Tesla Model S review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Tesla Model S won’t leave you wanting for boot space, and its cabin is pretty roomy, too
With no engine to find space for, and the batteries and the electric motor mounted low in the car, the Model S is a very practical executive saloon. Its sleek hatchback body provides generous accommodation for five. Meanwhile, its compliant ride and silent-running refinement make it a genuinely satisfying and relaxing mode of transport. Access to Tesla’s Supercharger network and the Model S’s huge range also help take the stress out of long motorway journeys, while wireless charging pads in the front and rear mean everyone can keep their smartphone topped up.
One caveat is the Model S being left-hand drive. That might not be a problem on the motorway, but consider what you’re going to do when you want to enter a multi-storey car park and the ticket machine is on the other side of the car. Tesla’s rather extraordinary solution is to provide all UK buyers with what it calls the ‘Reacher’, or a black plastic litter picker to everyone else.
The Tesla Model S is 5,021mm long, which means it's roughly the same length as a BMW 5 Series or Porsche Panamera. The Model S also measures 1,987mm wide (excluding door mirrors) and stands at 1,431mm tall when the air suspension is in the default 'Medium' setting.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
There’s plenty of space inside; enough we reckon to fit three medium-sized adults across the rear bench. In the back, there’s plenty of legroom and no transmission tunnel to eat up space for the middle-seat passenger. All cars get a full length panoramic roof, but headroom is fine for all but the very tallest adults. The Model S also features three sets of ISOFIX mountings in the rear, rather than the usual set-up of two in the back and one on the front passenger seat.
The Model S’s boot is a pretty cavernous 709 litres, and there’s not much of a load lip to contend with, which is good when you’ve got to handle heavier items. Drop the rear seats and the luggage capacity grows to 1,739 litres or enough space for a bicycle, although we found that the rear seats don’t fold completely flat. This being a Tesla, you also get an extra 89 litres of storage space under the bonnet which is handy for storing the charging cables, although it has to be opened via the main infotainment display.
The Tesla Model S has a maximum towing capacity of 1,600kg and comes with a Trailer Mode that adjusts how some of the safety features such as cruise control behave.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model S reviewThe all-electric Tesla Model S is more impressive than ever, but it’s left-hand drive only and new rivals mean it’s got a fight on its hands
- 2Electric motor, drive and performancePerformance is, erm, electrifying... with the Model S Plaid capable of humiliating everything and anyone that dare question its authority
- 3Range, charging & running costsA huge range, minimal running costs and tax breaks are all very appealing
- 4Interior, design and technologyBuild quality has taken some big steps forward, while tech in the Model S remains on the cutting edge
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Tesla Model S won’t leave you wanting for boot space, and its cabin is pretty roomy, too
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Model S’s Euro NCAP safety scores are first-rate and build quality has improved, but it’s got a ways to go