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Impressions on Taptes seat cover for Model S original Gen 1 seats

I just got some Taptes covers for my 2014 Model S with original seats. Before ordering them, I had done some digging to see if they were worth the money, but most of the opinions that I found online were for the Model 3 and Y only. I assume that a number of people with older Teslas might also be thinking about getting seats covers, so I am sharing my quick impressions, for those who might be interested.

First, purchase and delivery. I went with the Space Leather option because it was the best quality option that offered Ivory White (more on that later). The order was very straightforward through Apple Pay and I let them know that I wanted a combination of Ivory White and Beige in the comments field of the order.

The following day I got an email from a customer service rep. They requested pictures of my seats and they also sent me a quick picture reference to confirm what parts of my covers would be what color (since I had requested a custom combination). Quick note regarding this timeline. My order was placed during Chinese New Year. Although the site said that orders would take weeks to process, they got back to me right away. Props to them for this.

Also, another note regarding sending them pictures of your seats. Their site is a bit confusing and it makes it sound like their covers would work for any Model S from 2012 to 2021. Not the case. They make covers for all those models, but the covers are custom made depending on the seats. Meaning, they are different for Gen 1, 2, etc.

A couple of weeks later I got another email confirming that my order had shipped and giving me the tracking number. I had requested free shipping, so I was ready to wait for a while. It ended up not being that bad after all. Interestingly, it took almost as much time for the package to get from China to the US than it took for it to just go through customs. All in, shipping was about a month (on top of the two weeks that it took them to make the covers) and Taptes sent me another follow up email with a delivery estimate as soon as the covers arrived in the US.

Now, the covers themselves. The material is quite good. I just got similar (cheaper) leatherette covers from EKR for my BMW i3 and the material on those feels a lot more rubbery. The Taptes covers look rather solid and well finished. They don’t even smell all that much, and they feel more substantial than the original leather from my Gen 1 seats. Regarding color, I was expecting the Ivory White to be more… ivory. That is why I ordered the combination Beige-Ivory. I was afraid that the beige would not match the beige from my car, so I threw in the Ivory thinking that if nothing else, it might match the headliner at least. But no, Ivory White is pretty much just white, and Beige is an almost exact match for the beige on my Tesla. So at the end, I got seat covers that are a bit more gaudy than I would like, although they are growing on me after I installed them.

Talking about installing… it is a bit of a process. They come without any sort of instructions, and there seems to be just one video in the entire World Wide Web that shows how to install the covers on Gen 1 seats.

The trickiest part is the bottom of the front seats. Getting the strap that goes from side to side under the plastic trim of the seat was an adventure. The video recommends removing the clips that keep the actual upholstery in place, but I could not do it to save my life. I managed to pass the strap in between those clips without removing them (I recommend trying this first), which took me a good 15 minutes. Oddly, the passenger seat was even harder. The video just says to repeat the same steps on the passenger seat and skips the thing altogether, but it is not that easy. The issue is that you are working on opposite sides and the structure of the seat is very different depending on the side. After a fair amount of grunting, I got the strap to go under the trim a bit further back than on the driver side, closer to the back of the seat.

Fitting for the front seats is quite good. The headrests are bit too big, but nothing terrible. It does not help that this part of the covers is folded inside the box during shipping, and it comes with a fair amount of wrinkling (see pictures).

Unfortunately the back seat is not so great. Overall it is too loose, and some of the attachments look rather weak. I am pretty sure this thing is going to move and will need constant readjusting. Also, it is a singe piece, meaning that it needs to be removed if you want to fold half of the seat. Plus it does not have openings for the isofix attachment points. Child safety seats would need to be attached using the seatbelts only. Interestingly, they asked me if I was using child seats and they made it sound like they would leave slots for the isofix if so. But although I requested it, the covers came with no isofix access. Not a big deal for me, I am not using them anymore, but this is probably something that people with kids want to make very, very clear.

So, now that I have the covers in place, a quick review would be...

The good:

-Purchasing was slow but not as bad as I thought, and customer service was solid.

-Material and quality are top notch. They are not fully seamless, but they look good.

-Color matching with Tesla seems almost perfect.


The could-be-better:

-No instructions and little information online regarding installation for some older Teslas.

-Fitting for the headrests is a bit loose.

-The back seat cover only fits so-so and removes some functionality.

-The straps, rather than black, are the same color as the cover (beige in my case). This is tremendously annoying with lighter covers like mine. You can see some straps from a mile away.


If I had to grade on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give these covers about a 7.5. Some things are better than I expected, some things are worse. The cheaper covers that I got for my i3, for instance, fit much more snuggly, have black straps and don’t take away any back seat functions. But the Taptes ones are clearly better material and have a more customized design.

I hope this might help some older MS owners out there!

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Looking at the same set for Model S. Do you know if they hinder the airbags for the S?
Taptes said that they don’t affect airbag performance, and it looks like it. The edge of the cover is on the side of the seat, and the straps are low so they don’t block deployment. It looks rather easy for the airbag to just push the cover.
 
Thanks for posting such a thorough explanation of your experience with the Taptes seat covers. The photos really help, especially about the front seat straps and the areas of bagginess. Did you consider having them installed by a seat cover shop? I'm only going to do the front seats and the price you paid for good-quality leather covers seems reasonable to me. My only complaint with my 2021 Model 3 is the front seats, which aren't nearly as comfy and supportive as the BMW seats in my previous car.
How would you rate the comfort and support of the Taptes covers?
Again, thanks for your excellent post.
 
Thanks for posting such a thorough explanation of your experience with the Taptes seat covers. The photos really help, especially about the front seat straps and the areas of bagginess. Did you consider having them installed by a seat cover shop? I'm only going to do the front seats and the price you paid for good-quality leather covers seems reasonable to me. My only complaint with my 2021 Model 3 is the front seats, which aren't nearly as comfy and supportive as the BMW seats in my previous car.
How would you rate the comfort and support of the Taptes covers?
Again, thanks for your excellent post.
Thanks! I did not really consider going to a shop, and after installing them myself, I would probably still say that it is not necessary if you have the time and inclination to give it a go. Also, although I have not seen the covers for the Model 3 (which I understand you would be getting), I suspect those might be a more precise fit since there is only one version of the seat and they are probably a bigger seller.

Regarding comfort and support, the original MS seats are notoriously bad to begin with, so my starting point is slightly different. That said, and although I would not get the covers just for that, they certainly make the MS seats a bit grippier and more supportive. Nothing too dramatic, but noticeable. Just the material itself is less slippery. One thing to keep in mind though, the seat warmers get weaker with the covers. You can still feel the heat, but it takes longer for them to work and they are not as strong.

Hope this helps!
 
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I just got some Taptes covers for my 2014 Model S with original seats. Before ordering them, I had done some digging to see if they were worth the money, but most of the opinions that I found online were for the Model 3 and Y only. I assume that a number of people with older Teslas might also be thinking about getting seats covers, so I am sharing my quick impressions, for those who might be interested.

First, purchase and delivery. I went with the Space Leather option because it was the best quality option that offered Ivory White (more on that later). The order was very straightforward through Apple Pay and I let them know that I wanted a combination of Ivory White and Beige in the comments field of the order.

The following day I got an email from a customer service rep. They requested pictures of my seats and they also sent me a quick picture reference to confirm what parts of my covers would be what color (since I had requested a custom combination). Quick note regarding this timeline. My order was placed during Chinese New Year. Although the site said that orders would take weeks to process, they got back to me right away. Props to them for this.

Also, another note regarding sending them pictures of your seats. Their site is a bit confusing and it makes it sound like their covers would work for any Model S from 2012 to 2021. Not the case. They make covers for all those models, but the covers are custom made depending on the seats. Meaning, they are different for Gen 1, 2, etc.

A couple of weeks later I got another email confirming that my order had shipped and giving me the tracking number. I had requested free shipping, so I was ready to wait for a while. It ended up not being that bad after all. Interestingly, it took almost as much time for the package to get from China to the US than it took for it to just go through customs. All in, shipping was about a month (on top of the two weeks that it took them to make the covers) and Taptes sent me another follow up email with a delivery estimate as soon as the covers arrived in the US.

Now, the covers themselves. The material is quite good. I just got similar (cheaper) leatherette covers from EKR for my BMW i3 and the material on those feels a lot more rubbery. The Taptes covers look rather solid and well finished. They don’t even smell all that much, and they feel more substantial than the original leather from my Gen 1 seats. Regarding color, I was expecting the Ivory White to be more… ivory. That is why I ordered the combination Beige-Ivory. I was afraid that the beige would not match the beige from my car, so I threw in the Ivory thinking that if nothing else, it might match the headliner at least. But no, Ivory White is pretty much just white, and Beige is an almost exact match for the beige on my Tesla. So at the end, I got seat covers that are a bit more gaudy than I would like, although they are growing on me after I installed them.

Talking about installing… it is a bit of a process. They come without any sort of instructions, and there seems to be just one video in the entire World Wide Web that shows how to install the covers on Gen 1 seats.

The trickiest part is the bottom of the front seats. Getting the strap that goes from side to side under the plastic trim of the seat was an adventure. The video recommends removing the clips that keep the actual upholstery in place, but I could not do it to save my life. I managed to pass the strap in between those clips without removing them (I recommend trying this first), which took me a good 15 minutes. Oddly, the passenger seat was even harder. The video just says to repeat the same steps on the passenger seat and skips the thing altogether, but it is not that easy. The issue is that you are working on opposite sides and the structure of the seat is very different depending on the side. After a fair amount of grunting, I got the strap to go under the trim a bit further back than on the driver side, closer to the back of the seat.

Fitting for the front seats is quite good. The headrests are bit too big, but nothing terrible. It does not help that this part of the covers is folded inside the box during shipping, and it comes with a fair amount of wrinkling (see pictures).

Unfortunately the back seat is not so great. Overall it is too loose, and some of the attachments look rather weak. I am pretty sure this thing is going to move and will need constant readjusting. Also, it is a singe piece, meaning that it needs to be removed if you want to fold half of the seat. Plus it does not have openings for the isofix attachment points. Child safety seats would need to be attached using the seatbelts only. Interestingly, they asked me if I was using child seats and they made it sound like they would leave slots for the isofix if so. But although I requested it, the covers came with no isofix access. Not a big deal for me, I am not using them anymore, but this is probably something that people with kids want to make very, very clear.

So, now that I have the covers in place, a quick review would be...

The good:

-Purchasing was slow but not as bad as I thought, and customer service was solid.

-Material and quality are top notch. They are not fully seamless, but they look good.

-Color matching with Tesla seems almost perfect.


The could-be-better:

-No instructions and little information online regarding installation for some older Teslas.

-Fitting for the headrests is a bit loose.

-The back seat cover only fits so-so and removes some functionality.

-The straps, rather than black, are the same color as the cover (beige in my case). This is tremendously annoying with lighter covers like mine. You can see some straps from a mile away.


If I had to grade on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give these covers about a 7.5. Some things are better than I expected, some things are worse. The cheaper covers that I got for my i3, for instance, fit much more snuggly, have black straps and don’t take away any back seat functions. But the Taptes ones are clearly better material and have a more customized design.

I hope this might help some older MS owners out there!

View attachment 785301 View attachment 785302 View attachment 785304 View attachment 785305
Thank you, very helpful.
 
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What made you want to get new seat covers?
The driver’s seat was starting to show some slight wear and I had almost moved forward with re-dying it. But then Tesla had to replace the bottom of my back seat with a new one because they bent the frame, so I decided to get the covers instead. Re-dying was about the same cost (I was told it would be best to do both font seats together, otherwise they would look slightly different), and the covers offered more protection. Plus I felt a bit queasy about having an upholster messing up with the seats.
 
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Thanks for the review! How has the back seat bottom cover been after a few months? Wondering if it starts to conform and take shape of the seat for a better fit?
Glad to help!

About the back seat, it does not seem to have conformed much, although it doesn't move around as much as I thought either. The main nuisance is the seatbelt plugs. The cover makes it so the buckle can't go all the way into the plug without some adjusting every time that the seatbelt is used. If you look at the pictures, the slots do have a bit of a flap on the top side of the opening. You get used to moving that flap, but it still takes a few tries. It would be so much easier if the flap was oriented the other way (using the middle seatbelt is much easier because of that). Anybody getting into the car for the first time will likely need help. Since the covers are made to order, this could also be just a thing with mine, though.
 
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