Search Cars for Sale

The Tesla Model S is a Surprisingly Bad Family Car for One Reason

The Tesla Model S has been around for a while now, but I recently rode in one for the first time in my life in the form of an airport shuttle. I’m not a Tesla fanboy, but I was eager to get my first Tesla experience — and to find out firsthand what all of the hype is about surrounding one of the internet’s favorite car brands.

When I climbed into the back seat, the first thing I noticed was that it was kind of hard to get into for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on. I think the opening for the back seat is just designed differently than it is in normal cars, making it awkward to get into.

Whatever, no big deal. Once I was in, the second thing I noticed was how narrow the seat was. I’m a fairly average sized adult human male at six feet tall and 180 pounds, but I was surprised by how narrow the space between the edge of the seat and the seat belt buckle was. But I still fit and it didn’t bother me much.

But then I noticed something that is just plain unacceptable in any sedan at any price. It was something that made me wonder how Tesla even sold one Model S in the time that it’s been around. I looked all over the back of the cabin and for the life of me, I could not find a single cup holder.

What the heck, Tesla? No back-seat cup holders? How can any car company make such a massive oversight? I know it’s no minivan, but what kind of luxury sedan doesn’t have back-seat cup holders?

Once I noticed that there were no cup holders in the back seat of the Tesla Model S, none of the car’s virtues mattered anymore. I no longer cared about the sleek, gorgeous exterior styling, the huge infotainment screen up front, the fact that it was electric, the impressive range or the more impressive performance. None of it mattered. The whole car was dead to me because it didn’t have cup holders in the back seat.

I used to assume the Tesla Model S was a great family car. I’m pretty pro-electric, and since the Model S is one of the only all-electric luxury sedans on the market, I assumed it was one of the best in its small segment. But now it’s something I would never recommend as a family car because of this one major flaw.

Am I making too big of a deal about this? Yes, probably. But as a father with a growing family, I’ve discovered that cup holders matter — a lot — and they especially matter in any car with more than two doors. I’m surprised the Model S doesn’t have any in the back.

The Original Dodge Viper Is Insanely Undervalued
Video | The Saab 9-5 Was Saab’s Last Gasp For Life
Autotrader Find: 1988 Yugo For $5,500


Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...


  1. Are you slow??? it does have cupholders you’re completely irrelevant and a horrible writer. I guess autotrader will post anything these days

  2. No cupholders? That makes me like it even more. Cupholders are for spoiled fat Americans who can’t go longer than 15 minutes between 15000 calorie lattes and milkshakes. 

Leave a Comment

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Truck Deals: June 2022

These are the best deals on trucks for the month of June 2022.

Here Are 5 Great 1980s Performance Cars for Sale on Autotrader

Looking for a fun 1980s car? Look no further.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This