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QUALITY | 6 out of 10
Yoga moves needed to get in and out of a Tesla
Car and Driver
Bucket seats hold you tightly in place
The Detroit News
Interior finish is now pretty convincing
The 2009 Tesla Roadster surprises many in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com with its commendable build quality, but overall driver comfort is a sore point.
The Tesla Roadster offers seating for two inside its rather cramped cabin, which requires some tricky maneuvering to enter. Owners of other small sportscars will be familiar with the requisite contortions, but for the uninitiated Car and Driver says that "yoga moves [are] needed to get in and out of a Tesla." Once inside, The Detroit News observes that "the bucket seats hold you tightly in place," while Cars.com reports that the 2009 Tesla Roadster's buckets are "standard heated leather seats, but cloth seats are also available." Road & Track feels that the Tesla Roadster's cabin "is rather more habitable than an Elise's," but it's still far from spacious. One problem area for potential Tesla 2009 Roadster passengers and drivers is the rough ride afforded by the seats; Car and Driver reviewers manage to travel "only about 160 miles before total failure. Not of the battery pack but of our lower backs," thanks to the fact that the Tesla Roadster's "seats seem to consist of little more than black paint on the fire wall."
The cramped interior quarters put quite a damper on overall cargo space, which is close to zero. The interior doesn't offer any door pockets or cup holders, with just a tiny compartment in front of the passenger for small-item storage. Behind the engine, Car and Driver says you'll find a "five-cubic-foot, carbon-fiber bucket that serves as a trunk," and that represents the extent of the Tesla Roadster's storage space.
Early reviews of the 2009 Tesla Roadster note the somewhat unfinished look of the interior, but with the latest single-speed versions of this Tesla 2009 speedster rolling off the assembly line, the tune has changed. Motor Trend says "the interior finish is now pretty convincing," while Road & Track reviewers proclaim that the "fit and finish of our Tesla [Roadster] were exemplary, seemingly rather more tightly assembled than the last Elise" they drove in. Motor Trend points out the "naked structural aluminum" used in parts of the Tesla Roadster's interior "feels good to the touch," and the "full, high-quality carpet" that covers the floor is a nice touch. On certain interior elements, Road & Track contends that "the leather trim [contributes] an upmarket feel appropriate for a car of this price range."
Anyone who has driven a hybrid vehicle, or even been around one that's in operation, knows that electric propulsion isn't completely silent. Such is the case with the 2009 Tesla Roadster—Car and Driver says that the engine itself makes a low whir, "especially while hurtling BMW M3-like to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds," and the Tesla 2009 Roadster's "targa top is a roll-up canvas hankie that holds back wind noise about as well as a beach towel."
Cargo space and passenger comfort are both negligible on the 2009 Tesla Roadster, but at least the interior materials feel right.