Volvo is continuing its preview of the all-new XC40 by discussing one of the major problems faced by drivers around the world: a lack of suitable and functional storage space inside their car.

To get a better understanding of the problem, the Swedish carmaker sent its customer research team around the globe to research how city dwellers use their car on a daily basis. This allowed them to better understand how people store their belongings, and also to gather valuable feedback on how customers would like the interiors of their cars improved.

“As we spoke to people about how and where they store the things they carry with them daily, it was quite clear that most of today’s cars are falling short in this area. Phones slide around in the mid-console, takeaway bags are at constant risk of falling over and people fumble behind the wheel as they try to get service cards out of their wallets. We set out to solve these and many other issues we encountered,” said Louiza Atcheba, model brand manager for the 40 Series at Volvo Cars.

The XC40’s interior is designed based on all the input gathered, resulting in some innovations that are clever, and IKEA-esque. For example, the XC40 uses a world-first, air-ventilated dashboard-mounted sub-woofer, and the speakers have been moved away from the door. This provides better storage space in the doors, allowing a laptop, tablet or water bottles to be stored there.

That’s not all, as a small fold-away hook has been added to the glove box, allowing small shopping or take-away bags to be secured properly, without having it slide all over the floor. The front seats also offer a storage space under the seat, large enough for a mini tablet or other smaller items.

There are also slots for card to be inserted into the dashboard, making it readily available when needed. Furthermore, the tunnel console below the armrest offers a large storage area with room for a tissue box, while a removable bin allows you to discard trash quickly.

“When we designed the tunnel, the focus was not only on creating a nice design, but also to ensure that cup-holders can be used as cup-holders and that the design itself provides areas for coins, cards or charging cables. Another focus area was to make a usable space for your phone which offers wireless charging as well as USB ports,” said Conny Ewe Blommé, senior design manager at Volvo Cars.

As for the boot, a smart floor system allows you to fold and separate your luggage and allows you to use the full luggage space without removing the floor from the car. The rear seats can also be folded down electronically to provide an easy-access flat loading floor.

Additional practical features include a fold-up trunk divider with two hooks to secure shopping bags or other luggage, along with four load hooks to help load luggage. A private locking storage compartment has also been added under the load floor.

“A lot we have done with the XC40 is based on extensive consumer insight. With the XC40, we declare the end of clutter, making sure that everything is within arms-reach but also out of sight. It’s about clearing the clutter so you can clear your mind,” concludes Louiza Atcheba.