2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Complex Cupholders

April 29, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

When cupholders do their job, you'll never give them a second thought. But perhaps too much thought was given when Mercedes-Benz designed the cupholders on our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. They are needlessly complex and aren't very good at holding anything larger than a can of soda.

The cupholders are hidden in the center console until you need them. Using them requires a two-step process (three if you want a second cupholder). When you flip it into position, the cupholder appears on the right, as if it belonged to the passenger. There's a tall (small if you're not versed in Starbucks jargon) iced coffee in the above photo. Opting for the Venti (large) would've been a risky proposition.

When you're done with your beverage of choice, there's a four-step process to put them away (five if you've used the second cupholder).

Take a look at this video to see the cupholders in action:

This may not be the worst cupholder ever (our long-term Miata might take the cake on that), but I'd venture to say that the CL65 may have one of the most complex.

Can you name any other cars with complex cupholders?

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 62,714 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By mercedesfan
on 04/29/14
8:09 AM PST

@duck87, It was a cultural thing. For decades Germans simply didn't understand America's obsession with beverages in the car. Germans simply don't drink anything while driving. Up until the turn of the century there were actually laws in Germany making it illegal to have a beverage in the car while on the Autobahn. As a result, German car companies tended to prefer slim center consoles that positioned the gear shift ideally for the driver and didn't bother with cup holders because they weren't used. However, America demands cup holders and thus engineers had to find a way to build a cup holder into the existing design/layout of the cabin. This resulted in the complex mechanisms found in most German cars from this period.

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By bobinsepa
on 04/29/14
2:09 PM PST

An oldie but a goodie: "German cars don't come with cup-holders for the same reason that German coffee tables don't come with steering wheels."

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By duck87
on 04/29/14
7:41 AM PST

I don't understand this fascination that Germans have with overcomplicating basic functions. What advantage is there to this other than moving your small drink off to the passenger side? Here's a better idea for a cupholder: It's called a "hole" in the center console. It's hard for me to fathom the possibility of breaking something like a cupholder, but looking at this design all it takes is an enthusiastic passenger and "sir, that will be $500". What's even harder for me to imagine is that there was undoubtedly an engineer in Germany, probably with a master's or PhD, who spent 2-3 years designing this thing.

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