Features We Don't Need: Purse Hooks


The purse hook: much debated, much discussed. For a while, it seemed automakers were really proud of their purse hooks. They've been highlighted with glee in brochures for family-haulers like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. My very own 2005 Sienna features a purse hook on the front passenger side.

The purse hook came of age during a time when auto manufacturers mistakenly thought we women had nothing better to think about than where our purse would go; never mind our children, jobs outside the home or managing a household — where in the heck was a girl supposed to hang her purse?

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

Now, automakers are savvier about what women want. We want seats that massage us, integrated multimedia systems, cupholders that keep our drinks hot or cold, and rear entertainment systems that silence our noisy progeny.


If I were going to use a purse hook, it would need to be both convenient and practical. Purse hooks are neither. They're put in places that aren't easy to reach, and they can't do the heavy lifting a mom-bag requires.

The purse hook often appears in family-haulers on the front passenger side, just below the reach of a passenger's left hand. As I'm typically the one driving, this is not a convenient location for me. Modern women are leaning in and out and backward and forward as we navigate the world these days, but leaning across the car to dig in our purse for a snack, our cellphone or anything else is not something we want to do. I'm as flexible as the next girl, but these things are near impossible to get to while driving. The expansive and typically empty front passenger seat is a handier location. Center consoles are also getting larger and becoming an option on the purse-storage front. No leaning required.

As for practicality, the purse hook is great for the small clutch I take with me on date night — so it's too bad my husband and I never reach for the minivan keys when we're heading out sans kids. During the week, when my purse needs to hold food, drinks, lip gloss, my cellphone and my laptop, only a large handbag will do. The purse hook limply grabs the big bag's straps and barely keeps it from slumping over on the floor. Not helpful.

It's time to bid adieu to the purse hook. In its place on the features list, let's hope automakers find more innovations that make our commutes truly easier, not just a token nod to their perception of our needs.

Cars.com photos by Courtney Messenbaugh

By Courtney Messenbaugh | April 23, 2014 | Comments (11)


Derrick G

Although I don't carry a purse, I really miss the purse hook in my Sonata. I now have nowhere to hang a car-wash trash bag in my new car. Don't call them purse hooks if need be, but leave them there.


I also do not carry a purse. HOWEVER, purse hooks are perfect for hanging a plastic bag for the trash. I agree with Derrick, rename them, please do not delete them!

Adrian O.

Yep, as a trash bag hook it took the place of the knobs glove boxes used to have that you could hang a trash bag on.

Leslie matheson

I have an aftermarket jacket hanger that clips between the headrest posts and holds a jacket behind the seat. Most convenient. Found it in the SkyMall catalog.

What we need are GOOD purse hooks. I have an aftermarket hook that goes on the post for the passenger seat headrest for my MINI Cooper, and it's useful for litter bags, an occasional hat and, yes, my purse. Use it every time I have a passenger. It's much higher off the floor than the images here show.



That size of bag on the last picture is what you call a purse...

Like others have pointed out, they just need to rename that hook, but it is a useful feature that I wished my vehicle has when I do even a light grocery shopping instead of having the stuffs roll all over the bloody place...


I HATE the way so many car doors are designed to extend into a long pointy corner at the top, which has too many times whacked me right in the face. There are many features in cars that are obviously designed by tall men, with absolutely no consideration for smaller people and children.

Mike / CTMechE

I understand the complaints of the article, but it seems like any time there's a female-targeted car feature, there are women complaining that it's patronizing.

I'm a guy who just bought an Odyssey 2 weeks ago, and yes, even a modest size handbag will rest on the floor rather than suspended from the hook. But I'm sure it cost next to nothing, and it takes no space if you don't want to use it.

Complain to the marketing department, I'm sure there are plenty of women there, too - some of whom probably find it handy.

Purse or not, it's just a freakin' hook. There are millions of uses.

Frisbee Jones

The hook is a great feature as it makes a convenient place to hang a purse or trash bag. Women complain about this? It's like when JFK was asked by a woman reporter what his administration was doing for women, his answer was, "whatever it is I'm sure it's not enough."


I didn't know they were purse hooks: I thought they were for trash bags. Purse hooks are obviously silly. Trash bag hooks are remarkably useful!

My name is Laura and I am the President/Founder of HUMPhooks, a permanent, HIGH-END, commercial grade purse hook that attaches to the underneath side of tables and SWIVELS. Great for use in restaurants, healthcare, educational institutions & hospitality; a growing necessity in today's "people" needs.

The need for purse hooks (general belongings) is on the rise and I am glad to hear all the positive feedback on purse hooks.

HUMPhooks has made its way across the globe and we are excited to be of service worldwide.

HUMPhooks, LLC in setting a new standard in "customer convenience"!

Laura Demme Williams

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