Volvo XC40 Review 2022

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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 the entry-level Start spec, which is generously equipped. However, if you want more luxury features, mid-range Core and Plus spec, or opt for the range-topping Ultimate spec are available to buy or lease.

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

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If you want the all-singing, all-dancing feeling from your XC40 you’re best going with the flagship Ultimate trim. It comes with a full leather and driftwood interior trim which is comfier than the rest of the range.

Even the mid-range Plus spec has a good amount of tasteful decor inside, including high-gloss inserts and trim over the standard Core spec.

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

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Style? Check. Space? Check.

The XC40 has a large boot. 452 litres of capacity, to be exact. Max this out to 1,328 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.

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If you’re after more space, the larger XC60 and XC90 siblings are longer and therefore offer better practcicality. The latter needs this space to house an extra two seats in the rear, yet it still has a 356-litre boot, even with all seven seats in place. Alternatively, the XC60 still keeps the five-seat configuration but has 483 litres in the cargo.

On the road

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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.

The standard Start and Core trims come with plenty of driver assistance features that make it a joy to drive. As standard, the Core model comes with cruise control, lane keeping assist and a rear parking assistant.

With the higher-spec Plus model, a blind spot indicator and rear parking camera make tricky manoeuvres easier.

Looking for the best driver tech? Then you’ll want to check out the very best Ultimate version of the XC40. It has a 360-degree parking camera which makes parking this big family car a doddle.

As far as engines are concerned, there are four to choose from – two 2.0-litre petrol units with 163bhp or 197bhp, and two plug-in hybrids which use a combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine, battery pack and electric motor for a combined output of 211bhp or 262bhp.

If you’re doing a lot of miles and have access to a charge point, the plug-in hybrid could save you a lot of money on running costs. It has a 10.7kWh battery pack, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but allows you to drive around 28 miles without using a drop of petrol. You’ll have to remember to charge it before it runs out though, otherwise the car will use a lot of petrol lugging around the heavy (and empty) battery and electric motor. However, the good news is that you can fully charge the battery in just three hours using a standard 3.6kW or 7kW public, home or work charger.

If you don’t want to faff around remembering to charge your partly-electrified car, then both petrol versions are an attractive alternative. The lesser-powered of the two (labelled ‘B3P’) is the only option which doesn’t have four-wheel drive. Nevertheless, it has very good fuel economy for a car of this size and power (42mpg combined). Performance is strong too, with the car having a 0-60mph acceleration time of 8.6 seconds and good pull through the gears on high-speed roads.

Looking for the best performance combustion engine spec? Then the 197bhp petrol version cuts acceleration time down to 7.6 seconds, which is enough to give most modern hot hatches a run for their money.

The range-topping T5 Recharge PHEV model takes the award for the strongest performance, however. 0-60mph takes just 7.3 seconds, while the efficiency is still very similar to its lesser-power T4 Recharge relative.

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