New seats, wider rear doors and myriad detail changes are the material differences to report here – a fact that both totally understates how innovative and bold the Model S’s cabin looks and feels even today and also leaves one of two of our original criticisms unanswered.

Tesla’s right-hand drive conversion is flawless, consisting of a wide, centrally positioned brake pedal and a perfectly placed and broadly adjustable steering column.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Tesla’s ability to upgrade its infotainment remotely far surpasses rivals’ sluggardly improvements

The aura of material quality has improved a little, its leathers and plastics being notably better than they were. But the crowning glories remain the crystal-clear digital instruments and, moreover, the 17.0in colour display, which is angled slightly towards you as part of the asymmetrical sweep of the cockpit.

The screen’s functions run beyond the scope of most infotainment systems; everything from the headlight and sunroof controls to the standard-fit web browser is incorporated. Finding the menu you need can be tricky at first, but it quickly becomes easy once you’re used to the shortcut buttons.

Tesla’s technophile approach to the car business wouldn’t work without a generous equipment level here.

Sure enough, the car’s stunning 17in tablet-style touchscreen infotainment display is backed up by 3G internet connectivity and wi-fi as standard — with a full-screen web browser visible even while the vehicle is in motion — as well as an AM/FM/DAB radio, internet radio, European navigation, voice control, Bluetooth media streaming and two USB inputs.

Frankly, you couldn’t really want or expect more in the way of entertainment or communication options. The web browser is somewhat limited by the speed of your data connection, and because the navigation relies on the same data connection to refresh mapping data, it can refresh a little slowly at times when expanded into full-screen mode.

Most of the time, though, the navigation display is clear and fantastically easy to use, thanks to sophisticated touchscreen controls and intuitive programming tools.

Tesla’s 12-speaker premium audio system was an option that our test car didn’t have, but the standard set-up is powerful and clear enough not to sound in need of an upgrade.

Our test car did without the rear-facing jump seats fitted to our 2013 example, making it a five-seater only – and a decently spacious one.

For the money, you can buy more accommodating passenger cars, the Model S coming up to mid-size saloon standards on space and yet costing more than most equivalent full-size limos.

That said, there’s more than enough room for larger adults in the back, and the combined luggage capacity of the front and rear boot compartments would be enough to rival almost any estate car or SUV you care to mention.

Tesla has yet to get a proper grip on the thorny nettle of adequate oddment storage. There are still no door bins, there’s no centre console storage bin, and there’s only a flat, slim cubby at the base of the centre stack that tends to empty its contents over the cabin floor under acceleration.

They’re the kinds of failings that can be remedied in a car mid-cycle, and in the convenience-conscious United States we’d imagine there’s plenty of pressure on the company to address them. Still, given how busy Tesla has been on other fronts, few would complain. 

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