First Ever XC40 makes great first local impression
Volvo Cars’ “tough little robot”, the First Ever XC40 compact SUV, has charmed Australia’s toughest motoring critics.
Local automotive media recently got up close and personal with the 2018 European Car of the Year in South Australia, with the XC40 receiving consistent plaudits for every key area: design, spaciousness, practicality, dynamics and technology.
The design of the most expressively styled Volvo yet, available with a contrasting roof and a wide choice of solid and metallic body colours, struck a chord with reviewers.
“With a svelte new design inside and out, the Volvo XC40 is arguably the company’s most youthful-looking vehicle to date,” wrote Motoring.com.au.
CarsGuide said the more it looked at the XC40 the more it struggled to consider what it would change. “I think it's perfect…” wrote the website’s Matt Campbell. “Volvo's designers have absolutely, positively nailed the styling of the XC40.”
The XC40’s compact dimensions – it’s just 4.4 metres long – contribute to its great manoeuvrability in traffic and around busy urban streets, yet this is a luxury compact SUV that doesn’t compromise Volvo’s reputation for legendary interior comfort.
Renowned Australian car magazine Wheels described the XC40 as a “baby Tardis”.
“Deliberately packaging the XC40 broad and tall has reaped substantial reward inside,” wrote Wheels’ Nathan Ponchard. “Front seat comfort rivals larger Volvos for excellence of support, yet slender backrest depth delivers ample rear foot- and leg-room, even for six-plus footers.”
David McCowen, writer for Fairfax Media’s Drive motoring section, concurred that there was “impressive knee space for rear seat passengers”, while joining a chorus of approval for a cabin that is not only stunningly presented but has been ingeniously designed to help owners avoid clutter.
“As expected, Volvo’s Scandinavian design ethos results in a comfortable, beautifully executed cabin featuring everything you need without ostentatious frippery. Simple stuff includes clever storage solutions and cubby holes everywhere you look,” he said.
Practical Motoring’s Stuart Martin was one of many writers to notice the many details designed to simplify an XC40 owner’s life.
“Clever storage abounds,” he said, “with the XC40 team moving speakers from doors to allow larger pockets, as well as a flip-out hook from the glovebox to keep the food upright. A removable bin sits securely in the centre console with a sprung lid, all of which can be removed for emptying and cleaning.”
CarAdvice’s Paul Maric called the XC40’s cabin storage “next level”, while appreciating the interior’s sustainable elements.
“If you thought felt was reserved just for carpets, think again. Volvo uses soft-touch felt material along the door and carpet lining. It's made up of 97 per cent recycled drink bottles, which is seriously cool.”
Maric also wasn’t alone when he added the luxury compact SUV had “awesome driving dynamics”.
“This is the most fun I've had driving a Volvo,probably ever - I couldn't help but associate this new [T5 R-Design] model as some sort of high-riding hot-hatch” said CarsGuide’s Matt Campbell.
There was also much admiration for the XC40’s extensive array of technology, which includes a 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital driver’s display as standard, plus optional features such as a Bang and Olufsen high-end audio and Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system.
Motoring.com.au said the XC40’s “cutting edge” technology was “some of the best semi-autonomous stop/go/steer gizmos we’ve tested”.
Overall, Australia’s leading motoring writers were unanimous in acclaiming the Volvo XC40 as a stand-out vehicle in its class.
“Given the way it drives and the levels of luxury, technology and convenience it brings to the table, there’s no doubt this vehicle will be one of Volvo’s top sellers,” said Motoring.com.au’s Feann Torr.
“One of the latest additions to the compact prestige SUV ranks, Volvo’s representative in the class is roomy, clever and fit-for-purpose,” said Practical Motoring.
“First impressions are that this could be the new benchmark for the class in terms of ride, handling and comfort,” said News Corporation’s Joshua Dowling.
Last but not least words to Wheels magazine in its appraisal of Volvo’s first ever XC40.
“Bringing some much-needed Scandinavian styling flair to the premium small SUV sector, the XC40 excels at both utility and sensuality (for an SUV, at least),” wrote the magazine.