Seven-Seat Tesla Model Y is Near, but How Will It Squeeze in That Extra Row?

The Tesla Model Y is about to receive the most significant new variant of its relatively young product cycle, with the seven-seat version scheduled to enter production in November with the first deliveries scheduled for early the following month. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the production of the upcoming variant via Twitter this week, after the three-row version was first mentioned all the way back in March, 2019 during the model’s public introduction.

How much will the three-row version cost buyers?

The seven-seater will be a $3,000 option in the not-particularly-large crossover. It’s only been available as a five-seater since production began in February this year.

But what’s not immediately clear is whether the Model Y’s third row is forward-facing or rear-facing. That’s because the car’s roof, unlike in numerous other three-row crossovers (most of which are much larger to begin with) is coupe-shaped. Tesla has offered rear-facing jump seats in its Model S sedan while offering forward-facing seats in the Model X, the latter actually offering relatively easy ingress and egress for third-row passengers.

But even vehicles like the Lexus RX had to receive a longer fuselage if not a longer wheelbase in order to fit in an extra row of seats. And the RX, as you may have noticed, is neither small nor low sitting.

If $3,000 for two extra seats sounds like a lot of money contemplated in a vacuum rather than in the world of vehicle options, that’s because automakers seek to make money on options. Still, the relatively ambitious price of a third row option — this item costs an extra $500 in AWD versions of the Volkswagen Tiguan, for example — perhaps reflects some greater structural changes needed to squeeze an additional two seats into the car, which has at times been described as just a taller Model 3. Even in larger models like the VW Atlas a third-row option is priced less than $1,000. So those who choose the seven-seat Model Y are definitely paying a premium for those two extra seats.

Another question, of course, is just how usable those two extra seats will be, and what size humans will fit there with ease? Will that third row deliver $3,000 worth of accommodations?

A three-row Model Y has once again raised the question of why Tesla didn’t give the Model Y a station-wagon profile to begin with, opting for a slightly more bulbous profile of the Model 3.

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