Missing Coat Hooks and Grab Handles - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Missing Coat Hooks and Grab Handles

March 28, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

While I agree with my many colleagues that the Tesla Model S is a thoroughly magnificent car, there are some little functionality issues that may start to bug you after its emotional allure begins to fade.

Are they reasons to not buy it? Of course not, but it shows that its means of thrust and giant touchscreen aren't the only things that separate the Tesla from established luxury brands.

For instance, let's say you've picked up the dry cleaning or need to hang up your jacket after a day at the office. Sadly, there are no coat hooks in the back seat. There are also no grab handles in lieu of a coat hook, nor for your rear-seat passengers to hold onto as you vigorously explore the Tesla's impressive corner-taking talents.

It's a little thing to be sure, but it's something you'd have in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 1,183 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    It's something you'd have in an S-Class? It's something you'd have in a Golf or a midrange Focus. This is a low car and with adjustable ride height can get even lower - no chair-height seats here. Grab handles are required for entry and exit in a car this low.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    ^When I first read the post, my reaction was also to say that grab handles seem to be standard on pretty much any sedan regardless of price point, not just a large luxury one. I think the reason he mentioned the S-Class is because its a competitor to the Model S, and also quite the opposite of the Model S in that all of these details are perfect, not because he thinks you have to wander up to the seventy thousand dollar threshold to get grab handles/coat hooks.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    This is an oversight in the Model S that really doesn't bother me. The hatch area is so large that any dry cleaning I pick up can easily be laid flat in the back with no issues. As for the grab handles, well thankfully I'm still young (-ish, haha) so I don't miss them. The doors open wide and entry and exit are never an issue for me.

  • penboy penboy Posts:

    If anyone has perspective on this, it'd be mercedesfan, owning both. I honestly jumped through to the comments hoping to get your opinion on it. Also, thanks to this post for reminding me I need to go pick up my dry cleaning...

  • blurry_eyed blurry_eyed Posts:

    I'm a Model S owner and there are actually grab bars in the car, just not in the place you would think to look. They are integrated into the door frame, rather than hanging from the roof. I would call them grab pockets and they are framed by the brushed aluminum strip in the doors and are just behind the door handles in each door. I think they are actually much more effective than conventional hanging grab handles, because you can grab them much quicker than a handle (especially older passengers who might have a harder time raising their hands above their heads quickly) and you can get more leverage to stabilize yourself with them being at just below shoulder level. It's part of the paradigm busting theme of the car. Not having the grab handles integrated in the roof allows the interior lines to be clean and uncluttered and they are more functional than the traditional roof grab handles we are all used to. You do have to coach passengers how to use them at first, but they do work exceedingly well, and when you demo the car, especially on sweeping curves or windy roads, passengers do need to have something to stabilize themselves with! In terms of coat hanging, I primarily use the open center space between the front passenger seats (No transmission tunnel in the Model S) to put my suit coat in. I softly fold it into thirds lengthwise and it fits great there. Never have problems with wrinkling with that method, plus it makes it easy to grab when exiting the car. No need to open up the rear door and bend into the car and unhook the coat hanger or reach backwards to get my coat. I will use the Front trunk space (No engine inside the front compartment, so it's all open) or will use the big rear hatch space to put dry cleaning in. Shirts will lay flat in both spaces and not get wrinkled. Have had the car for over 5 months and it is a great daily driver and is very practical for normal use (grocery hauls, kid runs, weekend drives, dinner out with the wife etc.) Even road trips are great with the car with some planning. But once Tesla builds out their Supercharging network, it will take almost no planning to do long Interstate highway runs with the car.

  • olanmills olanmills Posts:

    Grab handles are ugly and mostly useless. I'm glad they're not there. In my experience, without them, older folks are still smart enough to figure out how to get into the car. My old car was a sort of a "family sedan" and it didn't have the stupid handles either. The coat hooks are somewhat more practical I guess, but they're still ugly, and again I'm glad they're not there.

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