Rearward Visibility - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Rearward Visibility

April 12, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

It seems churlish to complain about something as mundane as rearward visibility when faced with all the splendor and glory of our Tesla Model S.

But the fact is, visibility could be better. That C-pillar is pretty wide, and the rising beltline doesn't help matters.

On the plus side, there are so many pleasant distractions within the Model S's doors, visibility will likely be the last thing on your mind. In the beginning, anyway.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor


  • throwback throwback Posts:

    Unfortunately most modern cars have terrible rear visibility. I recently rode in a mid 70's Mercedes and the outward visibility was great. Partly due to the thinner pillars, but mostly due to the amount of glass area in the car. Todays cars use relatively small side glass with steeply raked backscreens.

  • mensadoc mensadoc Posts:

    Yeah, this car inspires so many superlatives that it's difficult to find any details to pan, isn't it? The Model S is, without doubt, the finest automobile I've ever owned (and I've owned some very fine cars over the years).

  • " Todays cars use relatively small side glass with steeply raked backscreens." --- yep, it is all about making them look sleeker today rather than being able to see while you drive.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    At what price beauty? Just remember to plug the damn car in ;)

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @mensadoc, I'm also a highly satisfied owner, but I disagree with you. The Model S is definitely the most fun sedan I've ever owned (which is worth a lot), but as an overall car it doesn't measure up to its price competitors in a number of ways. It isn't

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    mercedesfan, what you are experiencing (with the Benz) is the benefit of many decades of building high end, premium cars. Mercedes simply has it down to a science. They lost their way with the S class before your model, but they seem to be back on track. Have you seen the leaked photos of the next gen S class' interior? Simply stunning, and I 've never been a S class fan.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Wow - you get across that you're a Mensa member, a doctor, have an expensive car and have had many of them in the past...all in 2 sentences. And you live in the biggest house on the biggest side of town.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Man, I wish I was a Mensa doc. I'm only a Mensa engineer, which means I drive a beater RX-7 with a LS1 engine swap. This car inspires so many expletives that it's difficult to find any details to praise. It is, without a doubt, the finest beater I have ever owned (and I have owned many fine beaters over the years).

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    maybe it's just me, but I like to see where I'm going, and behind me as well. On a track by itself, only going forward, then the 'S' would be a delight

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    For the first time I wish this was jalopnik so Duck87 could win comment of the day.

  • toto_48313 toto_48313 Posts:

    The C Pillar is wide, but I never had any issue with rear or side visibility, while driving or going back. The visibility is definitly much better that what I was expecting when I saw the car design for the first time.

  • printerman1 printerman1 Posts:

    I agree, but, do you notice most small cars are lacking in rear window visibility. Over the decade, the lack of visual. Plus the irritating use of the white headlights, which many people leave on high beam.

  • nanostream nanostream Posts:

    Perhaps that's why they put a wide angle HD video camera above the license plate that works while in reverse or when driving. I use this more than the rear view mirror these days.

  • jeffhre jeffhre Posts:

    I suppose that mensa certification doesn't take you as far as I had fantasized it would. Do ya get a certificate with that to hang on your wall or something? Duck87, great comment, but I'm sort of a Mercedes S fan too. Never driven one though.

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    Just trollin', fellas? FYI, I only took this username because MRUNIVERSEIMTEHBEST was taken.

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