Volvo turns on the style
ROAD TEST/ Spacious, swish and safe, the Swedish firm’s smallest SUV is all the car most families will need, writes Denis Droppa
What was once a marque known mostly for its safety and conservatism has come out swinging in recent years with more styling swagger.
No longer does one look at a Volvo as only a sensible-shoes type of car driven by one’s elderly uncle, as design-wise it’s undergone a transformation akin to Clark Kent changing into Superman. Underneath, the Swedish vehicles are the safe and steady Volvos we’ve come to know, but the swish new styling has helped them garner a number of awards.
It was the XC90 large SUV that kicked off the renaissance followed by the midsized XC60, and most recently the XC40 which was voted Europe’s 2018 Car of the Year.
It isn’t hard to get swept up in its charms, particularly with the modern cabin which infuses Swedish minimalism with a more sophisticated touch than the somewhat plasticky Volvos of recent years. As with its larger stablemates the XC40’s materials give off a premium vibe with soft-touch plastics and classy chrome accents.
This interior glamour is paired with a smart-looking Sensus infotainment system with a large touchscreen. It’s about as user-friendly and nondistracting as these systems get, but it’s nice that the car has physical buttons to quick-access functions like the audio volume and the window demisters.
The XC40’s modern new exterior adopts the brand’s new styling theme. The family styling is unmistakable with those “Thor’s hammer” headlights, but the XC40 takes a playful styling detour with its up-kinked C-pillar,
The XC40 adopts Volvo’s new styling language with its own appealing twist. Right: The R-Design version wears 19-inch diamond-cut wheels.
The cabin lays on a premium feel and the infotainment’s easy to use.