The inside of a Tesla Model S is minimalistic. No coat hanger hooks or cup holders in the back and no center arm rest compartment. It has a storage compartment (sometimes referred to as a glove box) and a small, open shelf below the touch screen. There is an open space where a traditional gas car’s center console would be housed, but for Tesla it’s like placing things on the floor of the car.
I love the clean design, but always felt that open shelf seemed an afterthought and one left unfinished at that. On the positive side it’s strategically located; easily accessible by driver and passenger alike.
EVANNEX, the Model S aftermarket accessories maker, has come up with a cap for that cubby, brilliantly called, CubbyCap. The concept is so simple I’m surprised it’s taken this long for anyone to come up with it. CubbyCap is a small door that attaches to the bottom of the cubby with adhesive strips on soft, bendable hinges, and a metal strip that adheres to the top of the inside of the cubby, serving as the target of a magnetic latch. It is available in all the Model S trim finishes. I’m one who doesn’t like clutter, so hiding whatever I’m storing on that shelf is appealing to me.
The most important aspect of the product is the finish. It’s all you see. I have Obeche wood gloss detail trim and I held the CubbyCap next to the dash to compare how well they reproduced the pattern and color. The CubbyCap is not nearly as rich as the Tesla trim. It’s lighter in shade and the material is quite thin and bendable. It seems flat in comparison to the deepness of the Tesla material. Since the door will be set low in the car the difference is not obvious, but for the asking price of $99 I expected it to be of higher quality.
There was a noticeable residue strip running all across the top of the cap surface and multiple fingerprints on it as well, likely from packing. I used an eyeglasses cleaning cloth and some elbow grease to banish the residue. The shape of the small silver handle at the top of the door was a good choice, but mine was mounted slightly crooked and had a scratch on the right side. In practice the affordance of the handle seems appropriate and opening the cap is made easier because the ends were not cut at 90° but on an angle in towards the center of the door.
The grain direction on the door runs vertically. This choice is addressed by EVANNEX in the FAQ section of the CubbyCap product page on their site. They explain that the overall flow of the center channel runs front to back (therefore vertical) and newer Tesla yacht floors run in that direction as well. My Model S VIN is pretty low, and Tesla was installing trim with the grain going vertical in the early builds. They seem to have changed that decision somewhere along the way and the grain now runs horizontal. For me the vertical grain is a match.
I found an installation video of the CubbyCap on YouTube that walks you through the process. The installation went smoothly with one minor hitch. Positioning the door was easy and it seems to be the right size all the way around. The metal latch was the problem. I repositioned it several times and my efforts ranged from not making magnetic contact at all when I closed the cap, to what seemed like a weak contact. The curvature of the Tesla shelf roof prevented me from getting a solid, confident closure. Through trial and error I found the strongest point.
The CubbyCap performed as expected. I drove most of the day running errands and varied my driving styles. Strong acceleration, braking and some rough roads and railroad tracks. The CubbyCap did not come open once, which was one of my worries. My instinct when I reach to open it is to grasp the top and bottom, but it’s easier to place a finger on the ends of the handle (as mentioned above). The knob could have been made larger, but since it’s not a high frequency use, so it will probably work out fine.
They warn that the adhesive is very sticky. I wonder what would happen should you decide to remove the CubbyCap?
Adding small touches to your Model S from suppliers like EVANNEX makes it unique and potentially more desirable. But I am cautious about overdoing it. The Model S is already a well designed automobile. I look for accessories that fit my lifestyle and have specific purpose, vs. being showy. That’s a personal choice of course.
Overall I’m satisfied with the Cubby Cap, but my ratings are on the low side for all the things mentioned above. To summarize. Grain not as rich as expected, weak latch mechanism and the product not delivered in pristine condition (surface residue and knob scratch). The $99 price seems too high for what you get.