Meet the new Volvo XC40
Volvo’s XC40 has taken out the 2018 European Car of the Year award, grabbing the crown from a host of significant rivals, including Alfa Romeo’s new Stelvio SUV, Audi’s A8 limousine, Kia’s Stinger sports sedan and a fresh generation of BMW 5-Series luxury sedan.
Now, the Chinese-owned Swedish brand’s newest and smallest SUV is making its way to Australian showrooms, but does a big tick from the Europeans mean it should be on your shopping list?
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest addition to the increasingly competitive small prestige SUV segment.
What cars does it compete against?
If you’ve been pondering an Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Range Rover Evoque, or Jaguar’s similarly hot-off-the-presses new E-Pace, Volvo would like to speak to you.
Does it stand out?
The XC40 is a recognisable relative of its XC60 and XC90 siblings, so it’s classy and handsome in a minimalist, Scandinavian kind of way, but Volvo has also injected some pizzazz and personalisation opportunities to satisfy the affluent 25- to 40-year-olds at whom it’s targeted. There’s a youthful cheekiness to its form, especially from the back, and you can deck it out in a variety of funky two-tone paint schemes.
What technology does it have?
This is a Volvo, so it’s packed with electronic safety aids, from the latest generation of the company’s City Safety autonomous emergency braking system to semi-autonomous capabilities that help keep you on the straight and narrow. Tech-lovers will admire its wireless smartphone charging and its Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Is it practical?
The XC40 is a little larger than most small SUVs, so space doesn’t look like being an issue. And Volvo has also gone to town with storage, giving it everything from a laptop holder beneath the front seat, a removable waste bin and bag hooks, to big, felt-lined door pockets that can swallow a laptop themselves (or three large water bottles). The boot floor, too, can be folded into different positions to reconfigure the space.
What’s under the bonnet?
The XC40 is initially being offered with a pair of 2.0-litre powertrains, both driving all four wheels. The T5 petrol develops 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque, while the D4 diesel offers 140kW and 400Nm (Australian fuel-economy ratings were unavailable at the time of writing). Other powertrain options, including hybrid and all-electric models, are on the cards.
The base petrol XC40, the T5 Momentum, costs $47,990 plus on-road costs and the base diesel, the D4 Momentum, starts from $50,990. Sporty, better equipped T5 R-Design and D4 R-Design models add $7000 respectively. There are also limited-edition ‘Launch Edition’ versions of all four models that add lashings of extra kit for $5000 a piece.
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