Auto Tech

Volvo C40 Luggage Test: How much cargo space?

Volvo C40 Luggage Test How Much Cargo Space

Solar Kat Auto Deals

The Volvo C40 is the chopped-roof “coupe” version of the Volvo XC40, albeit without the internal combustion powertrain options. It’s Recharge or nothing. As an electric vehicle, the C40 (or EC40 as it’s apparently being renamed) is quite agreeable, with ample range and performance, plus a refined driving experience indicative of a Volvo that is quite clearly more sophisticated than the Hyundais, Kias and Volkswagens of the world. The interior up front is highly functional, too, with clever storage and good tech. Oh, and the gray wool upholstery is just beautiful. 

But good grief, is the rear visibility atrocious. The back window is comparable to a pillbox and the blind spot is enormous. Worse, the various cameras supposedly on board to counter those flaws are just not effective. The rearview camera is mounted so low that its field of view is poor. The rearview camera mirror is susceptible to water droplets and condensation, and worse, the mirror housing is effectively pointed at the ceiling. That ceiling is glass and there is no shade. Ergo, if the sun is behind you, the amount of glare on the mirror renders it unviewable. If the roof is covered in condensation and the sun is behind you, there might as well be a brick mounted to the ceiling. 

OK, I’ve gone off the rails here, but I just had to get that off my chest. The XC40 Recharge (or EX40 as it’ll be called in the future), didn’t have that problem, and I’m sure this isn’t exactly a spoiler, it has a more usable cargo area, too. 

Just in case it’s not obvious, the C40/EC40 and XC40/EX40 is on the right. I’m done doing that / business, so I’m just going to make this future-proof from here on out.

Volvo’s specs say the EC40 has 17.3 cubic-feet of cargo space and specifically indicates that includes the underfloor storage area. When seemingly using that same measurement, the EX40 has 20.4. Honestly, I have no idea how that equates to the typically reported cubic-foot volume number of other manufacturers, but as a point of reference to each other, I’m going with those figures. 

Both have an underfloor storage area, including a lid that cleverly props itself up so you can divide the cargo area for the purposes of keeping smaller items in place. There’s also two little tabs that stick up specifically intended to loop grocery bags onto. 

Now, I wrote off this area in the XC40 luggage test since it wasn’t big enough to hold the smallest (fancy) bag, shown above in blue. I shouldn’t have been to so quick to write it off, though, so I’ll be updating the XC40 luggage test according. But more on that in a moment. 

The EC40 has the exact same rigid cargo cover as the EX40. Per Luggage Test rules when dealing with such cargo covers, I’ll be testing with and without.

OK, now let’s bring on the boilerplate bag description, now updated with Team Luggage Test’s newest member, Green Bag

As with every Luggage Test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two black roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller green roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

Turns out the two subcompact Volvos held the exact same bags in the exact same formation under the cargo cover. This really isn’t surprising considering it’s really what’s above that cargo cover that’s different. 

After chucking the cover in the EX40, it was quite easy to move the bags around to free up space for the dearly departed small blue bag. That just wasn’t happening in the EC40. 

Notice how the bigger blue bag is standing upright in the EX40? As you can clearly see above left, that’s just not possible in the EC40. As such, I was initially just looking at the exact same bags in the exact same formation as with the cargo cover in place. I guess I could’ve plopped the fancy bag on top and loaded to the roof (what, was I going to make the visibility bad???), but that is technically against Luggage Test rules. 

But then I remembered the underfloor storage. What the hell, let’s see if it could make any difference.

I started off by squeezing the two medium black bags behind the partition. The underfloor area itself isn’t flat, nor is the bottom big enough to nicely accommodate any of the bags standing up. That’s why I wrote it off.

You’ll also find the big foam casing for the jack and tire iron that takes up WAY too much space given the size of the two items it’s tasked with carrying. I relocated it and you’ll see where it went shortly.

Well, that’s the best I could do. It certainly isn’t pretty. Fancy bag could not fit since it would be smashed unacceptably by the liftgate, so that’s the best I could do here.

Now, I don’t know for sure, but had I utilized the underfloor storage area in the EX40, I’m fairly certain that the fancy bag could have indeed fit inside. Therefore, all the bags would have fit in the EX40. Again, that’s an edit I’ll have to make. 

Oh, and here’s another. 

They both have a frunk, which Volvo says has 0.7 cubic-foot of volume. That’s enough for the charge cord and the 120V and 240V adapters (a very nice touch) placed atop a felt-covered plastic divider. You will also note that I relocated the jack and tire iron here, sans needlessly large foam thingy. This is how I would leave the car if it was mine.

So there you have it. Whether you call it C40 or EC40, it does indeed have a less useful cargo area than the XC40/EX40. And yeah, the visibility really is the pits. In that it’s like you’ve fallen into a beautifully upholstered pit. 


the authorsolarkat

Leave a Reply