Almost perfect compact SUV
For: Styling, superb cabin, choice of powertrains
Against: Can get expensive, hesitant automatic transmission
Verdict: An almost faultless take on the compact SUV recipe
Volvo has reinvented and repackaged itself into a cool and sophisticated brand, building three outstanding SUVs. The XC40 is the smallest and arguably the best of the trio. It has quickly cemented itself as a must-have compact SUV, winning a string of awards and a legion of admirers. So what’s the appeal?
Styling is subjective, but the XC40 cuts a mean figure in a crowded segment. It manages to have a family resemblance to the XC60 and XC90 without looking like a shrunken-down version. It’s blockier than most compact SUVs, with hardly a crease or line out of place.
Inside, the cabin is a sea of sophisticated Swedish cool, with a minimalist dashboard dominated by a 9.0-inch infotainment system. It’s not as plush as Volvo’s larger SUVs, but it’s more than a match for its premium rivals, with supremely comfortable seats and a relaxing ambience. You can add a touch of colour with the optional Lava Orange trim, which is more tasteful than it sounds.
There’s an increasingly large range of powertrain options, with a T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid added to the range at the end of 2019 and an all-electric version coming in 2020. The entry-level T3 petrol engine is paired with front-wheel drive, while the T4 comes with the option of all-wheel drive. The D3 diesel is front- or all-wheel drive, with the D4 coming with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed auto gearbox. It’s not the most responsive transmission, but automatic shifting seems to suit the relaxed and unhurried nature of the XC40.
Standard spec is good, regardless of the trim level, although the prices get rather high once you’ve ticked a few option boxes. It’s not hard to push an XC40 over the £40,000 mark either, which makes it more expensive to tax.
Due for replacement: TBC
Euro NCAP score: Five stars
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
Available body styles: SUV
Alternatives: Jaguar E-Pace, Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque
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