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Our surprising (to us) decision to go with 6 seats instead of 7...

bws

Member
May 18, 2015
29
17
USA
My wife and I went to the Meet Model X event yesterday. On our agenda was to evaluate the space inside when two child carseats were installed, and evaluate the space for taller folks when combined with child seats. What was not on our agenda was evaluating the number of seats, we were sure that we wanted 7, because we want to be able to move people. With 7 seats, there would be more occasions we could take one car, rather than two.

The first cracks in the 7 seat plan became apparent when my mom did not want to ride in the 3rd row during the test drive because she felt claustrophobic sitting back there. (I sat back there and was fine, but perhaps I am the ideal height, 5'9", not too short like my mom, who could not see over the seats well, nor too tall such that my knees would be against the front seat).

After the test drive, there was a showroom with both a 6 and 7 seat configuration and we spent a lot of time in both.

It turns out that neither our infant (Nuna Pipa) nor toddler (Orbit G3) child seats would fit in the 3rd row in rear facing configuration (they both fit fine in the 2nd row). This would mean we would have both on both sides in the 2nd row, and while it was possible for my mom to fit in-between them, getting in there would be an ordeal. (Booster seats fit fine anywhere, you could have 5 of them in the 7 seat configuration.)

The 6 seater Model X seems much more spacious than the 7 seater, which feels cramped. This has to be experienced to understand the difference, but it is rather striking.

The winning argument was this though, in the 7 seater version, my wife would hate to get stuck in the back row. She would feel cramped and uncomfortable (and when we have kids and grandparents in the car, the likelihood she would get stuck in the back is rather high). In the 6 seater version, she can stretch her legs out in the middle, and she would actually prefer the 3rd row to the 2nd row. In the 6 seater, the two of us sat side by side in the 3rd row without any discomfort.

While we would hate to sacrifice that extra seat (because people moving is the whole reason we would move from our Model S to a Model X), we came to the conclusion that comfort was also important. And a 6 seater Model X could carry 2 more people comfortably (2 adults each in 1st and 3rd rows, with 2 children in the 2nd row) than our model S (2 adults in 1st row, 2 children in 2nd row).

-Brent
 
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My wife and I went to the Meet Model X event yesterday. On our agenda was to evaluate the space inside when two child carseats were installed, and evaluate the space for taller folks when combined with child seats. What was not on our agenda was evaluating the number of seats, we were sure that we wanted 7, because we want to be able to move people. With 7 seats, there would be more occasions we could take one car, rather than two.

The first cracks in the 7 seat plan became apparent when my mom did not want to ride in the 3rd row during the test drive because she felt claustrophobic sitting back there. (I sat back there and was fine, but perhaps I am the ideal height, 5'9", not too short like my mom, who could not see over the seats well, nor too tall such that my knees would be against the front seat).

After the test drive, there was a showroom with both a 6 and 7 seat configuration and we spent a lot of time in both.

It turns out that neither our infant (Nuna Pipa) nor toddler (Orbit G3) child seats would fit in the 3rd row in rear facing configuration (they both fit fine in the 2nd row). This would mean we would have both on both sides in the 2nd row, and while it was possible for my mom to fit in-between them, getting in there would be an ordeal. (Booster seats fit fine anywhere, you could have 5 of them in the 7 seat configuration.)

The 6 seater Model X seems much more spacious than the 7 seater, which feels cramped. This has to be experienced to understand the difference, but it is rather striking.

The winning argument was this though, in the 7 seater version, my wife would hate to get stuck in the back row. She would feel cramped and uncomfortable (and when we have kids and grandparents in the car, the likelihood she would get stuck in the back is rather high). In the 6 seater version, she can stretch her legs out in the middle, and she would actually prefer the 3rd row to the 2nd row. In the 6 seater, the two of us sat side by side in the 3rd row without any discomfort.

While we would hate to sacrifice that extra seat (because people moving is the whole reason we would move from our Model S to a Model X), we came to the conclusion that comfort was also important. And a 6 seater Model X could carry 2 more people comfortably (2 adults each in 1st and 3rd rows, with 2 children in the 2nd row) than our model S (2 adults in 1st row, 2 children in 2nd row).

-Brent

i agree with everything you said....and i currently drive an ICE with 2 captain chairs in the second row, with easy access to the third row. however, the only reason I ordered a 7 seater was so i can fit all 3 kids in the second row and still be able to put the third row down and fit lots of luggage for long trips. if you have 3 kids and need to put one in the back, then it becomes a major issue if you need that luggage space. if i had 2 kids, i would choose the 6 seat config 100%.
 
Thank you for a very articulate description of your rationale for choosing the 6-seat configuration. In a way, I went through the same thought process to convince myself that the 6-seater was the right choice for us. I did it without actually seeing an X up close, though, let alone sitting in one, so I'll admit to the decision being made with quite a bit of trepidation.

As I've said in another thread, I remain somewhat concerned about 3rd-row access when both 2nd-row seats are occupied with large, rear-facing child seats. The child seats will likely limit how far the 2nd-row seats can move forward (even with the clever mechanism that moves the front-row seat forward at the same time). The pending question for me is whether 3rd-row ingress/egress will still be easy enough for my elderly in-laws.

I will be going to the Chicago viewing event in a couple weeks, and plan to either bring our Britax Advocate into the showroom for an actual test (if they let me), or at least come prepared with measurements to simulate the scenario.

Thanks again for your report.
 
No direct knowledge but from what I've heard at a local SC, the 7-seat versions either have, or CAN have, repeated issues with "seat squeak" from the 2nd row seats constantly rubbing together.

Obviously, with only 2 seats in the second row, this is not an issue.

Any comments from those that have the 7-pax version?

Unrelated to the above, does anyone know the status of the center console for the 2nd row seats? The unveiling pics showed a few cars with that, but now "in the wild" I have yet to see one. I'd think that not having an armrest would be uncomfortable after a while, no?
 
Also, there's much better rear visibility through the mirror with the 6-seat version. I've sat in the rear seat in Elon's 7-seater and it was reasonably comfortable but a bit claustrophobic for me (6 feet, 220). But I still ordered that version as I frequently (at least a few times a year) do have 7 people in our current car and the rear seat passengers are typically much smaller than I. I don't think the space will bother them as they don't complain too much about our current Highlander Hybrid which has a very tight space in the third row. It's rare that they'd be back there for extended periods.

I think the ideal configuration for us would be a 7 seat configuration where the middle seat in the second row could be folded flat into a table for use by the 2nd row passengers. This would give you a more open feeling, like the 6-seat configuration but without having to sacrifice a seat. 4 passengers plus luggage is our most frequently used configuration, particularly for longer trips.
 

spentan

Active Member
Dec 26, 2012
1,531
465
SoCal
I went with the 7 seats for both cars in my limo business, Main reason was if we have 3 passengers and a lot of luggage, they'll sit 3 across in the 2nd row and have the two back seats folded down.

Not to mention, one of them will be Pearl White for weddings. I don't think the bride and groom want to be on two separate chairs, one bench is better. :p

Personally I'd order 7 seater as well. There are too many times when we could take 1 car if we had a 7 seater, (college friends who want a lift would rather squeeze in than pay for a lyft/uber hah).
 

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
216
Eugene, Oregon
We ordered the 6 seat version for similar reasons. Also, the older kids like to sit in the back and then need to be able to hop out quickly at drop off in the morning. No time for seat moving nonsense. Also with the booster thrones they sit in there was no no way we were getting 3 of them in the middle row and still have room to buckle seatbelts. Couldn't even do it in a Suburban and those things are WIDE.
 
We ordered the 6 seat version for similar reasons. Also, the older kids like to sit in the back and then need to be able to hop out quickly at drop off in the morning. No time for seat moving nonsense. Also with the booster thrones they sit in there was no no way we were getting 3 of them in the middle row and still have room to buckle seatbelts. Couldn't even do it in a Suburban and those things are WIDE.

Thanks for kicking me over the edge. I initially ordered 7 seater and am configured with VIN number. Just called my DS and changed to 6 just in time. I think it's the right choice. My DS even commented on how much more spacious that configuration is.
 

bws

Member
May 18, 2015
29
17
USA
As I've said in another thread, I remain somewhat concerned about 3rd-row access when both 2nd-row seats are occupied with large, rear-facing child seats. The child seats will likely limit how far the 2nd-row seats can move forward (even with the clever mechanism that moves the front-row seat forward at the same time). The pending question for me is whether 3rd-row ingress/egress will still be easy enough for my elderly in-laws.

Based on our testing, I think you will have to remove one of the carseats in order to get adults into the 3rd row. Of course, makes and models of child seats vary, but our rear facing carseats, with bases, take up a lot of room, more than most adults, they barely fit with the seat in a position where the 1st and 3rd rows have enough room for legs (for adults), so there is no where for the 2nd row to move forward in order to make more room to get inside. I would encourage you to bring your own carseats to the event (clean them first, as we did, and they should let you try them out in the showroom cars)

Depending on the size of your base, and how agile you are, it may be necessary to remove the base as well in order to get into the 3rd row. If you get the 6 seat version, an alternative which may be easier is to leave the base, remove just the seat, and then enter through the 2nd row, moving back to the 3rd row in the middle (this is likely what we will prefer). I think my dad is always going to need to see in the 1st row passenger spot, pushing either myself or my wife into the 3rd row.

On the other hand, at the event Telsa had a bunch of sample booster seats (perhaps the smallest they could find, I think they were Graco), and they were small enough that you could easily fit one in every seat in the 2nd and 3rd row.
 
I was at the factory event on Friday for those who have configured their orders already. We changed our configuration from 7 passenger to 6 for the exact reasons you stated, along with the rear view mirror visibility. I felt giving up that one seat made 4 other much more comfortable. As for the "lost cargo space" when carrying 5 passengers, I figure we can put luggage in that empty middle slot if needed.
 
No direct knowledge but from what I've heard at a local SC, the 7-seat versions either have, or CAN have, repeated issues with "seat squeak" from the 2nd row seats constantly rubbing together.

Obviously, with only 2 seats in the second row, this is not an issue.

Any comments from those that have the 7-pax version?

Unrelated to the above, does anyone know the status of the center console for the 2nd row seats? The unveiling pics showed a few cars with that, but now "in the wild" I have yet to see one. I'd think that not having an armrest would be uncomfortable after a while, no?
There was only one X with the 2nd row center console at the reveal. All reports from Tesla is that it was a one off and they have no plans to make it available for sale.

We know how these things change though so we'll see. ;-)
 
When I first saw the 7 seat version, I called the 2nd row a "wall of seats". An impenetrable barrier that only helps if cargo is moving about behind the wall.

Perhaps the 7 seat buyers can comment on the amount of center leg space for the 3rd row passengers IF the center 2nd row seat is moved fully forward (or can be moved forward) during a drive.
 

mikevbf

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2012
1,876
4,512
vermont
When I first saw the 7 seat version, I called the 2nd row a "wall of seats". An impenetrable barrier that only helps if cargo is moving about behind the wall.

Perhaps the 7 seat buyers can comment on the amount of center leg space for the 3rd row passengers IF the center 2nd row seat is moved fully forward (or can be moved forward) during a drive.

I have asked this same question several times and never got an answer from a Model X 7 seat owner. Maybe the car won't drive in this seat configuration until some kind of update?
 
I have asked this same question several times and never got an answer from a Model X 7 seat owner. Maybe the car won't drive in this seat configuration until some kind of update?

No reason it shouldn't drive. You'd gain about 10" of leg room, the distance from the back of the lift gate to the back of the middle seats is 50 inches with the seats all the way back, it's 60" with the seats all the way forward. So move the middle seat all the way forward and you gain 10"
 

bws

Member
May 18, 2015
29
17
USA
The car interior with the thick support structures required for the falcon doors is just too small for seven seats. 5 or 6 seat version is where it's at. (Although upon examination it doesn't look like removing the middle seat in the 7 seater would be hard).

I think the 5 seat version is the most useless configuration (as it currently stands). There is still an argument to be made for the 7 seater, it will work better for some people.

The 5 seat version is exactly the same as the 7 seat version except you cannot 'unfold' the seats. You gain zero cargo space over the 6/7 seat version (if you count the space between the two second row seats, it has less cargo capacity than the 6 seat version). I had this confirmed by two different reps at the event. In the 5 seat configuration, the entire back area is at the exact same level as the folded 3rd row seats. I think this was an unfortunate choice, if instead they made the cargo area go down all the way, while it would be hard to load, I think it would be a winner for some customers.
 

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