If you are looking for an XC40 on the website of the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo these days, you will have already noticed: Diesel is now a thing of the past in Sweden’s smallest SUV and even the gasoline engine we drive with the designation T2 does not seem to last in its current form (combined fuel consumption: 6.3 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 142 g / km²). It is a bit misleading to find it under the category of mild hybrids (and other engines), although the alternator on the 129 hp three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine works electrically. Likewise, the option of a manual gearbox will not be available forever at Volvo, but its demise does not represent a major loss for the automotive world.
Automatic transmissions are only available with more power
Six forward gears that can be shifted rather succinctly, the unfamiliar reverse gear at the rear right and a gear stick with questionable ergonomics tarnish the image of the hand mixer, which after two weeks of testing hardly comes out with a “satisfactory” rating. 30,316 euros are the killer argument for the manual transmission, the eight-speed automatic is only available as an option in the next-largest petrol engine T3 with 163 hp and for almost 4,300 euros more (combined fuel consumption: 6.5 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 147 g / km²). The XC40 doesn’t need any more engine than the basic version. In the everyday hustle and bustle of the city, the 1.5-liter machine is pleasantly lively and powerful, and even on the motorway you are rarely a traffic obstacle.
Test consumption 7.5-8.0 liters per 100 kilometers
At 180 km / h, for reasons of reason, the end is anyway, the comfortable speed of the XC40 T2 meanwhile is 120-140 kilometers per hour. Well-insulated, the drive always stays in the background, although you would never get the idea of turning the gears down to the full. Volvo itself states 6.3 liters consumption per 100 kilometers for the XC40 base, 7.5-8.0 liters we needed during the test period. One thing is for sure: the Swede is not necessarily a fuel-saving miracle, but uses fuel in an honest manner. The series chassis is also honest. Comfortably coordinated, with no sporty accents, it is perfect for long journeys, but only to a limited extent for cornering. The front-wheel drive XC40 uses tire screeches to indicate early on when it is getting too much.
Cruising instead of heating
Understeering it goes out of the curve, always controllable, but in roundabouts sometimes even at speeds that are not a problem for all sorts of competitors. There is more connection to the road with the optional sports suspension. The XC40 loves a level-headed pace, but a little more steering feel from the central position would have done the valance well. Meanwhile, nobody needs to worry about the Swede’s braking performance, as the 1,600 kilogram load always comes to an excellent stop. Opinions differ when it comes to the interior: The author himself has little to complain about in the tastefully furnished northern lights, which are manufactured in both Ghent, Belgium, and Luqiao, China, while passengers complained about the small windows and the wide B and C. -Columns. The overview when maneuvering leaves a lot to be desired – the optional reversing camera or the 360-degree surround view package can help for a few euros extra.
Great seats, random traffic sign recognition
Without a doubt, the seats (test car equipped with the seat comfort package) are excellent, and after 600 monotonous kilometers on the motorway they support even large backs perfectly. The appearance of the material and the workmanship are pleasing, plastic surfaces are mostly foamed, the front door pockets are covered with fabric and offer enough space for large water bottles. Overall, the XC40 interior is generous, the luggage compartment has a usable 460-1,367 liters. With the numerous assistance systems, Volvo is mostly routine, only the traffic sign display continues to work at random and in parts in Italy, for example, not at all.
Voice control with hurdles
With infotainment, we continue to hope for an update, especially as far as voice control is concerned. Otherwise the built-in system does not differ from the other models of the Swedes. The high-standing monitor is easy to reach, the displays in the always digital instrument cluster are easy to read and the sound from the optional Harman Kardon surround system is intense. We also like the real pushbuttons for the radio, the large volume control and the tidy (but very scratch-sensitive) center console with (optional) inductive charging option.
The Volvo XC40 drives up as a consistently round number. The 1.5-liter basic gasoline engine is completely sufficient for the vehicle size, unless you have particularly high sporting expectations of yourself and your car. Stay away from the 6-speed manual transmission, which reduces the cost price to around 30,000 euros, but was not convincing in everyday life. The interior of the XC40 is airy overall, but the wide B and C pillars have to appeal and can quickly be perceived as restricting. Material selection and processing liked. The direct competitors of the Volvo XC40 are: Audi Q2 / Q3, VW T-Roc and Mazda CX-30. By the way, from the end of 2020 the XC40 will be the first Volvo purely electric to hit the streets and, even as a petrol engine, will share its CRM platform with the Polestar 2 (combined power consumption: 19.3 kWh / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0g / km²) . (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)
- Model: Volvo XC40 T2
- Engine: Three-cylinder petrol engine, 1,477 cc
- Power: 129 hp (95 kW) at 5,000 rpm
- Torque: 245 Nm between 1,600 and 3,000 rpm
- Drive: Front-wheel drive, 6-speed manual transmission
- Consumption combined: 6.3 ll / 100km²
- Combined CO2 emissions: 142 g / km²
- Acceleration (0 – 100 km / h): 10.9 s
- Top speed: 180 km / h
- Dimensions (L / W / H): 4.43 m / 1.86 m / 1.65 m
- Weight: approx. 1,600 kg
- Base price DE: from 30,316 euros (incl. 16% VAT)
* Manufacturer information