Volvo XC40 £38,865
Shooting Times & Country|September 23, 2020
Volvo XC40 £38,865
The Swedish giant’s urban SUV is an understated all-rounder and offers a value-for-money alternative to its competitors, says Ed Coles
Ed Coles

I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this cheeky little number from Volvo. The XC40 is the youngest sibling in the XC family and, though billed as an “urban SUV”, it could, as a country-urban crossover, tick a few Shooting Times boxes.

The smallest XC is big on personality and gadgets and at a glance, it looks like the stocky Volvo heritage is in there too. Anyone who grew up in the 1980s will remember how big and metal-box-like Volvos were, but I’m pleased to say things have moved on.

The XC40 is a curvy cube, for want of a better description, but is quite easy on the eye. Six varieties of XC40 are available and come in various trim levels with a choice of petrol, diesel or hybrid power. This flavour of XC40 is the R-Design Pro B5 all-wheel drive automatic, so it has a few more sporty looking bits, like those 20in diamond cut/black alloys, black grille and roof. It doesn’t look over the top. Let’s call it golf club classy.

This little upstart comes with a two-litre, four-cylinder engine and an automatic gearbox. Stabled within are 250 Swedish horses, which produce 350Nm of torque. Combined with Volvo’s all-wheel drive system, this could be right up our country lane.

With ground clearance of 211mm and a wading depth of 450mm, the XC40 looks like it could manage some rural tasks. The 20in low-profile tyres may be the weak link.

Pulling out the trusty feed bag for a look underneath, there are glimpses of independent sports suspension and permanent 4x4 running gear, but most of Volvo’s new compact modular architecture is shielded by plastic.

On the styling front, it’s bold yet elegant with its big grille and retina burning active bending LED lights. I quite like the colour combined with the dark interior. There is reasonable boot space and this version has a two stage boot liner, so if you have a tall pooch you can lower the floor for a bit more canine headroom.

Hint of sportiness

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September 23, 2020