When Volvo introduced the new XC90 SUV back in 2015 it signaled the arrival of a new breed of Volvo vehicles that would not only have a new level of sophistication and style, but would also help bring new buyers to the brand. While the XC90 and XC60 SUVs have been successful, the new XC40 might be its most significant new model yet. With its mini-XC90 styling and creative interior, the 2019 Volvo XC40 not only appeals to diehard Volvo fans, but also introduces the brand to some buyers that may have never even considered a Volvo before – millennials.
The 2019 Volvo XC40 is Volvo’s first ever compact SUV that competes against other luxury rivals, like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The 2019 Volvo XC40 uses the same formula as the Q3 and X1, by borrowing styling traits from its larger SUV brothers to give it a design that is not only handsome, but also modern. It’s design is purely Scandinavian with its clean, simple design that stays away from the gimmicky styling that other brands have employed over the last few years.
Inside the XC40’s interior retains the clean, simple styling theme from the outside with a well laid out interior that looks classic. The XC40’s interior is basically what you’d imagine the designers at Design Within Reach would come up with if they were tasked with creating a car. Given the fact that the XC40 is also geared towards urbanites, the interior also gets lots of neat features to maximize space and also make it more useful.
For starters the traditional door speakers have been removed to provide more room for your stuff. You could simply store your laptop in the side door if you needed to. There’s also a little trash bin in the center console to keep the interior tidy and in the cargo area a strap mounted on the side will keep your groceries or luggage from flying around. It may not seem like much, but the little features make living with the XC40 even easier and you’ll wonder why other automakers haven’t installed similar comforts.
While the XC40’s interior ranks near the top in this segment, there were a few misses. For starters the gear selector is frustrating, since you have to pull down or push up on it twice to select either drive or reverse. If you’re used to traditional gear selectors, you’ll easily get annoyed. The rear seat is also best for just two passengers and the chunky C-pillar may look cool on the outside, but it provides a not so cool blind spot on the inside. Lastly the infotainment system does get hung up a bit and takes longer to power up than we’d expect.
Under the hood the 2019 XC40 is available with two engine options: a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 187 horsepower and 221 lb-ft. in the XC40 T4 models or a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. in the XC40 T5 models. Volvo has unveiled the plug-in XC40 T54 Twin Engine, but it hasn’t announced its availability in the US. If you want a fully electric SUV, Volvo has also announced plans to introduce a fully electric XC40 soon.
The front-wheel drive XC40 T4 is rated at 25/36 mpg, while the all-wheel drive XC40 T5 is rated at 23/31 mpg.
After spending a week with the Volvo XC40 T5 Momentum we were pleasantly surprised by its performance. The XC40 T5’s four-cylinder packs more than enough power to get the XC40 moving down the road. The turbocharged engine makes the XC40 T5 feel a bit sportier than you might expect, we only wished that the XC40’s suspension also got the sporty memo, which is something that the R-Design trim level fixes a bit. The suspension in the Momentum trim does a good job of quieting the road’s imperfections, but when you want to tackle a winding back road, the suspension lets you know that it’s geared more towards comfort than performance. Lastly at full throttle the engine may be able to get the XC40 up to speed quickly, but the engine sounds a bit buzzy.
At the end of our week with the 2019 Volvo XC40 we didn’t want to give it back. It’s small footprint, comfortable and spacious interior and zippy performance made it the perfect everyday vehicle.
Pricing for the 2019 Volvo XC40 starts at $34,195, but if that’s too much of a commitment for you, Volvo offers the Car by Volvo subscription service that where you can pay $650 a month for the XC40 T5 Momentum. That monthly subscription price covers the cost of the XC40, insurance and maintenance.