Volvo XC40 Review

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Volvo XC40
The new Volvo XC40

Overview

Volvo has made a statement with its new XC40 SUV – receiving its own unique, youthful look when compared to its bigger XC60 and XC90 relatives.

There are several different trims available for the XC40. The line-up starts with an entry-level Momentum, a mid-range Inscription, and a range-topping sporty R-Design.

Regardless of your choice, you can jazz up the car’s exterior using either solid or metallic paintwork. If that wasn’t enough, you then get to decide whether you want to contrast this colour on the rooftop – all of which give the XC40 an even greater urban, slick look.

“The new XC40 is an attractive car and is a more affordable option to rivals, without compromising practicality. It’s easy to see how it was the What Car? Car of The Year 2018.”

Cameron Hale, Moneyshake Car Reviewer

Interior

If you want the all-singing, all-dancing feeling from your XC40 you’re best going with the flagship R-Design trim. It comes with better interior trims and ‘R-design’ leather upholstery which is comfier due to extra lumbar support. Volvo has even thrown in an accommodating steering wheel, pedals and gearbox for an improved driving experience.

A leather steering wheel complements the urban dash décor. Volvo give you the option of a rustic ‘Decorpanel Origin’ pattern or a fresh ‘Urban Grid’ design for the car’s inlays. The final touches come with the choice of textile and leather materials for the seats. Even the standard seats are good enough for longer journeys, though.

In the back, three adult passengers will easily fit abreast for long journeys thanks to the car’s naturally wide body and comfy seats. The middle seat is also notably wide and low set, while the small hump in the floor means an adult will have no problem sitting there for any length of time. Storage in the back isn’t great, however. The cupholders on either rear-passenger door are big enough for just a small bottle of water.

It’s a much better story in the front cabin. Volvo’s design choice cuts into the driver and front passenger doors and creates space for two big 1.5-litre bottles. Coupled with this is a deep centre console which features a wireless charging stand for your mobile as standard. You’ve got an ultimate SUV on your hands here which will give the BMW X1, Volkswagen Tiguan and DS 7 a run for their money.

Infotainment and tech

A large 12.3-inch eye-catching infotainment display is the standout feature when stepping into the XC40. What may throw you is that it’s positioned in portrait orientation. It’s pretty unconventional, but gives the car a quirkiness matched only by its box-shaped front.

Go into the infotainment and you’ve got access to Spotify, TuneIn radio, and other web apps of your choice.

Volvo’s ‘IntelliSafe’ is the manufacturer’s tech-savvy answer to creating a safe SUV. Within this system you have City Safety, which uses radar and camera technology to detect other cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and large animals. It’ll warn you if it senses an imminent collision and apply the brakes automatically if you don’t react.

Keyless start is less exciting, but adds to the contemporary crossover feel. Putting keys in ignitions is a thing of the past – forget about it.

Practicality

Style? Check. Space? Check.

The XC40 has a large boot. 432 litres of capacity, to be exact. Max this out to 1,308 litres when you fold the rear seats down. All in all, it’s enough room for four people’s luggage, even with the seats upright.

What’s more is that the back seats fold completely flat, so your weekly shop won’t be using the back seats as a makeshift skate ramp. Also, Volvo has done us a service by removing any load lip on the boot, which makes lifting heavier items

As standard there are some neat features in the XC40’s cargo as well. For starters, the under-floor storage cover can be used as a divider to separate any items. When put up, the divider has handy hooks on top which you can hold shopping bags. This way, your items aren’t rolling around the boot on the journey home!

Inside, passengers will have access to a plethora of cubby spaces, drawers and fold-out bag hooks. By no means is the XC40 class-leading in terms of cargo space, but it does a good job considering it’s the Swedish manufacturer’s smallest SUV.

If you’re after more space, the larger XC60 and XC90 siblings are longer at 219mm and 525mm, respectively. The latter needs this space to house an extra two seats in the rear and still offer 302 litres in the boot. Alternatively, the XC60 still keeps the five-seat configuration but has 51 litres more than the vehicle in question.

On the road

Driving the XC40 is a comfortable and visible experience, which is exactly what you want from an SUV. Apart from the large pillars at the back of the car, the high-set position with a big windscreen and rear window gives you a feeling of confidence behind the wheel.

With higher-spec models or an upgrade, you can have a 360-degree live birds-eye view of your XC40. This is handy when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

As far as engines are concerned, there’s a good range of petrol and diesel units available. The range-topping petrol engine is the T5 eight-speed automatic with 247bhp, and with the diesel it’s the D4 eight-speed automatic with 190bhp.

If you’re doing a lot of miles, the D4 is the obvious given its fantastic fuel 40mpg fuel economy. However, if you want a more affordable option while maintaining good performance, then the T4 is a nice middle-ground option, with a plentiful 190bhp.

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