Home » I Can’t Decide If These Weird Slots On The VW Tiguan’s Dashboard Are Useful Or Stupid

I Can’t Decide If These Weird Slots On The VW Tiguan’s Dashboard Are Useful Or Stupid

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The lone relatively “modern” car in my ragtag fleet is my wife’s primary car, a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan that has proven to be a handsome and comfortable way to turn gasoline into occasional motion and an extremely effective way to be sure my bank account isn’t burdened by too much excess money. Lots of things have gone wrong with that needy thing, but my wife likes it because it really is a comfortable, pleasant car to drive around. The tech is a bit dated on the inside, but it mostly works and the overall interior design and layout is airy and quite good. The dash is made with materials that feel good to actually touch, and seems thoughtful and well-considered. There’s really only one thing on that dash that actually baffles me: some little slots, set in plastic. What are they? Are they a vent? A sensor? Do they do anything? I’ve since learned what they’re for but I’m very conflicted about what I’ve learned. Are these stupid or not?

Here’s another closer look at these things, in case you’d like to, you know, really scrutinize them:

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They’re just two little narrow slots, inset in a plastic housing, set into the dash. They’re not a vent, they don’t have any sort of sensor behind them, no speakers or anything like that. They don’t actually do anything, at least not actively. But they do have a purpose, something that I think all of us can envy. If we refer to the Tiguan Owners Manual, Psalm Upper Center Console, Fig. 6, the purpose is revealed:

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A “card holder!” VW seemed to think these were important enough that there’s another bank of these on the lower center console, just above the shifter:

Ownersman12

So, card holders. Of two orientations, it looks like, with the upper ones seemingly designed to hold a standard credit card-sized card short-side-first, and the lower ones holding the cards with the long side inserted. Okay. But, um, why?

What are these for, exactly? Are they for credit cards? Are there people who don’t want to carry a wallet and prefer to have a 3,800-pound self-propelled wallet? I guess if you’re going through a drive through it’s a handy place to stick your debit car while you creep towards the window to get your bags of piping-hot chowder or whatever?

Oh, maybe if you have a key card that opens a parking lot gate? That could be handy! You could keep it in there and never lose it, and I guess that’s somehow better than the four or so other easily-reachable little cubbyholes on the dash?

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VW gives you four of these, and in some looking around online, it looks like if that’s not enough for you, you can replace the useless airbag warning lamp with another pair of card holders:

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So, in theory a really card-blessed Tiguan (or other VW Group owner – these were on other VW/Audis, too, like Passats) could have up to six slots for key cards or credit cards or gift cards or business cards or thin, resilient crackers or whatever little narrow somethings you want to cram in there.

I’m conflicted about these because while I can mostly picture a context where one of these might be useful, I’m just not sure I can imagine anyone actually using these things. Do people use them? When I started wondering about this, I saw I wasn’t the first to raise these difficult questions, as it comes up on VW/Audi forums.

[Editor’s Note: I could see their most clutch use being at a toll booth. You know, the ones where you have to take a ticket, and then when you get 15 miles down the road you have to frantically search for that ticket while 25 cars are waiting behind you looking for an excuse to use their horns. -DT]. 

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The results are pretty mixed; lots of confused people, some people who have lost coins in them, and, yes, some people who use and love them.

I’ve not personally witnessed anyone actually ever using these things out in my real-world interactions with VW/Audi owners/operators, but oh, I’d love to. Somewhere out there must exist a debonaire Golf GTI owner who has every one of these little slits populated with a parking card, a Diner’s Club card, a cut-down semi-nude Polarioid of a recent lover, a gym membership card, a joke “License to Kill” and a mini-CD that was stuck in there, irremovable, from a previous owner.

So, let’s discuss: are these a good idea? Or are they just a half-assed way to eat up dash space, only a half-step better than a blank panel? I can’t decide. Help.

 

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Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
10 months ago

Gate access cards for home and office are very common in Europe. Who says we can’t have nice things from across the pond?

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

Keep your gate access card in this slot.
Help an aspirational car thief move up to home burglar.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
10 months ago

seems like they wanted the dash to be symmetrical and couldnt’ think of anything else to fill the space opposite the airbag warning-and someone decided this was more premium??

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago

You forget this car was designed for Europe and then imported to the US as a half-hearted attempt to slake the thirst of our crossover minded populous. I wonder if a someone from over the pond would chime in on what they see the use for. I’m guessing toll roads, parking garages, and parking spaces requiring tickets makes the most sense. But yeah, VW/Audi sure like to place weird shaped storage compartments in prominent locations (look at the “chapstick holder” on the B9 Audi A4&A5) https://c1552172.ssl.cf0.rackcdn.com/1028380_x800.webp . The other thing they love to do is decontent parts of the center console for us ‘mericans, like the sliding cover and adjustable armrest on the current gen Tiguan.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
10 months ago

Or are they just a half-assed way to eat up dash space, only a half-step better than a blank panel?”

See https://www.theautopian.com/we-need-to-talk-about-the-dodge-d-series-ram-trucks-hilariously-pathetic-dashboard-designs/

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
10 months ago

The first generation Tiguan nearly qualifies as one of your ghost cars at this point. They were genuinely everywhere I looked 10 years ago.

We certainly know why they’ve vanished though.

As for the slots, I don’t love their position up high like that, for the same reason I wouldn’t leave my wallet visible in the car. I don’t want nefarious characters to mistake a keycard or something else for a credit card in there. There are plenty of convenient, reachable places to put something like this that isn’t right in the middle of the damn dash.

What me?
What me?
10 months ago

ANWB card (that’s triple A in the Netherlands), car wash card, the card for the municipality dumpsite.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
10 months ago

People at the nurburgring would love this.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
10 months ago

Seems handy to me if you were living in an apartment with a gate or worked somewhere with key card access to parking. Other than that not something I’d use.

Goof
Goof
10 months ago

Might also be additional airflow for rodents that have made their way behind the dashboard!

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago

The card holders are so you have:

1-The card for your favorite tow truck driver
2-The card for your favorite mechanic
3-The card for your bank so you can clear the major cash transfer to that mechanic
4-The card for the therapist that will help you emotionally deal with the emotional trauma of owning a 2010 VW Tiguan

Last edited 10 months ago by Citrus
A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

are these a good idea? Or are they just a half-assed way to eat up dash space, only a half-step better than a blank panel?

Back when the car was made, I don’t think things like EZ-Pass were as common as they are now, so one slot would be a good idea – maaaybe two. Beyond that we get into the aforementioned half-assery.

In general the slots would be better used for in-trip purposes: leaving the vehicle parked with an access card or other such things stored in the slots could invite unwanted attention.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
10 months ago

When I’m in a drive-thru and I’m waiting in line to order, I go ahead and get my CC out and put it in the air vent so I’m ready to pay when it’s my turn and I don’t have to fumble with my sling or wallet. So that’s a convenient use for them. There’s also parking garage tickets, company ID cards etc. I honestly can’t imagine needing more than two slots, but I won’t complain about more.

Drew
Drew
10 months ago

Good if you use parking garages/structures/ramps. If the dash real estate would otherwise be wasted, why not?

Last edited 10 months ago by Drew
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Maybe a handy place to keep your key when confronted by Zuul?

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
10 months ago

Not my first guess (Bluetooth mic was mine)

Very specific need filled, business person, company owner, private car uber or lyft, ok.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Don’t forget traveling sales magicians.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
10 months ago

I’ve seen and used similar slots for toll tickets, but they aren’t necessary anymore.

Now we another Autopian – car food test to see what crackers are most resilient in these card holders. Sorry to Mrs. Torch.

Harmon20
Harmon20
10 months ago

You plebs have no need of such things. This is for the fancy peoples in their gated communities and reserved parking spots in garages and guarded lots at work. Ask DT about them. He’s Hollywood now, he’ll tell you. Or Fancy Kristen, if she’ll deign to talk to the likes of you these days.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago
Reply to  Harmon20

Kristen has people to carry her cards.

Monkey302
Monkey302
10 months ago

As someone who needs to show an ID to get into work and then a badge to get into my building, I love this feature on my Maverick.

PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
10 months ago

I had a car with similar card holders and it was useful enough for holding the little paper card from the car park machine at work. So much so that when I got rid of that car I searched for a place to stick said cards. The solution was easy – I now stick them in the CD slot that I never use! There is a risk of shoving them in too far, I guess, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Richdelish
Richdelish
10 months ago

I do not pity the jackweeds who put coins in there…unless their kids did it…in which case, hilarious.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
10 months ago
Reply to  Richdelish

Oh, those are just perfect for toddlers who love to put things into other things (and to heck with the consequences…)

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

You just reminded me of the good old fashioned game of fork in socket I used to play. Those were the days..

Last edited 10 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
UnseenCat
UnseenCat
10 months ago

Careful — that’s the gateway. Next you’ll be using chainsaws to disassemble EV batteries…

Snake_in_the_grass
Snake_in_the_grass
10 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

Ironic because those toddlers exist after things were put into things. And to heck with consequences.

Hammerstump
Hammerstump
10 months ago

This could be useful for fleet vehicles with gas cards. But not useful enough to warrant a feature…
Is the card holder on all trim levels, or does the Pewter Ocelot Edition or whatever have a fancy timepiece or caviar spoonrest there instead?

AssMatt
AssMatt
10 months ago
Reply to  Hammerstump

If VW is marketing to fleets, then it’s very likely this; if you’re the only one driving a car, then the garage access card will always be where you left it, even if it’s wedged into the dash trim where its lack of a third dimension renders it invisible to the adult behind the wheel. But there’s nothing worse than frantically tearing through cupholders and gloveboxes and visors and sunglasses holders when you’re at a gate with four cars behind you trying to leave. Ditto the pump/charge station etc.

So I can see this for civilians, sure, but definitely a major feature for fleet vehicles.

MaverRickiLake
MaverRickiLake
10 months ago

Torch, your usually vibrant and at times downright concerning imagination has failed you on this one. My Ford Maverick (built in 2022 thank you very much) came with a single card slot. I wish it had more. It’s got the Costco card in it currently. It also functions super well for parking stubs. We keep a National Parks pass and the AAA card in the car too and I wish those had a more convenient place to keep them then listlessly floating around the center console, forever searching for a place to rest that sadly will never come.

Fawgcutter
Fawgcutter
10 months ago
Reply to  MaverRickiLake

Two GM cars (anecdotal, I know, since I owned them), a ’06 Aveo and ’22 Colorado both have one slot. I liked them so much that I relocated the one on the Colorado to make room for three light switches. I needed the practice for 3d modeling and printing.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
10 months ago

As someone who spends a fair amount of time in public parking garages, I could see these being useful for stowing the little tickets you get from the machine. Aside from that, it seems like a solution in search of a problem.

Steve Wille
Steve Wille
10 months ago

Canasta!

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