2018 Volvo XC40: Seven things you will like and three you won't
We recently got our hands on the Volvo XC40 that is slated to make its Indian debut on the July 4, 2018. Its is the Swedish answer to the likes of the BMW X1, the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. It has the potential to be a worthy alternative to the Germans and here are a few things that you may like or dislike about the baby Volvo.
Before you read them though, watch our video review of the 2018 Volvo XC40:
The Volvo XC40 looks stylish, upmarket and fresh with its youthful design
The same-sausage-different-size phenomenon is becoming far too common these days as carmakers try to establish a common design language across their portfolio. Volvo, however, has been able to clearly distinguish their models from each other, despite being tied by a common design theme. The XC40 has an angular design and a more upright stance that sets it apart from the more curvaceous and low slung siblings it has in the XC60 and XC90.
2. Premium and chic cabin
Contrary to what we have usually witnessed in entry level luxury offerings, the XC40 has a relatively more premium feel to its cabin. The use of materials like Alcantara and leather in its upholstery and the bright faux wool carpeting in the floor and the door pads, lift the mood of the cabin and give it a sense of occasional.
The seats in the Volvo XC40 R-Design are covered in part-leather, part-Alcantara to offer a premium feel
The XC40 is surprisingly spacious for a compact luxury offering. The seats are well bolstered, designed with orthopaedic inputs and seem quite comfortable for long journeys. The rear seats offer very good head and knee room too and visibility from all the seats is excellent. Even the cargo spaces are wisely designed - both, in the cabin as well as in the boot.
4. Punchy engine
The Volvo XC40 comes across as a modern and upmarket compact luxury SUV that's also feature-rich and is engaging to drive
The Volvo XC40 will be introduced in India with the punchy D4 2.0l four-cylinder diesel engine. It puts out 190PS of power and a healthy 400Nm of torque and is quiet and refined. It claims to propel this relatively heavy 1.7 tonne crossover from standstill to 100kmph in a quick 7.9s.
The R Design that we got a chance to drive, came with a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio unit. While it may not have an experience as immersive as the Bowers & Wilkins audio on the more premium Volvo cars, this one is easily one of the best automotive audio units at the price point that the XC40 targets.
6. Radar guided technology
The XC40's trump card will be it's radar guided safety and assistance systems. These include Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Safety with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, Oncoming lane mitigation, Driver Alerts and Lane Keeping Aid. These are not only segment firsts, but also make the XC40 one of the safest cars in the segment.
The Volvo XC40 will be launched in the India in the range topping R Design Pro trim, which gets all the bells and whistles that Volvo has to offer on this model. We expect it to be priced very competitively too, which could make it a very sweet deal.
1. Rear seats
While the rear seats of the XC40 are quite spacious, they could have done with better under-thigh support. Though this segment largely targets those who would rather drive than be driven, comfier rear seats would have made it an all-rounder and an easy choice for the chauffeur-driven type as well.
2. No commanding view of the road
Contrary to what's its exterior form would suggest, the XC40 isn't very SUV-like in its driving stance. You sit at almost the same height as a tall boy hatchback, making the XC40 more car-like to drive. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you are looking for a crossover / C-SUV that gives you a commanding view of the road, you may have to look elsewhere.
3. No in-house finance schemes
Tailor-made finance schemes are a common feature across most luxury brands and the most aggressive schemes are usually seen on the entry-spec luxury models that the XC40 aims to rival. While the Swedish carmaker will have finance schemes at a dealer level, the lack of an in-house financing arm (unlike its German counterparts), could mean that XC40 may not be as easy to procure as you would expect a compact luxury car to be.
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