2019 Volvo XC40 – A Quality Compact SUV
The Volvo XC40 is a high class, versatile SUV perfect for the modern young family. Ideal for driving around town and cruising on long holiday journeys. The XC40 maybe the baby of the Volvo SUV family, but it should certainly not be left in the corner. The Volvo XC40 is right up there with the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X2 as best in class.
The XC40 offers comfort and quality throughout its range of trim levels, of which there are three; Momentum (Premium), R-Design (sport) and Inscription (luxury). Each trim comes with a vast array of standard features, top-class technology and safety features to exceed your requirements, from a family SUV.
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Engines, Power and Performance
There is a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines available for the XC40, some of which are available with AWD others just the standard FWD. The engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the exception of the lowest powered diesel and petrol (D3 and T3) models, which are available with a six-speed manual transmission as well.
The diesel engine is a 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit available with 150hp or 190hp. The 150hp version is called the D3 develops 320Nm of torque. It comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission, as well as FWD or AWD. The 190hp model is called the D4 and develops 400Nm of torque. This is only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.
There are two petrol engines for the XC40, a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit and a 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit. The 1.5-litre unit produces 163hp and 265Nm of torque and comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission; this is only available with FWD. The 2-litre engine comes with either 190hp or 247hp and will generate 300Nm or 350Nm of torque respectively. All are mated to the eight-speed automatic transmission, with the less powerful version having the choice of FWD or AWD. However, the 247hp unit is only available with AWD. The model names for these engines are T3 (1.5-litre) T4(2-litre, 190hp) and T5 (2-litre, 247hp).
For me, the best all-round engine choice would be the D4. It offers good performance, combined with a comfortable ride, making cruising up and down the motorway easy. It also has enough grunt to pull the XC40 along with ease, even when filled with passengers and luggage. It surprisingly still maintains good fuel consumption figures.
There will be a plug-in hybrid model available towards the last quarter of 2019, which could turn out to be the most popular choice amongst buyers. It is said to offer better economy and efficiency, along with impressive performance, so we'll have to wait and see.
Interior Quality and Technology
The XC40 is right up there with the best in class when it comes to interior quality. It is easily on a par with the BMW X2 and Range Rover Evoque rivals. There are plenty of plush, high-end plastics and other material trim pieces, which are delightful. The front seats are fantastic and come with a wide range of adjustment, along with an electrically adjustable lumbar support as standard across all models.
Every XC40 model comes with a 12.3-inch TFT colour digital driver display cluster, instead of analogue dials. It will display things like sat-nav instructions, radio/smartphone music along with the standard speed, fuel dials etc. It looks great and gives it a more modern and contemporary feel when looking from the driver's seat.
All XC40's feature Volvo's Sensus infotainment system which combines with a 9-inch colour touchscreen. It is set in a portrait position on the dashboard, not the standard landscape as found in most cars. The majority of the XC40 functions are operated through the touchscreen such as air-con, sat-nav and other vehicle settings. All of these are standard features across the range. Unfortunately, unless you opt for a higher spec model then smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is an optional extra, which is a little disappointing given it is a standard feature amongst most the XC40's rivals. Although the touchscreen blends into the flow of the XC40 dashboard, the reliance on it for so many of the car's functions rather than just simple buttons can be frustrating and also distracting when driving.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Volvo XC40 is a deceptively spacious car for a compact SUV, perfect for cities and towns. There is plenty of headroom in the front and rear, even if you opt for the panoramic roof. This is a welcome bonus in comparison to many of its rivals. Upfront, there is also plenty of legroom for even the tallest of adults. The XC40 is wide enough so that you won't be rubbing shoulders or elbows with the other passenger.
In the back, there is plenty of space for three adults to sit on the wider than expected bench seat. There is a generous amount of leg and knee room, as well as foot space. Although, the large central transmission tunnel compromises the foot space for the centre seat. There is undoubtedly more legroom in the rear than in the Range Rover Evoque and similar to the BMW X1.
The XC40 has a selection of storage cubbies throughout the cabin including; large door pockets, pull out trays under the front seats which can fit a tablet or small laptop in and cupholders in the front and back.
The boot in the XC40 is one of the largest in its class, with a capacity of 460-litres which rises to 1336-litres with the rear seats folded down. The boot is relatively square in design, making it easy to pack and load to its potential. There is a large under-floor storage compartment as standard, but if you opt for a spare wheel, you lose this.
Volvo has one of the best and most desirable safety reputations within the automotive industry, and the XC40 certainly continues that tradition. At the recent Euro NCAP safety tests, the XC40 scored the top 5-star rating which was helped by the array of safety kit and bundles such as the City Safety Pack standard across all XC40's. Some of the other safety features and assists as standard are; Traffic Sign Recognition, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Lane Keep Assist.
There are a few optional safety features and packs available such as; Intellisafe assist, Intellisafe surround and Intellisafe pro, some of which come as standard with higher-level trim models. These feature assists such as Blindspot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist, to name just a few.
The Volvo XC40 is a fantastic all-round compact SUV offering style, practicality and build quality with top-class technology and safety features. The XC40 will certainly give its rivals a run for their money and is certainly one to consider if you're in the market for a quality, versatile SUV.