Chances are good that if you’re in the market for a new car, then you’re considering a crossover. They’re what everyone is buying so they’re what every automaker is building. The latest offering from Volvo is the all-new XC40 and in this crowded segment it manages to stand out.
First, there’s its styling which is both very Volvo and very un-Volvo at the same time. There are bright paint choices and the option for a contrasting roof in addition to tried and true colors like silver and black. This is edgy stuff for a brand like Volvo.
Inside you’ll find the same changes with rich leathers available in colors like the red and black that adorned the interior of our T5 AWD Momentum. It’s not flashy, but it is a sporty choice for a brand that’s traditionally, well, traditional.
There’s room for five passengers, but the rear seats are on the snug side. They’re good for three for short trips, but fare better with two. Those two will have plenty of room for their heads and legs even with the front seats pushed back. It’s a comfortable rear seat and one that won’t be tiring over longer road trips.
Up front, seats are supportive with just enough bolstering to keep you in on the corners without becoming tight for those with larger frames. Hours behind the wheel won’t wear on your backside and you’ll need nothing more than a quick stretch when you step out of the vehicle.
The one quibble we had with the interior is the gear shift design. It takes two pulls of the shifter to get it out of park. One pull only puts you into neutral, which makes it far too easy to think you’re in drive, hit the gas, and simply rev the engine and go nowhere.
Overall, the interior is attractive and comfortable, but what sets the XC40 apart from the competition is the ride. This doesn’t feel like a crossover. It’s smooth and compliant and makes even rough surfaces smooth.
Our local road crews are squeezing in a last paving project before winter and the roads are currently a mess. There aren’t just rough surfaces, but drops of several inches between paved and unpaved sections. It’s awful, but the XC40 took it all in stride right down to what could have been teeth rattling drops. This is a crossover that rides more like a sedan.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The sound of the engine is kept nicely muted even when you hit the gas hard. Again, the XC40 puts passenger comfort at the top of the list.
You won’t hear that engine, but you will feel the acceleration. The XC40 has no trouble getting up to highway speed long before you reach the end of the on-ramp and is equally ready with an extra burst of power for passing.
Steering is tight and controlled and requires minimal effort, which makes long trips less taxing. Here, the XC40 is all Volvo by providing a powerful, comfortable ride that leaves drivers confident and relaxed at all times.
Three available trims start with the Momentum at $35,200 followed by the R-Design at $37,700 and the luxurious Inscription at $39,750. There are more affordable crossovers out there, but the XC40 stands out by delivering updated styling with a comfortable interior and phenomenal ride without an exorbitant price. As a mid-range luxury crossover, the XC40 is an excellent choice.