Sunday, March 4, 2018

(First Drive) 2019 Volvo XC40: The Brand's Newest Compact Crossover

What’s New: This is an all-new entry for Volvo. It’s the first Volvo built on the brand’s modular platform. A new 187-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine will be available later this summer in the T4 model.

When Available: On sale soon.


T5 Momentum AWD $35,200
T5 R Design AWD $37,700
T4 Momentum AWD $33,200 (available summer 2018)
T4 R Design $35,700 (available summer 2018)
T4 Inscription (coming soon/pricing not available)

A New Purchasing Model: This will become Volvo’s first vehicle to offer an all- inclusive pricing under a 24-month agreement. With what the Sweden brand has termed as Care By Volvo, customers will all pay the same monthly payments no matter what region of the country they reside. Pricing includes the auto insurance, maintenance and an annual mileage cap of 15,000 miles.

At $600 per month plus taxes, the negotiation process is virtually eliminated. While no down payment is required, consumers will still be required to subscribe to a credit check. The vehicle will be titled in the name of the customer.

With Care By Volvo, buyers can trade into another XC40 or another Volvo, after one year, without penalties, as they become a part of the portfolio.

Volvo is expecting 10 percent of XC40 buyers to subscribe to this new method of car buying. The traditional means of purchasing a vehicle through financing and leasing will still be available options for consumers.  

Target Buyers: From young professionals to young couples to empty nesters, Volvo’s newest addition is expected to bring new buyers to the brand.

The Challenge: Really there is none. Volvo is entering into a segment that is hot. Consumers are snapping up both compact and premium compact crossovers. Volvo’s biggest challenge is in terms of volume. Will the automaker be able to meet the demands of the U. S. consumers who are a hungry for a vehicle like this?

Competition: Audi Q3; BMW X1; Infiniti Q30; Lincoln MKC; Mercedes Benz GLA; Land Rover Evoque; and 2019 Cadillac XT4

XC40 Trims:


Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a stability control system; pedestrian, cycle, vehicle and large animal detection with emergency auto braking; pilot assist; run off road protection and mitigation; cross traffic alert with the back up camera; a lane keep assistance; an oncoming mitigation system; road sign information; and whiplash protection front seats

One of Volvo's Sweden Design Manager Anders Gunnarsson (l) and David Clark a craftsman and business owner from Austin, Texas

XC40 Momentum Standard Features: 18-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; 8-speed transmission; start/stop automatic transmission; electric power assist steering; adjustable drive mode setting; a 9-inch infotainment screen; LED headlights; daytime running lights; leather seats; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a power programmable rear tailgate; a keyless ignition starter system; power front seats; a memory operated front driver’s seat; wiper blades with integrated washers; and an automatic climate control system

XC40 Inscription Features: an oversized panoramic sunroof; dual tailpipes; driftwood interior inlays; a handsfree tailgate opener; a nav system; an auto dimming rearview mirror; a dual zone automatic climate control system; and a mechanical seat extension

XC40 R-Design Features: 19-inch wheels; a black contrast roof; integrated roof rails in gloss black; stainless steel cargo scuff plate;LED foglights; a black headliner; Nappa leather interior; and R-design gear shifter

Standout Features: color contrast two/two exteriors; a built-in waste basket; wireless mobile phone charging (without making any setting adjustments); and a roomy under-floor storage and a folding floor, which can also serve as a shopping bag holder

Optional Features: an electronic blind spot lane changing system; a rear collision warning system with braking; a cross traffic alert system with braking; a heated steering wheels; and a 360-degree camera

Quirks: While aesthetically the touchscreen infotainment system is appealing to the eye, like with all the newer Volvos, it does take a moment to understand how to use the swipe and scan screen.

First Drive: While this is no Jeep or Subaru, the all-new XC40 offers a driving mode for off-roading, as well as an 8.3-inch ground clearance. The XC40, which offers seating for five, is available with two powertrains.

A 248-horsepower engine will be available upon the initial launch. However, for those pinching pennies, they should hold off until an all-new 187-horsepower engine that arrives later this summer.  These two engines will round off the consumer choices.

We found the peppy engine that is available in the T5 to be more than capable, as we maneuvered the brand’s newest entry on the highways and twisty back roads of Austin, Texas. Also the two tone exterior colors, as well as the throwback wall to wall orange carpet was a flashback to the seventies. Volvo's design team were able to infuse the best of yesteryear with a contemporary modern theme.

Furthermore, the compact crossover contains storage compartments and a trash bin, too.

Lastly, visibility is great. And in our opinion, Volvo's signature orthopedic seats continues to be a best in class feature.  

The Verdict: Since Geely purchased the ailing brand, the automaker has produced a slate of hits. The XC40, which is joining the ever growing premium compact segment, is slated to be a hit, as well as a volume seller for the brand. For a competitive price, this uniquely designed Volvo continues to set a standard in terms of safety equipment. Volvo continues to be the segment leader in terms of safety and a new means of purchasing via the subscription process.

While we only spent a few hours behind the wheel, by all accounts we believe Volvo is winning with this vehicle. And lastly, this is not a mini XC90, in terms of styling. Volvo refers to the XC40 as a cousin, since the vehicle has its own identity and standout styling cues.

Standard Audio System: an 8-speaker/250-watt AM/FM/HD satellite audio system

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto: Yes

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Charging Port: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/ 248-horsepower

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: not rated!