No half- mea­sures as XC40 is ready to be a hat- trick hero

Solihull News - - MOTORING NEWS - ENDA MULLEN enda. [email protected] trin­i­tymir­ror. com

VOLVO’S third foray into the fast- grow­ing SUV seg­ment looks set to make it a hat- trick of suc­cess for the Swedish car maker.

In the wake of the XC90 and XC60 comes the XC40.

It might be the small­est of the three but this is no half- mea­sure SUV/ crossover and ig­nor­ing its larger sta­ble­mates is a dis­tinctly grown- up ve­hi­cle in its own right.

It is also pretty in­di­vid­ual, not at all like a scaled- down ver­sion of its sib­lings.

The XC40’ s de­sign­ers have man­aged to com­bine chunky SUV styling with a look that’s also very mod­ern and ap­peal­ing – quite an act to pull off.

As a re­sult it’s a car that is im­mensely prac­ti­cal but doesn’t look staid and dull. A crit­i­cism of­ten lev­elled at SUVs is that they’re overly big and bulky – as il­lus­trated by de­scrip­tions of Chelsea trac­tors com­plet­ing the school run.

The XC40 might be an SUV but it is far from be­ing over­sized, while at the same time it’s not small car with pre­ten­sions to be some­thing big­ger than it is.

In many ways it’s just right – more than ca­pa­ble of be­ing up to the job as a fam­ily mo­tor, yet still feel­ing light and nim­ble around town.

The in­te­rior is roomy – rear seat pas­sen­gers are well catered for when it comes to both head and leg room. A spa­cious boot is also an at­trac­tion thanks to that boxy yet stylish rear end.

At one point Volvo was a man­u­fac­turer that felt like it was dip­ping its toe into the pre-

Volvo XC40 D3 In­scrip­tion Au­to­matic Price: £ 38,945 Me­chan­i­cal: 150bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel en­gine driv­ing front wheels via 8- speed au­to­matic gear­box Max speed: 124mph 0- 62mph: 10.2 sec­onds Com­bined mpg: 56.5 In­sur­ance group: 33 CO2 emis­sions: 131g/ km BiK rat­ing: 33% Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles mium seg­ment, rather than ac­tu­ally jump­ing in.

That is no longer the case and the er­gonomics, equip­ment and in­stru­men­ta­tion are now up there with the very best.

The cen­tral fo­cus is the tablet- style touch­screen in the cen­tre con­sole, which con­trols many of the car’s func­tions.

Splen­didly in­tu­itive and easy to use, it cer­tainly doesn’t take long to get to grips with.

An ex­ten­sive range of seven trim lev­els is of­fered.

An en­try- level petrol Mo­men­tum model costs just over £ 28,000 and equip­ment lev­els are gen­er­ous.

Buy­ers get dig­i­tal in­stru­ments, cruise con­trol, key­less start, dual- zone cli­mate con­trol, sat- nav, DAB ra­dio and Blue­tooth. LED head­lights, 18in al­loy wheels and rear park­ing sen­sors also comes as stan­dard. As one might ex­pect from any Volvo, stan­dard safety fea­tures are also im­pres­sive - they in­clude au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, lane as­sist and traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion.

Mov­ing up through the range, trim- wise there’s Mo­men­tum Pro, R De­sign, In­scrip­tion, R De­sign Pro and In­scrip­tion Pro.

There’s also a range- top­ping First Edi­tion, a spe­cial ver­sion to mark the ar­rival of the XC40.

At around £ 12,000 more than an en­try- level model it might seem like quite a hefty ad­di­tional out­lay but you get a lot for your money.

As well as those ex­tras you’ll get from mov­ing up the range - such as elec­tri­cally ad­justable, heated front seats and leather trim – you also get some rather lux­u­ri­ous touches. They in­clude a Har­man Kar­don sound sys­tem, a panoramic sun­roof, leather trim, adap­tive cruise con­trol with au­topi­lot, key­less en­try, smart­phone mir­ror­ing and wire­less phonecharg­ing.

This model was an In­scrip­tion, which sits right in the mid­dle of the range, but comes with quite a few crea­ture com­forts and this one had a dis­tinctly lux­u­ri­ous feel thanks to a fair few added op­tions.

In­scrip­tion fea­tures in­cluded leather seat trim, an elec­tri­cally ad­justable driver’s seat, front park­ing sen­sors, metal­lic paint, pow­ered tail­gate, am­bi­ent light­ing and wood trim in­lays.

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