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Back Seat Height

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by smorgasbord, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #1 smorgasbord, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    Yesterday I sat in the back during a test drive in Carmel Valley (Tesla was in Carmel for Concurs weekend and on the streets Friday they were even offering test drives to non-reservation holders who showed an interest - and apparently had a high hit rate of reservations taken afterwards).

    Anyway, while the back seat itself is nicely padded, the seat height is simply too low for adults. If you've seen Jimmy Stewart at the Moroccan restaurant in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, you know what I'm talking about - your knees end up being uncomfortably high. I would not be comfortable for an hour drive in the back seat unless I sat sideways - and I'm not particularly tall (5' 11").

    It was ironic that while the driver asked me twice if I had enough headroom, I kept wanting to talk about legroom (kneeroom?). It looked to the driver that the rear outside corner of my head was really close to the headliner, but in moving around normally I never hit the headliner (car had sunroof). I guess since the close point is behind the ears you don't notice how close it is.

    But, the knee room was bad. Between the high floor of the car from the batteries and the low roof from aerodynamics, the rear seat passengers literally get squeezed. I wonder if all the complaining about rear seat headroom has made Tesla decide to lower the rear seats a bit? That would increase headroom (which you immediately notice) at the expense of knee room (which you maybe don't notice for a little while). This car will definitely not work as a taxi nor any other situation where back seat comfort and egress is important.

    For our use, the back seat should be OK. Our son is tall, but on long rides he'll be the only one the back (or maybe he'll want to drive for a change), so sitting sideways a bit is possible. However, if you're intending to have a couple of big people in the back on a regular basis or for long rides, you really need to check the comfort for yourself - you might want to get Model X instead, even if you don't need the 7 seat capacity.

    Tesla, if you're reading, maybe in future models the back seat should have a height adjustment so that occupants can find the best compromise for them. Personally, I'd rather lose a few hundredths on the drag co-efficient and have some more knee/head room.

    Edit: Here's the only picture I could find online:
    Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 4.16.44 PM.png
     
  2. goyogi

    goyogi Member

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    Or an 18" foot well and move those batteries elsewhere.
     
  3. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Hmm I had no problems in the back with pano. My wife is short though and was driving, but I had plenty of head and knee space and I'm 6'8
     
  4. onlinespending

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    sounds like they dropped the seat height to provide more headroom (space for the torso). But this has the counter problem of your knees sitting above your waist, which as smorgasbord has mentioned would get uncomfortable quite quickly. I'm 6'5" and would need to spend more time in the back to see if this is the case.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    It's your car, why would you spend time sitting in the back? I confidently predict that once you have the car, you'll want to drive it everywhere yourself. :wink:
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Unfortunately, my son is built like me -- long legs, average torso. Ah, well, he'll suffer.
     
  7. onlinespending

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    #7 onlinespending, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    Yes, I know! But hey, somewhere out there there's a tall kid (to be) of a Model S owner destined for the back seat.
     
  8. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    I didn't notice my knees being uncomfortable, but I guess I need to be in it longer. I've never sat in the backseat of my current car ever though haha. Better headroom > knees slightly higher.
     
  9. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    I think if you're aware of it, there's no missing it. I was in the back during my wife's test drive yesterday (I'm 5'11.5"), with a friend who's a bit shorter, but your knees are up high. At 6'8" I don't know how they weren't up around your ears! Obviously, it depends on where the seat in front of you is, but if you had 3 in the back, and a couple of average height people in the front, it would not be comfortable for long. My kids are only 10, so they're fine, assuming I even allow their sticky little mitts in the car :)
     
  10. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Not sure if we're talking hard tops vs. pano roofs.

    I'm 6.0' and fit nicely under the hard top, sitting against the seat back. Leg room good, but didn't check to see if the seat was all the way back or not.
    I was with another res holder sitting in the back also 6.0' but all torso (short legs), and he was snug against the roof if he sat all the way back. He must be a good 1" to 1.5" more in body than I am. I think that's the key, if you're sitting back all the way, under a non pano roof.

    Pano roof... no issues, that I've heard here locally.

    Leg room I'll have to check again. I just remember not being bothered by it in the showroom unit, or on the test drives.
     
  11. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Yeah I'm talking pano. I hit my head in non-pano of course because it's lower and covers the bar across the top.

    OK so I just checked a picture of me in the back and yes my knees are way high up. I guess I didn't notice when I was sitting there haha. It does look pretty funny in a picture. Good thing I'm driving!
     

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