Consumer Reports to Test Tesla Model S’ 7-Passenger Capability

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 10

Tesla Model S Third Row

Tesla Model S Third Row

Initially, there was a significant amount of chatter surroundings the Tesla Model S’ ability to ferry up to 7 passengers.  That discussion had seemed to of died down when journalist types first viewed the 3rd-row jump seats fitted to the Model S.  Eventually, the 7-passenger capabilities of the Model S were almost never mentioned, but that’s changing now.

Tesla Model S With 3rd Row Seats Installed (Image Courtesy of Consumer Reports)

Tesla Model S With 3rd Row Seats Installed (Image Courtesy of Consumer Reports)

Consumer Reports is currently testing the 3rd row in its own Model S, after waiting two months for the $1,500 option to be installed due to Tesla not having the extra seats ready for distribution.

Consumer Reports describes the lengthy delay in this way:

“When we took delivery of our $89,650 Tesla two months ago, the third-row seat we had ordered was not ready for distribution. The $1,500 option would be installed when it became available. The thinking was, there is no sense holding up the car for a feature that can be added later.”

With the seats in stock at a Tesla service center in Queens, New York, Consumer Reports wasted no time driving (actually, Tesla reps picked up the vehicle and then later returned it) the Model S there for some service (a cracked windshield needed to be replaced) and fitment of the optional third row.

With seating for seven now in place, Consumer Reports says the third row, which appear to be “wee jump seats” function like a “clever piece of origami” by folding away into a well when not in use to conserve truck space, yet still functioning as useable seats for children over 37 inches tall.

When folded away, the seat consumes some cargo space, but as Consumer Reports notes, the Model S is not short on cargo room to begin with and the seats don’t diminish the sedans capacity by too much.  There’s always the “frunk” (front-mounted trunk) for additional storage.

The third row seats are rear-facing units with five-point harnesses.  Folding the seats away is a bit complicated, remarks Consumer Reports, but the multi-step technique was demonstrated several times by the Tesla rep on hand.

By adding two seats to the Tesla, Consumer Reports now claims that its Model S offers the highest passenger capacity of any electric production passenger vehicle.  Soon, that capacity will be put to the test as Consumer Reports will load up the Model S with seven passengers to see if it’s truly a viable alternative to a station wagon or minivan.

via Consumer Reports

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10 responses to "Consumer Reports to Test Tesla Model S’ 7-Passenger Capability"

  1. kdawg says:

    I can’t wait till they accelerate and the people in the back hit their foreheads on the back window. Better snug up those 5-point harnesses.

    1. georgeLeaf says:

      We use the third row every day with our kids. there is quite a bit of head room there, no way for the kids to hit the window if they are within the rated size limits. we sold our highlander with the third row. the S actually has more room in the back compartment than the highlander’s. it’s great, the kids have lots of room to play with their toys, there is still room for an extra bag or two. We’ve got 3 thousand miles on our S now and it is still blowing our minds… a truly ground breaking car.

      1. kdawg says:

        “if they are within the rated size limits”
        ————–
        What are these limits?
        Head room for kids, or for anyone?
        I believe Consumers Reports is going to test w/adults.

        1. James says:

          Kids, and they’d work well for Little People.

  2. James says:

    I used to sell Volvos and the 700 series wagons had a rear facing
    child seat cargo area option. I never sold a wagon with that option.

    I’m not aware of any studies of rear facing seats, and Volvo’s
    staked their name on safety. I wonder how crash dummies react
    to frontal and rear crash forces being strapped into those seats
    with a harness. Not an ideal solution, in my book, but a workable
    one if you temporarily need to ferry kids, I suppose.

  3. Brian says:

    I have ridden a couple hundred miles in the rear-facing seats in an old cutlass station wagon. It’s a novel feeling, but ultimately just as comfortable as forward-facing seating (provided you have the leg room). I don’t know how it rates in safety. But while Tesla isn’t the first to make this style of seating, I’m glad that they’re willing to bring it back to the market. I personally like the option.

  4. GSP says:

    “By adding two seats to the Tesla, Consumer Reports now claims that its Model S offers the highest passenger capacity of any electric production passenger vehicle.”

    Not exactly. BYD, Proterra, Optare, and others have BEV busses in production. Optare’s can carry 50 passengers, and the others are about the same size. Last I checked: 50 > 7.

    GSP

    PS. I don’t want to see any BS about vehicles that carry 50 passengers not being “passenger vehicles.” This includes busses (also aircraft and watercraft).

    1. Foo says:

      So you’re insisting on redefining “passenger vehicle” to satisfy your own argument then? Ooookay.

      1. AmusingAnim says:

        Well, people want to redefine marriage these days too. Guess redefining passenger vehicle is pocket change by comparison.

  5. Eric says:

    Can I get a set for our volt GM.?