What is it: As much as we love big Volvos like the S90 sedan and V90 wagon, it’s the XC40, the marque’s new compact crossover offering, that will generate the next wave of Volvo fans — or so Volvo hopes. Pricing starts at a fairly reasonable $36,195 for an AWD XC40 T5 Momentum like this; the R-Design or range-topping Inscription offer more standard features, but you can also load up the base model with safety and driving tech and other creature comforts.
Key Competitors: Bigger than an Audi Q3 or Buick Encore; smaller than an Audi Q5, Buick Envision, Lexus NX
Base Price: $36,195 As-Tested Price: $44,315
Highlights: Unlike much of the competition, the XC40 has a distinctive sense of style, especially if you start playing around with the fun two-tone paint schemes. Volvo’s signature safety-enhancing features are available but come in the form of options packages that quickly drive up the sticker price.
Our Opinion: Volvo has done a very good job reinventing itself over the past few years, and it was wise to lead with the top of the lineup: The XC90, the S90, the V90 are well-designed, well-executed luxury vehicles that seem to dispel any fears that may have been generated by the Swedish automaker’s (relatively) new Chinese owners. These are all quality vehicles, and the new XC40 looks to follow in their footsteps.
The boxy XC40 still feels like a Volvo, but it’s something slightly different than the other models — a representation of the brand’s reinvention from the bottom up rather than the top down. Like its bigger, pricier lineup-mates, the XC40 is coherently designed inside and out. It has its own well-developed style, and one that doesn’t revert to forced quirkiness (a la Mini) to establish a distinctive character. Plus, in a sea of neutral exterior tones, it’s offered in a range of genuinely fun colors that remind me of old Volvos without being overwhelmingly retro (this one’s “Amazon blue” is sort of a blend of two of the 1960s model’s paint colors) with the ice white roof for contrast. It’s actually kind of fun!
Basically, if you took a clean sheet and designed a hip-ish compact crossover for younger buyers, you could do worse than to have it look and drive like this.
Gallery: 2018 Volvo XC40 T5 Interior
Size-wise, it’s a bit of an in-betweener. I guess we’re supposed to consider these blobby beasts “compact crossover SUVs,” and measured by that particular stick the XC40 is a few inches shorter than its ostensible competition (the Audi Q5 and the Buick Envision, to pick two from the pile). But it’s substantially bigger than the smaller subcompact crossovers, and its boxy proportions make it feel fairly roomy inside.
Speaking of the competition, it’s something of an in-betweener, too. Is it luxury? Near-luxury? Is that distinction even meaningful these days? In the case of the XC40, it really depends on how you build it. Our tester was very well equipped at $44,315, but I could live without some of the tech features. A safety-minded buyer — traditionally one of Volvo’s major targets — probably wouldn’t skimp there, however.
This raises another question: Are “semi-autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control” (part of the $1,400 premium package) and “blind spot detection with cross traffic alert and autobrake” (part of the $1,100 vision package) safety or convenience features? I’d argue that they’re both, but the base XC40 gets none of those for its $36,195 starting price.
What you do get for the base price is an attractive vehicle with up-to-date underpinnings and a powertrain that’s well-matched to the sub-two-ton curb weight; 248 hp and 258 lb-ft channeled through a smooth, unobtrusive eight-speed are more than enough to make it scoot as that all-important torque is there from just 1,800 rpm.
Most crossovers in this rather vaguely defined corner of the market blend together into one barely distinguishable mass. The XC40 manages to stand out — and it actually backs up its looks with respectable performance.
Options: Premium Package with wireless charging, keyless entry, Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control, two-zone climate control, Homelink/compass, interior high-level illumination, power folding rear backrest from tailgate and power headrests, hidden storage compartment, removable folding load floor, heated windshield washer nozzles, power child locks rear ($1,400); Multimedia Package including Sensus Navigation Pro, 600-watt premium audio system ($1,375); panoramic roof ($1,200); Vision Package with blind spot information, cross traffic alert, autobrake, park assist, power retractable rearview mirrors, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors ($1,100); Advanced Package including 360-degree surround view, LED fog lights with cornering function, LED headlights with auto-bending, high-pressure headlight cleaners ($995); 19-inch five-spoke wheels ($800); heated front seats and wheel ($750); ice white roof ($300); charcoal headliner ($200)
Source : https://autoweek.com