- Published On: 16 January 2018
- 5 min read
The 40 range is the entry to the Volvo line-up, and this model also completes the SUV range.
The XC40 is an important car for Volvo, it completes the company’s range. Moreover, it is also a critical move since SUVs are big sellers nowadays. The car will reach India around mid-2018, and take on the X1, GLA and Q3 and the upcoming E-Pace. The XC40 is also important because it is the first vehicle to debut the manufacturer’s new compact modular architecture (CMA) platform, co-developed with owners Geely. CMA is also designed to support hybrids and fully electrified vehicles.
On the outside
The XC40’s styling is surprisingly different however, it is still a Volvo. We say this because the XC40 has the company’s hammer-shaped headlights and curvy taillights. The designer of the car said he wanted the car to look like a tough little robot. The squared off styling gives the car a funky design which sets it apart from Volvo’s other offerings. This unique design comes as a welcome move because it’s not similar looking like most other offerings. The grille on the car is large and rectangular, which works well with lines of the car. At the side of the car, one can notice the upswept window line towards the D-pillar and the rubber Swedish flag under the bonnet is a nice touch.
The XC40 sits high off the ground and has neat looking rims in a variety of sizes; India will get the 18-inch option. In conclusion, the styling will be liked by our market because of the high stance and large wheels which are features appreciated by Indian buyers.
On the inside
Like the exterior, the interior oozes style as well. Every little piece on the inside looks neat and well designed; this is really welcome on a car in this segment. Such style cannot be found in any of its competitors, the only other vehicle with an interior as well appointed as this is a Mini. The door handles are nicely shaped, the rear-view mirror is frameless and the gear lever has a crystal in it. The AC vents on the car have a neat adjustment knob and look old-school. Another unique Volvo touch is the squarish steering wheel boss.
The car also has a large touchscreen, which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled. The vertical screen may look odd at first but is good when it comes to scrolling through the menus and during the use of GPS where one can see more of the road ahead.
Passenger room is decent, and even though we didn’t get to occupy all the seats, we could tell the car is, at best, a four-seater. The third passenger space on the rear seat is raised and the legroom is also very little which makes that third seat only adequate for short drives. However, at the front, there is decent room and after driving for four hours we weren’t stressed at all.
How does it drive?
India will get the XC40 with a choice of two powertrains – a 190hp, 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel and a 247hp, 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol. Both engines are paired to eight-speed automatics and get all-wheel drive as standard. We expect a cheaper front-wheel-drive-only 150hp diesel model to arrive later.
As we drove through Barcelona, we experienced the Volvo’s capabilities through city roads, highways and some mountainous terrain. We could tell that the diesel is not very lively but power delivery is good. When cruising at 100kph, the engine stays at a low 1,500rpm. This is a nice low figure but, the engine is considerably noisy and audible. Volvo offer two chassis setups on the car – a standard ‘Dynamic’ suspension setup, and a sharper handling ‘Sport’ setup. We did not experience both setups in the twisty terrain, but the ‘Sport’ mode did feel like it had a sharper feel without ruining ride quality.
Should I buy one?
If you are looking for something fun, then you should get this car. This Volvo handles well and is powered by a nice motor that has good grunt. The XC40 is also well-equipped and looks cool on the inside and out. Since Volvo has started assembling its cars in India, we can expect competitive pricing too, something in the range of ₹37- 42 lakh. However, the XC40 isn’t perfect, space for five will be tight and Volvo's dealer spread remains scanty across India.