- Standout design
- Packed with technology and safety features
- Really practical for everyday use
- First Edition model is just short of £40,000
- Visibility at the front
Volvo might have been the manufacturer that seemed to attract the older generation many years ago, but that is finally a distant memory as of late the Swedish brand has overhauled its design and line up. It’s still the dependable car that will hit six figures in the miles it’s likely to accumulate without issue during its lifetime, but Volvo’s designers have come into their own of late with model releases that are stunning, think XC90 and V60.
So what better way to continue these successes of late than with a new model, say hallå to XC40.
On The Road
Our XC40 test car came with the D4 diesel engine which produces 190hp with 400Nm of torque, it’s a particularly punchy four cylinder which was mated with a smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox. With steering wheel paddles for quicker shifts it has a top speed of 130mph and gets from 0-62mph in a respectable 7.9 seconds.
The 2.0 litre has low running costs as it emits 133g/km of CO2 so will cost £200 for the first year, £140 annually thereafter and Volvo reckon it can achieve a combined 56.5mpg, but we were only managing figures around the late 30s in the week we had it on test.
It can’t be denied that like all Volvo models it feels a very solid car when out on the roads, but does this sturdiness make it too unforgiving in the ride stakes? For a compact SUV it is a fairly composed ride, with the amount of potholes on roads at the moment it didn’t seem too perturbed by the poor surfaces it had to contend with.
The steering is very light, almost too much in some cases and you don’t always feel that connected to the drive when you’re wanting to push the XC40 that little bit more, the rival Audi Q3 is a more engaging drive.
The XC40 comes with various Drive modes including eco, comfort, sport and off-road which can adjust engine, steering, brakes and gearbox responses based on your driving experience.
What we love about this car is the design, it’s always good to see a model so close to the original design that is released at a motor show a few years before.
The domineering front grille, scultped doors, bi-tone roof and sleek rear lights must make it one of the most standout compact SUVs to have been launched recently, it’s a design that certainly turned heads on our travels. And if you forget what you’re driving there’s a little rubber Swedish flag on the side of the bonnet to remind you.
The diesel engine is quite noisy though as it goes through the rev range, from the off if you really put your foot down it is noticeably loud and the road noise from the 19-inch wheels does filter quite heavily into the cabin, especially at higher speeds.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
The interior is dominated by the ipad size 9-inch touchscreen in the centre stack, it’s easy to use and shows all media, navigation, car settings and climate control, although it does show finger marks very easily.
The First Edition which is based on Volvo’s premium R-Design trim comes with stylish looking seats, our test car had a mix of leather and nubuck in the cabin which made it super luxurious and they were electronically operated, which is always a plus, as you can pay the moon for a German rival car and still have manually adjustable seats.
The only negative we found was that the despite the high seating position, the visibility out the front isn’t that great to see the corner of the car as it’s hard to see over the sculpted bonnet.
Other additions include a wireless mobile phone charger, a Harmon Kardon Premium sound system, heated steering wheel and a simple, yet cool 12.3-inch TFT crystal driver’s information screen which changes colour depending on your driving mode.
Space & Practicality
It maybe a compact SUV but it still feels spacious with plenty of leg and headroom both up front and in the rear with passengers also benefitting from handy storage by the side of the rear seats for drinks.
The rear passengers seats fold down if you’re looking to increase the boot space and use the full 1,336 litres, with a button on the touchscreen to electronically drop the rear headrests too.
The boot is 460 litres in five seat mode, not the biggest in its class as the BMW X1 holds 505 litres, but in keeping with it being a practical model there is a flexible boot floor and also bag hooks - all this is ideal when doing the weekly shop so you don’t end up with bottled drinks rolling around the boot, or eggs getting squashed...
The boot has a power tailgate, there’s a 12v socket and also a load protection net so like the recent Skoda SUV models, designers have thought of everything to make life that little bit easier.
The Volvo XC40 costs from £27,905 for the T3 FWD Momentum specification while the D4 AWD First Edition we had on test was £39,905, it’s a decent entry price when premium rivals such as the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque are similarly priced.
The XC40 comes with a three year/60,000 miles warranty and three years’ roadside assistance cover.
So what did we think of it? It’s one of the most anticipated cars of 2018 and we couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of it and see it in the flesh. Not only does it have the looks, it’s hugely practical for everyday living and in a very competitive and popular segment, it might just have the edge in the premium model battle.
Quality & Reliability
Volvo have really upped their game when it comes to quality, the interior of the XC40 can really take on rivals in the premium market with high quality, durable materials, a simple, functional design and intuitive onboard technology.
Volvo have really good reliability of late, their rise has seen them top the rankings and the larger XC60 squeezed into the top ten in the Auto Express Driver Power results in 2017.
That model has just been named World Car of the Year and it also won the UK Car of the Year for 2018 and there’s no reason why the XC40 won’t pick up some accolades too - it already has the European Car of the Year title under its belt and we can see why.
Safety & Security
The Volvo XC40 hasn’t yet been tested in the EuroNCAP ratings but we expect it to get the maximum five stars as the Swedes are the pioneers when it comes to safety - they did invent the three-point seatbelt after all.
The First Edition comes with a safety pack which includes a clever parking camera which shows 360 degree surround views of the car, Park Assist Pilot which helps with parallel and 90 degree parking, Pilot Assist which works up to 80mph and standard equipment includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, Cross traffic alert, Rear collision mitigation and City Safety also comes as standard which includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection system and automatic braking to help you avoid them.