Notes on a Scandi

Hello Volvo XC40 £34,570 OTR/£41,495 as tested

Top Gear (UK) - - GARAGE - ES­THER NEVE

When I was a young­ster, my fam­ily trans­port was a Volvo. A tank of a Volvo, no less. And I loved it. When it sug­gested that I run the XC40 as a long-ter­mer, I had a warm glow. I knew what to ex­pect. I had pre­vi­ous with the Swedish brand. We grew up to­gether.

These days, it’d be fair to say that we have both grown up. Nei­ther I nor the Volvo are recog­nis­able from our younger selves. But still, the mem­ory per­sists.

Enough rem­i­nisc­ing – let’s take a look at the spec of the TG XC40. It’s a T4 AWD In­scrip­tion Pro with an on-the-road price of £34,570. With op­tions, this one comes in at £41,495. Seven grand of op­tions? In­deed. There’s the £1,600 Xe­nium pack (snazzy sun­roof, 360° park­ing cam­era, park as­sist), the In­tel­lisafe Pro pack at £1,500 (many driver/safety aids) and the £350 Con­ve­nience pack (power fold­ing rear seat back­rests, ex­tra 12V out­let, flex­i­ble load floor, more stor­age, etc, etc).

There are also many sin­gle op­tions on the car: £750 for Ac­tive Four dampers; £175 for wire­less phone charg­ing; £550 for Sen­sus Con­nect (web ac­cess) and a Har­man Kar­don pre­mium sound sys­tem; £175 for a heated steer­ing wheel; £150 for the spare wheel and jack; £350 for tinted win­dows; £350 for key­less drive and hands-free tail­gate; and £575 for metal­lic paint.

Only time will tell if any or all of these op­tions are worth pay­ing for. Hope­fully my col­leagues and I will get to try them all out – mi­nus the col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion...

Ini­tial im­pres­sions are very pos­i­tive. Hav­ing come out of a smaller car, (the C3 Air­cross, see p130), the Volvo did feel big for my first cou­ple of com­mutes (es­pe­cially through width re­stric­tors), but it quickly shrinks around you and is sur­pris­ingly thread­able through busy streets.

The acid test for any new TopGear car, how­ever, is the re­ac­tion it gets from our non-car-mad col­leagues. Imag­ine my re­lief when Kevin, Frank and Dharma – TopGear’s gate­keep­ers – took a long, hard look at the Volvo and, with sage nods and im­pressed smiles, de­clared the XC40 to be “pretty good” and “nice-look­ing”.

Good news. Let’s hope the pos­i­tive im­pres­sions con­tinue over the next few thou­sand miles.

Huge in­fo­tain­ment screen is clear and very sim­ple to use

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