The 2019 Tesla Model S has the comfort basics covered, plus more.The basics: It can seat four adults in comfort, and has a mostly quiet, composed ride. Those pluses: It has way more cargo space and versatility than comparable sedans, as well as the convenience of two extra, rear-facing jump seats.
The comfort of its front seats and its superior cargo capacity earn it 7 out of 10 points on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Model S has the proportions of a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan on the outside, but inside it feels a lot larger than those typically space-pinched luxury machines. That’s partly due to the lack of a drive tunnel between the seats. Front seats in the Model S are good and supportive, both for a wide range of driving positions and for longer distances.
In back, especially in the outboard seats, there’s a surprisingly comfortable space good for even lankier adults—although the rear seat is reclined more than in other big sedans. The issue is mainly getting to them (and in, and out) as the door openings are smaller than they look like they’re going to be on the outside—a cost of the superb styling and proportions, we suppose. There’s enough head room even with the optional sunroof, although trying to fit three across will make everyone aware of how the cabin narrows noticeably toward the roof.
The rear seats in the Model S are different due to the battery pack, which is under the flat cabin floor. You don’t tuck your feet under the front seats, so it results in more of a “legs out” position.
The cargo space pencils out favorably, too. Behind the rear seat there’s 26.3 cubic feet of storage—larger than any sedan trunk. And it’s 58.1 cubic feet with the 60/40-split folding rear seat down. Because there’s no engine, pop the hood and you’ll find a 5.3 cubic-foot “frunk” up front—sometimes good for items you want to keep out of reach of those in the back seat.
The 17-inch vertically oriented touchscreen at the center of the dash holds up well next to the newest from most other automakers—as well as the latest tablets—and it’s not plagued with the latency and lagginess that dogs some rival systems. It controls most interior and vehicle functions, outside of some traditional steering-wheel stalks and buttons.
The Model S mostly rides well and stays quiet, smooth, and composed. Some whine filters inside the car from time to time, but Tesla did a good job in sealing out most road and wind noise that is more noticeable in electric cars that lack engine noise.
The one weakness for the Model S, and Tesla products in general, tends to be something that’s a little harder to put a focused finger on: The ambience of the whole cabin experience. The Model S still feels a little less posh and premium inside in its surfaces, materials, and how it all fits together. It’s where some people looking at the versions with six-digit price tags might end up not downright disappointed, but perhaps a little underwhelmed.
Review continues below