Primary Navigation Mobile

Tesla Model S interior, tech and comfort

2014 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 3.7 out of 53.7

Written by Keith Adams Published: 21 March 2024 Updated: 21 March 2024

  • Interior dominated by imposing 17.0-inch screen
  • Most functions controlled from the screen
  • Despite sleek styling, there’s lots of room inside

How is the quality and layout?

The Tesla Model S’s dashboard layout almost passes for conventional these days. Like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Mercedes-Benz EQS, it features a digital gauge cluster ahead of the driver and a huge infotainment system in the middle of the cabin.

The instrument binnacle also houses a colourful LCD screen, the sections of which adapt depending on the functions being used, so one side may show the car’s efficiency or sat-nav map, while the other shows album artwork from your connected smartphone. The speedo sensibly sits at the centre, and the indicators are on the steering wheel boss, like a Ferrari.

The elephant in the room here is build quality, and while it’s more solidly constructed than earlier Model Ss, it’s someway behind its German rivals. Some may like the minimalist design and light colours, but parts of the interior feel cheap, and the action of things like the sliding centre console is crunchy and nasty. Good job that touchscreen will distract most people’s attention away.

Infotainment and tech

Tesla has shunned physical switchgear almost entirely, replacing the buttons with a range of access menus on the 17.0-inch portait-format touchscreen. Everything, including climate controls, driver assistance technology and even the cabin lighting, can be adjusted using the unit. Even the drive selection is unconventional – swipe the screen to go forwards or backwards, or use the hidden touchpads on the centre console.

But it’s easy to use once you dial-in to the Tesla way of doing things. This is clearly an operating system with a car built around it – just be aware a period of acclimatisation will be needed after jumping out of a more conventional motor. But once up to speed, you’ll enjoy this simple-to-use, highly-featured system.

One downside for smartphone lovers is that the Model S has no compatibility with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it could be argued that so good is Tesla’s operating system for its touchscreen, this really isn’t a problem. But we’d like the option to decide ourselves, even if it uses Google mapping anyway for its sat-nav set-up.


  • Front seats are super-supportive
  • Plenty of legroom in the rear
  • Headroom could be better

The seats supportive, leaving you free from fatigue, it’s an airy and genuinely roomy cabin. The rear bench can take three adults side by side with ease too, aided by a completely flat floor and plenty of legroom, taller back seat passengers may find the roofline tapers a little too much for optimum headroom.

Other touches work well, making the cabin feel even more comfortable. The door panels are scalloped in such a way that your forearm sits neatly into the shape left behind, while the centre armrest up front feels perfect, despite looking like it’s sat too high. They slide back to reveal cupholders too.

The front seats adjust in 12 directions electrically, while the reach and angle adjustment of the steering wheel is also powered. It’s nigh on impossible not to determine the optimum driving position.