Tesla Model Y 2nd-row seats are a masterstroke in unexpected practicality

(Credit: Tesla)

Being a crossover, the Tesla Model Y will likely serve as a people mover for most of its buyers. Tesla notes that the vehicle is pretty spacious inside, with ample headroom, a spacious 2nd row, a stunning glass roof, and seating for up to seven passengers. Yet, behind its people-moving characteristics, the Model Y seems to be optimized for utility and practicality as well. Very few have just noticed it. 

As posted by Tesla owner-enthusiast Erik Strait, the Model Y’s official webpage shows that the vehicle’s three second-row seats can be individually folded. This is quite different from the Model 3, which is equipped with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. 

This slight change alone makes a lot of difference when it comes to the utility of the Model Y, particularly when it comes to hauling cargo. Since the Model Y’s three second-row seats can be folded down individually, it would be possible to simply drop the middle seat to carry long items such as skis, allowing the vehicle to carry a large amount of cargo. Doing so still leaves four comfortable seats on the vehicle. 

With this small optimization on the Model Y’s second-row seats, Tesla has pretty much turned its crossover into a vehicle that will be perfect for the occasional weekend family ski trip. Couple this with the support from the company’s ever-expanding Supercharger Network, and the Model Y becomes a very compelling long-trip vehicle. 

Tesla’s electric cars have always been champions of cargo space in their own right. The company’s flagship sedan, the Model S, has so much space that a literal double-sized mattress actually fits inside the cabin when the second-row seats are folded down. The Model Y is no exception, with the vehicle being equipped with 66 cu ft of cargo space. That’s enough to hold a lot of bags and luggage, and yes, even a few sets of skis. 

Tesla has already killed the myth of range anxiety, thanks in part to its vehicles’ industry-leading range as well as its Supercharger Network. It’s now up to the company’s vehicles to prove that they have what it takes to outdo practical champions like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, which are the go-to affordable mainstream crossovers for weekend adventures. The Model 3 is incredibly practical for its class, but it’s a sedan and is thus at a disadvantage when it comes to the general perception of conventional consumers. 

The Model Y, on the other hand, is perfectly positioned to compete against these mainstream veteran affordable crossovers. The vehicle is a premium EV, so its cost will be higher than conventional crossovers like the RAV4. Despite this, it’s far more affordable than other electric SUVs like the Model X or the Jaguar I-PACE. The Model Y requires very little maintenance and recharging it is very affordable thanks to the Supercharger Network, making it a viable alternative to cheaper petrol-powered rivals. The crossover segment is very competitive, more so than the sedan market, but the Model Y might have just the right goods to be a success.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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