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Rear view mirror visibility in 7-seat configuration?

Looking at the first photos that are trickling in, I am wondering if there is a rear view mirror visibility issue in the 7-seat configuration. The headrests in the 2nd row don't appear to be removable (looks like the 3rd row headrests are removable). Particularly for a shorter driver, I wonder if there is going to be a problem seeing out the back past that 2nd row middle seat. Looks like this is a non-issue in the 6-seat configuration. Would love to hear from anyone who sits in the driver's seat in either configuration!
 

goneskiian

Active Member
Nov 16, 2012
2,633
856
Bellevue WA
Looking at the first photos that are trickling in, I am wondering if there is a rear view mirror visibility issue in the 7-seat configuration. The headrests in the 2nd row don't appear to be removable (looks like the 3rd row headrests are removable). Particularly for a shorter driver, I wonder if there is going to be a problem seeing out the back past that 2nd row middle seat. Looks like this is a non-issue in the 6-seat configuration. Would love to hear from anyone who sits in the driver's seat in either configuration!
Third row headrests are NOT removable. Pretty quick and easy to fold them though.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,909
3,433
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Looking at the first photos that are trickling in, I am wondering if there is a rear view mirror visibility issue in the 7-seat configuration. The headrests in the 2nd row don't appear to be removable (looks like the 3rd row headrests are removable). Particularly for a shorter driver, I wonder if there is going to be a problem seeing out the back past that 2nd row middle seat. Looks like this is a non-issue in the 6-seat configuration. Would love to hear from anyone who sits in the driver's seat in either configuration!

Looking backward from the mirror, it's the height of the mirror, not the height of the driver. Both tall and short look to the mirror and see the reflection of the back window from the same mirror height.
 
Third row headrests are NOT removable. Pretty quick and easy to fold them though.

Here's one of the videos out there where you can get a pretty good feel for the interior.

Heres Like To Drive The Tesla Model X

It just seems like the rear visibility is going to be a lot better without that middle seat in the 2nd row. Seems not very well thought-out with the headrest - most cars have some kind of lower headrest for the middle seat for exactly that reason. Otherwise the X looks awesome.
 
I have a three seat middle row and I can tell you the rear view is terrible. I can't believe they didn't make the middle row seat head rest fold-able or removable. The view is about 25% obscured - and it's the most important 25% of your view - the middle - just awful!

I love my model S and am working through getting accustomed to the differences with the Model X - but I gotta say, this oversight is awful.

I'd liken it to having a best friend whom you see several times a day - and he's got an un-removable booger hanging from his nose. Every time you look at him, you have an urge to get him to 'fix' it but there's nothing you can do about it. Except look at it... several times a day... and wish you could change things....

The scary thing is what if you're about to get rear-ended by a car behind you but you can't see it... simply because you're looking at your middle seat head rest. Major safety issue in my opinion all joking aside.

I have included two photos so you can see for yourself- one with all headrests up and the other with the 3rd row folded down.

My workaround is to keep the camera running on the bottom of my screen but that gobbles up half my screen - just to compensate for the mirror.

Hope this helps - and I hope they will do something about this. I would gladly ship my car back if they wanted to swap out my middle row for a new seat with removable headrest.

mirror2 copy.jpg
mirror1 copy.jpg
 
  • Informative
Reactions: mlouie23
Thanks for posting the photos. That is exactly what I was concerned about and why I ordered a 6-seater, for the safety reasons you mention. Sorry that you have to deal with the obstructed view, and hopefully your post will be helpful to other buyers when deciding on their configuration (and also helpful to Tesla in thinking about the design of that 2nd row middle seat when they produce future models).
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,445
19,360
North Bay, CA
Very helpful photos. I've also ordered the 6-seat configuration. I like the idea of a foldable, or at least retractable headrest on that middle seat. My Honda Odyssey has interesting headrests in the 3rd row for this reason - you can keep the third row up without impeding your vision. Here they are. When you sit in the seat, the headrest slides all the way up if desired.

2011-honda-odyssey-touring-elite-grey-third-row-seats.jpg
 

T1perry

Member
Apr 3, 2014
19
0
Once upon a time, Tesla suggested that they would eliminate side mirrors to increase mileage and provide greater visibility using cameras. Regulations have prevented this, so far. Tesla provides a fantastic wide view rear camera.

As we received our Sig X 305 in December, we did notice the obstruction of visibility by the seventh seat (middle seat second row) and progressed to learning the rest of the technology available in the model X.

We now drive with the rear camera showing in half of our screen, and have better visibility then even the side view mirrors can provide. Try Learning and using all of Teslas's Technologies. Thank you Elon.
 

vandacca

ReActive Member
Oct 13, 2014
3,371
2,248
Hamilton
I just want to comment about the use of the rear-camera as a replacement for the rear-view mirror. I don't think this is an acceptable work-around, and should be used sparingly. The reason why rear-view mirrors are located up high is because you can look behind and still have a fairly good peripheral view of the road ahead.

When you look down at the screen, your forward visibility would be impaired and not as safe. I'm curious to hear others views on this, as I haven't driven a lot in an S (or X) so I'm going by memory.

I really wish Tesla would replace those rear-view mirrors with a hybrid mirror-camera unit, even if it only displays the current rear camera image. Adding a 2nd, higher placed camera for the video source would be even better.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Norge

Member
Jan 16, 2016
60
87
Bethesda, MD
I think we should cut Tesla some slack, as a quite new company delivering an innovation-packed car. A different 2nd-row mid seat with removable/adjustable headrest would mean another item to build and ensure quality of. I ordered the 7-seat configuration first, but changed to 6 seats. That's probably a more usable car for many of us, removing the back-view obstruction as a bonus.
 

Sean So Lowe

Member
Jun 10, 2016
114
40
Ohio
Looking at the first photos that are trickling in, I am wondering if there is a rear view mirror visibility issue in the 7-seat configuration. The headrests in the 2nd row don't appear to be removable (looks like the 3rd row headrests are removable). Particularly for a shorter driver, I wonder if there is going to be a problem seeing out the back past that 2nd row middle seat. Looks like this is a non-issue in the 6-seat configuration. Would love to hear from anyone who sits in the driver's seat in either configuration!
Why can't U use the rear camera to look behind the car?
 

vandacca

ReActive Member
Oct 13, 2014
3,371
2,248
Hamilton
Why can't U use the rear camera to look behind the car?
Rear camera is situated too low for glancing back while driving, whereas the rear view mirror allows your peripheral vision to keep an eye on the road.
Also, the angle isn't right and there is no depth perception. Some people actually get nauseous while looking at the rear view image.
A better option would be to mount a camera at the top of the trunk and display the image in the rear view mirror using the hybrid full-display mirror from gentek.
 
I keep the rear camera on most of the time because the rear-view mirror does not provide the view I need given the obstruction from second and third row seats' headrests. The problem is more severe at night, when the headlights of the car behind you are often completely blocked.

The camera also has a bit of a problem: the objects appear to be farther behind than they really are. A car may be right on your tail, and the image will show it as several feet behind you. Even after six months of driving my M-X, I still have to be very alert to this phenomenon. Plus, in heavy rain and snow, the camera is nearly useless.
 

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