Volvo’s smallest SUV targets younger buyers
- Least expensive path to Volvo SUV ownership
- Bold styling and finishes available
- Likely to be cost-effective to run
- Pricey – starts at £27,906
The production car looks very similar to the prototype Concept 40.1 unveiled in 2016, including that unusual kink in the window line.
It’s also the first car to feature Volvo’s new three-cylinder petrol engine, and although a bit pricey for a small SUV, looks incredibly well equipped – with sat-nav, LED headlights and a digital dashboard as standard.
New small car platform
The first model based on Volvo’s new, smaller, Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) underpinnings, the XC40 will be a premium-priced alternative to the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
That CMA platform will also form the basis of other future Volvo 40-series models, as well as an SUV for the brand new Lynk & Co marque, which enters European markets in 2018. Lynk & Co and Volvo are both owned by Chinese car giant Geely.
Efficient engine range
Expect three petrol and two diesel engines initially. All of these are four-cylinder, 2.0-litre units, with power levels ranging from 150 to 250hp.
Volvo’s engine naming structure remains so there’s a choice of 156hp T3, 190hp T4 and 247hp T5 petrols, plus 150hp D3 and 190hp D4 diesels.
The T3 is the first fitment of Volvo’s new three-cylinder engine and is front-wheel drive only, while the D3 can be had with front- or all-wheel drive (AWD), and with a manual or automatic gearbox.
The T4, T5 and D4 come with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox. An automatic gearbox is also available on D3 versions.
Other options will be offered later – we’re expecting electrification in the forms of Twin Engine plug-in hybrids and full EVs.
Tapping into a younger market
Volvo’s hoping to attract a younger audience with the XC40, and has announced that the crossover will be available with a wider range of colours and interior finishes than any model in its current line-up.
The Volvo On Call smartphone app and is also included with every XC40 - this allows you to control your car from your smartphone watch – with functions such as locking and unlocking the doors, and cabin pre-heat or pre-cool.
Base-spec is called Momentum and is the most boldly styled, with the option of a contrast-coloured white roof and door mirrors, along with white and black alloy wheels.
You get 18-inch alloys, a 9.0-inch touch screen with voice control system, sat-nav, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, 12.3-inch digital dials and rear parking sensors.
Sportier R-Design cars get gloss black exterior detailing, a black roof and door mirrors, sports suspension and 18-inch diamond cut or matt black alloy wheels. Inside there’s leather upholstery, plus a perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob.
The luxury focused Inscription trim gets a power-operated tailgate, front parking sensors, a powered driver’s seat, driftwood interior inlays and chrome exterior highlights. Automatic versions also gain a glitzy crystal gear lever from Swedish crystal glassware maker Orrefors.
As with other Volvo cars you can expect options like wireless mobile phone charging and a 1,200W Harman/Kardon stereo with 13 speakers.
As you’d expect from a Volvo the XC40 comes packed with safety kit, including automatic emergency braking system and lane keep assist.
You can also select Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-autonomous driving tech, as an option on every XC40. This will assist with braking, acceleration and steering at speeds up to 80mph.
Other safety kit includes run-off road protection and mitigation, cross traffic alert with brake support, and a 360-degree camera. This is likely to be included in an optional safety pack.
When can I buy a Volvo XC40?
Order books are open for UK buyers now with deliveries expected in 2018.
The first cars in the UK will be T5 and D4 First Editions, based on R-Design Pro but with even more equipment as standard - highlights include the Xenium pack, Pilot Assist, a power-operated tailgate with handsfree opening and closing, heated rear seats, wireless mobile phone charging and the Harmon Kardon sound system.
Parkers will be among the first to drive this new car, so check back soon for the Volvo XC40 SUV review in the coming weeks.