Spotted: Tesla Model X Next To Nissan LEAF


Nissan LEAF Next To Tesla Model X

Nissan LEAF Next To Tesla Model X

These images come to us via Volkswagen enthusiast site,

The Tesla Model X seen here next to the Nissan LEAF is out testing in Los Altos, California, a city near Tesla’s sites in Palo Alto and Fremont.

The perspective of the image above makes the LEAF and Model X appear similar in size, but in the image below the Model X seems to be significantly larger than the LEAF.

And yes, there’s still some door fitment issues.

Nissan LEAF Next To Tesla Model X

Nissan LEAF Next To Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Categories: Nissan, Tesla

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41 Comments on "Spotted: Tesla Model X Next To Nissan LEAF"

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damn doors

Yeah, in that top photo, those Leaf doors really have a lot of gap compared to the Model X, don’t they? Shame on Nissan.


I think it is just the angle of the shot. The Leaf door seams are “head on” the camera (so we can see them easily), while the Model X seams are oblique.

A poor atempt at joking? The alignment of the Tesla is still way off, breaking a lot of lines.

Still a long way to go until a perfected production vehicle.

Yeah, it was a joke. The auto-edit ‘bot here cut out the [Lensman ducks] tag line at the end of the post, ‘cuz I used greater-than and less-than signs for brackets.

But seriously, I’ve gotten really, really tired of all the slams at the supposed misalignment on the seams and/or doors and/or windows of the Model X, in every single article showing “spy” photos of the Model X. I think people have gotten used to seeing CGI (Computer Generate Images) of cars in TV ads, and forget that real-world cars aren’t that perfect.

In fact, there was an article a few weeks ago here in which someone was comparing these spy shots to that TV ad for a car in which they rolled a steel ball down the seam between the hood and the fender. The post-er was touting that as an example of how some auto makers take extreme care in such details; he didn’t even realize the “car” in that commercial was just a computer image!

Correction: In fact, there was a comment responding to an article posted here a few weeks ago in which…

What makes you think that the 1992 Lexus “ball bearing” commercial used CGI and not an actual car-sized gimbal stand? In that time period it would have been astronomically expensive to use 1992 era computer tech to make a CGI TV commercial. The first Pentium chip didn’t even come out until 1993.

According to wikipedia, “The National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States, as part of its Advanced Technology Project. . . . worked with General Motors, Chrysler, two universities, and suppliers on the ‘2-millimeter project.’ The goal of this project was to develop a new standard for automotive body dimension control, with a goal being to be able to duplicate the Lexus ball bearing test on a U.S.-built car.” Now why would they want to duplicate the Lexus ball bearing test if it wasn’t real, and only a CGI?

sven asked: “What makes you think that the 1992 Lexus ‘ball bearing’ commercial used CGI and not an actual car-sized gimbal stand?” Well, they did use a car-sized gimbal stand; you can see that in the Wikipedia article for the commercial. But likely that was only used for the live-action filming, later overlaid with computer animation. The commercial won a Clio award for best special effects in a commercial. “In that time period it would have been astronomically expensive to use 1992 era computer tech to make a CGI TV commercial.” Of course it was expensive. TV commercials often have a much higher per-minute cost than even feature films, and TV car ads are probably the most expensive of all. Computer animation was used in high-end commercials before very nearly any other type of film. But it’s not like it was beyond state of the art of computer animation by 1992. That same year saw the BMW “Mercury” commercial, and the similarities between the Lexus steel ball and the BMW drop of mercury are obvious: “Now why would they want to duplicate the Lexus ball bearing test if it wasn’t real, and only a CGI?” Because CGI gives you… Read more »

Probably because this one isn’t a production vehicle. We don’t know if it’s a beta even. It could be an alpha. Notice the weird gaps in the hood around the filled in headlights. That’s an indication that this is an alpha and not a production ready version.

Of course we would all feel better if someone would spy a production ready or fairly finished beta model even with camo.

Looks fine to me. There are bigger gaps on a lot of cars I’ve seen as final products. I think most buyers will be interested in a highly functional SUV for their families rather than spending time measuring panel gaps. I for one think Tesla should concentrate on reliability more than fitment at this point.

“I for one think Tesla should concentrate on reliability more than fitment at this point.”

Since the key reliability aspects of the car are propulsion and control, and these are virtually identical to the Model S, I should hope they have gotten that right by now. As for addressing the reliability of door mechanisms over fitup: these issues are mostly inseparable. If the doors fit poorly it means the kinematics of the doors are inconsistent and mechanisms are likely of dubious integrity.

Finally, with a starting price likely to be over $90k and Tesla no longer a “start up” story, the early adopter forgiveness of 2012-early 2013 is long gone. The putative “high-income soccer mom” that we hear is the key demographic for this car will walk away from a sloppily executed body.

With reservation holders waiting 18mo+ beyond the original date and the need for Tesla to pull itself out of the current miserable financial performance (er… lemme try the Teslanomics version: excessive profit reinvestment) with a rush of 10,000+ X’s, the crummy panel gaps have to disappear.

I like the Doors


still looks horrid..

You are aware that it is disguised? That is not the final appearance (of things like the headlamps, etc.).

They really need to make it prettier.

This looks like the same white Model X that’s been testing on the streets for months now. So any door issues probably aren’t anything new.

the doors on the Leaf are way gappier, get real – let this door thing go – omg.. This is a beautifull, well proportioned, nicely sorted out design. This photo is the first time it hasn’t felt like a test mule to me. I am pretty excited actually! Maybe it is the comparison to the Leaf, the ugly step child in the ev world.

Please Tesla
Leave the nosecone like this model X. I know is wrapped but it looks awesome

Agree. The nose area is already fairly small. It doesn’t need a painted on vestigial grill.

The problem that seems really worrysome about those falcons is the thought that the roof may not be durable enough where it hinges… and too much flex in that would also account for the latching issues. I am hopeful that they will just figure it out… or make the roof modular so they can swap the less durable parts when necessary.
I love the idea of the doors… but at this point I would have my design team test fabbing sliders to swap into production if these guys really do have serious issues. The car is too cool to keep shelving if the doors are the issue. If they do bring it out and then it later has issues… they will be a disaster. cracking roof hinges… whistling water leaking… not fun. Remember the Pontiac TransAms that were twisting their roofs at the center of the Ttops? Tesla knows they have to get this right. I would be dual tracking a contingency at this point. But I’m not the PIC.

the doors are still off because it’s the same damn car… they aren’t driving this car around in an attempt to tweak the doors lol

Ya think?

It amazes me that people actually think that Tesla would have cars out driving around to test the fit of the doors, or that Tesla would spend time and money to upgrade such test cars with the latest version of the falcon wing doors. No… I think the fit of the doors could be tested just fine inside the factory, out of sight.

The test cars being driven around where someone might photograph them are almost certainly testing other things.

At some point, of course, you have to drive the final version of the car around, if only to test that the doors (and other mods) haven’t adversely affected the thing you were testing outdoors (road noise, potholes, rattles, wind buffeting, etc.) and vice versa. It would seem Tesla is not at that point yet.

Integrity, Body Flex, Etc…: When you Drive a Car “Everything flexes & moves” On different Road Surfaces. This “DOES” affect The doors, Front Rear window Glass& ETC: As well, Not to say that they solely are Testing For This Alone…IE: If you Jack up certain cars From a Corner ., Some Car Bodies Flex So MUCH That You cannot Open or close some or all of doors While the Car is off the Ground. Body Integrity (strength) Is Very Important to keep Things aligned & take Road Abuse at the same time…

I personally think the Model X looks great, but I keep hearing from people who disagree. In any case, no matter the looks, I think it looks like the 3rd row will have limited headroom, somewhat not typical of most minivans and SUVs.

Are you saying that the grand entrances the falcon doors will ensure are to a place to where few people will want to go???

The pictures are too dim and distant to really see much in terms of misaligned seams – the only real indication of bad fit that I see here is the misaligned relationship of the exterior front/rear door handles. Not something I’d want to look at every time I’d be getting inside….

Stuart22 said:

“…the only real indication of bad fit that I see here is the misaligned relationship of the exterior front/rear door handles.”

You must be imagining things. The front/rear door handles are clearly perfectly aligned in the top photo. In the other two photos the reflections don’t quite match because of the slightly different angles of the curves of the doors, but they certainly are at the exact same height.

As I’ve said: It’s gotten to the point that people are “seeing” flaws which aren’t even there.

You are in denial if you can’t see these flaws. I opened up the middle picture in Photoshop and zoomed in on it — the handles are clearly off with the rear higher than the front — and there can be seen a serious gap in the rearmost portion of the back door in the roof area, which I did not notice before.

I wish I could include the blow-up image with this reply, it would verify what I originally said.

Not. The. Production. Car.

Who cares whether this car even has doors on it at all? It is a car that is testing drivability. It has stuff all over it to disguise its looks including the falcon doors.

If you see the problem on a customer’s car then you can complain about the build quality. Until then you are just wasting your effort on a non-issue.

The doors ARE an issue whether you like it or not. They are a (the) primary reason the Model X is years past the original targeted debut. Thousands of people have money tied up waiting for things to happen right. Things are not yet right, or if they are, we haven’t seen proof yet. What we do keep on seeing continues to be substandard.

So go ahead and bury your head in the sand, if it suits you. I’ll stick with those who call it as they see it. And so far, the disappointment continues to be seen.

If there is a problem with the production doors then I’d agree with you. We have seen a production car.


people think the doors will be like that on the final car… and think that that is the final car


I can’t help to think that they fixed this door alignment issue long time ago. If anything, reliability might be a problem in the long term. This company (TM) is so amazingly PR self conscious that it is hard to imagine they would have a poorly fitted Alpha model X driving around without this serving a (complex) PR agenda . I do not know what the purpose could be, sometimes it seems bad news are circulated on purpose only to prove them wrong later thus pumping up the success story a little more and making fools out of the “bears”.

Guys I found today that hot wheels is going to make a Model S car

I will launch a program to put ten Tesla Model S hot wheels cars in my model city to reduce pollution then.

Each time I see “supposed” Model X pictures sometimes it looks much too small to be a Model X and seems more like something else. Model III test mule in camo perhaps? As I understand it Model X and S are similar in size overall. This thing pictured here just looks like something different to me personally as it seems too small.

Hmmm. Yes, look at the wheel base compared to other cars in the photos.

The oversized diameter of the X’s wheels give the illusion of a shorter wheelbase than it is. They are noticeably larger in diameter than the LEAF wheels.

All this talk about the doors gets old.

What I don’t like is the jelly bean shape. I wish the rear third was more of a rectangle, for better passenger and cargo room utility back there.