The Volvo XC40 Combines Style, Safety, and Value

The XC40 is the smallest Volvo utility vehicle.


2020 Volvo XC40 front

Thor’s hammer is evident on the XC40’s grille.


Volvo may not be as well known as its competitors, but that doesn’t mean its vehicles shouldn’t be considered. This Swedish manufacturer is owned by a Chinese holding company and has a new manufacturing plant near Charleston, SC. Long a trailblazer in vehicular safety, Volvo also brings style, leading-edge technology, and even value to the premium market. The XC40 is its newest and smallest SUV, an affordable alternative to competing luxury models.

The 2020 Volvo XC40 comes in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trims. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available. Prices start at $34,345, including destination, and reach $42,450 with the Inscription AWD. Fully optioned, an XC40 can cost about $48,000. Cross-shop this model with the Cadillac XT4, Audi Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250.

Thor’s Hammer

Volvo’s current styling language debuted in 2016, when its flagship XC90 SUV rolled out. Angular sheet metal, crisp lines, strong attention to detail, and stunning “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights vaulted Volvo to the top of the design-maker chart.

Volvo followed with the similar XC60, then the XC40, although the latter charts a somewhat different path with its unique color schemes, boxy silhouette, and distinct body sculpting.


2020 Volvo XC40 profile


Inside, the XC40 features a long horizontal dash intersected by a vertical touchscreen display. It takes a more youthful approach to design as evidenced by the optional “Lava Orange” carpeting. For the most part, high-quality materials dress the cabin. Firm, yet very comfortable seats are up front with a supportive bench seat in the second row. Legroom is tight back there, but that’s typical for the compact segment.

Cargo space measures 20.7 cubic feet or 47.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Both numbers are average for the segment.


Volvo XC40 seats


Safety & Technology

From the company that gave the industry the first three-point safety belts, rearward-facing child safety seats, and enhanced side impact protection, we expect continued innovation. Happily, the Volvo XC40 does not disappoint.

The standard Intellisafe suite of driver-assist technologies includes lane-keeping assist, pedestrian/cyclist/large animal detection, and oncoming lane mitigation Also available are adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, rear collision warning, and parking assist. These features result in top safety ratings, further cementing Volvo’s stellar safety aura.

On the tech front, the 9-inch display screen is our favorite as it is easy to decipher and enjoyable to use. Volvo includes Bluetooth, USB inputs, a Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone compatibility, and an app suite. An 8-speaker audio package is standard; a 13-speaker Harman Kardon system and navigation are available.


Volvo XC40 technology and dashboard


On the Road

Every Volvo XC40 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. In fact, every Volvo product shares this engine, although some versions combine supercharging with the standard turbocharging, while others add a layer of electrification to both.

In the XC40 the base arrangement produces 187 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, but with our all-wheel-drive-only Inscription evaluator model, the supercharger raised performance to a robust 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power travels to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Ample step-off acceleration moves the XC40 with authority. Models with the supercharger benefit from the improved power out of the gate. No matter the engine choice, passing power is quite strong. Direct steering is one strong suit, but we wouldn’t mind if Volvo tweaked feedback for a more engaging experience. This SUV offers a surprisingly comfortable ride for its small size. Expect fuel economy averaging 27 mpg for the standard model, but a few miles fewer with the other choices.


2020 Volvo XC40 rear


Volvo XC40 Value

The Volvo XC40 has carved a niche for itself in the luxury sphere and even a base model is worth a look. That places the XC40 within reach of shoppers of top-trim versions of mainstream models such as the Honda CR-V, by supplying a $35,000 utility vehicle with an outstanding reputation to go with it.


See AlsoElectric vs Hybrid Vehicles

Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply