2018 Volvo XC40The 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’. 

2018 Volvo XC40

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?

2018 Volvo XC40

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 

2018 Volvo XC40

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

2018 Volvo XC40

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.

Go Pro

2018 Volvo XC40

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

2018 Volvo XC40

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 hp On-the-road price
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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.