XC40 D4 AWD First Edition
are always sought
after, be they collectable books
or works of art. And the same has
proved to be true about cars
particularly if theyre
by a Volvo XC40 badge...
LAUNCHED LATE LAST YEAR, the XC40 hasn't wasted any time winning awards,
quickly claiming the European Car of the Year crown in March 2018 as it effortlessly
continues the Swedish company's relentless drive to create über-desirable SUVs
a break-out that's already shown the established prestige players a thing
Shimmering with distinctive street presence, the XC40 skilfully sidesteps the
slab-sided look that spoils many a compact but high-riding SUV. Volvo's new-generation
Sports Ute DNA is instantly recognisable and the XC40's minimalist lines, thrusting
haunches and high-waistline combine to create a handsomely rugged look brimming
with up-to-the-minute panache.
that it exudes that same easy-going confidence you'll find on other well-bred
and well-dressed premium rivals such as Audi's Q3, the Range Rover Evoque and
Mercedes' GLA, you can safely bet your shirt that tech- and style-savvy drivers,
especially those with budgets in the £28K to £40K band, will be clamouring after
one of these svelte new Swedes.
presence, the XC40
exudes that same
youll find on other
rivals such as
Audis Q3, the Range
Rover Evoque and
Power-wise the XC40 can be had with either D3 and D4 diesels (150/190hp) or
T3, T4 and T5 petrols (156/190/247hp); drive can be either 2WD or all-wheel.
And thanks to ever-improving battery technology, plug-in hybrids as well as
all-electric versions are waiting in the wings to join the line-up.
But for now, Volvo's Drive-E 2.0-litre diesel and petrol units are providing
the XC40's motive power. Reviewed here is the proven 2.0-litre four-pot turbodiesel
that's married to a fluent-changing eight-speed automatic gearbox with drive
going to all four wheels.
Enhancing driveability are five drive mode settings: Eco, Comfort, Dynamic,
Off Road and driver-set Individual. For fleet-of-foot everyday driving you won't
go far wrong with Comfort, which was engaged for the bulk of our driving. But
if it's economy that rings your bell then you'll be happy to know that the Eco
setting really doesn't dent the XC40's driving pleasure and drivetrain responses.
The benchmark 0-62mph acceleration is done and dusted in a brisk 7.9 seconds;
flat-out assuming you're motoring on the Continent you'll legally
see 130mph. And there's plenty of stamina for overtaking at any speed. Officially
56.5mpg is the 'lab' figure for the Combined Cycle in real life our week's
test average saw a very liveable overall consumption of 42.9mpg. But then we
do tend to drive 'em hard so the average owner should be able to best our best.
The XC40 uses a new steel monocoque platform designed for a front-mounted transverse
engine driving either two or four wheels a 'chassis' that will underpin
all of Volvo's smaller new models as they come on stream. Size-wise, this platform
ensures great cabin space on the inside while keeping the XC40's external nose-to-tail
footprint to a socially responsible 4.3 metres.
you've ever sat in an XC90 the phrase 'lounge-like cabin' won't be lost on you.
The good news is that the XC40 brings space to the party in the same generous
spirit as does its big '90' brother. Climb aboard the XC40 and you know immediately
that you're in a Volvo not just because of the especially good power-adjustable
seats but the portrait-format tablet-style vertical touchscreen that dominates
the centre of the fascia and centre stack.
the XC40 it will be your fingertip controlling most of the core functions; from
the infotainment to the climate and connectivity features via the pin-sharp
9-inch screen no worries; it's all easy to fathom and chummily intuitive.
Voice control (phone, radio, media, navigation, and climate) is also part of
the package so if you're concerned about tapping a screen whilst on the move
you can always speak your mind instead and be equally obeyed.
0-62mph acceleration is
done and dusted in
a brisk 7.9 seconds;
youre motoring on the
Continent youll see
And theres plenty of stamina for overtaking at any speed...
The driving position is spot-on, offering a commanding view of the road ahead
as well as expansive all-round visibility along with a first-rate customisable
12.3-inch TFT driver display (four layout themes incorporating a live mapping
background if you'd prefer other information to be shown simultaneously on the
In terms of classiness this XC40 effortlessly delivers as much as any other
premium SUV cabin impeccable Scandi taste and flair abounds, all imaginatively
wrapped in upscale quality trim and materials that makes the joyfully uncluttered
cabin a particularly rewarding place to spend time. There's much to admire,
with plenty of invitingly touchable features from the sleek stylised vertical
air vents either side of the slick infotainment screen and the 3D-patterned
decorative foil finishings to the compact, nicely meaty and modish R-Design
All XC40 models are generously specified but the First Edition is definitely,
as our American cousins would say, 'fully loaded' not surprising as they
are effectively specced-up hi-level R-Design Pro models.
list of standard equipment is long and upscale and includes: multi drive mode
selection, multifunction heated (three-stage) steering wheel with paddle-shifters
for manual gear selection overrides, one-shot panoramic glass sunroof with powered
blackout sunblind and a tilt/slide front section, parking camera with outstanding
360-degree surround views, power-operated tailgate (handsfree opening and closing),
Harman Kardon premium sound system, smartphone integration with WiFi phone charging.
also keyless entry and locking on all five doors plus keyless start, two-zone
climate control (refreshingly cold during the tarmac-melting weather of our
test), powered front seats (driver's with a two-setting seat and mirror memory
recall), three-stage heated front seats, heated outer rear seats, autodimming
door mirrors, parking sensors, one-shot electric windows, privacy glass, frameless
autodimming rearview mirror, electric parking brake (with useful auto setting
that's a boon in heavy stop-start traffic), automatic drive-off door locking,
powerfolding rear seats, tinted and privacy glass, and 19-inch alloys
present and correct is Volvo's Sensus navigation (including full European mapping
with live traffic information), a brilliant 12.3-inch TFT driver display, infotainment
system with DAB radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Volvo On-Call
for roadside and SOS assistance along with remote control of various functions
(via a smartphone, smartwatch or tablet), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone
connectivity plus access to all the apps you fancy.
it will be your
fingertip controlling most
of the core functions
from the infotainment to
the climate and
voice control (phone,
radio, media, navigation,
and climate) is also part
of the package so if
youre concerned about
tapping a screen whilst
on the move you can
always speak your mind
instead and be equally
And, being a Volvo, it comes with a comprehensive suite of safety and driving
'assists' beginning with indispensable stuff such as a digital speed readout
with adjacent posted speed limits and tyre pressure monitoring to adaptive cruise
control and speed limiter, active bending headlights, automatic led headlights
with automatically dipping main beam headlights, and a heated windscreen.
You also get City Safety (with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection),
front collision warning and fully automatic emergency braking, oncoming lane
mitigation, Park Assist Pilot (90-degree as well as parallel automatic parking),
blind spot information, cross traffic alert with auto braking, rear collision
mitigation, and the latest 'must-have' Intellisafe Pro Pilot semi-autonomous
drive technology that's usable up to 80mph.
XC40's wheelbase is generous enough to prove that 'compact' doesn't mean 'compromise'
when it comes to passenger room. The back doors open wide but aren't so wide
that they make it awkward in ever-shrinking superstore parking spaces
getting in and, courtesy of a well-considered hip-point, is easy. The suede
and leather seats are well shaped, comfy and nicely restful on long trips.
The XC40's back cabin is roomy enough for three adults although more likely
it will be two or three youngsters or teens that get to travel in the second
row. Whoever occupies the rear cabin, they'll enjoy hat-friendly headroom (despite
sitting higher than those in front) along with great views out through large
side windows; neither will they go short of decent foot- and leg-room.
Pampered by three-stage seat heating, back-seat passengers also benefit from
having their own climate air vents, a large padded central armrest with built-in
cupholders, deep bottle-holding bins, stretchy magazine pouches and a convenient
USB charging point.
Too many of today's SUVs don't ride nearly as well as they ought to but
no such penalty with the XC40. Volvo's engineers have clearly gone to a great
deal of trouble with the chassis tuning to make sure that everything is tickety-boo
when it comes to comfort on real-world roads. The acid-test is that 'our' XC40,
rolling on bigger-than-standard 20-inch alloys and standard-fitted with the
sportily firmer R-Design suspension, still rides surprisingly well.
its fluent ride, settled body control and a soothingly quiet cabin, motorway
trips are utterly stress-free. And it's here that you can enjoy the XC40's semi-autonomous
lane-keeping Pilot Assist system that, along with radar cruise control, takes
the strain out of long distance journeys by keeping you in your lane while always
maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front even down to a full stop.
many of todays
SUVs dont ride nearly as
well as they ought to
but no such penalty with
have clearly gone to a
great deal of trouble with
the chassis tuning
to ensure that everything
is tickety-boo when it
comes to comfort on real-
is much the same: satisfyingly fit for purpose. It steers well and thanks to
the all-wheel drive traction is consistently surefooted; enough to allow you
to carry plenty of speed through bends and make good use of the muscular and
easily accessed torque to exit with gusto.
Pressing on, you'll find the XC40 is easy to place, the well balanced handling
serving up agreeable wieldiness in fact you'll be pleasantly surprised
at just how responsive and fleet of foot it is; and just how hard you can hack
it, especially along winding roads. If, that is, you choose to when less pressed
it covers distances so relaxingly.
Essential to making best use of any car's handling is a willing engine
and Volvo's well-proven 2.0-litre diesel serves up more than ample torque and
acceleration: the 190hp D4 turbodiesel pumps out 187bhp backed up by 295lb ft
of torque. The result is gutsy when you want it and unruffled driveability both
in traffic and out on the open road.
Acceleration is delivered cleanly though the eight-speed autobox and powertrain
for flexible performance either with a full complement of peeps on board or,
as many owners will use it for, when towing braked trailers of up to
2.1 tonnes (2,100kg) are easily managed.
With five doors and five seats you'll be expecting a fair-sized boot for your
luggage the XC40 doesn't let you down; it will accommodate a practical
460 litres of suitcases or shopping behind the rear backrests. Not only that
but it's a deep and no-nonsense flat-floored boot easily accessed through a
generous-sized powered tailgate with some extra storage space beneath the main
floor that can add a few inches to the available cargo height when it matters.
Opening and closing are both handsfree and fast too (and can be done
from the driver's seat or from anywhere outside the car using the key fob).
neatly incorporated roller partition net prevents high-stacked loads from sliding
about while the floor can be reconfigured to split the boot into two separate
areas for segregating cargo. Unlike some rivals, the XC40 has dedicated room
below decks for the roller luggage blind cassette when it's not needed. And
for ski-like items, there's a convenient load-through hatch.
the 60:40-split rear seats (they really do fold totally flat) and you'll liberate
more loadbay space for full-on load-lugging duties: an impressive 1,336 litres
in all. If that's not enough then there are optional space-boosting solutions
including boot-sized (430-litre) roof boxes plus, for more outdoorsy owners,
bike and canoe carriers and even a dog harness to keep Mr Pooch safe
on the back seat.
The XC40 is a premium-branded compact SUV with ardent kerb appeal, one that's
a real pleasure both to live with and to drive. It makes an ideal family car
for everyday driving (not that driving solo is not seriously satisfying!) and,
equally, is just the thing for those adventurous weekenders and 'tribe' holidays.
Volvo XC40 D4 AWD First Edition
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 7.9 seconds | Test Average: 42.9mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 133g/km