Notes on a Scandi
Hello Volvo XC40 £34,570 OTR/£41,495 as tested
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