VOLVO XC40 Who has big expectations? Us, that’s who
Chinese-owned Swedish brand’s product-led success continues with this vivacious SUV
YOU know the zeitgeist has shifted when an SUV debuts an all-new platform, well ahead of its traditional hatch and sedan relatives. And so it proves with the Volvo XC40 – Sweden’s more compact follow-up to the Coty-winning XC60.
Freshly minted in almost every area, while carrying over Volvo’s finest assets (namely powertrain and multimedia systems), this immensely likeable SUV should be making the Germans secondguess their priorities.
Stylistically differentiated from other Volvos while retaining the brand’s trademark grille shape and ‘Thor’s hammer’ headlight signature, the XC40 is chunky and fun. Measuring just 4425mm long yet riding on a leggy 2702mm wheelbase, with a body that swells by 40mm towards the rear to give it a buff stance, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Design, Robin Page, likens the XC40 to a Prada trainer – “expensive, modern, and more playful in character [than its larger siblings]” – which, if your XC40 T5 Momentum is painted Amazon Blue with a white roof like our test car, doesn’t sound like too much airy-fairy designer talk.
Packaging the XC40 broad and tall has reaped substantial reward inside. Front seat comfort rivals larger Volvos for excellence of support, yet slender backrests help deliver baby Tardis-like rear foot- and leg-room, even for sixplus footers. The rear seat itself is decent, too, with good vision and surprising under-thigh support, despite a relatively short cushion.
The rear backrests fold dead flat (either via latches at the top or power-operated buttons in the boot) while the cargo hold measures 460 litres (if you count the underfloor storage), configurable via a floor that concertinas mid-way to prevent your shopping from up-ending,