Do-it-yourself cupholders have the advantage that they can be installed in the cockpit according to personal needs. But no matter where it is attached, a good cup holder not only has to be easily accessible for the driver, but of course also has to hold the drinks securely at all times. AUTO BILD compared and rated ten cup holders between 1.78 and 19.25 euros. Only three candidates passed the test with very good or good. Six copies can only be used to a limited extent and showed blatant defects at the latest during the driving test. What use is the most beautiful holder if the drink flies through the car after the first curve or hard braking?
Winner in the AUTO BILD cup holder test: Richter Air Drink Cooler
The test winner convinces with simple assembly and very good hold of all tested container sizes – especially during the test drive. Mounted on the ventilation grille, the drinks are within easy reach. Hook: a bit fiddly to take off.
Price-performance winner: universal bottle holder
Ventilation grille second: The clever holder scores with a simple hooking mechanism and a good hold up to 0.5 liters. When driving, the ball head gives in to heavy bottles and tilts down. But the bottle still holds.
How AUTO BILD tested it
The holders were first installed in the AUTO BILD underground car park and tested for support, stability and variability with five different beverage sizes. Finally, the candidates had to prove their suitability for everyday use in a test drive.
The test results at a glance
The test winner, the Air Drink Cooler from Richter for just under ten euros, shows how a simple piece of plastic can be transformed into a clever drink holder. Two clips and a spacer ensure a very good, horizontal hold on the ventilation slats. The base for the containers is rubberized and thus offers a secure fit for bottles, cans and the like. Thanks to the clever adjustment option, both narrow cans and wide bottles up to 1.5 liters fit. Mounted in the middle of the cockpit, the holder is easy for the driver to reach. The Air Drink Cooler showed its strengths especially during the test drive. He didn’t lose his drinks either when braking hard from 60 km/h or in fast corners. No other candidate could compete here.
The Smartfox car cup holder for 4.29 euros is completely different: Even after the first installation attempts, the test candidate showed a high susceptibility to breakage. In addition, the plastic ring is in two parts, so that heavier bottles can push it apart and fall out. During the test drive, the material broke after only a few meters on the plastic ring, which led to the devaluation to last place. Tip: Cup holders for the rear are rare. A good solution for backbenchers is the HR-Imotion Drink Boy with a hook for the headrest. Even better is the Multi Paul with an inflation system (see box below). It can be wedged between the seat and the center console – the holder and drinks are then firmly in place.
Special holder for XL bottles
Especially over long distances and at high temperatures, 0.5 liter bottles are usually not enough. We tested the Haltofix metal bracket (EUR 17.90) and the inflatable Multi Paul (EUR 16) for the convenient placement of large bottles (1.5 liters). Both systems are very easy to assemble and also hold large bottles securely in place. Even extreme driving maneuvers were no problem for them. Advantage for the Multi Paul: The bottle sits much higher and can be reached by the driver without any problems.
Conclusion on the cup holder test
Good cup holders don’t have to be expensive. Cleverly designed, the winner shows how it’s done for under ten euros. A good investment, especially for non-drinkers. Fluid intake is important, especially when driving.