Volvo XC40 Recharge Luggage Test: How much fits in the cargo area?


The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the all-electric version of Volvo’s subcompact SUV that is also available in gas-only versions. According to the uniquely extensive cargo dimensions Volvo shares for its vehicles, every XC40 regardless of power source has the same 20.4 cubic-feet of cargo space as measured from the floor to the headliner with the front seat “limited by vertical plane tangential to the rear side of the second seatback.” Like I said, uniquely extensive. There is 16 cubic-feet when measured to the top of the seatback, which is probably more applicable to my luggage tests, but other car companies don’t provide those measurements, and if they do, they don’t actually indicate as such — and make it seem like their SUVs are smaller and less competitive than they actually are. 

One such example is Mercedes-Benz and the GLB/EQB, which is one of the XC40’s chief competitors. Its specs say it has 24.0 cubic-feet of cargo space (almost certainly the top-of-the-seatback measurement), but it definitely has more than that since it can hold roughly the same amount of stuff inside its boxy cargo area as a Subaru Outback. In other words, the XC40 is very unlikely to be getting best-in-segment status here. But who knows, let’s see!

This is a pretty hatchbacky space, so still not looking good for the XC40 toppling the GLB/EQB. It does look pretty similar to the Q4 E-Tron, so let’s bring that into the equation. 

rigid cargo cover

As you can see, the XC40 has a large, hatchback-style cargo cover. That means I’ll have to test with and without that cover. 

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 roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller 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).

cargo cover over bags

So yeah, I neglected to take a shot of the bags with the cargo cover attached. Sorry. Nevertheless, as you can kinda see here, I could fit the four biggest bags with the cargo cover being propped up by them. This would be worse than the Q4 E-Tron, which could fit all but the fancy bag. It’s WAY worse than the GLB/EQB, which has a cartridge-style cargo cover that can be stored in the cargo area and leave enough room for all the bags. 

Let’s chuck the cover.

all the bags2max bags no fancy

All the bags could technically fit (left/top), but it’s unlikely the fancy bag would’ve fit if it was full of stuff. It was also blocking a lot of the rearview, which was already compromised by needing to stand up the bags to fit. 

Not surprisingly, things were a lot neater in the Q4 E-Tron, and the EQB/GLB can swallow a 38-quart cooler in addition to these bags, so game over on that front.

Now, onto some other cargo details.

cargo floorcargo divider

The cargo floor features a handle that lets you fold it up vertically to serve as a cargo divider in addition to granting access to the underfloor area.

little bag hook

It then has a hooks, which as the graphics suggest, can be used to hang shopping bags. Nifty!

under floor space

This is the underfloor area, which is where the XC40 Recharge diverges from the gas-only XC40. I don’t know what it looks like under there, but Volvo’s uniquely extensive specs would indicate there’s more space available should you get the tire repair kit (2.7 cubic-feet versus the Recharge’s 2.4 cubic-feet you see here). If you get the spare tire, you have less space at 1.7 cubic-feet. You also have a spare tire.

As you can see, this underfloor area wouldn’t help you with luggage, but can store odds and ends. 

The Recharge also has a 0.7-cubic-foot frunk. I forgot it was there and didn’t take a picture of it. What is this, amateur hour? Judging by pictures online, it’s really only suitable to carry around the charge cord or some aluminum cans. As such, it’s more hooch bin than frunk. Fine by me!

While other Volvo SUVs and wagons are some of the most cargo-friendly in their respective segments, that definitely doesn’t apply to the XC40, Recharge or otherwise.



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