Tesla vehicles may be expensive and offer many premiums, but that doesn't mean they should be classified as luxury cars.
Governments and private organizations have various schemes for classifying vehicles. The EPA calls the Tesla Model S a luxury sedan, while the automaker refers to its own car as a premium sedan. Depending on which country you live in, as well as which publications you rely on, car classes can vary widely. For these reasons, it's safe to say that vehicle categorization and classification is highly subjective.
Although Bjørn Nyland is a huge Tesla fan, he's willing to admit that the vehicles have their flaws, and he's also certain they're not luxury cars. Nyland spends a good deal of time showing us exactly why he feels this way. This doesn't mean Tesla vehicles are subpar or undesirable, it just means that each automaker may focus resources on different areas.
We think many may argue that the Tesla Model S is not a full-fledged luxury car like the BMW 7 Series. However, it's a huge leap above most "affordable" cars. What makes a car luxurious? If we're just looking at cabin quality, materials, and styling, that's one thing. If we look at special features and uniqueness, that's another.
With all of this being said, the Model S is generally referred to as a luxury car due to its high price and the fact that it has interior quality and features that aren't found in most non-luxury vehicles. This surely doesn't put it in the same category as a European flagship sedan. But, with gas cars, the mechanical side of production is much less expensive. These automakers can afford to splurge on exquisite accommodations while still maintaining healthy margins.
Electric cars are not cheap to produce. If Tesla dialed up the Model S interior to match the level of opulence found in a Mercedes or BMW, the already expensive all-electric vehicles would increase significantly in price.
It will be very telling to see if Mercedes and BMW can produce long-range all-electric vehicles with ultra-luxurious interiors while keeping them price-competitive with Tesla's offerings. However, that prospect is still years away. Jaguar has proven it's possible with the I-Pace, so we'll see what the future brings.
Video Description via Bjørn Nyland on YouTube:
Many people have claimed that Model S and X are luxury cars. I disagree. In my opinion, luxury cars have top shelf interior like shown in this video. Tesla themselves call the Model S a premium sedan.