Hooniverse Asks: What is the best silly useful interior feature?

The new Volvo XC40, like other Volvos, has a very thoughtfully designed interior. But unlike the other ones, Volvo has decided to add a silly little trash bin to the XC40. It is located in front of the center armrest/console. It’s almost indistinguishable and just looks like part of the interior.

The little trash bin has a spring-loaded lid and is easily removable, and easy to clean. It’s also pretty deep, so it won’t get filled up with just a piece of paper. While it seems silly, it is great in real life. My kids typically put wrappers from whatever sugar-filled thing they are eating into cup holders. I typically throw garage/parking tickets somewhere on the console. All little things that create a messy interior, they all have a place now.

The trash can seemed super silly but proved itself to be super useful. What silly useful features have you seen in cars?

Image: Borrowed from Jalopnik

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23 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What is the best silly useful interior feature?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Staying with Volvo…see where this guy has his keys? Was an awesome spot to have coins, when people still used cash, and it is now an excellent spot to put your phone showing a Google Maps route:

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Maybe the Toyota Van’s factory icemaker?

    For what it’s worth, Cadillac had kick panel trash cans going back to at least the 70’s.


    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      This is about where cars like the Volvo 140 had a footwell kick panel for ventilation. An awesome feature that should really make a comeback.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        Those went away when air conditioning became a standard feature.

        I’d much prefer the crotch a/c vent to make a return.


        1. salguod Avatar

          Wait a minute, is that a RHD Citation?!?

        2. outback_ute Avatar

          I couldn’t name them off the top of my head, but I’m pretty sure there are current cars with this vent.

          1. Troggy Avatar

            My ’83 Corona had one. I only discovered it the day I drove it freeball and nearly froze my bits off.

            It was one of those features that was moderately unpleasant if you didn’t know it was there, but I didn’t mind it much on a hot summer day.

  3. Lokki Avatar


    Nobody tell Kamil that “little trash bin with a spring-loaded lid and which is easily removable, and easy to clean” is really an ashtray, okay?

  4. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I liked the little coin and bill holder on the original Honda Accord. It was perfect for parking meter and toll money.

  5. HuntRhymesWith Avatar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e45cf04aa0c99f276e19a9e16fe3614cf5654c24b9b56acb2fc6c2afc7c6935c.jpg I’ve only ever seen these in Volvo V70s, but these plastic clips for holding your parking pass against the window are useful with no real downside. The picture ostensibly shows one in a land rover.

    1. Mombert Avatar

      Skoda has got some clever ideas…my Octavia RS has a trash bin (for use with trash bags) in the door pockets/panels (not sure if it’s the right term). These panels again are at their front side shaped to nicely accomodate a .7 Liter bottle of water.
      Underneath the passenger seat there is an umbrella fitted.

      Ice scraper in the tank flap.

      The clip for parking tickets on the windscreen like pictured above.

      The Trunk light is a removable flashlight.

      All nice little Things, but I like the trash bin the most.

      1. Toaster Avatar

        The Ice scraper in the tank flap is properly genius, I wonder why no one has copied this, at least someone from BIG VAG should have noticed.

        1. Mombert Avatar

          Oh, one more thing I forgot (beneath the variable height of the trunk floor and the hooks to secure shopping bags): There is a little piece of plastic “fence” with velcro on the bottom. It sticks to the trunk carpet and keeps stuff in place wherever you put it. And you can fold it in the middle, to e.g. secure your important wedding cake tightly in a corner of the trunk.
          or something like that. I like it alot (although no cakes have been transported so far).

    2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      IIRC, they first appeared in the 940, and continued on in the 850; and (as you said) my V70 has one.

    3. Amoore Avatar

      Unfortunately that ceased with the P3 cars with corporate stating the reason as “causing excess interior noise by rattling against the windshield” IIRC, which is utter nonsense IMO since I’ve never had any rattling in either our V50 or V70 equipped as such. A shame, as it really was one of those thoughtful little Scandinavian touches that makes life just a little more convenient.

  6. njriley Avatar

    My favorite is the closable bin on the top of the dashboard (in this example from a 2019 Jeep Cherokee). You can put toll/parking/etc tags into it, which can still be read, but you don’t actually need to affix them to the windshield or the rear view mirror.

  7. salguod Avatar

    Not exactly the interior, but my 2005 Mazda3 hatch has a configurable cargo area system that is pretty cool.

    The floor is split in two pieces. The front third can be placed on fold out hooks as a shelf and the rear piece can create a divider immediately behind it. The cargo cover is also split and hinged right above the divider. The front part can be accessed from the back seat, making the shelf a interior accessible mini trunk.

    Under the divided floor is a divided cargo tray above the spare.

    In 13 years I’ve only used that once, but I used the divider all the time to contain small loads and I put individual small things in the lower tray all the time too. It’s a great system that was eliminated in later years, likely as a cost reduction.

  8. njriley Avatar

    My favorite is the closable bin on the top of the dashboard (in this example from a 2019 Jeep Cherokee). You can put toll/parking/etc tags into it, which can still be read, but you don’t actually need to affix them to the windshield or the rear view mirror.

  9. sunbeammadd Avatar

    The most useful feature on my car is this. If the children are misbehaving I only need to start moving my finger toward it and they stop. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e040585b14ff356b7a827194419803f6c9482621626bf1754df0a22c7d9945ee.jpg

  10. Troggy Avatar

    The double sunshade arrangement on my Touareg is simple and effective and I wish more cars had it.

  11. nanoop Avatar

    We don’t use cash for money transactions anymore, but you can’t unlock a shopping trolley with ApplePalPayTouchKiss yet. So the coin slots are more important than ever.