Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Is it really better? - Green car future (2023)

When you order a custom Tesla, say the best-selling Model 3, you have a number of optionswhen building your car. One choice that is presented is the choice of interior upholstery. The standard offering is all black. For many, this is a natural choice for several reasons:

  • Black is the new black
  • Black always looks elegant and stylish
  • Other colors are more difficult to keep clean
  • It is included in the price

This last option seems particularly important in this case. The "Black and White" interior with all white seats with black center armrest, black/white mixed door panels etc.costs extra$1,000 – or £1,100 in the UK.

This factoid offers a pretty obvious answer to the question in our title for some. Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Because they get an extra $1,000 (or £1,100) on top of the prize:

Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Is it really better? - Green car future (1)

In fact, there seems to be a lot more to it than just the money. Considering the white upholstery is soft and lushvegan friendly leather, the additional costs become a little more obvious and you start to think maybe Tesla isn't making anything more significant out of it.

Okay, then why the recommendation? What's even better about the white interior than the all-black interior? In today's blog we try to find out.

Contents hide

1Background: Musk's Red Wine Challenge

2So what's so great about the white interior design?

2.1 Stain Resistance

2.2 Style and Comfort

2.3Heat Reflection

(Video) White Tesla Seats after 1 year

2.4 It is eco-friendly and pet-friendly

2.5 The condition of the white upholstery has proven to be durable

3Conclusion: Is black and white worth $1,000?

(Video) Tesla White Seats: Durable or Destroyed? 20,000 miles with kids!

Background: Musk's Red Wine Challenge

Already in December 2018,Elon Musktweeted a reply asking about Tesla upholstery, in which he very strongly recommends getting the white seats.His tweet isfrom December 16, 2018 at 5:44 am (early bird?):

The white seats are actually extremely dirt-repellent. You can spill red wine on the seats and just wipe it off.”

Elon Musk, Twitter, December 16, 2018

Well, at least we know the tweet must be Musk's, as it's full of his usual subtle provocation and challenge.Did he just subtly invite all white-trimmed Tesla owners to pour red wine on their seats and see for themselves that they can just wipe it away?That's a pretty bold claim, of course, given that white upholstered furniture and red wine have been natural enemies for centuries.

It didn't take long for people to start taking Musk up on his challenge. Eric Loveday, writing for insideevs.com at the time, wrote an article that included a videoDemonstrationby Vincent Yu (who was on the Twitter thread with Musk at the time of his claim in December) pouring red wine straight onto the white passenger seat of his 1-month-old Tesla Model 3.

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He starts out confident"Let us try it…"but even then she seems hesitant as the bottle lingers at a safe angle before finally being tipped far enough to pour the wine.

The wine came out and ran all over the seat. Fans of Tesla cars and good upholstery no doubt pulled their hair out as the rich red wine splattered over the passenger seat, ran down and pooled in the space between the seat and backrest.

When the cast was done it looked like a crime scene. "There you go!" says Vincent before bringing some help to clean it up. Who is he bringing? It's his young son, armed only with paper towels - he'll definitely drive the point home here... pun definitely intended.

Only with paper towels does the boy continue to wipe and indeed all the wine comes out. Then he wipes it down again with a clean, dry rag to make sure it gets into all the crevices, and voila! The work is done and there is no trace of the wine left.

So what's so great about the white interior?

Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Is it really better? - Green car future (2)

stain resistance

Musk's 2018 tweet and Vincent Yu's subsequent video demonstration give us the first benefit of the white Tesla interior, and that's its stain resistance. Red wine against a soft white surface is impressive.Of course, the fact that it's vegan leather helps, as it doesn't soak up wine as insanely quickly as fabric upholstery. Would Tesla's white interior be offSoftTexor some similar cloth-based stuff, it might be a different story.

Zachary Shahan writing for cleantechnical.com September 2021brings upthe dirt-repellent fabric as another reason to prefer white to black when choosing the interior. That's what he writes“…there are various spots or marks that show up much more strongly on black. They seem to get dirty more easily than the white seats.”

style and comfort

Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Is it really better? - Green car future (3)
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There seems to be a consensus that the white vegan-friendly leather looks way, way better than the all-black style. Shahan has a Model 3 with a white interior and received a Model 3 with a black interioras a lenderwhen his own went to the service center. What was the family's reaction? in his words,"Nobody was enthusiastic about the black seats."That's a pretty blatant statement.

Here's the thing, the white doesn't just look better because white is inherently better, but because of something else, which the name of this interior pack alludes to. We mentioned it above.It's not called "white interior" but rather "black and white" interior. The combination of black and white gives a much more stylish combination.

Honestly, it bangs! Black and white play against each other, black enhances white and white enhances black. It's a symphony, a harmony.

There is also a strong opinion that white leather feels softer and is therefore more comfortable to sit on. This is no doubt very helpful for the driver and passengers when facing each othera longer journey. When car seats are super comfortable and soft, long drives feel so much less of a chore, and in fact, sitting in the car can become a fun part of the trip!

heat reflection

Another practical reason Tesla and others recommend the white upholstery is that this is blackmore heat absorbing. Of course, Tesla lets you pre-condition your car so it never feels too hot when you get in, but what about those times when you're in a hurry or forgot, or maybe the app just isn't working? It's time and you can't pre-condition.

It seems that the white seats don't get as "FREAKIN' HOT" (as Shahan describes the problem in his own article) as the black seats.

It is eco-friendly and pet-friendly

It's worth noting that you're spending more money not on the kind of luxurious leather that results from the torture and death of cows, but on ethically sourced and vegan leather. That means it's cruelty-free. It's a nice bonus for those who want every inch of their car to be green and ethical.

The white upholstery condition has proven to be durable

Why does Tesla recommend the white interior? Is it really better? - Green car future (4)

Shahan also includes a video in his article showing his own Tesla Model 3 with the white seats.The car is 2 years old and has 17,000 miles on the clock and this is a car visited by a mum, dad and 2 young children. The seats are absolutely spotless and in great condition.

This is strong evidence that Tesla is investing in a durable product that not only won't rip or tear even when the kids come by - perhaps the ultimate test is 3 kids and a Labrador - but also won't lose the luster of its white luster after all this time This is impressive.

Related reading: Tesla Terms: M3P vs M3LR and MYLR vs MYP (what to buy and what they mean!)

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Bottom Line: Is Black and White Worth $1,000?

So is Tesla's recommendation fair? Did they earn the right to their extra $1,000 so we can get the black and white interior?the seemingly invinciblewhite leather seats? Well, it seems it's not purely aesthetic and that Tesla has done a lot to reduce the risk of damaging the seats prematurely. If so, we think it's a valuable addition to your car.

Keep in mind that you'll be shelling out an extra $12,000 if you want the full self-driving mode package in it. The black and white interior pack gives you comfortable padding in your seats that you'll enjoy 100 percent of the time you spend in your Tesla. You will probably only use the FSD system occasionally. We say it's $1,000 well spent.


Is white interior Tesla worth it? ›

In summary, KilowattAuto highly recommends the white interior. It's easy to clean and the few creases that do appear are barely noticeable. He also noted it makes the interior feel more spacious and elevates the look of the car. Any Tesla's he gets in future will definitely have the white interior over the black.

Does white interior in Tesla stay clean? ›

Yes! According to the cleaning section of the owner's manual, Tesla officially recommends the best way of cleaning a white seat is simply using a soft cloth moistened with water and non-detergent soap only.

Does the white Tesla interior stain easily? ›

As much as they look good, Tesla owners and potential buyers normally worry about the stains these seats may attract, especially from dyed denim (jeans). Since the driver's seat is the most frequently used in any car, this is the one that is more prone to catching stains from jeans than any other seat in the car.

What color Tesla sells the most? ›

Electric Cars - Colors with the Most and Least Deals
Color With the Most Deals
Nissan LEAFRed14.3%
Tesla Model SBrown25.6%
Tesla Model XBlue9.8%
Volkswagen e-GolfWhite12.7%
6 more rows

What is the best color in Tesla? ›

Yep—Obsidian Black Metallic is the best Tesla Model S color. But if we had to pick a color still being produced in 2022? It would be a toss up between Pearl White Multi-Coat, and Red Multi-Coat.

What color Tesla is better? ›

If you want a Tesla color that can withstand your daily drives, white or silver might be the best option for you. However, if you want a flashy red or blue Tesla, paint protection film (PPF) will preserve your car's exterior for years. These colors also have the highest resale value.

Why are so many Teslas white? ›

White hasn't always been the stock colour on Tesla vehicles though. Black was actually standard until mid-2019. Since the change Tesla has seen a huge increase in sales, capped off most recently with more than 241,000 in Q3 2021. That has naturally led to a large number of white Teslas on roads in Canada and the US.

Does white interior Tesla cost more? ›

Billed as a premium option, Tesla offers a white interior in the Model S, X, 3 and Y. It is a $1,000 option for 3 and Y shoppers, and $1,500 extra for S and X models, which also offer a cream interior for the same upcharge.

Is white the cheapest Tesla color? ›

If wanting to keep the cost of a Tesla purchase as low as possible then Pearl White is the only color that's included in the price for all models. However, if opting for the Model 3 or the Model Y, consumers can choose between either Pearl White or Midnight Silver Metallic at no extra cost.

Is it hard to keep a white car interior clean? ›

The trick to maintaining white auto interior is simple: clean and condition regularly. You do need to be diligent with maintaining your white interior. White will stain much quicker than any other color, so be sure to wipe and wash off dust and dirt from your seats regularly. But you also have to protect the leather.

Is white interior hard to maintain? ›

White is also notorious for being hard to keep clean. Anything darker than a beige will show up quite clearly against the seats, so you may need to ban food and drink from your car.

Does white Tesla interior get dirty? ›

Simply put, they look great. White brightens the interior, while providing a calming and airy feeling. Dirt and crumbs are easy to spot on a white surface, which means you'll spot even the smallest foreign material and be able wipe it away quickly.

Do white car interiors get dirty? ›

Maintaining white auto interior

White will stain much quicker than any other color, so be sure to wipe and wash off dust and dirt from your seats regularly. But you also have to protect the leather. Be sure to condition the leather using the right products.


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