Volvo XC40 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

Launched in 2017, the XC40 was Volvo’s first foray into the small SUV market. While the classic front grille and Thor’s Hammer headlights make it unmistakably a Volvo, this stocky city car is a different beast from the Swedish manufacturer’s other models. Large alloy wheels give it high ground clearance, meaning bumpy roads shouldn’t be a problem. With a range of versions available, the entry-level Momentum Core trim comes in at less than half the price of the fully tricked out First Edition. Volvo stopped selling the diesel models in August 2020 to focus on its range of petrol, electric and hybrid powertrains.

Visit the Volvo XC40 model page to learn more

What we think about the Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is a good-looking, safe and practical baby-SUV, well suited to city life but able to handle rougher terrain.

Pros

+

High driving position

+

Quality interior

+

City-friendly compact size

+

Host of reliable safety features

Cons

Very thirsty

Leans a bit through corners

Limited over-shoulder visibility

High list price

The Volvo XC40 is available in a choice of seven trims, including the sporty, good-value R-Design and the luxurious Inscription Pro. There are various electric options, such as the Recharge plug-in hybrid, as well as petrol versions – plus diesels for the pre-2020 iterations.

Driving performance of the Volvo Xc40

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

The petrol version’s strongest asset is its comfortable ride. The suspension soaks up bumps, especially the sports suspension on the R-Design models. The plug-in hybrid Recharge model gives a slightly rougher ride over bumpy roads due to its heavy battery, and an upright profile means the XC40 leans somewhat around corners, so winding roads are best enjoyed sedately. The T3 can achieve 0-60 mph in a respectable 9.6 seconds, with the pure electric Recharge P8 sprinting it in 4.9 seconds. As part of its safety drive, Volvo limits the top speed of its vehicles to 112 mph.

Safety and reliability of the Volvo Xc40

Our Safety Rating10 / 10

Volvo has a solid reputation when it comes to safety standards, and the XC40 continues that tradition. It scored five stars in the Euro NCAP test, with 97% for its protection of adult occupants and 87% for child occupants. The whole range has crash avoidance tech, including automatic emergency braking and a lane departure system that will steer you back to safety if it senses you’re about to drift. Reliability is difficult to assess with it being a fairly new model, but the engines are fitted in many other Volvos and have a good reputation.

Under the bonnet of the Volvo Xc40

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

The 1.5-litre T3 petrol engine packs a respectable 161 bhp. For those wanting more horsepower, Volvo’s hybrid tech brings this up to the B4’s 194 bhp, or the B5’s 247 bhp. All XC40 engines are turbocharged, including the D3 Diesel, and all will make 0-60 in under 10 seconds. The Recharge T5 will even do it in an impressive 7.1 secs, except when it’s running on purely electric power, when it will gradually attain motorway speeds.

What you'll find in the Volvo Xc40

Our Design Rating9 / 10

The XC40 has pulled off the impressive trick of making an innovative design statement while remaining very much a dependable Volvo. The signature logo on the grille doesn’t look out of place on an SUV with a chunky profile. The overall look and feel comes with a hint of swagger thanks to its large alloys, chiselled contours and – for the R-Design – black-trimmed wheel arches. Angled rear door windows add a stylish touch to the Volvo XC40.

Comfort and interiors in the Volvo Xc40

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

The XC40’s spacious and comfortable interior is one of its strong points, with the front seats as good as you’ll find in any family SUV. All versions offer a wide height and tilt adjustment range, as well as 4-way lumbar adjustment. It has the feel of a proper SUV too, thanks in part to the high driving position. The high-end Inscription trim features Volvo’s luxurious driftwood inlays and leather upholstery, while even the most affordable – Momentum – has an uncluttered design that combines practical touches with Swedish cool.

Volvo XC40 interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Volvo Xc40

Our Features Rating8 / 10

All models come with rear parking sensors – which you’ll need due to the compromised over-shoulder visibility – and an auto-dimming rear mirror. The digital instrument panel is easy to read and the dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen that lets you swipe, pinch and roll to zoom in and out on a map. You can even use it with gloves on. There’s plenty of boot space for a family car, and a host of optional features, including a 360˚ camera system and rear cross-traffic alerts.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Volvo Xc40

Our Fuel Consumption Rating6 / 10

This is one area where the XC40 unfortunately doesn’t compete. Getting a car of this size and shape to perform as it does takes fuel, and the B4 and B5 models in particular will go through it quickly. The T3 engine is more efficient, with all petrol and diesel models giving you somewhere between 35 and 52 mpg. The most fuel-efficient choice is the Recharge plug-in hybrid, officially rated at 134.5 mpg. Just remember to plug it in after your drive.

Running costs of the Volvo Xc40

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Volvo’s 3-year warranty is less generous than the five years offered by most brands. However, for the first six years you’ll get a 12-month extension to the roadside assist coverage if you get an annual service at an authorised dealer. Company car buyers will find the electric and hybrid versions great value thanks to the incoming shake-up of company car tax, but private buyers may find that initial purchase price more difficult to justify. Insurance groups range from 18 for the Momentum Core to 32 for the Inscription T5 Twin Engine FWD Auto 5d.

Our verdict of the Volvo Xc40

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

If you're looking for a practical family SUV to navigate cities with a touch of class, the XC40 stands out from the crowd.