New Volvo XC40 revealed – price, specs and release date
Everything you need to know about Volvo's new small SUV, including what it's like inside, how practical it is and how much it will cost you...
On sale: Early 2018 Price from: £27,905
Compare the cars Volvo makes today with those the company made just three years ago and the transformation is remarkable, spearheaded by the arrival of the XC90, S90, V90 and, most recently, the XC60. Now, with the arrival of the smaller XC40 SUV, Volvo’s appeal and fortunes are set to take yet another stratospheric turn for the better.
The XC40 will go on sale next year, will take on a diverse range of rivals, from higher-end versions of the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca all the way through to premium pace-setters such as the Audi Q2 and BMW X1, plus the established style leader, the Range Rover Evoque, and the upcoming Jaguar E-Pace.
2018 Volvo XC40 features
For all the competition, Volvo has every reason to be confident. The XC40 sits on a cutting-edge new platform that will underpin all future small Volvos, having been developed alongside the larger architecture on which the 60 and 90 models are based. As a result, this new platform is designed to work with many of the same systems – especially safety ones – that are on the company’s larger cars. Volvo’s pricing may be at the premium end of the market, but it argues that buyers will get far more equipment for their money than if they shop elsewhere.
Moreover, the company says it has a commitment to maintaining practicality while offering hitherto unseen style in a Volvo. The XC40 is reasonably conventional in size, although it is quite tall compared with many rivals. The benefit of that height, says Volvo, is that the XC40 has none of the space compromises that cars with more acutely sloped rooflines suffer from.“There’s an honesty about a Volvo and, even at this younger end of the market, we have to be true to our values,” says Thomas Ingenlath, who led the design team. “We believe we’ve created a contemporary-looking car without having to sacrifice anything.”
2018 Volvo XC40 interior
The practicality extends to the XC40’s interior –albeit with a twist, thanks to the technology that’s packed inside and the selection of innovative trim materials. The sensible side of the equation is dealt with by generous door stowage areas and a pop-out rubbish bin between the seats, while Volvo has found extra space by changing the placement of the audio speakers.
Although no interior measurements have been released, based on our experience, space is generous in the front and on a par with rivals in the back, although the view is likely to be slightly compromised for children due to the high window line.
Adding a cutting-edge feel on the technology side, the driver’s display is a 12.3in digital screen, while the centre of the dashboard is dominated by a 9.0in touchscreen that’s identical to the one found in the XC60. Coupled with the latest connectivity options – including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – as standard, these systems justify Volvo’s boast of offering what are normally premium options as part of the standard asking price.
Adding to this ‘twist’ are materials that Ingenlath says are inspired by contemporary Swedish culture. Trim finishes include felt for the doors and textured plastics in place of the wood found in the pricier XC60 and XC90 models.
Where more conventional premium rivals wouldn’t stray far beyond dark-coloured plastics and soft-touch finishes, there’s no question that Volvo has brought in a refreshingly different feel with the XC40. Volvo also says its plastics can be textured in any way it chooses; one example we were shown was a street map of Gothenburg, the hometown of the firm.