Volvo says its XC40 small city SUV, to be launched in the coming weeks will offer premium space, storage and functionality.

The XC40 will complete the company's SUV line-up, which also features the top-of-the-range large XC90 and the mid-sized XC60.

As part of the XC40's development phase, Volvo Cars' customer research team spent time investigating how city dwellers around the globe use their car on a daily basis and how they store their belongings in their cars. Customers were also asked how they would like to see the interiors of their cars improved.

Different regions and cities produced "remarkably similar results," providing input as Volvo's designers worked on the interior of the new XC40.

"As we spoke to people about how and where they store the things they carry with them daily, it was quite clear most of today's cars are falling short in this area," said Volvo 40 Series model brand manager, Louiza Atcheba.

"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."

Volvo moved speakers from the door and developed an air-ventilated dashboard-mounted sub-woofer, creating enough storage in the door compartment for a laptop and a tablet, or a couple of water bottles.

"When we designed the tunnel the focus was not only on creating a nice design... the design itself provides areas for coins, cards or charging cables," said Volvo Cars senior design manager, Conny Ewe Blommé.

"Another focus area was to make a usable space for your phone which offers wireless charging as well as USB ports."

A small fold-away hook has been added to the glove compartment, allowing stowage of small shopping or take-away bags. Both front seats offer a storage space under the seat, large enough for a mini tablet or other smaller items.

The XC40 also offers slots for credit and service cards that can be inserted into the dashboard, while in the tunnel console, under the armrest, there is a large storage area with room for a tissue box. 

"In the trunk we have designed a floor system which can fold and separate your luggage and allows you to use the full luggage space without removing the floor from the car." added Blommé.

The XC40 includes a fold-up trunk divider with two hooks to help secure shopping bags or other luggage, along with four load hooks. 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," noted Atcheba. "With the XC40, we declare the end of clutter, making sure that everything is within arms-reach but also out of sight."

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more