6:00 PM | January 18 2018

Volvo XC40: Big plaudits for compact SUV

International motoring media have discovered a large array of positives after their first drive of Volvo’s smallest new SUV.

Compact vehicle. Big plaudits.

The All-New XC40 may be Volvo’s first compact SUV, and sit on a brand-new platform, yet international media have been as expansive in their praise as they were with the model’s bigger cousins, the XC60 and XC90.

In December, members of the world’s motoring press headed to Spain for their first opportunity to drive the XC40 – a vehicle created to make city life easier, and designed as the most expressive Volvo yet.

It perhaps wasn’t surprising that countless outlets remarked positively on a cabin that presents radical storage solutions, as a result of extensive research into how city dwellers typically use their vehicles.

“The interior of the Volvo—with its array of clever details and storage solutions—is where the car really comes to life,” wrote the US’s The Drive.

Australia’s Drive.com.au: “It’s in here [the cabin] that the XC40 flexes its innovation muscles, starting with a heap of canny storage solutions: a laptop holder beneath the seat, a removable centre console to help dispose of rubbish and some fold-out bag hooks. The doors are lined with felt to stop water bottles and the like causing unnecessary rattles.”

Top Gear described the XC40’s cabin storage as being “the sum of some clever ideas”, while Motor Trend said nothing was getting lost in an interior bristling with clever solutions.

The XC40 was found to be practical in other ways. What Car, for example, noted the generous front cabin space. Another UK car magazine, AutoExpress, said the XC40’s longer wheelbase helps rear legroom, with equally impressive headroom even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted.

And just because the XC40 is a downsized Volvo, it doesn’t mean quality has been downgraded.

“When it comes to interior quality, Volvo interiors are now up with the best in the business, and the XC40’s is no exception because every surface feels suitably upmarket and reassuringly solid,” wrote What Car.

CarAdvice.com.au agreed, writing that cabin materials and finish are of a high standard, with soft-touch surfaces aplenty and solid-feeling and nicely damped dials and switches.

Volvo’s newest SUV also impressed on the move.

The likes of Which Car and Top Gear praised the XC40’s comfortable suspension around the suburbs and on the freeway, with the latter magazine adding that models with all-wheel drive provide “a good antidote to understeer … so [the XC40] can hustle its way down a set of twists perfectly respectably”.

Motoring.com.au described the petrol XC40 as a beautifully judged piece of engineering.

Overall, international motoring media were consistent in their view that the Volvo XC40 is a much-needed model for the compact luxury SUV segment.

“We were charmed by the XC40. Both in design and dynamics, the XC40 is way more fun than we expect from such vehicles—here’s hoping that bodes well for the fortunes of this model and the segment at large,” said America’s Car & Driver.

From the UK, Car magazine said the XC40 was a “premium product with an excellent interior that combines fresh style with well-thought-through practicality”, with AutoExpress summarising that was “hard to think of anything else in the class that offers the same mix of clever packaging, uncluttered interior design, cruising comfort and refinement, as well as great connectivity”.

Completing the global picture of great first impressions, Australia’s Motoring.com.au wrote: “It’s a terrific effort, on the whole, and one that shakes up contemporary interior design and adds unexpected dynamic prowess with very useful interior space.”

The All-New Volvo XC40 goes on sale in Australia in the second quarter of 2018.

Click here to read more about the Volvo XC40 and to register your interest.


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