Volvo XC40 R De­sign: com­pact premium SUV im­presses

Asian Journal - - LIFE & MORE - By Asian Jour­nal Auto Edi­tor

Volvo’s new­est model to join its grow­ing line up is the XC40, a com­pact SUV that’s both stylish and prac­ti­cal with a unique premium unique look. There is Volvo’s cor­po­rate grille up front along and T-shape head­lights while the side pro­file is smart and ef­fec­tive look­ing. An avail­able con­trast­ing white or black roof that ex­tends part­way down to the stylish. A stand out fea­ture is the large notched C-pil­lar that give the XC40 a dis­tinc­tive side pro­file, while the XC40’S sig­na­ture LED tail­lights are also un­mis­tak­able. It’s the ideal sized SUV for most peo­ple and ar­rives beau­ti­fully pack­aged. Sole en­gine is a 248-horse­power, tur­bocharged 2.0-litre four-cylin­der, touted by Volvo as more pow­er­ful than any of its seg­ment com­peti­tors. The di­rect-in­jec­tion, unit pro­duces 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 4,800 rpm. The only avail­able trans­mis­sion is eight­speed au­to­matic, trans­mit­ting power to all four wheels, that al­lows the Volvo to ac­cel­er­ate to 100 km/h in 6.5 sec­onds. The Volvo XC40 ar­rives in three mod­els, start­ing at $41,915 for the Momentum trim level, $46,115 for the sport-ori­en­tated R-de­sign, and $48,615 for the top In­scrip­tion ver­sion. We tested the R-de­sign that adds up­grades such with 19-inch black fin­ished wheels, a black-ac­cented grille, a spe­cial three­spoke steer­ing wheel, in­te­rior trim up­grades, a black head­liner, and metal R-de­sign front tread plates.

The cabin of the XC40 is very im­pres­sive, High-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and ex­cel­lent fin­ish are a hall­mark. While a two-tone in­te­rior set off nice satin metal trim to fin­ish it off. A well-de­signed dash of­fers a smart tablet-like 9.0-inch cen­ter touch­screen dis­play (with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto) and a 12.3-inch dig­i­tal driver dis­play as its fo­cal point and in­cludes Volvo’s ex­cel­lent Sen­sus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem —with su­per clear graph­ics that op­er­ates most of the XC40’S cross­over’s func­tions, such as cli­mate, au­dio, navigation and phone. The two screens, one in front of the driver, the other in the cen­tral dash can be con­fig­ured a num­ber of ways. Also in­cluded is a Wi-fi hotspot, three USB ports (two front, one rear), a 250-watt sound sys­tem, Bluetooth, Sirius XM ra­dio, and Volvo’s On Call app with con­trols for re­mote start, door locks, There’s also a cell phone charge pad. Op­tions in­clude avail­able Sen­sus Navigation, a 600-watt Har­mon Kar­don sound sys­tem, wire­less phone charg­ing, and a 360-de­gree sur­round view cam­era.

The seats are, in the typ­i­cal Volvo mould, very com­fort­able and sup­port­ive on long jour­neys. Lots of cargo room, too, while stor­age is ex­cel­lent with a cubby be­neath the driver’s seat, a built-in waste re­cep­ta­cle, and a re­con­fig­urable trunk floor. Rear pas­sen­gers ben­e­fit from am­ple legroom and head­room, with plenty of light com­ing through the avail­able panoramic sun­roof. The XC40’S trunk ac­com­mo­dates 21 cu­bic feet of stor­age, and can ex­pand to 47.2 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded. The rear seats are 60/40 split while a power lift gate with hands-free open­ing. Note, the R-de­sign has a kick-to-open fea­ture for the tail­gate. As usual, safety is a high fea­ture on all Volvo’s and the XC40 is no ex­cep­tion. In ad­di­tion to pas­sive safety features like a full suite of airbags, the XC40 ar­rives ac­tive driver aids, such as au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, road sign in­for­ma­tion, lane keep­ing as­sis­tance, on­com­ing lane mit­i­ga­tion, and pedes­trian de­tec­tion. Avail­able driver as­sis­tance features in­clude adap­tive cruise con­trol, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross-traf­fic alert and brak­ing, and park­ing as­sis­tance. Other safety features, in­clude a vi­sion sys­tem that de­tects pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists, and a blind-spot warn­ing sys­tem. Volvo’s semi-au­tonomous Pilot As­sist sys­tem with adap­tive cruise con­trol, is part of the op­tional ($1,600) Con­ve­nience Pack­age. It works to a de­gree, but like all driver-as­sis­tance tech­nol­ogy from all man­u­fac­tur­ers need re­fine­ment. The adap­tive cruise con­trol, mean­while is ex­cel­lent. The XC40 comes stan­dard with mul­ti­ple drive modes, in­clud­ing Eco, Com­fort, Off-road, Dy­namic, and In­di­vid­ual (a cus­tom­iz­a­ble set­ting for steer­ing and pow­er­train re­sponse). Each mode ad­justs var­i­ous en­gine, trans­mis­sion, and chas­sis, gen­er­ally there are no is­sues on road, with the de­cent enough ac­cel­er­a­tion, sup­ple ride qual­ity, and good cor­ner­ing. Highly rec­om­mended and good to see a premium Volvo SUV within the reach of most buy­ers. A more dis­cern­ing al­ter­na­tive to the usual Ger­man com­pe­ti­tion.

2018 Volvo XC40 R-de­sign model — priced from $46,115. More info at ww.volvo.ca

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