Out of everything that I saw at this year’s 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, my favorite car was actually an SUV. I know, I’m surprised, too. But it was the 2019 Volvo XC40, a car you should really be paying attention to if you like very cleverly designed interiors filled with secret nooks and crannies for all your stuff.
First off, the XC40 is gorgeous, just like the other Volvos. It’s the first car to use Volvo’s all-new CMA platform and will cost between $33,000 and $35,000. Not bad for a classy and well-built European compact SUV. And you can get it through Volvo’s new subscription service.
But it’s not just the outside that’s great. In fact, most of car ownership takes place inside the car, which is exactly where you want to be with the XC40. There are a plethora of clever little pockets and space for storage. It’s delightful.
For example, there are two little slots near the driver’s left knee that can hold either an ID badge for an office or a parking ticket. I’ve lost many parking tickets before, so having a special slot built into the car for one is purely magical.
The door pockets, airy and open-feeling, aren’t just there to look good. A Volvo spokesperson pointed out that they had been specially designed to fit a 15-inch laptop. We tested it. It was awesome.
The trunk, already quite deep and spacious, had an extra little storage compartment beneath the floor, where you could store the cover and really maximize the additional interior height afforded by an SUV.
There’s a small slot in the center console that slides open and perfectly holds a smartphone. If you reach further in, you’ll also feel another slot for storing a credit card.
But perhaps the very best feature in the XC40 is that it also comes with a built-in trash can. I repeat: the car comes with a built-in trash can. Is your mind blown? Because mine sure as fuck was.
How many times are you on a long car ride and you need to throw away a wrapper or maybe a crumpled up receipt? Where do you usually get rid of these things? If I’m lucky, I have an empty coffee cup and I just cram it all in there. If I’m not, then I usually just wind up throwing it in my purse. I hate cars with garbage in the footwells.
Volvo’s solution was to put a little trashcan in front of the front arm rest with a flapping lid. It’s fully removable and the top comes off for easy cleaning. Afterwards, you just pop it right back into its little space and it’s ready for use once more.
The only problem I could think up was that perhaps the lid would rattle if the car drove over some bumpy roads. Other than that, I think this is the most brilliant interior feature that I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s so obvious, too! Why don’t more cars have little trash cans?
Special thanks to hand model J.F. Musial.