Brainstorm Armrest Console Cover

[12/6/2002] Reviewed by: Mike Franklin -

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Leather arm rest for center console. Not a pad that glued on.

My experience with the product is excellent.

Nice addition to the interior. Most improtantly, it makesthe car more comfortable. Excellent craftsmanship. The leather and stitching matches my 99's tan interior very well. Core charge required. Easy to install. 15 minutes. Fits snug at first then molds to the opening well. Helps finish the look of the interior.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/9/2001] Reviewed by: David Galindo -

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

This product is made from an existing Miata armrest lid which has been trimmed, padded, and covered in beautiful stitched leather. This is why a "core" charge is required. They will likely cover yours and sell it to another. The installed part looks very solid and of impeccable quality.

The hard plastic factory armrest was my biggest complaint about the interior of my Miata. On any trip longer than 10 minutes, my forearms would get sweaty and my elbows would really start to dig into the hard plastic surface (I'm 6'4" tall). This armrest has changed all that with its high quality dense foam and thick leather. My girlfriend also appreciates it on those longish trips. Tan leather matches the factory tan very well. Installation is simple: Open the lid and remove the 6 or 8 screws underneath. Swap in the new piece and replace the screws. For the first week, the leather was very snug against the shut surface and the lid was harder to open and close. After a few days the leather became broken in, and the part functions as before. Don't worry if you install it and at first it doesn't seem to fit!

Don't confuse this product with the older "armrest pads" that are just pillows with adhesive on the back. This is a complete, factory-quality piece. **The Miata should come from the factory this way!!**

Under 5 minutes to remove

[11/17/2000] Reviewed by Jeff Farrell -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Tan leather padded armrest cover

Very skimpy instructions which referred to Velcro attachment strips which wree NOT received with the product. Rather than contact Brainstorm, I went out and bought velcro. The flat base of the pad did not fit at all well on the curved surface of the stock armrest. Once installed, the product looks pretty shoddy, as it does not conform with the contour of thestock armrest, and it looks very much home-made. In fact, I think I could have made something better myself.

I am not at all satisfied, and could never recommend this product. Everything else I have bought from Brainstorm has been excellent - this is not.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[8/21/2000] Reviewed by Andy -

Applicable to '99 + 1.8 liter

Original Mazda plastic console lid that has been modified such that it is slightly padded and covered in leather. Brainstorm charges a core charge, so you must return the stock console lid in order to get your core deposit back.

A few hours of driving was leaving my right elbow sore because of the extremely hard plastic factory console lid. So I started looking for something to help. I was extremely disappointed by the cheap stick-on leather armrest pads offered by some of the accessory dealers. I ordered one for around $25. It was a piece of curved wood with about 1" of padding and wrapped with leather. There was two-sided adhesive foam tape to "stick" the pad to the console. I set the cheap pad on the console and after five seconds I decided I'd rather have a sore elbow than have that ugly thing taped onto my console for the whole world to see. Thankfully someone decided to put a little more effort into a padded console lid, and Brainstorm realized that people like me would have to obtain one. I think there are six or seven screws to remove in order to get the console lid off, then all you do is put the leather wrapped one back in its place. Installation took less than 10 minutes start to finish.

The product is not cheap ($80 + $60 refundable core charge.) But the quality is very good. The stitching could have matched my leather seat's stitching a little more closely, but the color is near perfect. The leather is soft, but the padding is relatively thin, so the lid still feels sturdy. The only problem I've noticed is that the lid sticks where the excess leather on the lid rubs the console. I'm not sure if this will be a problem or not down the road, but for now I'm very happy with my investment. I have the tan interior, and bought the tan leather lid, but the black lid looks pretty good in the tan interior too (as seen on the Brainstorm web site

Under 5 minutes to remove

[9/11/2000] Reviewed by Mike Menozzi -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

This cover extends back to the keyhole which (IMHO) looked better than others available.

It's a nice looking cover, not the highest quality leather, but the height of the console with the cover in place is much more comfortable than stock.

However, be prepared to do some fitting before installing it. It appears the leather covers the padding and a flexible sheet of metal, which is supposed to be secured to the console by 2 strips of 3M double faced adhesive tape. The contour of the pad doesn't match the contour of the top of the console so considerable bending of the metal sheet is necessary.

Worse, because it extends back to the keyhole, it rubs on the carpet behind the console when opened. This creates a twisting movement on the pad and loosens the adhesive. I expect this will not be an "install it - and forget it" product, as it may come loose in the future.

I added four additional strips of double faced adhesive which is holding well for now. Be sure you clean the console with an alcohol prep pad to remove any oils, Armour-all, etc.

 It's good looking and functional, a nice pad, but poorly executed, I'd consider other options before you buy. If you can find someone that will upholster the existing console, it may be the better way to go. (There is one identified elsewhere on

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/2/2000] Reviewed by Bob Retzer -

Applicable to '99 +

A padded console armrest that replaces the OEM console cover.

I had broken the console cover hinge a few months back and had put off replacing it. After seeing the new Brainstorm padded armrest in New and Hot on the Market!, I decided to take the plunge.

Good thing, too, since I found that the armrest totally replaced the OEM console cover and provides a quality, comfortable padded armrest.

I then discovered that the price was less than $10 more than a replacement OEM cover from Roebuck!!

I HIGHLY recommend this padded armrest for it fit, quality and comfort!!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Back to Product Reviews 15 December, 2002