Tesla Model X Falcon Doors Compared To Kia Sedona Sliding Door – Video

JUL 24 2016 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 58

The Falcon doors on the Tesla Model X are surely the signature element of the vehicle, but how do they compare to more conventional minivan sliding doors?

Door Comparison Test

Door Comparison Test

Video description:

“Here is a demo of how fast the falcon wing doors open compared to minivan doors! The Kia is a little faster. Definitely noticeable! But the falcon wing doors do draw a crowd!”

As seen in the video, the Model X Falcon doors are a bit slower than the minivan slider, but not so much as to be inconvenient.

Tesla reinvented the door, perhaps mainly for appeal, but it remains to be seen how these doors will hold up over time.

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58 Comments on "Tesla Model X Falcon Doors Compared To Kia Sedona Sliding Door – Video"

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mx9000

Clearly the Tesla can’t have sliding doors, or it loses it’s aerodynamic tale, and becomes a mini-van.

Tesla wins for tall passengers.
Kia, I presume, would win in rainy climates.

The delay of 3 seconds for the Kia key fob should obviously be counted in it’s opening time duration.

speculawyer

That is exactly the issue. The Model X would lose aerodynamics with a boxy minivan shape.

Nate

“Tesla wins for tall passengers.”

I don’t think so. The Sedona should be similar to my Sienna. I’m 6ft and have had friends much taller ride up front and there is plenty of room. On paper, the front is within an inch of each other between the X and Sienna. When I sat in the X it was like moving from first class to coachs you move each row back. So, the front 2 passengers in the X will have to move their seats up for the rear passengers to fit in. The specs show this too.

Sienna rear headroom legroom, shoulder room:
38.3, 36.3, 61.1

X rear headroom legroom, shoulder room:
37.1, 32.7, 40

Pushmi-Pullyu

mx9000 said:

“Clearly the Tesla can’t have sliding doors, or it loses it’s aerodynamic tale, and becomes a mini-van.”

How so?

On our Chrysler Town & Country minivan, the doors popped out away from the body before sliding back. A similar mechanism on the Model X would negate any need for a flat roofline or a “boxy” shape.

More problematic would be the door opening mechanism under the floor, right where Tesla needs to put the battery pack. I suppose they could move the mechanism to the top of the door. The sloping roofline would make that a more difficult engineering challenge, probably requiring a more complex mechanism, but I suspect not impossible.

ModernMarvelFan

“Tesla wins for tall passengers.”

LOL.

I guess that tall passenger hasn’t sat in the middle seat of the 2nd row or 3rd row yet.

offib

If there’s one thing a Sedona is faster than a Tesla at!

Rob

TWO things.
Depreciation…

no comment

the guy did a reasonably good job at synchronizing the operation of the two door systems. what i don’t understand is: if you can’t operate the sliding door on the kia manually, then why does it have a door handle?

For emergency use and/or no power, one can still open and close the sliding doors.

Sean

Doesn’t matter how long you wait on that minivan, its doors will never open high enough to let you get in without crouching (especially to the 3rd row), or place child seats comfortably. The point of a door is convenient access. If the door to your home swung on its hinges very easily but was too low to let you in without crouching down, you’d definitely change it for failing to meet your needs properly.

fotomoto

Sliding doors win on: speed, price, reliability, simplicity, roof line access, and vehicle can be driven safely with rear doors open. The latter is a minor but very important feature for things like motion videography/photography.

DJ

So you don’t have to crouch to get in to the 3rd row of the X? Have you ever gotten in to the 3rd row? I have and I had to crouch…

fotomoto

You “crouch” when you get into the front of any car. I’ve owned two mini-vans and drove several others for work. No real clearance issues I ever recall including grandparents. I moved a 22 cuft. fridge in the Quest. Try that in the x. That design has numerous compromises as an SUV.

Nate

As far as SUV’s go, I don’t think the X is compromised. But, SUV’s in general compromise passenger and cargo space compared to Minivans.

ModernMarvelFan

“As far as SUV’s go, I don’t think the X is compromised. But, SUV’s in general compromise passenger and cargo space compared to Minivans”

As far as 3 rows SUVs are concerned, Model X is only better than BMW X5 and Acura MDX.

Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and Mercedes GL are all more spacious and more utilitarian.

Even midsize such as Highlander, Pilot, Explorer and Traverse are far more spacious.

ModernMarvelFan

“Doesn’t matter how long you wait on that minivan, its doors will never open high enough to let you get in without crouching (especially to the 3rd row)”

LOL.

Coming from someone who never tried a Model X’s 3rd row.

You have to be a short midget before you won’t crouch for the 3rd row of the Model X to get in.

Model X isn’t very tall at all.

Its superiority is ONLY then ease of entry for the 2nd row seats (and only in the 2 seat configuration).

speculawyer

Yeah, it is not trivial to get into that third row of seats. A child can easily do it. And an able-bodied non-obese adult can do it. But if you are old, disabled, or obese then getting into that third row is a bit difficult. But I guess you’d have them sit in the first or second row.

ModernMarvelFan

Both leg and head room are terrible for that 3rd row as well.

And you can’t put anyone comfortably in the 2nd row mid seat either.

Those limitation kind defeat the point of a “people mover” or an “utility vehicle”.

Anon

The falcon wing moves more wall and roof out of the way, to make access easier than a sliding door. I would trade a couple seconds for better access / utility.

For what the FWD’s are doing, they’re pretty fast. I dunno what people are complaining about. 😛

Nate

It has less utility inside if you look at the cargo and passenger volume compared to minivans, and also gave up utility for additional cargo on the roof compared to most everything else out the road.

Anon

Cargo limitations are more a matter of how the second row seats were implemented in X, not the doors.

Everyone has different purchasing criteria, so if you don’t mind using a hitch for your stuff, the improved physical access to the passenger area is a welcome innovation, and one to consider.

Nate

You are the one that said it added utility, but gave no explanation how. Driving around with the doors open? What can I haul inside with the doors closed that I wouldn’t have been able to with other door designs?

I have a hitch and tow trailers and have a hitch mounted bike rack. I can do that and have a roof rack in addition no problem in most vehicles but the Falcon doors take away that utility by not letting you have a roof rack. Also, people with high end bikes often prefer roof racks to hitch mount racks like mine. You’re taking away utility for people and not adding to it.

ModernMarvelFan

“Cargo limitations are more a matter of how the second row seats were implemented in X, not the doors.”

Again, someone who hasn’t checked out a Model X in person.

Try to put a stroller behind the 3rd row seat of Model X is almost impossible. But just about any midsize Crossover/SUV would easily do.

Model X isn’t that large at all.

wavelet

Both vehicles are ridiculously slow.
I’d prefer a non-electri mechanism. Faster, cheaper and more reliable (less failure points), and I find it hard to understand why anyone would prefer the electric mechanisms (handicapped assistance aside).

fotomoto

Agreed, good ol’ mechanical is best but electric has its advantages too: hands free operation when carrying heavy loads and kids can operate them.

VazzedUp

When ever I need hands free operation, I still have to dig in my pocket to pull out the keyfob. Pressing a button on a keyfob is no less inconvenient than pulling a door handle?

fotomoto

Foot operation on the hatch of my CMax Energi=extremely convenient when my hands are full of groceries, case of water, work gear, etc.

Anti-Lord Kelvin

I remember reading a tweet from Elon Musk, few weeks ago, about Tesla being ultimate a new version of doors software to make them (safely) close and open almost as much as fast as normal doors. And he said that this updated software will be available soon.
Now, what is “soon” in Elon Musk time frame…:)

Jacked Beanstalk

Right on! Give me a proper door handle and I’m a happy man!

Houses generally use manual doors for humans for the same reason: they are faster and more reliable. Garage door openers are prefered over manually opening the garage door because using an opener is faster when returning home.

Whenever electric assist slows down a previously easy task it’s time to think long and hard about the cost/benefit ratio of the electric assist.

Nate

“Both vehicles are ridiculously slow.”

Haha, when I read that I had just forgotten the topic was the time to open the doors. The X makes up any time waiting for the doors once you drive away so I guess it wins.

Pushmi-Pullyu

I’d prefer a non-electri mechanism. Faster, cheaper and more reliable (less failure points), and I find it hard to understand why anyone would prefer the electric mechanisms (handicapped assistance aside).

On our Chrysler Town & Country minivan, you could either push a button to open the sliding rear door, or open it manually. The door felt very heavy and took a lot of effort to slide it manually (altho that was surely at least partly due to having to move the heavy chain attached to the power door mechanism).

Bottom line: I opened and shut the door manually only when I felt a need to open and shut it quickly, generally due to it raining or snowing in while the door was open. It was certainly easier to just push the button, and there was also the “coolness” factor of the door opening and closing by itself. Certainly not as kewl as the Model X falcon wing doors, but still!

Honestly, if it takes another 3-4 seconds to open or close the car door… just how big a hurry are you in, that those 3-4 or 6-8 seconds are going to affect how much you can get done during the day?

ModernMarvelFan

” just how big a hurry are you in, that those 3-4 or 6-8 seconds are going to affect how much you can get done during the day?”

When a kid is screaming at that top of their lung and the only way to shut them up is by driving, then that few seconds would feel like eternity…

CUV is the new family mover. And Model X is just not practical in my opinion for the intended family mover purpose.

Someone out there

Who cares about the speed of the doors? That has to be the worst argument for or against either car

no comment

obviously, you don’t own a car. i do own a car and when i go shopping, i put stuff in the back seat. the falcon wing doors would be a real hassle for that application. when i put stuff in the back seat, i want to just swing the door open, put the stuff in and close the door. i don’t want to stand there and wait every time i want to open the door.

Get Real

Well, since you have this miraculous thing called a “remote”.

All you have to do is push the button on it while you are walking up to the Model X and lo and behold, the FWD is open for you when you get there to put your shopping conquests in right away.

Seems pretty simple–for most people that is.

Anon

You would think he’d know that, since he “obviously has a car”. ;D

no comment

i don’t like opening the door to my car before i actually *get* to the car. that way i can open it only at the time that i need to open it and i can close it when i don’t need it open any longer. you’re obviously different.

Pushmi-Pullyu

And you’re unable to alter your usual habits to take advantage of features on newer cars?

I’ve got the perfect car for you. It’s called a “Ford Model T”. No need to worry about learning how to use such newfangled things as electric turn signals. Just point with your arm!

no comment

if you’ve got a magical way to prevent people from stealing stuff, i’ll give it some consideration. but until human nature changes, i want to be at the car when it is open.

Jacked Beanstalk

Most people don’t even like to unlock their car doors until they’re within a few feet. For rather obvious reasons which would be even more applicable to a $100K Tesla ; )

I totally get why someone would want bling like automatic electric assist doors (lazy, handicapped, or into flaunting their wealth). It’s just a really bad idea to not have them operate manually. Too clever by half. I’d never buy an X for this very reason – though hopefully thanks to the Model X there are soon other options for a large EV CUV.

a-kindred-soul

Rich people have big worries, so it seems.

Jacked Beanstalk

I’d rather they play with their Tesla’s doors than go out to buy another politician!

Anon

I would rather there be more Pro-American Politicians, that allowed direct sales of Tesla Products at home, and were competent with science in general.

Data is the tool you use to make correct choices for the good of all– not money or superstition.

Terawatt

Weird idea to exclude the wait time before the door starts opening. Surely the interesting metric is how long from you wanna open the door until it’s open.

Many here claim sliding doors on the Tesla would require a boxy shape, but I don’t think that’s accurate. There’s no problem if the open door is above the roofline.

For the original purpose of the falcon doors – putting kids in child seats and getting then out with minimal back strain – Tesla wins. For cost-effective, reliable doors I think the Kia wins easily tho.

no comment

what he was trying to measure was the amount of time that it took for the respective mechanisms to operate.

Nate

“For the original purpose of the falcon doors – putting kids in child seats and getting then out with minimal back strain – Tesla wins”

I’ve heard that but don’t understand how. Do you own one and put your kids in it? In the X, are you buckling kids into the 2nd row with your standing outside the vehicle? How about in the 3rd row? It seams incredibly easy in a Sienna. So the doors aren’t opening into the roof as far as they do in the X, but the height of the door opening is taller so there is less need to lean in. There is no back strain in a minivan it is easy. It is like we are trying to come up with a problem these doors are supposed to solve and it is a struggle to do it.

Fred

Model X looks much smaller than the minivan. Looks like 3rd row seats can’t be as comfortable.
FWDs seem like an unnecessarily complex system that detracts from the vehicle instead of complimenting it.

ModernMarvelFan

Model X 3rd row seat is the worst 3rd row seat I have sat in. That is comparing against most 3rd row SUV/Crossover and luxury entries like Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.

It is better than BMW X5’s 3rd row seat and arguably better than Acura MDX. But that is about it.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“As seen in the video, the Model X Falcon doors are a bit slower than the minivan slider, but not so much as to be inconvenient.”

Indeed.

We used to own a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. I read some early complaints on the Tesla Motors Club forum about how long it took to open and close the Model X falcon wing doors. So I timed the doors on our minivan. The result? The Model X doors are about half a second slower.

I don’t recall seeing any complaints about how long it takes minivan power sliding doors to open and close. So I think it’s a case of people expecting the falcon wing doors to open and close more quickly, because they’re “high-tech”.

In other words: Unrealistic assumptions.

I also think there would be a safety issue if the doors closed a lot more quickly. There needs to be time for the door mechanism to react and stop closing, if there is something in the doorway blocking closure. A very fast closing falcon wing door would risk people losing arms and legs.

Michael Will

I love our falcon wing doors. No crouching down for second row for me being 6’4 and it works like umbrella when it rains. Just part of the new space ship kind of feel.

fotomoto

“I don’t recall seeing any complaints about how long it takes minivan power sliding doors to open and close. ”

Yup that’s probably because you can start entering the vehicle as the door is still sliding open (kids even sooner). We rarely ever waited for the door to open entirely. The FWD design needs to be nearly fully open before you get head clearance.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Is there some reason that kids, being shorter, would have to wait until the falcon wing door is fully open before entering?

Is there some reason why, if you’re in that much of a hurry, you can’t duck your head under the door? When I climb into the front seat of any car, including the minivan we used to have, then I’d have to carefully duck my head and ease in slowly. I’ve never had the privilege of riding in a Model X, but from descriptions and videos it looks like it would be easier, and faster, for me to enter via the falcon wing door than a normal door. And I’m only 5′ 11″… It’s not like I’m especially tall.

It certainly looks like some people are looking very, very hard to find even the tiniest thing to complain about, when it comes to the Model X.

Now, if there is inadequate leg or head room in the 2nd or 3rd row seats, as some here have posted, then that would be something worthy of complaint. But seriously, complaining about having to wait another 3-4 seconds? And I think *I* lack patience!

ModernMarvelFan

The FWD door doesn’t have much advantage overall beside show off factors. In fact, most people who cheers for it haven’t checked out it in person or they just love the “show off” factor.

It makes the 2nd row mid seat unusable for anyone who is 5’9″ or taller. It doesn’t make 3rd row entry any easier.

It only makes 2nd row outside seats easier to enter. That is the ONLY advantage for Falcon door beside the attention gathering.

For anyone who post stuff here about the Model X, one should really check out the Model X in persona and then form your own opinion.

Pushmi-Pullyu
ModernMarvelFan said: “It makes the 2nd row mid seat unusable for anyone who is 5’9″ or taller.” You know, MMF, when you make blanket statements like that, when you presume to speak for everyone and not just yourself, then it only makes me question everything you assert. At the very worst, you could slide the 2nd row seats all the way back for more leg room. Of course, that does mean you wouldn’t be able to carry anyone in the 3rd row seats, but most car owners would only rarely have all the seats occupied. Even more rare would it be to have all the seats occupied by adults. Personally, I’ve often been wedged into the back seat of a sedan without having adequate leg room, and at 5′ 11″ I’m not especially tall. That doesn’t make such seats “unusable”; it merely makes them uncomfortable to ride in for long periods. The Model X is a CUV, not a minivan. It seems not merely unreasonable, but outright clueless, for anyone to write as if a CUV should be expected to have as much leg room in 2nd and 3rd row seats as a minivan does. A CUV simply isn’t as… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan
PP, Maybe you should understand what I am complaining about before you make an accusation of my complain. I didn’t make any statement about legroom of 2nd row seat at all. Leg room is all 3rd row. You assumed I complain about 2nd row mid seat with 5’9″ height. That is ALL FOR HEADROOM. The FWD makes the head room unusable for mid seat. Why? FWD design took up limited head room so the headliner dropped significantly that any normal 5’9″ person will have their head rubbing against the headliner. I don’t know about you, I don’t want to seat with my hair rubbing against the liner unless I want a new hair style. Sure, you can slouching down by trading off headroom with legroom, but that is not a correct or safe sitting position. If you put your back to the seat and your head will touch the ceiling in the 2nd row mid seat. The leg room in the 2nd row in general are very spacious. That is typical of Model X and Model X. Trading off head room with leg rooms. But it is a Crossover so headroom shouldn’t be sacrificed. Now, PuPu, have you sat in… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan

“Personally, I’ve often been wedged into the back seat of a sedan without having adequate leg room, and at 5′ 11″ I’m not especially tall. That doesn’t make such seats “unusable”; it merely makes them uncomfortable to ride in for long periods.”

Well, that is how people make complains of other cars such Volt. When they are cramped, they equal them to “unusable”.

In a SUV/Crossover, the bar is much higher for interior space.

ModernMarvelFan
“The Model X is a CUV, not a minivan. It seems not merely unreasonable, but outright clueless, for anyone to write as if a CUV should be expected to have as much leg room in 2nd and 3rd row seats as a minivan does. A CUV simply isn’t as long as a minivan, period.” Really? So, it is a CUV. What are its competitors? Audi Q7? Volvo XC90? Both are way more spacious. Mercedes Benz GL? Yup. How about a much cheaper Highlander? yup, more spacious. How about a much cheaper Pilot? Yup, Even better than Highlander as far as CUV goes. How about a smaller Explorer? Still more spacious than Model X. The only thing that Model X is better in my opinion as far as space goes for 3row CUVs are BMW X5 and Acura MDX. You are already near the bottom of the list with a much more expensive CUV. Please try your 5’11” frame at every single seat position inside a Model X and then try it at every seat position in those CUVs I mentioned and come back tell me how the 2nd row Mid Seat headroom feels and 3rd row seat feels. Lastly, sure… Read more »
Clive

Can you open those doors IF you want to jump from the Tesla?