11 Popular Cars Without Cup Holders (With Pictures)

We all know how important cup holders are.

This is especially true if you’ve been stuck with a latte in one hand and a briefcase in the other. Mix that with the morning rush of traffic and a cup holder comes in handy while driving.

They have become so prevalent because of increased consumer demand. This has made it difficult to find a car without one.

However, we’ve compiled a list of automobiles without cup holders to satisfy your curious mind.

1. Mercedes-Benz R129 SL

The R129 is no doubt a coveted classic, manufactured in the late 80s by German car manufacturing giants Mercedes-Benz.

It is a sturdy automobile with a convertible roof. The iconic car with a classy interior never failed in areas of luxury or road trips, as expected from any Mercedes-Benz.

Many features contribute to its dashing interior, including leather seats and sparkling dashboards. However, it missed something crucial, a cup holder.

Having a cup to one’s face was considered a “distracting activity” by German manufacturers. This, of course, was before they targeted the American market.

Still, the R129 seemed sleek anyway. It’s still a favorite for many drivers who just enjoy one thing: driving. If you’d prefer cars with cup holders, some of them have big ones that’d be great for large drinks.

2. BMW E30

BMW is another well-known German automobile. It has long stood out for its heritage and iconic status. The BMW E30 made careful to check off these boxes since they had a reputation to maintain.

However, like their German counterparts did with the R139, BMW omitted the cup holder in the E30. It possessed all the basic interior needs, except for a cup holder. Still, we consider it to be a classic car.

One would assume that German automobiles had an aversion to cup holders. Here, that assumption would be correct.

Drivers did not linger on this omission because it did not cause any significant displeasure. Or at least, according to its sales figures, it posed little a problem.

The E30 has aced the test of time, proving to be a highly rated automobile. The BMW E series features more cars that, unsurprisingly, had no cup holders.

3. Volkswagen Golf Mk2

Most of the time, you can’t go wrong with a German-made car. Everyone knows they’re reliable and maintain an excellent reputation.

Still, it would seem their cars also have a thing for excluding cup holders from their design. Again, like its German siblings, excluding cup holders didn’t affect its sales negatively. In fact, Volkswagen produced a massive 6.3 million units.

The Mk2 is also one of the most renowned models in the world. Few cars have enjoyed such success. It further adds speed and durability to its resume.

However, its interiors are not as classy as an R139 or an E30. Its exteriors are exactly what one would expect from a basic car. But it has plenty of room for comfort despite being a relatively compact car.

For reasons that are easily deduced, it does not come with cup holders. Some may think it has no cup holders because Volkswagen wanted to keep the design as simple as possible.

However, at the time the Volkswagen Golf Mk2 was first produced, cup holders were not a typical feature in automobiles.

4. 1989 Honda Accord DX

The Honda Accord was first introduced as a compact car in 1976. Ever since the late 80s, it has gotten bigger.

It had what every car was required to have, like adequate headroom, legroom and comfortable seats. However, it didn’t have a cup holder, although cup holders had been around since 1983.

The well-built, economical, and fun-to-drive car has developed massively over the years.

Though the cup holder was absent in the 1989 Accord, it was the best-selling car without it. Users still regard this car as one of their favorites, regardless.

It is also the first Japanese brand to become the best-selling car in the United States. This further strengthened its reputation and caused it to garner a lot of attraction.

Related: How Long Do Honda Accord Last? (Solved & Explained)

5. 1990 Honda Civic Hatchback

Honda released the Civic into the market around the time the Honda Accord was already famous. However, it’s also made quite the name for itself.

It had other close similarities in appearance, but a few notable differences. A major difference was that the Civic was smaller than the Accord and also more affordable. Little wonder it’s a favorite among budget-conscious drivers.

To us, its most relevant similarity to the Accord was its exclusion of a cup holder.

Since they made both cars around the same era, it doesn’t come as a surprise. The cup holder was a common absence for most cars during that period.

The Civic also comes in different body styles, including hatchbacks and sedans.

6. Audi A6 C4

The first generation German manufactured car, Audi A6, first came to light in 1994. They made it to replace the Audi 100. It did not, however, satisfy the growing need for cup holders in the American market.

Despite that, the absence of a cup holder took nothing away from its elegance and guaranteed quality.

It remains known for its elegant look and smooth drive. More so, elegance and luxury aren’t all it brings to the table. It combines its elegance with superior quality.

Related: 5 Audi Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

7. BMW M3 E46


The end of the millennium marked the beginning of the E46, which was a tremendous hit. Users described it as legendary and a model that provided pure driving pleasure. There are many who regard it as the best generation for the BMW M3.

However, others still disagree with its design, which excluded the idea of cup holders. This was especially surprising given its production era. More and more cars had already adopted cup holders into their design by the 2000s.

However, the M3 stood out in both interior and exterior sections thanks to its other distinguishing features.

8. Mercedes-Benz W140

Manufactured in 1991 for the 1992 model year, the Mercedes-Benz W140 is another automobile manufactured without a cup holder.

Balancing comfort with technology, the S-class Mercedes concentrated on providing maximum comfort for its users. Including support systems for the driver was part of the scale of the brand being a tech inclined car.

Every part of the interior described what comfort should feel like, or at least to some people.

There were no factory manufactured cup holders following the making of this car. That means people who desired them had to look for aftermarket options to fit them in.

Related: Mercedes & Depreciation: Numbers + Examples You Should Know

9. Alfa Romeo 164

The 164 is an executive class car that shows its styling strength, as we’d expect from a car from Italy.

The company styled the engine and the body beautifully. Although its reliability has been a question for users, over the years, it became a valuable possession.

Alfa Romeo also did not manufacture it with a cup holder. The absence of cup holders raised a few questions since the 164 was a carefully styled car with premium materials.

Drivers settled with the notion that Italians, like the Germans, were not so fond of the cup holders as well.

10. Alfa Romeo 166

The Alfa Romeo 166, like its predecessor, the Alfa Romeo 164, was exquisitely constructed, both inside and out. It also continued the trend of having no cup holders.

However, unlike its predecessor, it was a more reliable vehicle, and this was the significant difference between them.

The Alfa Romeo design has come a long way. The newer Alfa Romeo Stelvio has had some good years too!

11. 1989 Mazda 626

We also know it as the Mazda Capella. The fourth generation of the Mazda 626 featured sedans and hatchbacks. It also served users greatly and its reliability was never in doubt.

Some consumers described it as having the best ergonomics and driving comfort. Though they ascribed these features to it, it was another automobile without cup holders.

Final Thoughts

High performance vehicles still ended up with huge sales, whether or not they had cup holders.

This could mean that car buyers care little about cup holders compared with their car’s overall performance. However, a high performance vehicle with cup holders will most likely remain the first choice for Americans.

In fact, some drivers consider cup holders a must-have in their vehicles.

This means having a cup holder would give cars a competitive advantage over cars without them. It is also noteworthy that the American market was more receptive of cup holders than the German and Japanese market.

These days, modern cup holders are even heated or ventilated to keep the drinks hot or cold.

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