The new Volvo XC40 is the Swedish brand’s entry into the booming compact SUV sector, currently dominated by the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque. Built on an all-new platform called CMA (Compact Modular Architecture), it’s a city-focused machine that joins the hit XC60 and XC90 to further expand Volvo’s appealing SUV line.
Prices start from £27,905 and ordering is already open, with first deliveries expected early in 2018. Volvo’s not stopping there, either – it’s introducing a new ‘car subscription service’ lease offer called Care By Volvo, that will let you own a car on a fixed contract for a set monthly fee, as ‘hassle free as having a phone’.
Volvo is so bullish about this new initiative, it believes it will ‘reinvent the traditional model of car ownership’.
Distinctively styled, the XC40 successfully carries through the show car styling seen on the 2016 Volvo 40.1 concept. Its rear C-pillar is very striking, and bold body creases give it a characterful look. Volvo’s also offering it with colour schemes never before seen from the Swedish brand – anyone for China blue with a white roof?
Inside, Volvo’s latest premium interior layout, with its distinctive portrait-style infotainment screen, is enhanced by “a radically new approach to storage”. The door bins are more practical, there’s stowage space beneath the seats, a waste bin in the centre console, and fold-out hooks for bags. Volvo’s even carved out a space just for smartphones, which can be enhanced with inductive charging.
“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction, said Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up.”
Volvo XC40: engines
Volvo will launch the XC40 with five different engines, but all will be 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo motors. Three of then will be petrol – 156hp T3, 190hp T4 and 247hp T5 – and there’ll be two turbodiesels: 150hp D3 and 190hp D4.
The T3 comes with front-wheel drive only. The D3 has a choice of front- or all-wheel drive; T4, T5 and D4 are all-wheel-drive only. You can have either manual or automatic gearboxes on lower-powered engines, while the more potent ones are all automatic.
What about hybrids? Nothing at launch, but expect them to follow later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo to come with the firm’s new fuel-saving three-cylinder engines.
Volvo XC40: specification
The XC40 is offered in a core three-trim lines in the UK: Momentum (entry-level), R-Design (sporty) and Inscription (posh). All are well equipped, coming with nine-inch Sensus touchscreen infotainment, sat nav, LED headlights, 12.3-inch TFT instrument display, dual-zone climate control with an air-cleansing ‘CleanZone’ filtration system, plus rear parking sensors and 18-inch alloys.
Volvo also fits City Safety autonomous emergency braking to all XC40, and its potentially life-saving Oncoming Lane Mitigation tech. This senses if you steer out of your lane and into the path of an oncoming vehicle, giving steering assistance to help you move out of danger.
Momentum models are the most ‘expressive’, says Volvo: you can have black or white alloy wheels, contrasting white roofs, even eye-catching textile and vinyl interior upholstery. We can’t help but love the orange carpet seen in the images…
The R-Design is marked out by gloss black for the grille, door mirrors and front and rear bumper sections, plus a black roof. You get dual exhaust pipes at the rear, sports suspension and diamond-cut alloy wheels. A racy interior reflects this, with perforated leather steering wheel, aluminium dash inlays and leather/Nubuck seats boasting cushion extensions (like you used to get in 1980s Ford Escort RS Turbos).
The lavish Inscription is so upmarket, automatic versions even have a crystal gear lever from Swedish glassmaker Orrefors. Upholstery is full leather, the interior is decked out with chrome highlights instead of gloss black, and the dash carries smart driftwood inlays.
Buyers can also pick Pro versions of each trim line. A Momentum Pro costs £1,550 more and adds heated front seats, a powered driver’s seat, heated windscreen and active bending headlights that avoid dazzling other drivers.
R-Design Pro costs £1,900 extra and includes all the above, plus 20-inch alloys. Inscription Pro costs £1,550 and adds 19-inch alloys and a powered passenger seat.
Every XC40 can also be equipped with Volvo Pilot Assist semi-autonomous tech: at speeds of up to 80mph, it can steer the car within a lane and maintain a set distance from a car in front.
Volvo XC40: prices
A front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre turbo T3 Momentum XC40, with 156hp, costs £27,905. The entry-level 150hp D3 diesel is £28,965, or £30,405 if you want all-wheel drive. R-Design models are £1,850 more, with Inscription versions commanding a £2,500 premium over base Momentum.
The most expensive XC40s will be the launch-special First Edition variants, offered either as a 247hp T5 petrol or 190hp D4 diesel. Based on R-Design Pro models, they add a punchy 1,200W 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, power tailgate, heated rear seats, wireless smartphone charging, Pilot Assist and Volvo’s Xenium Pack which combines a panoramic glass sunroof with automatic parking and a 360-degree surround-view parking camera.
A T5 AWD First Edition is £40,355; the D4 AWD First Edition creeps under the £40k barrier, at £30,305.
|XC40 Momentum range|
|T3 FWD Momentum||156||£27,905|
|T4 AWD Momentum automatic||190||£32,055|
|D3 FWD Momentum||150||£28,965|
|D3 FWD Momentum automatic||150||£30,555|
|D3 AWD Momentum||150||£30,405|
|D3 AWD Momentum automatic||150||£31,955|
|XC40 Momentum Pro range|
|T3 FWD Momentum Pro||156||£29,455|
|T4 AWD Momentum Pro automatic||190||£33,605|
|D3 FWD Momentum Pro||150||£30,515|
|D3 FWD Momentum Pro automatic||150||£32,105|
|D3 AWD Momentum Pro||150||£31,955|
|D3 AWD Momentum Pro automatic||150||£33,505|
|XC40 R-Design range|
|T3 FWD R-Design||156||£29,755|
|T4 AWD R-Design automatic||190||£33,905|
|T5 AWD R-Design automatic||247||£35,705|
|D3 FWD R-Design||150||£30,815|
|D3 FWD R-Design automatic||150||£32,405|
|D3 AWD R-Design||150||£32,255|
|D3 AWD R-Design automatic||150||£33,805|
|D4 AWD R-Design automatic||190||£34,655|
|XC40 R-Design Pro range|
|T3 FWD R-Design Pro||156||£31,655|
|T4 AWD R-Design Pro automatic||190||£35,805|
|T5 AWD R-Design Pro automatic||247||£37,605|
|D3 FWD R-Design Pro||150||£32,715|
|D3 FWD R-Design Pro automatic||150||£34,305|
|D3 AWD R-Design Pro||150||£34,155|
|D3 AWD R-Design Pro automatic||150||£35,705|
|D4 AWD R-Design Pro automatic||190||£36,555|
|XC40 Inscription range|
|T3 FWD Inscription||156||£30,405|
|T4 AWD Inscription automatic||190||£34,555|
|T5 AWD Inscription automatic||247||£36,355|
|D3 FWD Inscription||150||£31,465|
|D3 FWD Inscription automatic||150||£33,055|
|D3 AWD Inscription||150||£32,905|
|D3 AWD Inscription automatic||150||£34,455|
|D4 AWD Inscription automatic||190||£35,305|
|XC40 Inscription Pro range|
|T3 FWD Inscription Pro||156||£31,955|
|T4 AWD Inscription Pro automatic||190||£36,105|
|T5 AWD Inscription Pro automatic||247||£37,905|
|D3 FWD Inscription Pro||150||£33,015|
|D3 FWD Inscription Pro automatic||150||£34,605|
|D3 AWD Inscription Pro||150||£34,455|
|D3 AWD Inscription Pro automatic||150||£36,005|
|D4 AWD Inscription Pro automatic||190||£36,855|
|XC40 First Edition range|
|T5 AWD First Edition automatic||247||£40,355|
|D4 AWD First Edition automatic||190||£39,305|
In pictures: new 2018 Volvo XC40