Volvo XC40 Is Boxy and Comfortable, Says First Review

Right from the beginning, you can tell that Matt Prior is slightly fed up with reviewing SUVs. After all, he jumped out of the Jaguar E-Pace and into the Volvo XC40. But how does the all-new compact from Sweden compare to its rivals?
Volvo XC40 Is Boxy and Comfortable, Says First Review 1 photo
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The XC40 will go up against not only the Jag, but also the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes GLA. And just like all those cars, it's built on a front-wheel-drive platform, which it will eventually share with the V40 hatchback.

Its platform is made mostly of steel, which is why this XC40 D4 weighs a little over 1.7 tons with AWD and an 8-speed automatic.

As far as the styling is concerned, the Volvo scores points for not trying to look like a coupe, which you see a lot of other crossovers do. Its designers wanted it to take the appearance of a small muscular robot, and they've succeeded. We like it, but the rear pillars do seem a little on the thick side.

The interior also follows Volvo's recent design, with excellent seats and a large portrait display handling most tasks. Autocar's reviewer notes that a few extra buttons would be useful, also point out that the materials aren't up to the same standards as in the bigger XC60 and XC90.

But corners are always cut when you need to combine a premium badge and plenty of technology into a cheap package. The XC40 D4 gets to 100 km/h (62mph) in 7.9 seconds, and we think you'd be better off with a cheaper D3 because you're not going to be pushing it into corners.

While some premium crossovers try to act all sporty by offering keener cornering, the XC40 focuses mainly on comfort. It does, however, have "brittle" suspension over some surfaces, which is not what you want to hear. Overall, we'd hold off on the buying decision because the first reviews are often seen through rose-colored glasses.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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