From £29,160
Can a shot of the Volvo XC formula work in its smallest measure? We found out over six months

Why we ran it: To see if the Volvo XC40 has the substance in daily use to match its eye-catching style and if its showroom success is justified

Month 6 - Month 5 - Month 4 - Month 3Month 2Month 1 - Specs

2 Volvo xc40 2018 lt hero rear

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 6

It’s a sales hit and looks the part but how has it held up under the scrutiny of six months’ graft – and which XC40 is best? - 3rd April 2019

When we took delivery of our first long-term Volvo XC40 last year, it had already started to make its mark on the popular segment, and that progress has only gained momentum since. This year, Volvo expects to sell 150,000 XC40s worldwide, double that of 2018, thanks to its first full year of sales and the increased production capacity at its Ghent factory.

So it’s no surprise that this is considered a massively important car for Volvo. The fact the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 laid their stakes long before Volvo did has become insignificant. For many, including me, the XC40 is the most appealing of the three. That already gives a large clue to how my six-month sojourn with the XC40 went. But let me start from the beginning.

We kicked off with a T4, the penultimate most powerful engine, in R-Design Pro with an awful lot of extras, all amounting to £41,620. Comparing like-for-like as best as possible, it worked out a few hundred quid more expensive than the Q3. The XC40 was an instant home from home, becoming an incredibly comfortable companion on short and long journeys. The plush seats – something Volvo is renowned for and I fondly remember from my 2009 C30 – were a delight and, as winter arrived, so was their heated function and the Quickclear windscreen.

The most useful ‘pack’ was the £1600 Xenium because it featured the 360deg parking camera. When you live on a tight London street with high kerbs, it makes life much easier. Another important pack was the £1500 Intellisafe Pro. It features most of Volvo’s semi-autonomous driving systems, including Pilot Assist (up to 80mph), adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Information System and Cross Traffic Alert.

Volvo xc40 long term review   rb driving

Adaptive cruise control remains the most usable, and maybe that’s because it has been around for a while, so I’m used to it.

I tried Pilot Assist on many motorways and dual carriageways and always with success. The biggest issue is that giving up control is distracting, for now at least. By closely watching the car steer itself round a bend on a motorway while feeling unsettled that the car isn’t quite where I’d have placed it, even if it’s perfectly fine, means I’m unintentionally paying less attention to other factors on the road, namely other drivers’ behaviour.

Back to top

While we’re talking tech, I quickly warmed to Volvo’s On Call system, a subscription service that includes an app that lets you control the car remotely. There were some hiccups. On an early try, the car’s alarm went off less than a minute after I’d started the car remotely, something I was able to solve quickly because I was only five metres from the car. But after that, all went smoothly, and when we had a cold snap, I routinely turned the XC40 on for 10 minutes before I got in, meaning the windows had already defrosted. It’s incredibly efficient, and for anyone who appreciates that, totally worth it.

Volvo xc40 long term review   car park

After a few months with the T4, I switched to a D3, the entry-level diesel, in mid-range Momentum Pro (from £32,420) with more or less the same extras as before. In between, I had a fortnight in a T3, the midrange petrol. My favourite was the T3, which had sufficient power and refinement to make the T4 not worth the extra expense. The D3 wasn’t quite so admirable: the auto ’box and engine didn’t work so effortlessly together, which meant low-down, unnecessary revs between second and third gear. It wasn’t bad, but by comparison, the weakest of the three.

The pay-off, of course, was better fuel economy. Quite a few colleagues noted that the T4 wasn’t very wallet-friendly, but we gave it back when it hit 3000 miles, which could have been the turning point for better figures. In the D3, we averaged 41.4mpg – still not hugely impressive for a mid-range diesel.

Back to top

Volvo xc40 long term review   winter morning

Inside, other than the aforementioned comfort, the XC40 is a neatly designed, practical space. Ours comfortably fitted children and/or adults in the back and the boot was always big enough (and on a par with the Q3’s). It took a little while to get used to the good-looking infotainment system and I still maintain, six months on, that digital temperature controls are a massive pain in the bum.

And there’s the car’s design, which, really, is probably its selling point – as well as it not being a ubiquitous German premium SUV. I like it for looking different enough to avoid banality but also managing what few do: looking different without looking ugly. In terms of colours, I liked both of our long-term test cars but the grey paint and white roof/door mirrors/ wheels combo totally won me over. That’s coming from someone who’d traditionally struggle to hide disgust if you suggested white wheels…

I haven’t spoken much here about what the XC40 is like to drive. Suffice to say, it’s pleasing and handles handsomely. It’s everything you’d expect and more from a compact SUV. That means it’s in line with, if not better than, rivals such as the Q3.

I was sad to see the XC40 go and still miss it now, which is probably all you need to know about how much I like this car.

Back to top

Volvo xc40 long term review   classic garage

Second Opinion

SUVs have plenty going against them to be pleasing dynamic propositions (size, height, weight), particularly over the hatches on which they’re generally based. Yet the XC40 gives you all the things you’d buy an SUV for (and does those better than most), while displaying surprising grip levels with how it handles. On that last point in particular, Volvo has succeeded where so many have failed.

Mark Tisshaw

Back to the top

Love it:

CLEAN SWEEP XC40 has the most effective windscreen wipers that I can recall in a modern car.

FELT DOOR LINING Different as well as made from recycled plastic bottles. What’s not to love?

OVERALL COMFORT This car always felt welcoming, even on the cold, dark mornings of a British winter.

360° PARKING CAMERA The saviour of house owners in London not rich enough to have a driveway.

Loathe it:

BLIND SPOT WARNING LIGHTS So overactive they made me doubt if a vehicle’s there, even though I’d checked the old-fashioned way!

Back to top

Final mileage: 6205

Back to the top

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 5

Smartphone assistance now behaving as it should - 20th March 2019

Volvo xc40 long term review   smartphone app

Since an early blip with Volvo’s OnCall app in which the alarm went off after I’d remotely started the car, it’s been smooth sailing. I’ve got used to turning on the XC40 10 minutes before getting into it on frosty mornings. When I lose my parked car on the busy streets around my house, the app can activate the XC40’s flashing lights or, if I’m having a really bad day, sound the alarm.

Mileage: 5900

Back to the top

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 4

Our XC40 manages to hold its head high in exalted company - 13th March 2019

With only a few weeks left before the XC40 departs, I’ve been racking up some miles on the weekends to discover whether this impressive car can grow on me further or, perhaps, do quite the opposite. I’ve been to Brighton (too windy for pictures), to Bedfordshire (too distracted by my nephew for pictures) and to deepest, darkest Surrey (pictures herein).

Back to top

It’s a couple of months in with the entry-level D3 diesel and my view hasn’t changed since I first wrote about it: it’s not as good as the petrol T4 I ran previously or the petrol T3 that I borrowed for a couple of weeks.

Volvo xc40 long term review   classic garage

But by all means and purposes, it’s fine. There’s enough power delivery for it to cope comfortably on motorways and it’s only really changing from second to third gear that reminds you the engine and auto ’box should work better together. But for space and comfort, it feels like all the car you’d ever need.

This has become an effortless car for all journeys, always cosseting you in comfort while being nimble and compact enough to suit a country road or a narrow London street.

On a recent trip to rural Surrey, I visited a family member who has a rather admirable car collection. On display was a VW Golf R, a VW California plus a 993-series Porsche 911 Carrera and a 1974 Carrera MFI. I’d been lying if I said the XC40 would be my first choice among that lot – but, as part of the collection, the XC40 genuinely has a place.

The Golf R is pretty practical for an everyday car, but the Volvo has the edge, as by far the most comfortable, easiest way to get around from that pool of metal. A point proven by the willingness of Stan, a very picky dog, to jump into the boot.

Back to top

While I’m well used to day-to-day life with the XC40, a new feature has just been activated on our car: Volvo OnCall. This is a subscription-based service with a downloadable app. It shows information on your car – fuel range, temperature outside the car, whether it’s locked – and allows you to control certain things. One frosty morning, I tested it by turning the XC40 on via the app (it remains locked) so the car would defrost before I got in.

Volvo xc40 long term review   parking permit

Within 20 seconds, the alarm went off. I got a notification on my phone telling me as much, but I’m not sure what would have happened if I wasn’t able to instantly point my key in the direction of the car to stop it. Soon after, I tried again, and it worked perfectly. I’ll be playing with OnCall more over the next couple of weeks and will report back.

Love it:

Warm Reception Getting into an already warmed-up car thanks to OnCall is brilliant on a cold morning.

Loathe it:

Bum deal Is it too much to ask for a heated steering wheel as well as heated seats, please?

Mileage: 5672

Back to the top

Wireless charging not always working - 13th February 2019

Back to top

One member of my household (not me) has finally got a smartphone advanced enough to test the wireless charging function in the XC40. It’s a bit hit and miss: often it says ‘clear debris’ when there’s no debris to clear, and it’s not as fast to charge as via a wire. Nonetheless, it’s an effortless way of charging on the move.

Mileage: 5721

Back to the top

VOLVO XC40 D3 MOMENTUM PRO specification

Prices: List price new £32,420 List price now £33,320 Price as tested £38,845 Dealer value now £29,690 Private value now £27,820 Trade value now £26,480 (part exchange)

Options: Dark tinted windows £350, wireless/inductive mobile phone charging £175, keyless drive £350, power-operated tailgate £375, smartphone integration £300, Tempa spare wheel and jack £150, metallic paint £575, convenience pack £350, Intellisafe Pro pack £1500, Xenium pack £1600, Ice White pack £700

Fuel consumption and range: Claimed economy 56.6mpg Fuel tank 54 litres Test average 41.4mpg Test best 44.2mpg Test worst 37.3mpg Real-world range 492 miles

Tech highlights: 0-62mph 10.2sec Top speed 124mph Engine 4 cylinder, 1969cc, turbocharged petrol Max power 148bhp at 3750rpm Max torque 236lb ft at 1750rpm Transmission 8-spd automatic Boot capacity 432 litres Wheels 19in, alloy Tyres 225/50 R17 Kerb weight 1603kg

Service and running costs: Contract hire rate £410 CO2 132g/km Service costs None Other costs None Fuel costs £182 Running costs inc fuel £182 Cost per mile 14 pence Depreciation £5760 Cost per mile inc dep’n 48 pence Faults None

Back to the top

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 3

We’ve exchanged our high-spec 4x4 petrol for a front-drive, lower-trimmed diesel - 30th January 2018

If you think that our longterm XC40 is looking distinctively different, you’d be right. Our time is up with the red T4 AWD R-Design Pro, the top-trim XC40 and second most expensive petrol in the range, with prices starting from £35,250.

Back to top

In its place is an XC40 at the other end of the spectrum, the D3 Momentum Pro – one trim level up from the bottom – with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. This one starts from £30,300 but with automatic transmission, like ours, costs £31,850.

It has plenty of extras, as did our T4, so the gap is about the same when you look at the final price as tested: £42,320 for the T4 and £38,845 for the D3.

So what’s featured on the D3? The Convenience pack (£350), which includes a plug socket in the centre console and a flexible boot floor, Intellisafe Pro (£1500), which encompasses most of the semi-autonomous driving systems, and the Xenium pack (£1600). That includes a panoramic sunroof and all the fancy parking stuff – a 360° camera and Park Assist. Plus some more single options, such as the power-operated tailgate (£375) and smartphone integration (£300).

Despite having far less exterior kit on the Momentum Pro than the R-Design Pro, the Volvo XC40 is still, in my opinion, a really good-looking car. That’s no doubt helped by the Ice White pack, a £700 option that gives the car a white roof, white door mirrors and 19in white alloy wheels.

I can’t say I’d ever opt for white wheels, but I’m really won over by it on this specification. Along with the grey body colour, it seems quirky but understated and has grown on me. Inside, the car isn’t much different, either – except there are beige plastics on the lower section of the dashboard and matching felt in the doors, rather than grey. My observation is that it’s less modern and less likeable, but my dad thinks it looks more premium than the grey equivalent. Each to their own.

Volvo xc40 lt family

Back to top

It’s not surprising that the T4 engine is more enjoyable. It’s more powerful, more linear and faster. The T4 XC40, with its 187bhp, 221lb ft 2.0-litre petrol unit, achieves 0-62mph in 8.5sec. The D3 version is decent, covering the same benchmark sprint in 9.9sec with its 148bhp, 236lb ft 2.0-litre diesel. The biggest criticism, other than it being slightly gruff for a modern diesel, is that it doesn’t integrate as well with the auto ’box as the T4, failing to respond quickly enough to necessary gearchanges and revving out as a result. I’m getting used to it, but it isn’t as effortless as I’d expect for an otherwise well executed car.

One area where it’s excelling over the T4 is fuel consumption. The T4’s economy was probably the biggest concern as it never achieved more than 30mpg on average against a promised 40.4mpg. That said, the switch to the diesel occurred at just over 3000 miles, which is the point where we might have started to see the biggest gains, having run in the car. The D3 has 5111 miles on the clock and is delivering 40.1mpg – better for my bank account, but still far off the official 56.5mpg.

Other than that, it’s more of the same for the XC40. It’s an enjoyable, comfortable place to be, easily fitting in the ridiculous amount of stuff I take home to my parents every year for the Christmas period. Two children’s car seats are easy to fit and the panoramic sunroof brings a brief respite of silence from my cheery 17-month-old nephew.

Love it:

APPEARANCE Grey paint plus white roof, mirrors and alloy wheels – a £700 option – look great.

Loathe it:

POWERTRAIN D3 diesel engine isn’t as refined or well paired to the automatic gearbox as I’d expect.

Volvo xc40 lt parked

Back to top

Mileage: 5111

Back to the top

What options are worth the extra outlay - 16th January 2018

Our XC40 T4 R-Design Pro AWD auto costs £42,320, including options worth £5800. Recently, I tried a front-drive T3 R-Design manual with no extras, at £30,160, which has 154bhp to the T4’s 197bhp. Upshot: I’d buy the T3. Good engine, good steering, good ride. I’d only go for a few extras: Xenium pack (£1600); powered tailgate (£375); Winter pack (£500); keyless drive (£350).

Mileage: 3300

Volvo pair car park

Back to the top

Just how useful are the XC40’s semi-autonomous functions? - 2nd January 2018

Our long-term XC40 is fitted with all of Volvo’s semi-autonomous driving systems, creating a perfect showcase for the many years of development Volvo has undertaken in the self-driving sphere. Its early investment has paid off, with the company securing trial deals for fully autonomous Volvo XC90s with firms such as Uber.

UK trials of fully autonomous cars will start on the inner lane of some motorways next year, before a predicted widespread introduction in 2021. But for now, we have our humble XC40, which does lots of fancy stuff by itself, even if we can’t read a book behind the wheel quite yet…

Back to top

One early Sunday morning, I decided to test the systems to their full extent on a drive from London to the country via some motorway. With few cars on the road, it felt like a good opportunity to try these features.

Full Propilot on the XC40 is easily activated on the steering wheel, and when it’s in play, a green steering wheel appears in the instrument cluster. That means it can accelerate, brake, keep in lane and steer in lane all by itself. On motorways, it’s faultless, although if you’re in the fast lane close to a hard concrete barrier, it can be nerve-wracking. I think the XC40 sometimes places itself a little bit further to one side of the lane than I would – which isn’t wrong but is disconcerting. It’s likely only a centimetre or two, but when you’re ceding control, it can feel a lot. If you take your hand off the wheel, the car makes a sound to remind you to put your hands back on.

So on motorways, it’s fine. Dual carriageways? Also fine. Normal B-roads? Not fine. Which is to be expected because these systems aren’t yet designed for those roads. With a clearly marked lane on only one side of the car, it went into panic mode. There was quite a lot of drifting (not the back-end kind) before the car wisely decided that it would stop the semi-autonomous system running altogether.

Volvo parking

There are plenty of other systems, but I’ll focus on two. I see the argument for both of them and am pleased they exist but find them frustrating to deal with. One is Cross-Traffic Assist. Example: I reverse out of my nan’s drive slowly. I can see a car coming from my left and I’ve anticipated that in the very slow speed in which I’m reversing. But the car doesn’t know, so it brakes abruptly, alarming me unnecessarily.

Back to top

I get a similar reaction from the emergency braking function. I know there is a small island ahead of me in the middle of the road and already plan to move around it, but the car doesn’t know so it makes loud sounds and sometimes brakes.

It’s easy to criticise such systems – which have the same annoyances on all cars that offer them – but this is the price of progress. Ultimately, they will make our roads a safer place.

Love it:

EASY LIFE ON MOTORWAYS Propilot making motorway driving easier.

Loathe it:

GIVE IT A BREAK, BRAKES Over-keen braking system not allowing me to drive.

Mileage: 2990

Back to the top

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 2

Meeting a fellow Volvoist - 5 December 2018

I was filling up the XC40 recently, when a man in an Volvo XC60 parked at the pump behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him nod and smile at me. It was fellow Volvo camaraderie! The love-in continued when we passed each other in the shop. Him: “Nice new Volvo!” Me: “We have great taste!” Isn’t it great when our enthusiasm for a car or car maker brings good cheer?

Mileage: 2681

Xc40 petrol pump

Back to top

Back to the top

Expecting estimates to improve - 21 November 2018

Following our observation that the XC40’s mpg wasn’t great, a reader made contact to agree. His Volvo dealer told him “fuel consumption will be rubbish for the first 3000 miles”. Based on that, we’re optimistic we’ll see improvements. So far, the mpg is excellent on the open road and particularly poor in towns. Overall, our current consumption is 28.9mpg.

Mileage: 2461

Xc40 fuel economy

Back to the top

We’ve canvassed opinions, the people have spoken – and they like it. Here’s why - 7th November 2018

It has been an easy first few weeks with our Volvo XC40 long-term test car. It has been carrier to many friends and family, all of whom have greeted it in exactly the same way: with praise. All have been interested in the car – what’s it like, what does it rival, how they’ve always liked Volvos. Me too, I say.

My theory is that awareness of Volvos is still rising and the good but different looks of the XC40 help it stand out from the crowded crowd. An old friend’s partner, who drives a Toyota Hilux, tells me he likes Volvos for their lack of ostentatiousness and how he has fond memories of an Volvo XC90 rented some years back.

Back to top

That’s the thing with Volvos. People seem to have fond memories of boxy Volvos of old, such as the 200 Series or 850, and none of the bad memories of idiotic drivers on the roads like, totally hypothetically speaking (cough), they might have of a BMW or Mercedes driver…

Anyway, back to the car at hand. So far, it has done plenty of trips around the M25 and up the M1 to my home, the home counties, proving itself to be an excellent motorway cruiser. There is absolutely nothing of note on these journeys except how comfortable and peaceful it is.

There was a trip to the Shuttleworth Collection, a celebration of heritage planes but also cars, reminding us of the wonders of vehicle engineering over more than a century, helping us to progress to today – and cars as impressive as the XC40.

My partner and I took custody of my niece and nephew for an afternoon, perfectly demonstrating the family friendliness of the car. Two child seats went in easily, both in terms of fitting and size, and my three-year-old niece (“I’m four in November,” we heard a lot) approved of the car. Now that she’s noticed that aunty regularly turns up in a number of different cars, she’s a harsh critic.

Still, she was easily won over by the panoramic sunroof, and even more so when we let her control it briefly. The other weekend jaunt in the Volvo was to Thame Food Festival, full of chutney, fudge and deliciously fattening food. It was also the first chance I’ve had to take my all-wheel-drive XC40 off road. Admittedly, it was some very dry but bumpy grass, so that didn’t push its limits, but it held its own well, with far less juddering than plenty of its two-wheel-drive rivals on uneven ground.

It feels too premium and pretty to want to push the limits with it off road – which is why I predict almost no owners will use it in such a way – but still, it’s nice to know it’s there. It’s particularly comforting when thinking about the winter months ahead and my journeys to my parents on non-gritted hilly country lanes.

This outing of over-eating demonstrated decent space in the back, too. My unwilling friend (as the photo shows) was happy with the XC40’s ample leg room, even if she wasn’t allowed to eat churros in there…

Back to top

The only negative comment I’ve had so far concerns the price. When family and friends ask how much the car costs and I say “around 40 grand”, their response is “well, it should be bloody nice!”. There’s no like-for-like rival in the Audi Q3 line-up but its range-topping model, the 2.0 TFSI 180PS Black Edition quattro, costs £36,945. Volvo’s ultimate range-topper – one up from ours – is the D5, which in this trim costs £37,320. The point is the Volvo might be a tad more expensive than other premium compact SUVs, but not enough to be a major negative factor in buying decisions.

Love it:

BROAD APPEAL Getting lots of good attention from friends.

Loathe it:

IRRITATING DRIVER TECH Some of its driving assistance systems are deeply annoying.

Mileage: 2349

Volvo xc40 long termer 2018 2258a

Back to the top

Life with a Volvo XC40: Month 1

Top-quality cabin finish - 17th October 2018

The XC40’s interior materials might not seem that interesting. But honestly, they are worthy of note. The industrial felt in the doors and around the footwell not only looks cool and original, but is also made from recycled plastic bottles. I like the ridged floor mats too. They’re understated, smart and different from the boring equivalents.

Back to top

Mileage: 1759

11 Volvo xc40 2018 lt carpets

Back to the top

Welcoming the XC40 to the fleet - 10th October 2018

Reader, a disclaimer: I’m a Volvo fan. I love its cars for not being ostentatiously German yet still premium, I love them for having a bit of cool Swedishness about them and I love them for their comfort. I sold my 2009 C30 a few years ago, and still regret it.

I’m not alone, though. Volvo has undergone a resurgence in recent years, with an incredibly fresh model line-up (the oldest model, the V40, is five years old and will be replaced next year). Testament to this is last year’s sales figures: Volvo sold 571,577 cars worldwide, an increase of 7% on the previous year. By comparison, Jaguar sold 178,601.

In the SUV sector, the Volvo XC90 and Volvo XC60 have already done wonders in their respective segments, but last year came arguably the most important of them all: the Volvo XC40.

This compact SUV brings some welcome fresh blood into a hugely competitive segment: it vies with the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque and a plethora of cheaper but very good rivals, such as the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai.

So far, the XC40 has certainly proved its worth. It sold 5610 units in Europe in July, more than the XC60 and more than double its rival, the Evoque – which is reason enough for Autocar to see whether the hype is justified by having one on our fleet for the next six months.

Back to top

Looks are always subjective but, personally, I reckon Volvo has nailed the XC40. It manages to appear different from the XC90 and XC60 while still having a commonality and, crucially, it stands out from all the other compact SUVs on the road. Its British designer, Ian Kettle, has since been poached by Tesla, showing that it has been well received not only by buyers but the industry too.

We’ve gone for the middle-of-the-range petrol engine, the four-cylinder 2.0-litre producing 187bhp and called T4, in range-topping R-Design Pro trim. The T4 comes only with all-wheel drive and an automatic eight-speed transmission, although, of course, plenty of the variants are available with front-wheel drive and a manual ’box. For now, the entry-level D3 diesel remains the biggest seller in the UK, but Volvo expects it to swing towards petrol in the not too distant future.

Our XC40 achieves 0-62mph in a respectable 8.5sec. The fastest variant, the T5, shaves 2.0sec off that and the slowest is the D3 AWD with automatic gearbox at 10.4sec. Our car costs £35,820. We have plenty of options, but even the most basic XC40 has a good specification.

This includes navigation, a 9.0in centre console touchscreen, rear parking sensors, LED headlights with active high beam, cruise control and hill-start assist. Volvo prides itself on leading on car safety (earlier this year, research found that there had never been any passenger or driver fatalities from car-on-car collisions in an XC90 in the UK since 2004, when records started) and so it includes three safety systems as standard.

6 Volvo xc40 2018 lt driver assist

Back to top

These are City Safety, which can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking; Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which automatically provides steering assistance if you drift out of your lane; and Run-off Road Protection, which tightens the front seatbelts if the car leaves the road and front seat frames with a collapsible section to reduce vertical forces and help prevent spinal injuries, says Volvo.

Our option list is extensive but most notable in terms of extra cost are two packs. The first, the £1500 Intellisafe Pro, gives you more safety tech, such as rear collision mitigation and cross traffic alert, as well as auto-folding door mirrors. The second, the £1600 Xenium pack, brings the panoramic sunroof, 360deg parking camera and automatic parallel and 90deg parking.

First impressions? As I’d hoped and expected: the XC40 is instantly comfortable. Comfortable on long and short journeys, with a cosy, enclosing interior that I expect will treat me well over the winter months.

It’s perfect around town and surprisingly nifty getting into small spaces on narrow roads with parallel parking. I haven’t pushed our XC40 on the handling front yet, but that’s not its goal. Instead, the car offers light if not wholly precise steering perfect for urban driving. The R-Design Pro is a harder ride than some of the lesser trims but it is still acceptable over the endless speed bumps on my commute.

I have two minor gripes so far. The notch gearstick takes some getting used to. Presumably, it has been used to keep the feature as compact as possible, but even after a couple of weeks with the car, I sometimes have to check in the driver display that I’m in reverse, not drive, or vice versa.

The other thing is fuel economy. Official combined economy so far is 40.4mpg. We have got it to a best of 28mpg so will be watching it closely as we run the car in to see if or when that figure improves.

Second Opinion

I’m really liking the Volvo XC40. It looks great and is comfortable and well-finished. The ride’s a bit lumpy at low speed but, if that’s the price of lower-than-Audi road noise, I’ll take it any day. Surprised at the current sub-30mpg real-world fuel consumption. Maybe it’ll improve with miles. We’ll see…

Back to top

Steve Cropley

13 Volvo xc40 2018 lt rachel burgess driving

Back to the top

Volvo XC40 T4 R-Design Pro AWD specification

Specs: Price New £35,820 Price as tested: £41,620 Options: Convenience pack £350, Intellisafe Pro £1500, Xenium pack £1600, gearshift paddles £125, power passenger seat £300, wireless/inductive mobile phone charging £175, power-operated tailgate £375, Tempa spare wheel and jack £150, smartphone integration with two USB hubs £300, keyless entry and keyless start with remote tag plus hands-free tailgate opening/closing £350, metallic paint £575

Test Data: Engine 4-cylinder in-line, 1969cc, turbocharged petrol Power 188bhp at 4700rpm Torque 210lb-ft at 1400-4000rpm Top speed 130mph 0-62mph 8.2sec Claimed fuel economy 40.9mpg Test fuel economy 28mpg CO2 161g/km Faults None Expenses None

Back to the top

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Jeremy 13 April 2019


This XC40 is an excellent example of car price inflation. I remember when you could get an XC90 for less than £29,000! Yes I know they try to hide this with PCP rates and this is well equipped with essentials like keyless-go and self-closing boot (how did we ever manage without! lol). A 3008, Kadjar/Quashqi or Tiguan/Ateca/Karoq or offers way better value.

scrap 13 April 2019

Sorry but that is an awful

Sorry but that is an awful final report. So you like the grey paint with white wheels? Great, but this is something people can work out for themselves. The big question - does the poor fuel economy improve with miles? - remains unanswered.

scotty5 11 February 2019

White Alloys indeed.

White allys - just about sums up what the XC40 is all about.

I agree with xxxx - XC40 maybe winning the styling game but when it comes to engines it's lagging behind. Add to that - £39K for a near base model with extras that are standard on other cars?  All seems pretty poor value to me.

Advice - save £10,000 and buy an Ateca. In fact save even more and buy 1.5 petrol Ateca - it's more frugal that Volvo's diesel, not to mention faster and quieter.