9:00 PM | September 24 2021
Model Retrospective: 2017 Volvo XC40
It’s already been a remarkable first few years for the company’s first ever compact luxury SUV.
The introduction of the XC40 Pure Electric – Volvo Cars’ first fully electric production car – is yet another milestone for its highly successful compact luxury SUV.
Going into production in late 2017 as the company’s first ever small luxury SUV, the XC40 was an instant hit with buyers while achieving universal critical acclaim.
The Volvo XC40 was awarded 2018 European Car of the Year, while locally it won the prestigious 2019 Wheels Car of the Year among multiple awards in Australia. It also won Carsales 2018 Car of the Year and, most recently, was judged Drive’s 2021 Best Small Luxury SUV.
In Australia, the XC40 achieved almost 10 per cent market share of the premium small SUV segment. Establishing itself as one of the segment’s most popular models, it has increased that share ever since – up to 17.4 per cent in 2020, while to August 2021 it is nearly 19 per cent.
Volvo Car Australia sold a record 3229 XC40s last year and will surpass that figure in 2021. Sales are already at 2928 units so far, with a year-to-date increase of 56 per cent.
There are several factors at the heart of the XC40’s success.
As the first model to sit on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture, the XC40 was designed and engineered to meet the challenges of modern city life – to make the daily urban commute less stressful and more enjoyable.
An intensive study of how city dwellers use their car every day – and especially how they store their belongings in their cars – prompted Volvo to take a radical new approach to storage inside the XC40.
Its interior design provides XC40 drivers with, among other things, more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones including inductive charging, and a fold-out hook for small bags.
Infotainment and safety technologies were also introduced from the company’s larger, 90- and 60-series vehicles. Features including Pilot Assist, Run-off Road Protection, Cross Traffic Alert and a 360-degree-view camera were all made available with the XC40.
Volvo designers were also given the freedom to create a car that brought a vibrancy and individuality that had been lacking in the small premium SUV segment.
The result was the XC40’s highly distinctive exterior styling, which was supported by the broadest and most playful colour palette yet available for a Volvo – inside and out. New distinctive trims and materials complement the interior’s truly youthful and premium feel.
Optional carpet made from 97 per cent recycled plastic bottles was available on the R-Design flagship trim grade, underlining Volvo Cars’ willingness to embrace the new while maintaining its focus on sustainability and quality.
The XC40 in Australia was initially offered with a choice of powerful yet efficient four-cylinder engines.
In 2020, the range expanded with its first electrified variant – the Recharge Plug-in Hybrid that enabled up to 44km of pure electric driving. The XC40 PHEV featured both a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor.
The XC40 story now continues with the Recharge Pure Electric, which has already sold out for 2021 before the vehicle has officially launched.