Rear Visibility Is Poor - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Rear Visibility Is Poor

November 7, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

This has been mentioned before, but it jumped out at me again after not driving our Tesla Model S for a while. Compared to most other sedans in its class, the rearward visibility in our Model S is terrible.

To many this may not be cause for concern. I see such drivers every day on the highway and clearly the cars behind them don't factor into how they drive. With that in mind I try to do my best when it comes to accommodating others on the road. Being able to see them helps.

As you can see, the Model S doesn't help much in this regard. The window is comically small, not to mention the fact that its aggressive angle makes for considerable distortion. And check out those C-pillars, they're kind of hard to miss. Granted, I use my side mirrors for making most judgments about lane changes and such, but it's never comforting to check your rear-view mirror and see nothing but roof.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor


Comments

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    They should make a 1080p HD camera that you can have on when the car is operational so that you can always check your six if you are untrusting of your properly adjusted side mirrors.

  • rock2155 rock2155 Posts:

    Haha like there is not already a rearview camera that can be used while driving. Please add a "Click to enlarge" on the pics...

  • robs249_ robs249_ Posts:

    Whats the deal with the headrests? Are they fixed or adjustable? Do they even offer support/protection for taller people?

  • rock2155 rock2155 Posts:

    Ahhh larger pic: http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/tesla/models/2013/lt/2013_tesla_models_det_lt_103013_1600.jpg

  • Cant u use the rear view camera as you drive forwards?

  • Unfortunately, this is not unique to the Model S. Have any of you driven a Honda Crosstour?

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    C-Pillars are almost as large as those on the Challenger, but with a much smaller rear window. Is this strictly for design or for roof crush crash test scoring?

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @noburgers: Styling, safety, aero, and weight (less glass). I don't think it's a big deal, somehow I don't think Tesla drivers really pay much attention to what's happening behind them.

  • carfreak13 carfreak13 Posts:

    In the Tesla you can leave the rear-view camera on while driving forward, but most people said it was more distracting than helpful.

  • frankviaje frankviaje Posts:

    So, use the side mirrors! Box truck drivers deal with this reality all the time.

  • jvonbokel jvonbokel Posts:

    I think this picture is a bit misleading. Yes, the rear visibility is limited, but I don't find that it impedes my driving at all. They way I describe it is that you can see the bumper and headlights of the car behind you, but you can't see the driver. For some reason there is an instinct to want to see the driver (I find myself occasionally trying to re-position my head to see), but realistically it doesn't help.

  • jvonbokel jvonbokel Posts:

    I think this picture is a bit misleading. Yes, the rear visibility is limited, but I don't find that it impedes my driving at all. They way I describe it is that you can see the bumper and headlights of the car behind you, but you can't see the driver. For some reason there is an instinct to want to see the driver (I find myself occasionally trying to re-position my head to see), but realistically it doesn't help. And yes, you can turn the HD rear camera on at any time, but I find that the motion draws the eyes and becomes distracting. Some owners I've talked to have said they use it while driving though.

  • temoore_ temoore_ Posts:

    You can turn on the rear view camera and have a truly panoramic view to the rear all the time...

  • joner800 joner800 Posts:

    cant you use the backup camera at any time in this car? maybe thats meant to overcome the difficulty.

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