2013 Tesla Model S: Premium Center Console
March 24, 2014
One of the gripes we and other Tesla Model S owners have is the lack of interior storage. As it comes from the factory, you have two medium-sized cupholders, a glovebox and a short walled tray that is mounted to the floor where other cars would have a center console. For $650, you can have Tesla install something called a Yacht floor, which lines that floor tray with matching interior wood trim and strips of rubber that run lengthwise. For the same price, there's also something called the Premium Center Console.
A friend of mine has a Model S and decided to spring for that center console and I had an opportunity to check it out. Unlike the rest of the car, I was duly unimpressed.
The unit doesn't look half bad, with stitched leather and wood trim to match the rest of his car. It's sectioned in two, with a spot intended for your phone and other personal effects and another with adjustable cupholders. Both have sliding covers to keep objects out of view.
Before I even touched it, I could tell that the covers were not up to snuff. They didn't fit flush and looked like they didn't quite close completely. Things got worse when I moved them out of the way, as they felt flimsy. Even the side walls of the console didn't feel all that substantial. The phone bin did have a neat Apple Lightning connector for his iPhone 5, but using it requires removing the phone from its case. It also doesn't hold the phone securely either.
The cupholder bin was better executed, with curved metal dividers that you can position as you see fit. Considering the overall fit and finish of the Model S, this option is a huge disappointment. My friend agreed and let me know that he complained to Tesla enough that they agreed to uninstall it and give him a full refund.
There are other aftermarket options out there, but I haven't seen them in person, nor have I heard any reactions to them. At this point, I'm more than happy making due with the standard flat bin.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 20,103 miles