I recently wrote about a cool quirk with my Volkswagen GTI where it can track your location via GPS to ensure that your clock stays correct if you change time zones. That’s a pretty cool feature that’s certainly useful, but I don’t necessarily drive into different time zones on a regular basis. However, I found another little hidden feature of my GTI recently that’s incredibly useful — and I think that every hatchback, wagon and SUV should have it, too.
Like many vehicles with a rear hatch, the GTI has a cargo cover in the back to hide any valuables and temper any temptations that may be born in passersby. This is a necessary feature for a hatchback, but larger items and loads require its removal — and removing the cargo cover requires you to find a place to put it. If you’re thinking ahead, you can always leave it at home, but lacking a garage, I used to leave it in my living room where it would take up space, invariably get coated in cat hair and annoy my wife. If you unexpectedly need to carry something, you’d be forced to put it in the back seat or stack items on top of it.
That is, until I noticed a little graphic on the underside of the cargo cover while it was sitting in my living room. The little graphic showed me that if you lifted the floor of the trunk there was a space for the cargo cover to slide into, completely out of the way of both cargo and people. That is brilliant!
Soon after I discovered the feature, it proved its usefulness. My wife and I went to Target with a friend to get some sparkling water, and somehow we ended up purchasing a chair. When we went to load it into the car, I had to remove the cargo cover to get it to fit — but instead of the consternation of figuring out how to fit the cover, the chair and my friend comfortably together, I just put the cargo cover in its place under the floor.
Really, though, it’s surprising that this is not a standard feature in all hatchbacks, SUVs and wagons. It appears that Toyotas, BMWs, Subarus and Volvos have included storage for the cover as well, but I’d venture to guess that most owners of vehicles with this feature aren’t aware of it. Automakers don’t exactly advertise it, you never see it mentioned in reviews, and I’m sure most dealership staff are oblivious to it, as well. Regardless, every hatchback, wagon or SUV should have this little feature, as it makes life much easier when you need to carry an outsized load.