The Volvo XC40 compact luxury SUV has landed in Australia and completes the trifecta of the company’s SUV range – the fastest growing segment of the automotive market.
Tech Guide had a chance to get behind the wheel of the XC40 – the first to be built with Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture and also the first to come with the Swedish company’s new three-cylinder engine.
The XC40 joins the XC60 and the XC90 which completes Volvo’s good, better, best SUV model structure.
The vehicle has a sculpted design with a lot of bold curves and detailed highlights that gives it a powerful stance.
It has high ground clearance thanks to its large alloy wheels and an eye-catching wide body.
The XC40 has the trademark Volvo grill and the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” headlights along with a sculpted front bumper.
The optional LED headlights can even turn with your steering by up to 30 degrees so you get a better view while cornering.
Once you get inside it’s not hard to notice the uncluttered Scandinavian styling with plenty of technology literally at your fingertips.
The dashboard is dominated by 9-inch touchscreen that gives you control of virtually the entire vehicle.
What we liked, apart from the tech, was the ride height that gave us great visibility in all directions.
It also had a luxurious feel thanks to the high-quality materials used in the seats, in the doors and on the dashboard.
The sculpted shapes from the exterior also make their way inside and could be seen running along the dashboard and longer doors and door handles.
One option, and this was included in the XC40 we were driving, is Lava carpeting which is actually made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
Volvo says the XC40 is designed to fit in with our lifestyles and this is shown through other small yet delightful touches.
On the windscreen on the driver side is a small plastic clip to easily display your parking pass.
There is even a cardholder which can keep a credit card or parking access card within reach.
Also on board is a bag hook that folds out from the glovebox so can hold your shopping or takeaway food.
In the trunk, drivers will find an adjustable load compartment with hooks so your groceries don’t roll around.
There is also plenty of storage on board with enough room to hold coffee cups and water bottles while large door pockets providing space big enough to fit a laptop or three one-litre drink bottles.
And if you arrive at the car with your hands full, the optional power operated tailgate opens up when you move your foot under the rear bumper.
On the technology side, the XC40 has plenty to offer and it all starts at that high-resolution touchscreen in the central console.
From here you can access Sensus navigation with large maps and directions clearly showing the way.
Drivers can access music streaming services through the screen or by using voice commands.
Of course, you can pair your phone via Bluetooth and enjoy excellent call quality while you’re driving.
And the on-board Haman Kardon speakers offer premium sound that’s also boosted with Air Wolf Technology which really ramps up the bass from behind the dashboard.
The XC40 also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto onboard which makes it easier to listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks and safely access your favourite apps.
There’s also a 12.3-inch screen in front of the driver that can also display your maps, music as well as your
And being a Volvo, you know it’s safe.
And that’s backed up by the car’s technology.
This includes Intersection Braking which automatically hits the brakes if you turn into the path of an oncoming vehicle and Rear Collision Warning which can automatically tension the front seat belts if it detects a rear collision is imminent.
But the XC40 can also assist with the driving thanks to Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist.
This is basically an autopilot feature that cannot only accelerate and brake for you but also steer and keep you in the lane.
There was the odd occasion will be felt the wheel wrenching to the centre of the lane after we drifted across the lines.
It also has Park Pilot Assist so can parallel park into a space that is just 1.2 times longer than the car’s length or back into a standard perpendicular bay.
But how does it drive?
The answer is remarkably well thanks to the perky three-cylinder engine with the smoothly shifting eight speed transmission.
The Volvo XC40 also provided sure-footed handling even while navigating the hillside bends and curves on the scenic route from Adelaide Airport to the Barossa Valley.
There are four models in the Volvo XC40 range with two models each in the Momentum and R-Design packages.
The R-Design Launch Edition includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist, Harman Kardon Premium Sound, a large sunroof, heated front seats, 360° camera and keyless entry.
The Momentum Launch edition features everything in the R-design package with the addition of LED headlights with Active Bending Lights, high interior illumination and leather upholstery.
The Volvo XC40 starts at $47,990.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Adelaide as a guest of Volvo