Volvo-xc40-test-drive-carparison

Should you consider a lease on the Volvo XC40? 

If you’re looking for a small SUV for the family then the 2020 Volvo XC40 may be the car for you. Reliable, safe and spacious; the Volvo XC40 is available in various trims including the sporty R-Design or R-Design Pro, or the plush and comfortable Inscription and Inscription Pro. 

The Volvo XC40 is now also available as a fully-electric or Plug-in Hybrid Recharge model, so if you’re looking for an efficient SUV with an electric range, this may be a car to add to your shortlist. Carparison recently took a test drive in the XC40 R-Design Pro. Let’s see how we got on... 

Alice-Carparison-Test-Drives-Volvo-XC40

What did we drive?

 

Volvo XC40 D3

Model Line: R-Design Pro
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Engine: 1969cc Diesel
Power: 150hp
0-60: 9.8 Seconds
Colour: Onyx Black
Upholstery: Charcoal Leather
OTR from: £25,295

Learn more about the Volvo XC40

Volvo-xc40-side-view

Engines and Drive

 

There really is an overwhelming choice when it comes to engine options for the Volvo XC40. In terms of Petrol variants, they range from a 129hp manual T2 all the way up to a 250hp AWD Automatic in the B5.

When looking at Diesels, take your pick of a D3 or D4, offering a respective 150 and 190 horsepower. We drove the first of the two, which is a 2.0 litre diesel that’ll go from 0-62 in 10.2 seconds and has a top speed of 112mph. 

Whilst automatics are the cream of the crop when it comes to the XC40, some will be pleased to know that there are manual transmissions available should that be your preference. This car had an 8-speed automatic gearbox and on the whole performed very well.

alice-driving-the-volvo-xc40

The driving position means rather than your legs being stretched out in front of you, they’re at more of a 90 degree angle (at least mine seemed to be), but it was still incredibly comfortable. Comparing the XC40 against the much larger XC60 and XC90, I was surprised to find that I found the XC40 the comfiest of the lot.

There are 3 different driving modes to choose from: Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. The drive select button is up by the volume in this car, whereas in every other Volvo I’ve driven it’s been down in the centre console. The steering is super light – so light that it’s honestly closer to that of a small hatchback than anything else – or dare I say it, a smart car! The XC40 proves itself to be really agile and responsive. However, what I would say is that when you pull away the car is incredibly loud – sounding hesitant to change up through the gears. But once it gets going it drives well, especially at home on the motorway cruising at 70. 

 

Volvo XC40 Recharge 

 

Volvo made the decision to make 50% of their new cars fully electric by the year 2025. To that end, the XC40 is now also available as a Plug-in Hybrid and a Pure Electric SUV.

T5 Plug-In Hybrid

  • 262hp
  • Up to 28 miles electric range
  • 49 g/km CO2

P8 Pure Electric

  • 408hp
  • 400km plus of electric range.
  • 0 g/km CO2
Volvo-xc40-wheels

Design

 

As far as looks go, the XC40 is an angular, refreshingly stylish addition to the compact SUV market and one that will attract drivers who may not have considered a Volvo before. There are black roof rails as standard as well as 17 inch 5-spoke alloys – but if you want something sportier go for an R-Design or R-Design Pro like we did to get a high-gloss black grille and front bumper. R-Design Pro models benefit from striking 20 inch 5-double-spoke diamond cut alloys that look the business coupled with the Onyx Black paintwork.

Take a look inside and the sporty aesthetic continues, with sports pedals and floor mats as well as a perforated leather steering wheel and a leather/nubuck combination upholstery. The inside of the doors are covered in what I can only describe as a wiry carpet-like material, which is at odds to what is an otherwise very premium, well-designed cabin full of high-gloss black accents, soft leather and a gorgeous geometric inlay called ‘cutting edge aluminum’. And I suppose it is a bit cutting edge as far as a classic Volvo is concerned!

Volvo-xc40-cabin

XC40 Technology

 

There’s a 9 inch portrait screen as standard is easy enough to use but is perhaps not quite a match for systems in the BMW X1 or the new Mercedes-Benz GLA. As a side note this screen is also an absolute stickler for picking up greasy fingerprints.

Forgetting about that, the XC40 gets satnav as standard as well as abundance of safety features that we’ll run through a bit further down in the review. The XC40 also gets digital dials on all models as standard… something that other manufacturers always like to charge you for! This car also features Smartphone Integration meaning that you get both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And, should you want it there is also the option to get an upgraded Harmon Kardon Sound System or Wireless Charging.

Whilst those big structural pillars make the car look great, they can also create a bit of a blind spot for the driver, therefore making the rear sensors (which you get as standard) really useful. If you can, you can even upgrade to a reversing camera for that added visual aid to coincide with all of the other driver assistance systems that the car comes with.

 

XC40 Safety

 

On that note, let’s have a look at the plethora of safety and security features that the Volvo gets as standard (on top of a 5* Euro NCAP rating)... 

  • City Safety – this includes pedestrian, cyclist, large animal detection and front collision warning with full emergency braking
  • Oncoming lane and run-off road mitigation as well as run off road protection
  • Slippery road and hazard light alerts
  • Lane keeping aid and driving alert control
  • A whiplash protection system
  • Vehicle Deceleration Control (includes Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist)
  • Stability and Traction Control (includes Spin Control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control)
  • Automatic Headlight Levelling System
  • Home Safe and Approach Lighting
  • Road Sign Information Display
Volvo-xc40-rear-view

Space and Practicality 

 

The XC40 excels at being both practical and comfortable. R-Design and Inscription variants and above get a powered tailgate which makes loading and unloading into the boot incredibly easy. There’s also no load lip, and the seats fold down completely flat to create a hugely versatile loading area and without a spare wheel there is also a decent amount of underfloor storage space that will actually fit the parcel shelf!

Volvo-xc40-interior

In the cabin there’s an abundance of handy little storage spaces and room for drinks bottles (as long as we skim over the fact that the glove compartment is absolutely TINY). Up front the seats are comfortable and supportive with cushion extensions (model dependent) and soft headrests to lean back against.

The rear seats have the same suede style (nubuck) centre with a perforated cushion surrounds for greater support (again this is different on all models) and comfort. The comfort isn’t so great for anyone trying to sit in the middle seat due to a really firm back rest. I don’t think a journey with 3 adults in the back would be a particularly comfortable one – though there is quite a lot of room between the seats and the door, so I suppose there is a bit of room to scooch sideways slightly. Where it does redeem itself is in the headroom, of which there is tons… even when sat in that centre seat.

Volvo-xc40-parked-in-woodland

Model Lines

Momentum Core (starting from £25,295) 

  • 3-spoke leather steering wheel
  • Black roof rails
  • 17" 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels with 235/60 Tyres
  • Origin Inlays
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless start
  • Rear park assist
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Electronic Climate Control with 'CleanZone' Air Quality System and Pollen Filter
  • Sensus Navigation

Momentum (starting from £29,595) - In addition to standard features

  • 3-spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim
  • Silver roof rails
  • 18" 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels with 235/55 Tyres
  • Front Reading Lights, Theatre Lights and Centre Armrest Storage Illumination
  • Dynamic chassis
  • Urban Grid Aluminium Inlays
  • Drive Mode Settings
  • 2-Zone Electronic Climate Control with Cooled Glovebox and Rear Air Vents
  • High Gloss Silver Front and Rear Skid Plate
  • High Gloss Black Sensus Surround Deco

R-Design (starting from £31,470) - In addition/replacement to Momentum specification

  • 18" 5 Double Spoke Alloy Wheels (Diamond Cut/Matt Black) with 235/55 Tyres
  • Sports chassis
  • Aluminum Inlays and tread plates
  • Leather/Nubuck Upholstery with front seat cushion extensions
  • Multicolour theatre lighting
  • Powered tailgate
  • Perforated leather steering wheel and leather gear knob
  • Sports pedals and floor mats
  • High gloss black grille, trim and front bumper

R-Design Pro (starting from £33,470) - In addition/replacement to R-Design specification

  • Heated front seats
  • Heated washer nozzles
  • Active bending headlights
  • Headlight cleaning system and heated windscreen
  • Front LED Foglights with Cornering Function
  • Power Driver Seat with Memory for Seat and Exterior Mirrors
  • 20" 5 Double Spoke Alloy Wheels (Diamond Cut/Matt Black) with 245/45 Tyres

Inscription (starting from £31,820) - In addition/replacement to Momentum specification

  • Power Driver Seat with Memory for Seat and Exterior Mirrors
  • Automatic LED Headlights with Active High Beam incorporating Day Running Lights
  • 18" 6 Spoke (Diamond Cut/Black) with 235/55 Tyres
  • Powered tailgate
  • Rear parking camera
  • Dynamic chassis
  • Driftwood Inlays
  • Leather-faced upholstery
  • Multicolour theatre lighting
  • Rear Park Assist Camera
  • Orrefors Crystal Gear Lever (automatic only)
  • Front Park Assist

Inscription Pro (starting from £33,470) - In addition/replacement to Inscription specification

  • 19" 5 Double Spoke (Diamond Cut/Black) with 235/50 Tyres
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Front Windscreen
  • Headlight Cleaning System
  • Active Bending Headlights
  • Heated Washer Nozzles
  • Front Seat Cushion Extensions
  • Front LED Foglights with Cornering Function
Volvo-XC40-R-Design-Pro

Final Verdict

 

The XC40 is proof that a Volvo can look as good as it is at keeping you safe. Rather than just being a miniature version of the XC60 or XC90, the XC40 has paved its own path – with a striking design and nippy drive that makes it more than strong competition to the likes of the VW T-Roc, Audi Q3 or maybe even as a less flashy alternative to the Range Rover Evoque. In terms of spec, the R-design looks the best, but Inscription lines will offer you even more comfort (and it’s pretty comfortable already).

Pros-and-cons-of-volvo-xc40