Video: Business Insider Points Out Tesla Model S Interior Flaws In An Otherwise Glowing Review


All automobiles have at least a few flaws, right?

No Cupholder Back Here

No Cupholder Back Here

Despite the numerous amounts of glowing Tesla Model S reviews, even the Tesla can’t escape the reality of perfection not existing in the automotive world.

Fortunately, the Model S’ flaws seem minor and limited mostly to a few oversights on the inside.

In this video, Business Insider highlights what it thinks is wrong with the interior of the Model S, while ultimately coming to the conclusion that the car is still fabulous (naturally):

“Inside and outside, the Tesla Model S is a great looking car. But the interior of the Model S is so sleek that it loses some basic functionality.”

“CEO Elon Musk touts the Model S as a great family car, but there aren’t any cup holders in the backseat. And we worry that the huge touchscreen’s internet browser can distract drivers.”

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29 Comments on "Video: Business Insider Points Out Tesla Model S Interior Flaws In An Otherwise Glowing Review"

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Frankly glad there aren’t too many silly places in a Tesla for beverages in the rear seats.

BTW, there was a guy from Chrysler, who put cup holders into the redesigned (bloated) Aptera, and killed the company. I think his name was Paul…

I agree.
I really don’t see cup holders as necessary for a vehicle to be a family vehicle.
Most kids can go for short trips without a beverage; on longer journeys they can easily drink a bottle, which has a top.
There is no need for a cup which can be accidentally (or purposely…) kicked out of the holder.

This is proof that the Model S comes from the Future, where Capo-chino and Latte pills are the norm. 😉

Being in denial about reality, are we? Fact is, rear passengers will occasionally bring their sodas and coffees along for the ride. No cupholders give owners two choices, neither desirable – either ignore it and hope for no spills, or take on the role of back-seat Nazi and rigidly enforce a ‘no drinks allowed’ rule.

Maybe if the Model S was only a city car, this omission could be overlooked. But as it aspires to prove itself as a capable and comfortable long distance cruiser, cup holders are definitely a requirement.

Well, you can use any derogatory names for me you like, but no-one drinks coffee in my car and certainly no-one smokes in there.

It is my car and I am the one who will be left with the consequences of any spills or combustion residue.

Luckily I have friends who understand reason and respect.

I thought the overall tone of the video was positive, unlike your headline. Why the negativity?


The 2.1 ton is a bigger flaw than no cup holders in the back 🙂
They probably should have made a junk bin in the front where stuff doesn’t slide. someone made an aftermarket insert?

Oh, that poor dead & moldy horse keeps getting beaten! The vehicle is mostly aluminum construction, to reduce weight. Are you saying Tesla should have gone carbon fiber, instead? Or perhaps they shouldn’t have made it one of the safest American Cars in US History, and could have skipped features like building a secondary rear bumper to better protect its 6th and 7th rear passengers in a collision? If you want lighter, less safe engineering; there are lots of vehicles to choose from that score higher on the Morbidity & Mortality Charts… Or, perhaps its the large electron storage system in the vehicle, you think is the problem? Batteries are just boxes filled with rarified dirt and moisture; so the more of them you have, the heavier the vehicle will be. Since large batteries also give the Model S its industry leading range– are you really lobbying for more limited BEVs, like the Leaf and Smart ED? Face it: Tesla got the mix of design, engineering and capability / range right, at just the right time in history. And efficiency is STILL off the charts, compared to any ICE on the planet. Expect your weight issue to dissipate when gen… Read more »

Tesla had a hard time finding suppliers who were told by “experts” and “analysts” that most likely only a few thousand Molde S would ever be build so it had to simplify the interior design. I think the giant touchscreen was also born out of that necessity replacing lots of custom moulded parts. That was a great way to turn a lemon into lemonade, the rest of the interior and option list I’m sure will be gradually brought up to spec now that Tesla should no longer have any trouble convincing suppliers about its capability to pull of a large production run.

If the pony was dead I wouldn’t have to keep beating it.

Incorrect analogy use.

The point of beating a horse in the analogy is to get it to move faster.
You beat it too much and it will continually go slower until it dies.
Beating it when it is dead is an effort in futility.

If you beat it to kill it, you are just plain cruel and stupid.

If that’s all he can find to complain about…the Tesla Model S is in good shape.

“A full blown browser with which you can check your emails and read articles WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING” …

… and then he actually shows how it’s done! Idiot.

I found the interior of the Model S to be rather Camry-like. That is, a little cheap for an expensive car. The door handles on the inside took a little getting used to as well. That being said, I wouldn’t turn a Model S down just because of the interior! 😉

I test drove an S officially for the first time 2 weekends ago, but it was the 3rd time driving it. While very nice, as was mentioned, the interior is rather plain for such an expensive car, and those options send the price really high, so much so that Scott200’s analysis here on showed a comparison with the Caddy ELR is $14,000 cheaper, and the ELR is still more plush even at that savings. Of course, the 2 cars aren’t directly comparible since the S has more power and room, and more IPAD display, but for plushness, the ELR wins. I really wanted a 2WD X. But then Musk changed his mind and said only 4WD versions will be made, and since I don’t want the added complication and expense, that was a deal killer for me. Maybe a 2WD via presidential is the car for me. In the end, the S is a nice vehicle, but Tesla just wants much more money than I’m willing to part with to get one that’s sufficiently decked out. Each of us has to make our own decisions. Most here would probably consider the S a good value. Bully for them.

The interior is the worst aspect of the car though the touchscreen is no more distracting than a radio or a gps or your phone – all of which are subsumed by the display.

Interior flaws in my priority order:
– no junk organizer
– no clothes hanger hooks
– cup holders in front are awkward
– no handle above passenger door
– undersized sun visor
– no lighted mirror in visors
– no rear seat cup holders

With a simple refresh, all interior issues could be addressed for new buyers. Then it would be nearly perfect…

Well not everything but a lot. The visor size is pretty baked in, would probably take a bunch of tooling changes. The frigging hanger hook and passenger handles should be easy except for the side curtain airbags.

Tesla sells a “drop-in center console” that sorta-solves some of the issues but it’s a ridiculously expense way to solve problems that should be addressed in the basic car. This is one of the issues that is eroding the loyalty of Tesla owners.

Actually, many people don’t want the center console. You have choices which what you want to do in that space.

I find the sun visor to not be undersized – it looks like it, but not in practice due to seat/head/visor position. You can always put in a window tint down to the AS1 line.

I don’t have an issue with the front cup holders, but it is possible to put your own cup holders into the center floor area.

If find the biggest issue is actually the headroom in the rear seat. It is about 1.5″ too short.

Hmm, first world, 10%er problems over lack of cup holders and nooks for personal clutter. I would indeed angrily defect to some lesser vehicle / company. Yessir! 😉

I am a ten percenter and can’t afford a Tesla. Please change that to 5%.

Elon, will find this issue out when he drives cross country over spring break. Look for an update to the back seat area to include cup holders, at least in the doors. Kids (or adults in the back of cars) for trips of 200mile drives do need somewhere to put drinks, in Colorado you’d be highly dehydrated if you didn’t.

That’s a very good point. Elon’s not had to be forced into dealing with other folk’s clutter / fluids / garbage during a looooong trip in one of his vehicles. 🙂


the car is so great its only flaw is cup holders LOL all you people that drink sodas and crap are gross, water only for life, and screw a cup holder get a water bottle

I find that most cup holders don’t hold enough liquid for me anyway. I’m always finding myself driving cross country so I usually strap on an XL wine skin with 2 gallons of Mountain Dew.

For crying out… You can buy some optional cupholders for the 2nd row at

Huh. A retractable strap embedded in a low profile rail attachment. Very pragmatic and clean looking solution. They look like you could accommodate a bucket of KFC, if you wanted… 😀