2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Missing Common Features

February 5, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

I've previously written about the 2013 Tesla Model S's missing coat hooks and grab handles. I've also expressed my puzzlement about the bowling alley that runs between the front seats.

After driving the Tesla Model S this past weekend, I noticed a few more common equipment omissions. Just like the Mercedes CLA, the Tesla does not have a drop-down rear center armrest. Given the Tesla's higher price and vastly more usable rear seat space, it's an even more glaring omission here.

The Tesla also lacks a Homelink universal garage door opener and a hard-wire iPhone/iPod music interface. The latter is especially annoying since the car has a pair of USB ports, which in virtually every car, indicates you can control your iWhatever with the car's own controls.

Instead, you're left with Bluetooth Audio (no AUX jack either) and the need to select tracks or podcasts with the phone itself. That'll probably get you pulled over in California and other states, since looking at your phone to select something is obviously exponentially more dangerous than looking at the 40-inch flatscreen embedded in the dash.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 18,204 miles


  • jli585 jli585 Posts:

    I spoke with my friend who is a Tesla engineer. The coat hooks, grab handles, and rear center armrest will come over-the-air with the next software update.

  • jolinar jolinar Posts:

    actually, there is Homelink universal garage door opener... Maybe, you should look once more on the car, we are using it regularly...

  • blurry_eyed blurry_eyed Posts:

    Regarding the Homelink controls, if you tap on the icon at the top of the touch screen that looks like a little house, it will take you to the Homelink controls and programming menu. The Model S has probably the easiest and more user friendly Homelink programming and implementation out there. The car guides you through the entire process of programming Homelink. It's also geolocation aware, so it will automatically pull up the Homelink menu and highlight the active controls as you approach your garage door.

  • bimmerjay bimmerjay Posts:

    It definitely has Homelink as others have mentioned, I've used it in a friend's P85+, but yes it's in the touchscreen and not the common 3 buttons on the mirror/visor. Agree on the lack of the other features mentioned. I'd also add that the frunk should have a soft-close feature at this price point.

  • One might think an Edmunds reviewer should RTFM before sounding off on what a particular vehicle lacks, especially with the Tesla that has so many other features driven off the touchscreen. At least glance at the index... or hell, use frickin' Google.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    The rear armrest is clearly something that is in just about every car. But I would say, that in the case of the Model S, this seems to be a tradeoff for a rear middle seat that looks more inviting than any luxury sedan that comes to mind.

  • This is at least the 3rd time that Edmunds has complained about no ipod/iphone support while completely missing that the USB ports are for playing music from mass storage devices, which works for Android (if set that way) and USB flash drives but not Apple iDevices. I commented this twice before but it fell on deaf ears... Maybe Edmunds isn't tech-aware enough to even know the difference and what that all means?

  • thranx thranx Posts:

    I'd have liked a couple of coat hooks and grab handles, too. These are easy options to install that I hope Tesla provides one day. Homelink in the car is a cinch to program and use. As to music, the one mini-usb I use holds all my music and is simple to utilize via the car's huge main center screen, and plays through the car's audio system. Rear seat armrest? Don't need it. Missing front center console? Options are available, but my wife loves the space for her purse.

  • handbrake handbrake Posts:

    I'd also like to add a few things to the "missing common features" list: Parking brake Engine oil/water temp gauges Fuel gauge Fuel tank Engine Exhaust pipe

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