Testing the Jump Seats - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Testing the Jump Seats

August 16, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

Yesterday I put my five-year-old in the Tesla's rear jump seat. It was met with a mixed review.

2013 Tesla Model S

There was a moment of hesitation — for both of us — when I closed the hatch. Then, as I climbed in the driver's seat to take her for a ride, she said this, "Daddy, I don't think it's a good idea to put kids in the trunk."

The kid had a point.

We went for a ride anyway and she relaxed. But I never really stopped feeling like I just bought the world's most precious cargo a steerage seat. Plus, she isn't big enough to see out of the hatch which, I suspect, would limit her patience for riding back there once the novelty wore off.

Tesla says the jump seats are good for kids between 35 and 77 pounds as long as they're taller than 37 inches, which means my two-year old doesn't qualify.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor @ about 7,000 miles


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    I honestly don't know if its just as safe back there or not, I guess it depends on what kind of accident you're involved in, but I would also feel slightly uneasy about putting my kids back there. That's if I had any. Maybe its just because its so different... I'd be interested in seeing a rear end collision test with some dummies back there.

  • smudge12 smudge12 Posts:

    While I wouldn't say that it necessarily raises red flags, motorists unfamiliar with Tesla's setup (most people?) might worry about why there's a child in your trunk. It certainly looks odd from another driver's POV, and I wouldn't put it past someone calling the police if they saw it on the open road. 2 cents.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    it really does look like you locked her in the trunk. not like the Estate Wagons of long ago. at least there's no fake woodgrain vinyl siding on the 'S'

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    I don't know - I've been a rear-seat passenger in a rear-end accident that crushed the trunk, which was a fine crumple zone. This is probablysafer than the front seat, though, in a head-on.

  • looks like it could get warm back there with all that glass

  • And to think... when I was a kid, my buddy and I would ride in the hatch of his parents' VW 412 on purpose! Unlike certain other station wagons, the VW did not have seats back there; we were just being doofuses. It was fun, and terribly unsafe. I'm happy for the safety in cars these days; there is plenty of fun to be had elsewhere.

  • The best part about rear facing seats is the kids can do the penn and teller (I think it was them) idea of putting a strip of duct tape (with most of the sticky worn off) across their mouth and their hands behind your back. Then they wiggle and squirm as the cars go by with a look of terror in their eyes. Probably funnier 20 years ago when the cops wouldn't throw out a spike strip without hesitating.

  • misterfusion, it is amazing that any of us survived childhood.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    I remember that the most interesting thing about riding in a car as a kid was watching the scenery go by. I could image that, were I still a five year old, the lack of visibility would be irritating.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    "Daddy, I don't think it's a good idea to put kids in the trunk." I wonder how many CPS reports that line has made it into.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I too rode in the back of a wagon/SUV without seats or seatbelts of any kind more than once growing up. I remember my mom and aunt just telling us to stay down and out of sight of any other motorist, especially police. Somehow, I survived. My wife and her brothers sat in the rear facing jumpseats of their wagon when they were growing up, and our wagon now still has rear-facing jump seats. My wife's former roommate still likes riding back there to bring back childhood memories.

  • " Somehow, I survived." --- It is probably one of those things that could be debated as much as religion and which brand of oil to use. But it all comes down to it is easier to survive not being belted into the car if nobody ever pulls right out in front of the car or crosses the center line coming towards the car you are in or hits the stopped car you are in with 50 mph of momentum to transfer. If you are fortunate enough to never experience that then you would survive just about anywhere in the car.--- Kids don't launch through the windshield without an impact so no impact no need for a seat belt. The problem is on the rare occasion of an impact it can be a real bummer without one.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    yeah, that was one moment where my "somehow, I survived" was actually more earnest than tongue-in-cheek. I think society is generally way too safety-obsessed, but looking back, riding unsecured in the back was a really bad idea. I'm lucky nothing happened. I'll let my kid climb trees, play contact games, and generally get all manners of cuts, bruises, and the like that come from good honest play, but she'll always be buckled in the car.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @smudge12 It depends whether law enforcement can be arsed. I called in a car here in Vegas with a small child crawling over the rear compartment including the parcel shelf. They seemed to lose interest when I gave them the make (Mercedes) and plate number

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @misterfusion I'll raise your VW 412 riding position with three of us boys sitting on the engine cover in the front of a forward control Ford Thames van in the UK. A padded matchbox was used to prevent injury from the windshield wiper control mounted in t

  • cooper7r cooper7r Posts:

    Ahh ... the return of the old throw-up seats. My family had an 80's GM wagon when I was growing up. I sat back there in the rear facing seats on our yearly near country wide car trips each summer. Love the memories of those trips save one. Sitting back there had me puking time after time. Found out lemons help a little, but those seats were a real doozy.

  • anthonyp anthonyp Posts:

    She looks cute back there, with the world going by Tony

  • eclogite eclogite Posts:

    I'm with @zimtheinvader. I'd want some serious tint and a sun shade before putting kids back there. Of course, I'm in central Texas so that might be a bigger concern here than in other parts of the U.S.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    You know, I've never seen people in the S' rear-facing seats with the hatch closed - always open. That's kind of scary.

  • awakeinwa awakeinwa Posts:

    Tesla declares it the safest seat in the house, both side and back protection. Considering double reinforced bumper can withstand a truck collision at highway speeds.

  • awakeinwa awakeinwa Posts:

    wrt heat, Tesla uses solar glass which cuts out the majority of UV rays reducing heat buildup.

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