New Volvo XC40 Review

RRP from
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This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Cool styling
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Manual gearbox
  • Some poorly built interior bits
  • Fiddly infotainment system
39.8 - 56.5
CO2 emissions
131 - 166 g/km
First year road tax
£205 - £515
Safety rating

The Volvo XC40 is a small SUV that has funky styling and is comfortable to drive. Inside, it’s smart looking and spacious, but closer inspection reveals some dodgy trim fittings

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The Volvo XC40 is a funky looking family SUV that sits below the Volvo XC60 and Volvo XC90 in terms of size. It’s comfortable and has a raised driving position that gives you a good view out when you’re driving in town.

It also has one of the nicest looking interiors you’ll get for the price. The dashboard has a simple design and it’s built from high-quality plastics that are finished with expensive looking trim pieces.

The only downside is the shaky build quality – sadly, there are inconsistent gaps in the Volvo XC40’s interior wouldn’t make it past quality control at Audi and BMW.

That said, the Volvo’s nine-inch, portrait-style touchscreen infotainment system is nicer to look at than what alternatives offer. It is used to control most of the car’s features – so you don’t have to worry about navigating yourself through a pebble dash of confusing buttons – although it can be a little tricky to operate when you’re driving.

On a more positive note, the XC40’s tall roof means there’s loads of room to crank the driver’s seat as high as it’ll go and you can carry two adults comfortably in the back – even with six-footers in the front seats.

When it comes to practicality, the Volvo XC40’s boot is also a healthy size – albeit a little smaller than the one you’ll find in key alternatives such as the BMW X2 or Mercedes GLA. Its boxy shape means you can make the most of its space, the large boot opening means loading bulky luggage isn’t too much of a pain and dogs will have no trouble jumping in the back.

The Volvo XC40 looks like a baby XC90 that’s come back from uni sporting a trendy haircut and some cool new threads

Mat Watson
carwow expert

As the family canine will no doubt be happy to hear, the XC40 is not designed to be thrown into corners like a sports car. Instead, it’s built for comfort, so the suspension absorbs bumps very well and the cabin is quiet at a cruise.

Top-of-the-range models have autonomous driving tech that takes some of the mental strain out of long motorway journeys. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the Volvo XC40 is one of the safest SUVs you can buy.

To make it an even better family car then it’s worth choosing the D3 diesel engine. It’s cheap to run but also punchy enough to shift the Volvo XC40 along at a decent rate even if it’s fully loaded, making the more powerful but expensive D4 diesel less attractive. If you do a lot of town driving, then consider the three-cylinder T3 petrol, which is the cheapest way into an XC40 but easily punchy enough for a family. In fact, it’s good enough that the T4 and T5 petrols seem unnecessary unless you really want the extra performance.

And anyway, if you want a sporty SUV you’d be better off with an Audi Q2 or BMW X2. If you’re after a classy, comfortable and practical small SUV then the Volvo XC40 deserves a place at the top of your shopping list.

You can read more in-depth info in the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our Volvo XC40 review.

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