Do European Cars Have Cup Holders? (We Checked)

If you’re familiar with many American vehicles, you would have been used to the sight of different cup holders in the cars. How about the European one?

European vehicles are less notable for featuring cup holders. This could be because of their culture or their serious attitude towards driving.

Whichever one it seems; this article provides all the answers you need to know about whether European cars have cup holders.

Before we move into the details, find the list of the European cars with cup holders and the ones that don’t have below.

car cup holders

European Cars that Have Cup Holders

Here are some European cars that feature cup holders:

  • BMW 3-Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series
  • BMW X3
  • BMW E90, E91, E92, and E93
  • Land Rover Range Rover 4.6HSE
  • Audi A4, A6, and A8
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class, S-Class, and E-Class
  • Volkswagen Golf, Passat, and Tiguan
  • Porsche Cayenne and Panamera
  • Volvo XC90 and S90
  • And many other latest European cars, especially the ones built for the American market.

European Cars that Don’t Have Cup Holders

Below are some of the European cars that have no cup holders:

  • Mercedes-Benz R129 SL
  • BMW E30
  • Volkswagen Golf MK2
  • Audi A6 C4
  • BMW M3 E46
  • Mercedes-Benz W140

Related: 11 popular cars without cup holders

Why Do Some German Cars Not Have Cup Holders?

Most German vehicle manufacturers are known for their neglection of the cup holders. Many vehicle enthusiasts believe that they focus more on building strong and reliable vehicles than designing them to accommodate drinking while driving.

Besides, many German cars often feature the manual transmission system which requires constant use of both hands while driving. Check the 8 reasons European cars have manual gear to know why.

The presence of a cupholder would only give the driver of a manual car less control of a vehicle, as he may be distracted by the drink beside him.

Moreover, drivers are often prosecuted in many European countries for drinking while driving. Rather than drinking in the car, most Europeans prefer having their drinks in cafes or restaurants.

This could be another reason why many European cars do not have cup holders.

While relating the German auto engineers’ aversion and feeling of absurdity towards the presence of cup holders in vehicles, quotes this about Bill Taylor, who was the former president and CEO of U.S Mercedes-Benz international:

Who would drive a car and drink coffee? It’s not safe… We would fight about the need for not just one cup holder, but many cup holders?

The German culture does not really encourage drinking and driving. However, a number of German automakers started including the cupholder spaces in their vehicles when they started considering the American markets.

According to Taylor,

It’s about respecting each other’s differences and learning about these differences and why there are differences.


Note that some German cars have featured cup holders even from as far back as the 1990s. At least, the 1997 BMW 5 Series has about 4 cup compartments, placed at the front and rear side.

So, not all European vehicles feature no cup holders.

What Size Are European Cup Holders?

There are no standard sizes for cup holders in Europe. Different vehicle makers or vehicle models come with different cup holder sizes that suit the size of their vehicles and the desired designs.

The truth is, European vehicle manufacturers are fond of producing compact rides unlike the big sizes most notable with American vehicles. This could be the reason why many European cars come with smaller cup holders.

In fact, quite a few vehicles of that origin come with in-dash cup compartments, which can only accommodate small cups or bottles. This is most common in Audi cars.

European cup holders are often smaller than the ones seen in many American vehicles. In fact, several users have expressed their displeasure about the sizes of the various cup holders found in many rides of European descents.

According to Ironflask, the standard cup holders measure 2 to 3 inches in depth with a diameter of 3 inches. The diameter of most European cup holders is not up to 3 inches. For example, many Audi rides feature cup holders with a diameter of just about 2 to 2.5 inches.

For comparison, you might want to check 5 cars with big cup holders for large drinks here.

Why Don’t all European Cars Have Cup Holders?

In the simplest sense of it, all European cars do not have cup holders because of the European drinking. Rather than drinking in the car, the most common practice in Europe is to drink in a café or restaurant.

As a result, European automakers felt no need to include cup holders in their vehicle, unlike other automakers. This had been the case until these vehicle manufacturers felt the need to satisfy and respect the drinking culture of their American customers.

You’ll agree that many European cars now come with a cup holder, even it means hiding it in a small space around the dashboard.

How Many Cup Holders Do European Cars Have?

Most European cars have one or two dedicated spaces for cup holders. However, newer vehicles of European descents are starting to feature multiple cup holders in different areas.

So, you’ll likely see many new European cars having front and rear cup holders. Some few ones also have the extended rear armrest cup spaces and the ones behind the front or middle seats.

Why not check our post on 11 cars with up to 12 cup holders here?


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