Home » Here’s What A New Rolls-Royce Phantom, A 2012 Chevrolet Volt, And A 2006 Volkswagen Passat Have In Common

Here’s What A New Rolls-Royce Phantom, A 2012 Chevrolet Volt, And A 2006 Volkswagen Passat Have In Common

Vw Chevy Rolls Common Ts2
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Pop quiz: What’s a rare creature comfort shared by the first-generation Chevrolet Volt, B6 Volkswagen Passat, and Rolls-Royce Phantom that makes life easier? Yep, these three machines share something unusual but very cool that makes life easier, and today’s the day we share the word on what that is.

This soggy spring has made it clear that a folded wet umbrella is normally an insane thing to try and carry inside a car. All those water-trapping pleats conspire to waterlog carpets, and although you’d really think that all that water will simply drain out, it takes far longer to dry a car out than you might think. Plus, we’re talking about a long, pointy object. Sure, it may weigh less than a pound, but in a collision? Oof. However, there is a better way, and it involves using the fact that doors aren’t water-tight for good.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

After all, because the windows in a car typically have to go down, the seals between the window and the metal door frame often aren’t entirely waterproof. A little bit of moisture gets through the gaps in the seals, which is why automakers install vapor barriers behind door cards and build drains into door structures. So, why not use those drains to dry an umbrella sensibly? Dry it in a way that doesn’t dampen the carpets, and keep umbrellas stowed so they don’t turn into javelins during a collision.

Rolls Royce Accessories Product Colour Umbrella Twin Card

Now, Rolls-Royce will build cars with branded umbrellas that click ever-so-sveltely into a channel in each door. It’s an elegant, beautifully crafted solution for those with money to burn, because Rolls-Royce umbrellas aren’t cheap to replace once they go inside out. Seriously, Rolls-Royce lists these things as POA, which stands for ‘if you have to ask…’ and isn’t that on-brand? Rolls-Royce dealer Miller Motorcars lists these umbrellas for $700 each, and man, that’s a lot of scratch. However, several automakers have also sold cars with built-in umbrella holders, the difference being you need to supply your own umbrella.

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Passat Umbrella

Take the 2006 to 2010 Volkswagen Passat, for example. It featured a nifty umbrella holder in the end of the driver’s door card, only really accessible with the door open. Just stick a shorty umbrella in there, and you’re good, even if it’s wet. Manufacturer-designed drainage would take care of everything, so you wouldn’t have to worry about anything.

Umbrella 2

On a less crystal clear note, check out the instructions for umbrella storage in the 2011 to 2015 Chevrolet Volt. The owner’s manual merely says “slide an umbrella into the opening on either driver or passenger doors.” While storage for a second umbrella is great, a little clarification about drainage would be nice. It’s a GM product, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s designed with hard use in mind, but a little reassurance wouldn’t hurt.

Porsche Umbrella Holder

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Ever wonder what the recess in the passenger door sill plate of a 986 or 987 Porsche Boxster or a 996 or 997 Porsche 911 is for? Believe it or not, you could get a Porsche accessory umbrella jacket that fit in that plastic tray perfectly. Granted, this setup had a few limitations — the tray drained to nowhere, the umbrella would need to go into its own specific case, and the whole thing was a bit of a fuss, but it could potentially mitigate the possible issue of getting the immobilizer module damp, so there you go.

Overall, the built-in umbrella holder is one of those ideas that’s so good, you wonder why every car doesn’t have one. It’s helpful, it’s practical, and it seems like the sort of thing that’s cheap to build. Seems like a win for everyone, right?

(Photo credits: Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, eBay)

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Theotherotter
Theotherotter
5 days ago

The latest Impala had an umbrella slot in the door similar to that on the Volt. Also, going *way* back, the early 90s Nissan Pulsar hatchback had an umbrella hole in the door jamb. I know the GTi-R had it, so I am assuming they all did.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
11 days ago

We’re so optimistic, we don’t even think about rain. Sunny days, now and forever!

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
12 days ago

I’m trying to picture the ballet of all this. There are several steps — opening door, collapsing umbrella, getting into car, stowing the umbrella, closing door — that need to be executed so as to avoid or at least minimize getting yourself and/or the interior wet. It’s easier when the hole or tray are accessible with the door closed, but the ones where the umbrella slides into a hole in the door edge…? Wouldn’t you need to stow the umbrella while standing in the rain, unless you have octopus arms? How does this work? I’m glad I live in an arid region where rain is seldom an issue (except for the lack thereof).

Last edited 12 days ago by Alan Christensen
Lotsofchops
Lotsofchops
11 days ago

You get inside and your chauffer has a place to stow it.

Jeff Hager
Jeff Hager
7 days ago

My ex drove this generation of Passat. She had a shorty umbrella that you could pull inside from the umbrella pocket. It seems like there was a cover she removed to gain access to the umbrella from the driver’s seat.

I’m sure there’s someone on here with a B6 that can look in their door pocket.

CUlater
CUlater
12 days ago

Pacificas have nice umbrella trays moulded in between each front seat and the door, similar to the Parsh one shown. Very handy.

Seeing the Volt setup, I now wonder how many other cars have a similar intent. I’ve often wondered why moulded door pockets often have narrow almost unreachable depths that don’t seem to have much accessible use… Now I wonder if it was for umbrella storage?

Last edited 12 days ago by CUlater
SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
12 days ago

This makes me wonder why it’s not a feature on Japanese cars, JDM cars in particular.

  1. It rains a lot in Japan.
  2. When it rains, it rains.
  3. It is muggy in the rainy season, so people use umbrellas rather than rainwear.
  4. Many Japanese people will use an umbrella at the first spot of rain. My wife and I call them Mogwai.

The upshot of that is that car interiors get cluttered up with an assortment of umbrellas. An umbrella holder in each door would not be too many.

4004
4004
12 days ago

Knowing how BMWs of that era love to rust, with or without extra humidity going through bodywork, I’m not surprised they offered a retrofit accessory of sorts instead – attaching an umbrella carrier to the tunnel wall in the passenger footwell. I didn’t want to drill so just used velcro

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
12 days ago

Holy shit,I thought the hole in the doors on my Passat was just for ventilation purposes. This makes me regret selling it.

Russell Thornburg
Russell Thornburg
12 days ago

I love this feature in my 2008 VW Passat 3.6L 4Motion. It was so novel when I bought the car that it made me wonder… Why was this not standard (or optional, even) on my $18,000ish more expensive 2010 Mercedes E350 4MATIC? I suppose the moral of the story is that “expensive is not always better!”

Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams
12 days ago

I think the Škoda Superb had one, similar to the Rolls in principle

Doug Kingham
Doug Kingham
12 days ago

Just came to say that as well. My 2010 Superb had that, and every generation since did as well.

Thomas The Tank Engine
Thomas The Tank Engine
12 days ago

Came to say this also.

I’m guessing the article didn’t mention it because Škoda isn’t sold in the US

Jeff Hager
Jeff Hager
7 days ago

Don’t the Superb and Passat share the same platform?

Autonerdery
Autonerdery
12 days ago

We had an ’06 Passat, and I had totally forgotten about the umbrella cubby! I don’t know if we ever used it.

That was a beautifully designed (not necessarily beautifully built, mind you) car, lots of thoughtful touches, great seats, and lovely to drive. Ours was a FWD 3.6 with the Sport package; my dad had an ’05 Avalon at the time, similar output from a big V6 driving the front wheels, but absolutely no comparison in terms of how it put that power to the ground and how it handled. The Passat was a jewel, the Avalon was a sloppy mess. And while the Avalon was probably generally lower maintenance and held up a little better over the course of his ownership, if you compared things going wrong with it when he traded it in versus things going wrong with our Passat when we traded it in, the VW wasn’t any worse.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
12 days ago

Those umbrella-holders on our 2012 Volt have been super handy, but they’ve had a weird side-effect. My wife loves them, and wishes for an umbrella to be at the ready at all times. That’s great and all, but she also has a tendency to use an umbrella for running into the house and then not return it to the car. Later, if it happens to be raining while on an errand run, she’ll pick up another to replace the one left at the house.

Pretty sure we’ve got at least a dozen or more of those cheap little umbrellas piled up in a box next to the entryway at this point.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
12 days ago

It took me an entire year to find out our Q7 has the same umbrella storage as the Volt. I can’t believe I didn’t find it sooner, it’s not like I haven’t cleaned or applied protectant to that whole interior.

Cheap Porsche Addict
Cheap Porsche Addict
12 days ago

The MK7 VW Golf has umbrella storage similar to the Chevy Volt in the door cubby. It fits those cheap compact umbrellas they give out at trade shows perfectly.

Alexk98
Alexk98
12 days ago

IT DID?? I had my Mk7.5 GSW for 4.5 years and never once noticed this. TIL!

Lincoln Clown CaR
Lincoln Clown CaR
12 days ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I guess I noticed the cubby went back further in the door than was really useful, but it didn’t occur to me that it was for umbrellas.

FlyingMonstera
FlyingMonstera
12 days ago

Thank you! It just gave me great satisfaction to go out to my 7.5 and slot my wife’s ‘emergency umbrella’ that sits in the door bin and irks my tidiness OCD every time I open the passenger door into that cubby. Although I’m hesitant to put a wet umbrella there – given VW’s record on drainage holes it’ll probably get blocked and flood some important electrical component.

Last edited 12 days ago by FlyingMonstera
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
12 days ago

Could one just DIY one of these by drilling a drain hole in a door pocket?

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
12 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I mean one could, but it would more likely than not end up draining onto the floor I would think. Without a designed drain channel to take it outside I don’t think it would accomplish what you’re after.

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