2018 Volvo XC40 Review
Car Tested: 2018 Volvo XC40; Road Test No. 952
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 44 lakhs (est.)
Volvo will look at grabbing significant volumes with the launch of the XC40
Volvo cars have always been very under-rated in the Indian market because brand awareness isn’t as high as the German trio. But that doesn’t stop the Swedish automaker from launching new models in the country and the XC40 is here to compete with entry-level luxury SUVs like the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3. The XC40 looks very promising and it has been made in such a way that it doesn’t feel like an entry-level car. We went to Hyderabad to check out Volvo’s newest offering and to see whether it has what it takes to shake up the segment.
Motor Quest: The Volvo XC40 was first unveiled globally in Italy last year and in just eight months’ time has made it to the Indian shores. Unlike other Volvo offerings, the XC40 comes underpinned by a new modular vehicle architecture called CMA.
Exteriors – It isn’t an exaggeration if we’d say the 2018 Volvo XC40 looks like a mini or a shrunken XC90. One look at the XC40 and the design of the XC family of cars is immediately evident. The Thor hammer inspired LED DRL headlights and the D-shaped LED tail-lights are reminiscent of the bigger XC SUVs but have their own distinction. The front fascia is upright and gets a blacked-out grille and a dual-tone bumper. At the sides, the compact proportions of the SUV are prominent and the sharp kink in the window line has to be the design highlight. The vehicle runs on 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels and overall, the Volvo XC40 comes across as a youthful and funky-looking SUV, especially in this R-Design variant.
Interiors – Step inside the cabin of the 2018 Volvo XC40 and again things are quite familiar here. The luxury compact SUV gets an all-black interior laid out with good quality of plastics, leather and other bits. The dashboard gets a distinctive design and the fit and finish are what we have come to expect from Volvo cars. The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel looks similar to the one on the XC60 and which, by the way, feels good to hold. Behind the steering wheel, there is a fully digital instrument cluster which looks cool. The design of the central aircon vents are again similar to the XC60’s and talking about the centre console, you get the 9-inch (tablet-like) touchscreen infotainment system paired with a 13-speaker Harmon-Kardon audio system. Keeping in mind the funky and youthful exteriors, the Swedish carmaker has given the Volvo XC40’s cabin textured plastic inlays instead of wood. These inlays too are of the best quality.
The rear seat could have done with more under-thigh support and cushioning
Talking about seat comfort, both the front and rear seats are draped in a mix of leather and Alcantara with contrast white stitching. The front seats are electrically adjustable with the driver’s seat getting memory function. The seats are supportive and under-thigh support can be extended but manually. Getting in the rear seat could be a problem especially for the elderly because of the narrow door cavity. There is sufficient leg room and headroom but the seat itself is low-set and lacks under-thigh support. Also, due to the width, the XC40’s rear bench is better off with just two adults. While the upward sloping window line hampers the cabin’s airy feeling, the huge panoramic sunroof helps. There is a massive 586-litres boot for carrying your weekend’s luggage or storing the groceries and other stuff when you’ve gone shopping. What makes this boot slightly special is that the floor tray folds up to give you baggage hooks and this even acts as a luggage separator. In terms of features, the XC40 is loaded to the gills. You get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, powered tailgate, powered driver’s seat, wireless charging, heated front and rear seats and hands-free parking assist.