Mehta, R. and Hadley, M., "Vehicle Spaciousness and Packaging Efficiency," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(1):105-112, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0348.
With the ever increasing pressure to improve the fuel economy of vehicles, there has been a corresponding interest in reducing the mass and size of vehicles. While mass is easily quantifiable, vehicle size, particularly the notion of “interior space” as perceived by the customer, is not. This paper explores different ways in which vehicle spaciousness can be quantified and explores new metrics based on customer verbatims. A novel ‘spaciousness calculator’ combines individual metrics to provide a singular holistic rating for spaciousness, useful during vehicle development. Beyond spaciousness, the paper discusses techniques to quantify the ‘packaging efficiency’ of a vehicle; this allows engineers to maximize the interior space for a given exterior size.