer and lower the seat. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Pick your poison.

Dan
That bump on the pack is for the charger and other power electronics. The battery is single layer unlike the S and X packs.
 

DNR

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#11
Unpopular opinion: What they should do is remove the stack of batteries from the rear footwell and put them in a center tunnel (who needs a third rear seat anyway!) and then also make it a wagon body style for even more rear headroom. I wish Elon wasn't so short... The CEO of Porsche made it a requirement that he could sit comfortably in the back of the Panamera (he is 6' 4").
I bet the Model Y will have a much more comfortable back seat but I don't want to wait and I hate CUVs.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#12
Unpopular opinion: What they should do is remove the stack of batteries from the rear footwell and put them in a center tunnel (who needs a third rear seat anyway!) and then also make it a wagon body style for even more rear headroom. I wish Elon wasn't so short... The CEO of Porsche made it a requirement that he could sit comfortably in the back of the Panamera (he is 6' 4").
I bet the Model Y will have a much more comfortable back seat but I don't want to wait and I hate CUVs.
With every bit of respect and having driven a Volt for the last 5 years, it is my opinion the stacking batteries In the center aisle SUCKS! The second worst thing about the car next to the center user interface. Others will feel differently I'm sure.

Dan
 

DNR

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#13
With every bit of respect and having driven a Volt for the last 5 years, it is my opinion the stacking batteries In the center aisle SUCKS! The second worst thing about the car next to the center user interface. Others will feel differently I'm sure.
Everyone is different. I saw it one thread some guy said he's 6'5" and has 5" of headroom in the back of a Model 3. People come in all shapes and sizes! I've never sat in the back of a Volt but from the pictures the seat cushion height looks much better than the Model 3. One of my cars has center tunnel and the other doesn't. I can't say that I see any advantage of a flat floor other than middle seat comfort. The chances of Tesla changing one of their signature design choices is zero so I'll live with it and take my SUV when I need backseat comfort :)
 

Dan Detweiler

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#14
Everyone is different. I saw it one thread some guy said he's 6'5" and has 5" of headroom in the back of a Model 3. People come in all shapes and sizes! I've never sat in the back of a Volt but from the pictures the seat cushion height looks much better than the Model 3. One of my cars has center tunnel and the other doesn't. I can't say that I see any advantage of a flat floor other than middle seat comfort. The chances of Tesla changing one of their signature design choices is zero so I'll live with it and take my SUV when I need backseat comfort :)
Absolutely...everyone is different. To me, what makes the Volt back seat (and to a lesser degree the Model 3) feel so claustrophobic in my opinion is the difficulty in moving your feet to find a comfortable position. This is exacerbated in the Volt by the center wall of batteries running down the middle of the car. What makes the Model 3 better is having the ability to shift your feet towards the middle or even other side of the floor if needed. The flatness of the floor went a long way to helping the back feel more welcoming.

Dan
 

JWardell

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#15
I wonder how hard it would be for someone to create an aftermarket item to raise the rear seat height. I'd gladly forgo some headroom for better thigh support. My kids are still under 6' (but taller than me and still growing - I'm going to have to ask my wife who their real father is someday).
Why not just sit on a pillow or two? Better yet, sell them as an aftermarket seat height adjuster, profit.
 
4

4701

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#16
Tesla is wasting space under the front seats.
But the problem is not wasted space, it's the raised rear footwell floor.
It was true on S as well.
Rear seat itself is fine. It can't be raised a lot due to headroom constraint.
Though I'd consider adjustable rear seat height to compensate footwell constraint.
Maybe something like booster seat but for adults.
Check out what my old BMW had as an option:rolleyes:
 

KarenRei

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#17
Would be kind of fun if SR was achieved by means eliminating the pack under the rear side passengers' feet (replacing it with a simple, lower floor). Would require changing the shape of the bricks in the pack, though, to achieve the same voltage (aka, it's to be reduced cells per brick rather than a reduced number of bricks).
 

ahagge

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#18
Tesla is wasting space under the front seats.
But the problem is not wasted space, it's the raised rear footwell floor.
It was true on S as well.
I wonder if some smart person could make a "lift kit" for the front seats to raise them off the floor by 1" or so. Would probably make a big difference in rear-seat legroom, and most folks are saying the front seats have plenty of headroom already. Either a pair of rails or some big washers and longer bolts to secure the raised seats to the floorpan...
 

svusa11

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#19
Both myself and wify felt that M3 rear seat is too low and creates uncomfotable/awkward experience with little to no thigh support. We are not tall people at 5’ 5 and wonder what Tesla was thinking while designing rear seats. As glass roof has a steep drop from design prsepctive, biggest drawback is lowering rear seats to the point it is no longer comfortable. IMO: this car can not fit 5 adults comfortably, certainly not on a long ride.

#BYOP (Pillow)
 

RAS550

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#20
Resurrecting an old thread - has anyone tried this seat cushion - only $ 35 on Amazon and 4.5 stars from 800+ reviews, -
I personally wont be affected by this problem until my son gets a little taller but will be sure to look into this then.