Cars With Dedicated Storage for Your Smartphones and Tablets

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Smartphones and other tech devices have become such important staples in our lives. We carry them everywhere and they are often close at hand.

Automakers are finally starting to understand the idea that we can’t go anywhere without our smartphones, so a lot of new cars are designed with dedicated places to hold all your tech, which is a thoughtful little detail that deserves some recognition. Here are some cars that do that trick very well.

Lexus RX

Not only does the new Lexus RX have wireless charging support, but it also feature a big storage bin in the center console, that can easily accommodate a tablet. There’s also a small shelf for the second row passengers to put their smartphones, too.

Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is an excellent family car, especially with the Driver Easy Speak system that allows the driver to communicate to the passengers in the third row of seats without needing to yell or even turn their head. The car also makes things easy for the folks up front, with a neat shelf below the HVAC system. While the shelf can easily accommodate a smartphone, it also features a pass-through so a charging cable can be neatly connected to your device and kept out of the way.

Volkswagen Golf

The latest Golf and all of its iterations feature a huge storage bin just ahead of the gear selector. While this is typically where you’d find something like an ashtray, the modern Golf has an area deep enough to store even a big phablet (those massive tablet-like phones) like an iPhone 6 Plus or a Samsung Galaxy Note. The compartment is even rubberized so your device doesn’t move around.

Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic Coupe

Like the Highlander, the Civic proves that it pays attention to the small details. It has two shelves for tech storage, with the rubberized upper unit featuring a cable pass through to a lower storage area. That lower storage area features both a USB and 12v outlet so you can use your familiar charger cable or an adapter.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Review

Honda Pilot

Honda promises that the center console in the Honda Pilot is large enough to handle a handbag, but all we see is its ability to hold a tablet or laptop. And in case you think that storage area is a bit too excessive for a smartphone, the Japanese automaker has you covered for that device as well – the cupholders are separated by a cut-out where you can place your phone.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Ford Explorer vs 2016 Honda Pilot

Nissan Titan

NEW YORK (March 24, 2016) Nissan today previewed the upcoming TITAN Crew Cab half-ton pickup, which arrives at Nissan dealers nationwide this summer, at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. The standard bearer of Nissan's family of TITAN pickups, the 2017 TITAN Crew Cab is powered by a new 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance(R) V8 gasoline engine.

Nissan’s new pickup has a small slot for your phone, a bucket for your tablet, a pass-through in the cupholder and a large armrest, all in the center console. Even truck folks need to have their phones nearby, especially because their trucks often act as rolling offices.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Review

Chevrolet Volt

The tech-focused Chevrolet is not only available with a wireless charging system, but it also has a slot next to the shifter that can easily accommodate your smartphone sideways, even a bigger one. If it’s one car that’s there for tech geeks, it has to be the Volt.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Chevrolet Volt Review

Nissan Murano

Since the introduction of the third-generation design for the last model year, the Nissan Murano has experienced record sales up 30 percent through the first 11 months of calendar year 2015 thanks to its concept car-like styling, premium interior and advanced, purposeful technology. For 2016, Murano remains virtually unchanged. Like the original Murano, the latest version is a highly sculptural, highly emotional design one that stands out in a field known more for uniformity and utility-based styling. Working to capture the breathtaking spirit and artistry of the first Murano, the designers began by concentrating on the vehicles sculptural qualities. Breaking the usual order of sketching, computer renderings and then clay modeling, the Murano team started working with small three-dimensional clay forms literally exploring organic shapes and volumes with mini desktop sculptures. The process helped narrow down a new Nissan design direction focused on lightness and efficiency.

Nissan’s new SUV is luxurious and plenty powerful, but it also has a few smart touches for its passengers. In front of the armrest is a small slot that can hold smaller smartphones. Our editors with bigger devices say that the slot isn’t quite deep enough, but fortunately, the car also has a system like the Pilot, with a slot between the cupholders. The Murano also accommodates rear seat passengers with a slot in the top of the armrest perfect for tech storage.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Murano vs Ford Edge

Chrysler Pacifica

Of course a minivan is going to be practical, but the Chrysler Pacifica has the advantage of being designed for a modern family. The center console is capable of storing whatever smart devices you may have, and a small shelf and slot can handle your smartphone with ease. One criticism is that the lower shelf is a bit too low to reach comfortably, but you shouldn’t be driving and using your phone anyway, so that’s not a big deal.

Audi Q7

Audi’s new Q7 is a technological whiz, and that translates into the interior design as well. There’s a large, rubberized open storage area on the center console, that will easily fit your smartphone. That extra finish helps your device not slide around when you test out the German car’s handling credentials.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Audi Q7 Review

Cadillac and GM’s Secret Shelf

One secret feature in many Cadillacs and even a few Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles is a motorized compartment in the center of the dash, that houses at least one USB port and is big enough to hide most phones.

ALSO SEE: Which Cars Have Wireless Charging for Your Smartphone?

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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