Thursday, October 21, 2021

JeffCars.com’s Car Review: 2019 Volvo XC40

2019 Volvo Xc40 T4 R-Design (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)
2019 Volvo XC40 T4 R-Design (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Highlight:  In the cargo area, the XC40 has a roomy, under-floor storage and a folding floor, which can also serve as a shopping bag holder.

Test Vehicle MSRP AWD: $45,340 (Base MSRP FWD: $34,695)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; City safety features detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals with auto braking; run off road mitigation; road sign recognition; lane keeping aids; a collision avoidance system; an electronic stability control system; a hill start system; and a rear camera

Standard Equipment (Base Momentum Model): 18-inch wheels; 9-inch infotainment screen; a keyless turn on/off system; leather seating surfaces; a power driver’s seat with a driver memory seat; an automatic climate control system; a power programmable tailgate; and complimentary 3 year/36,000 miles

Standard Equipment (R-Design): 19-inch wheels; dynamic chasis; LED foglights; a navigation system; keyless entry with a handsfree tailgate opening; manual adjustable front seat extenders; Nappa leather seats; driver mode settings; a 2-zone automatic climate control system; power front seats; and split folding rear seats

2019 Volvo XC40 T4 R-Design (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)
2019 Volvo XC40 T4 R-Design Funky Interior (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Options: 20-inch wheels; a wireless charging pad; pilot assist steering feature; a radar activated cruise control system; power folding rear backrest from tailgate; power headrests; a hidden pull-out storage compartment under driver’s seat; grocery bag holders in folding load floor; heated windshield washer nozzle; power child locks; power rear doors; a blind spot information system; a cross-traffic alert system with auto brakes; a 360-degree camera; power retractable rearview mirrors; park assist pilot; auto dimming mirrors; heated front seats; a heated steering wheel; a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system; orange interior carpeting; and a laminated panoramic roof

Other Trim Levels: Inscription

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

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

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder Turbo engine/187-hp

Recommended Fuel (FWD): Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/31-hwy

What’s New: The all-new XC40 is the brand’s first compact crossover.

Why: The brand’s hot-selling premium compact crossover is available in three trims: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. The brand’s entry-level crossover is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.

The unique crossover almost SUV-like exterior design will appeal to a wide spectrum of car buyers, ranging from young professionals to empty nesters. Buyers seeking something with a little spice and can afford one of the luxury compacts from the German makes, Cadillac or Lincoln, but prefers something that’s new to the scene and stands apart from the crowd will find the XC40 as a highly desirable option.

In some circles, the XC40 looks like a more evolved version of Jeep’s Renegade, except the lines and styling cues are way more sophisticated.

The R-Design we reviewed embodies the essence of style, with its optional almost shag-like coloring. With its funky vibe, the R-Desig trim would be the perfect transition vehicle for buyers who have outgrown Kia’s Soul or the MINI Cooper, but are still seeking to remain cool and somewhat elusive.

The all-new XC40 offers such unique features as a two-tone exterior color treatment, a hidden storage draw underneath the front seat, an app-like swipe system to navigate through the infotainment and a trash bin — all which adds to the edginess that all of its competitors lack.

In addition to the items noted, the vehicle offers a wireless charging pad, a co-pilot assist steering system and Nappa leather seats.

The XC40 also offers a variety of driving modes too. The vehicle is available with two engine choices. We have only had the opportunity to experience the 248-horsepower engine. Overall the driving characteristic of the vehicle places the compact crossover in the same lane as many of its competitors. While it won’t ride like the larger and more luxurious XC60 and flagship XC90, its still a relatively great ride. The XC40, which is outfitted with the brand’s orthopedic seats, is positioned at a price point that is in-line with many of its competitors.

But: Depending upon the generation and/or tech proficiency of the driver, it might take time to adjust to Volvo’s swiping touchscreen infotainment center, which is similar to the applications found on many of today’s smartphones. Volvo opted out of the traditional button and knobs to control such simple things as heated seats, climate control and navigation settings.

And why is the front wheel drive XC40 require regular fuel, while the all-wheel drive model requires premium fuel, according to fueleconomy.gov?

Verdict: The XC40 continues to be a hit for Geely, the Chinese-owned automaker with Sweden roots. While other automakers are depending upon aggressive lease payments to lure buyers, Volvo is using a different payment model to attract XC40 customers.

Because of the XC40, Volvo birthed a subscription payment plan. Unlike conventional financing and leasing, subscription payments include both the monthly payment and the monthly insurance cost. All are wrapped into one payment. Payments are the same for qualifying buyers regardless of their driving record. Also subscribers are able to swap out one Volvo for another without incurring the traditional penalty which occurs when trading out of a vehicle.

Overall the all-new XC40 is designed for those seeking something funkier and fresh than the competitive set. Its the perfect vehicle for professionals, singles, couples, empty nesters and young families.

Competition:  Audi A3; BMW X1; BMW X2; Cadillac XT4; Infiniti Q30; Land Rover Evoque; Lincoln MKC; and Mercedes-Benz GLA

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