Having spent some time with a Model X in the UK a little earlier this year with a white.car rental, one of the biggest missed opportunities with the Model X that I got to experience myself is with the seat configuration.
The 7 seater configuration of the Model X has traditionally had fixed seats in the middle row, the positioning of which is independently controlled. For US orders an option for a folding middle row came in July – but this hasn’t been available in Australia until late this week (or possibly today), with an appearance in the Tesla Model X configurator as of this morning.
These are the load or people-hauling options you can now access as a result of the new layout:
Middle and rear row fully flat
Split fold with two seats up
Split fold with one seat up
The folding middle row option is now available in the configurator, with the cost set at $4,100 (above the standard 5 seat layout). The old seven seater configuration is now not available to order.
This demo video from Tesla shows how this works:
To me, this increases the utility of the Model X dramatically and removes one of the biggest trade-offs vs the Model X’s peers at this price-point and size (and vs many much cheaper wagons which have been offering this for decades).
Sure, the fixed seats were very cool with the electronic position adjustment, but traded off so much function – no split-fold, and no ability to cart longer items as a 7 seater SUV.
Here’s an example – the middle row hear is pushed fully forward to access the third row – but couldn’t disappear out of the way if that had been needed.
The new option is way more practical, and if you’re after the ‘private jet’ feel of the old seats, the 6 seater layout still offers this.