Tesla Model Y buyers will have the option to purchase an optional third row of seats with their new electric crossover. While the final setup and seating arrangement for the Model Y’s third row seats is not available yet, YouTuber and Tesla enthusiast DaErik opted to perform a brief test about some options that the electric car maker could release for the vehicle. Based on the Tesla owner’s test, it appears that Tesla would need to work very hard to design third row seats that are sized just right and comfortable enough for Model Y passengers.
DaErik currently owns a Model Y and Model S, but in the past, he also owned a Model X. While he does not have the SUV any longer, he does have two rows of seats from the vehicle, both of which sits in his house as couches. DaErik then decided to see if he could use the Model X seats in the Model Y to get an idea of how the crossover’s third row will be like.
DaErik recognized that the Model X’s seats were likely bulkier than what the Model Y will offer for its third row. The seats for the Model Y may even be rear-facing based on predictions from auto teardown expert Sandy Munro, who previously stated that all of the mounting points for the back row suggest that the crossover may also be designed for rear-facing third-row seats.
After installing the backrests of the Model X seats in the trunk of the Model Y, DaErik installed the under-bottom portion of the seats as well. This proved to be too full for the narrower body and interior of the Model Y, so he removed them and stuck with the backrests only. While it wasn’t a complete seat installation, the placement of the Model Y seats still provided a somewhat realistic depiction of what the Model Y’s third row seating would be like.
The Model X seats were not a glove-like fit in the Model Y. DaErik estimates that Tesla’s final Model Y third row seats will likely sit closer to the rear hatch than the Model X seats did, similar to the third row seats in the Model Y prototype from last year. However, he did say that the Model Y’s third row area is a cozy and relatively comfortable space, especially for smaller passengers like children.
DaErik then attempted to use a Model 3 seat in the trunk of the Model Y but installed it facing forward. The Model Y unveiling in March 2019 featured a seven-seated crossover with forward-facing third row seats. Based on the Tesla enthusiast’s test, it seems that front-facing seats will end up eliminating a significant amount of legroom for the passengers in the third row.
DaErik’s recent test has shed some insight on what strategies Tesla will likely take to make the Model Y comfortable enough to seat seven people. To accomplish this, Tesla may very well have to create a new seat design from scratch, as seats from the Model X are too broad, and chairs from the Model 3 are not optimized for the limited space in the third row. Fortunately for Tesla, the company actually has a dedicated seat factory in Fremont, which should be able to design and produce the Model Y’s third row seats without any issues.
Tesla is expected to release the seven-seat option for the Model Y in 2021.
Watch DaErik’s video of the possible Model Y third-row seat design below.