Published on January 25th, 2017 | by Kyle Field0
The EV Annex Tesla Model S Rear Center Console Insert (CleanTechnica Review)
January 25th, 2017 by Kyle Field
Building on our review of the Tesla Model S EV Annex Center Console Insert and EV Annex Cubby Compartment reviews, the team at EV Annex also sent along the Center Console’s little brother — the Rear Center Console Insert (or RCCI for short). What’s great about the Model S is that it is a true 5 passenger sedan (or 7 if you purchased the rear seat option) and the RCCI takes that rear seat to the next level.
Much like the Center Console Insert, the Rear Center Console Insert was built to fill a gap in functionality that some folks ran into with the stock build of the Model S with regard to cup holders and storage for passengers in the rear seats.
For me, I thought that having a bit of storage for my kids would be nice but more importantly, the addition of cup holders to the back could be game changers. Spills when driving are not compatible with safe driving. Could the RCCI fill that gap? Was it up to the challenge? I ran it through the paces. Check it out.
While the Center Console Insert will likely appeal to a larger audience, as every Model S on the road today is manned by a driver (though this may change in the next few years), the Rear Center Console Insert was designed for owners who frequently put the rear seats to use and are looking to add some functionality and storage.
First and foremost, the RCCI adds stable, accessible, ergonomic cupholders to the rear seats. Being a family of four with two young boys, we are constantly juggling snack time, bathroom time and game time while on the road. Having a secure place where they can put any beverages they may have brought into the car is an island of safety amidst what can otherwise be a bit of a chaotic situation, so that’s a win for us.
Second, the RCCI has a nice storage compartment with a lid on it. We let the boys stash a few durable snacks (no, you cannot put your cheese stick into the box) in there and a few toys to keep them busy on longer drives.
We regularly make tours of the greater Los Angeles area that, as Zach knows all too well from our tour of Southern California last year, can easily stretch from 1 hour to upwards of 3 hours (or more) depending on traffic. Having a few lifelines in the form of snacks and distractions for the kids makes the inevitable traffic more bearable.
Finally, the RCCI serves as a center armrest for the little guys. This isn’t as big of a deal for us, as the kids are not paying attention to how they’re sitting or where their arms are, but we have had them lean over on the RCCI and pass out on it :). For larger passengers, having something to lean on is great, and the RCCI is stable enough to serve as an armrest when needed.
Installation (and removal)
Installation of the RCCI is very straightforward. It comes with great documentation in the form of written instructions and is supplemented with very detailed video instructions over at EV Annex (here). A single hook threads through under the rear seat and latches on securely to a mount in the rear which holds tension against a second strap that drops down under the front of the seat.
For us, removing the RCCI is an important function as the boys frequently have play dates with their friends. It’s a quick matter of unclipping the front and unlatching the back, and it’s out. The fact that my wife can do this without having to call in a technical resource (aka me) is a huge win and a testament to just how user friendly it is.
Fit and Finish
After months of using the RCCI, I’m confident in the build quality. The design is much more straight forward than the Center Console Insert for the front of the vehicle and thus, is less prone to design related wear issues. The colors and materials are again perfect matches with stock, and blend in perfectly.
The RCCI has a strap down the front that clips onto the lower lip of the seat, and another strap that is fished under the seat back and clips onto the existing latch point. These mount points keep the RCCI securely fastened in place with a nearly stock look and feel.
As there is no factory option for cupholders in the rear seats, there’s nothing to compare the EV Annex Rear Center Console Insert to. If you want cupholders for your rear passengers, are looking for a bit of storage for long road trips or maybe you just want a comfortable armrest — that you can easily pull out to fit a 5th person — the RCCI is a great value at $309-$349 with the final price determined based on the finish options selected.
For more information about the EV Annex Rear Center Console Insert or to order one, head on over to the Rear Center Console product page at EV Annex.
If you’re looking to buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link (here) to save $1,000, which is the only way to get a discount on a new Tesla.