Gen 3 Insight Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

2021 Honda Insignt EX in Cosmic Blue Metallic
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is post one in my ongoing quest to improve the central storage in my Honda Insight. The Insight's center storage is already pretty great, in fact, most of this post will discuss the design merits and drawbacks of the existing system, and how I hope to improve upon it. First though, let's set up some terminology:

Center storage:
Car Automotive lighting Trunk Automotive tire Automotive design
Center storage refers to the space underneath the arm rest.

Hood Automotive design Grille Grey Automotive lighting
There are two sets of rails that run along the insides of central storage: the upper rail and the lower rail.

Factory cup holder:
Wheel Vehicle Tire Automotive tire Automotive design
I hope to share a lot of custom inserts for insight, so it should be clear that this is the "factory" cup holder.

Factory coin tray:
(no photo)
I have an EX trim, so my car doesn't come with a coin tray.

Factory divider:
(no photo because I forgot)
There is a removable divider between the front and back sections of the center storage space, that might be useful for us later.

So... what's good about the Insight's center storage design? First, there's a humongous amount of space to work with, and pretty simple-looking rails for holding things in place. The factory cup holder may seem overly bulky, and in some ways it is, but the rounded front and back make a lot of sense; the front arc meshes nicely with the front of the storage space:
White Light Automotive design Grey Personal luxury car
This allows the factory insert to sit much farther forward than just a square. Also, there are two cupholders probably to more evenly distribute the wear on the felt. However, the need for a second cup holder to act as a counterbalance heavily encroaches of into the empty cavern part of the storage space.

The use of felt instead of rubber grips is also ingenious, as it allows inserts tne insert to slide forwards and backwards rather smoothly, as compared to rubber feet with grip the rails far too tightly.

The rails themselves are very well designed.
Hood Automotive design Grille Grey Automotive lighting

Looking closely, you'll note that the upper rail is a shallow V shape, while the lower rail is a much deeper and flatter L shape. The gap between upper rails is also wider than the lower rails. This seems intended to prevent people from accidentally getting their cup holder stuck on the upper rail when trying to put it in or pull it out. See how the cup holder insert has a flat bottom lip and an angled upper lip:

But the design of central storage isn't perfect. First off, it's dark inside!
Car Automotive lighting Trunk Automotive tire Automotive design
If Honda was going to sell internal lighting, this is the place to sell it.

Second, You can't lift the arm rest while it is in the far-forward position, and the retaining clips for the arm rest just get in the way:
Comfort Azure Sleeve Gesture Personal luxury car

And finally, although the cup holder is well designed, I have no use for that many cup holders in my car. A single cup holder will be good enough for me.

So: I can't fix the lighting or the locking down position issues, but I do want to design a few inserts for the Insight. First, the single-cup cup holder. Second, a sunglasses holder capable of holding any of my pairs of sunglasses (including my 2.25 x 5.75 x 2.25 inches Smith and Wesson Phantoms) , and finally, A coin tray. I have a 3D printer and extremely rudimentary FreeCAD experience, so I hope to make all my designs freely available for you all to download and modify, as well as measure out exact dimensions of the rails sometime "soon" (and by soon I mean after Memorial Day because I'm going on vacation). Feel free to suggest anything you want me to design, or any design ideas that you want to see me try.

I had originally hoped to show off some of my own designs in this initial post, but unfortunately I couldn't find any of my adhesive rubber feet until this evening and was only able to test this extremely rudimentary square:

It "works", but I won't be sharing the files because: it's not the right shape and it has a tendency of launching itself at the front windshield whenever I try to release the tension on the rubber band. Oh yeah and also it doesn't actually do anything. So far all I really know is: rubber bands and rubber feet == bad, springs with felt == pretty good.


4,838 Posts
Maybe as inspiration for the cupholder 3D print design (?), the Insight produced for the Japanese market is a 2-piece modular version. I haven't found part number(s) for it, but it's standard equipment in JDM Insights. Graphics below are from the Japanese Insight Owners Manual.

1 - 2 of 2 Posts