XC40’s a classy cross­over

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Rus­son

CROSSOVERS are get­ting classy as Volvo comes on to the scene with its new – and very up­mar­ket – XC40 com­pact SUV. Pitch­ing in against the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the new Volvo is not only packed with in­no­va­tion it also her­alds a new ap­proach to mo­tor­ing from the Swedish car brand.

Share it with fam­ily or friends at the touch of a but­ton, buy into it for a fixed monthly fee or use it as a drop off point for your shop­ping, the XC40 is an SUV that will go be­yond the norm.

It’s Volvo’s third SUV and joins the larger XC60 and XC90 mod­els and will be priced from £27,905 for a petrol ver­sion or £28,965 for a diesel.

What’s dif­fer­ent is that the XC40 is Volvo’s first ‘global’ car and it sits on a new small model plat­form that will be shared with its Chi­nese par­ent com­pany Geely.

The XC40 also has a world-first up its sleeve with a high-end au­dio sys­tem from Har­man Kar­don that fea­tures an air ven­ti­lated woofer to pump up the bass.

Not con­tent with that, Volvo has made the XC40 a well-pro­por­tioned SUV that looks the part, can be had as a 4x4 and drives rather well.

To kick things off when the XC40 ar­rives next spring will be two fully kit­ted First Edi­tion mod­els cost­ing from £39,505 for a D4 diesel and £40,005 for a per­for­mance ori­ented T5 petrol.

Even­tu­ally, five trim lev­els will be avail­able with a choice of three petrol and two diesel en­gines, all 2.0-litre and de­vel­op­ing be­tween 150 and 247bhp.

Man­ual and au­to­matic gear­boxes are of­fered across the range but front-wheel-drive will be avail­able only on the lower pow­ered D3 and T3 ver­sions.

We’ve just put the XC40 through its paces with the D4 and T5 en­gines both mated to eight speed auto boxes and with all-wheel-drive.

These two en­gines are fit­ted only in higher spec­i­fi­ca­tion R-De­sign and In­scrip­tion ver­sions of the XC40 priced from £34,850 for the T5 and £34,400 for the diesel and the real dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is go­ing to be down to econ­omy.

Both pull well, the diesel has an edge in mid-range ac­cel­er­a­tion but over­all the T5 is the smoother and slightly quicker at 6.5 sec­onds for 0-60 com­pared to 7.9 sec­onds. Top speeds are 140mph and 130mph re­spec­tively.

Of­fi­cial fuel re­turns are 40 to the gal­lon for the T5 with emis­sions of 164g/km and 56mpg for the diesel with a C02 fig­ure of 133g/km – both re­spectable for cars with 4x4 set ups and on sim­i­lar drives we man­aged to av­er­age 30mpg in the petrol and 43 in the diesel.

How­ever, when pushed hard the diesel was no­tice­ably thirstier and closer to 35 to the gal­lon over­all.

With a 12 gal­lon fuel tank on both ver­sions, real world range is go­ing to be in the re­gion of 400 miles, so not as gen­er­ous as some.

A sport chas­sis can be spec­i­fied with a slightly stiffer ride but the feel in the reg­u­lar set up is nicely com­pli­ant.

Where the XC40 impresses is with the high stan­dard of fin­ish in­side and out.

With plenty of con­cave cuts into the side of the body above sill level and also on the grille it looks a proper SUV – an ef­fect em­bel­lished by ex­tra body pro­tec­tion around the wheel arches, un­der the bumpers and along the sills.

With a two-tone paint op­tion al­low­ing the roof to be fin­ished ei­ther in white or black it cre­ates a very dis­tinc­tive shape.

In­side, the con­cave theme is con­tin­ued along the dash­board and into the door lin­ings which not only pos­sess de­cent sized door bins but are also fin­ished in a car­pet-like fab­ric which ex­tends all the way into the pock­ets.

Volvo’s Sen­sus touch­screen dis­play has been shrunk down to nine inches to fit the smaller XC model but it still comes with all the func­tions avail­able on the big­ger SUVs which in­cludes sat nav and a 360 de­gree cam­era sys­tem with a very handy over­head view which helps con­sid­er­ably when ma­noeu­vring in tight spa­ces.

Room in­side is plen­ti­ful and the XC40 is of proper fam­ily pro­por­tions with a boot that ranges from 460 to 1,336 litres.

On the safety front the XC40 has all the fea­tures that have helped the larger XC mod­els gain a rep­u­ta­tion as the safest cars on the road with au­to­mated emer­gency brak­ing on top of a full com­ple­ment of driver aids such as lane de­par­ture and blind spot mon­i­tors.

There’s also adap­tive cruise con­trol and Volvo’s semi-au­ton­o­mous drive sys­tem.

It may be Volvo’s baby SUV but all the fea­tures as­so­ci­ated with its big­ger cousins are in­cluded in what must be the class leader when it comes to all-round ac­com­plish­ment.

TEST DRIVE VOLVO XC40

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