Tesla Model X interior
The uber-minimalist interior and high-tech infotainment system make the Tesla Model X’s cabin feel more futuristic than most. It’s let down by some cheap-feeling materials, though.
Save for the uber-minimalist Tesla Model 3, the Tesla Model X has one of the simplest interiors of any car on sale. The air vents are neatly integrated into the sweeping dashboard and thanks to the huge central touchscreen, there aren’t any physical buttons cluttering up the place.
It might not be quite as elegant as the cabin you get in a Mercedes GLE or have the sporty character of a BMW X5, but the Tesla Model X’s interior will leave your passengers wide-eyed in an instant. It’s especially memorable if you go for a two-tone design with glossy black plastic trims on the dashboard and white leather on the seats.
Unfortunately, the way some of these parts feel isn’t on par with the likes of the Mercedes, BMW or Audi. The drive-select and indicator stalks, for example, feel like they belong on a car costing half as much and there’s more flex in the door trims and armrests than you get in a similarly pricey German SUV.
The Tesla Model X’s vast touchscreen is a doddle to use when you’re parked but its small icons and complex menus make it tricky to operate when you’re driving.
The Tesla Model X’s massive portrait infotainment system isn’t just one of the biggest in the business – it’s also one of the most responsive. Flicking through its various menus feels just like using an iPad and the crisp, clear map graphics load far faster than those in a BMW, Mercedes or Audi.
You control almost all of the car’s features through this screen – from altering the regenerative braking settings to closing the rear doors and adjusting the position of the back seats. Unfortunately, the sheer number of functions the screen has to perform means that some of the menu icons are quite small. As a result, this massive display is quite tricky to use while you’re driving.
You can split the screen into upper and lower windows to let you have two menus open at once – handy if you’re using the sat nav and need to adjust the cabin temperature – but it all takes a bit more getting used to than the conventional physical controls you get in a Mercedes GLE or BMW X5.
The Tesla Model X’s digital driver’s display looks similar to the ones you get on these cars, however, and it’s just as easy to scroll through the various menus using the buttons on the steering wheel. Sure, you can’t get full-screen satellite maps such as those in an Audi Q7, but the Tesla’s screen is bright, clear and easy to read.