Volvo XC40 long-term test review

The Volvo XC40 saw off all comers to be named the 2018 What Car? Car of the Year. We’ve added one to our long-term test fleet to see if it’s as impressive when you live with it every day...

Long-term Volvo XC40 climbing out of boot
  • The car: Volvo XC40 D4 First Edition
  • Run by: Steve Huntingford, editor
  • Why it’s here: To see if this class-leading family SUV has any flaws that weren’t obvious when we group-tested it against rivals
  • Needs to: Offer outstanding comfort and practicality, a quality interior and low running costs

Price £39,905 Price as tested £39,905 Miles 3300 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 33.6mpg Options fitted None

26 June 2018 – key moments

You know how time seems to slow down when you realise something bad is about to happen and that there’s nothing you can do to prevent it? Well, last week I had one of those moments with my Volvo XC40.

I was leaving work, and had walked out to the car and unlocked it using the keyless entry, when I decided to take off my jacket and chuck it on the back seat. Before doing so I removed the car’s key fob and my garage plipper from the pocket and put them up on the roof, because my hands were full. You can probably see where this is going.

The key fob didn’t stay where I’d placed it. Instead, it slid off the car and – in apparent slow motion – fell towards a drain which I hadn’t previously noticed. It bounced just short before disappearing from sight with a splosh. I may or may not have said something unpublishable.

Volvo XC40 long-term test review

After establishing that there was indeed no way of retrieving the fob, I decided to ring Volvo Assist. It was obvious that I was going to be going home on the bus, but I didn’t want to leave the car unlocked and was hoping they might tell me of a way to secure it when you don’t have the key.

No such luck. But then just as I was about to give up, I had a moment of inspiration that Volvo Assist can hopefully pass onto any other customers clumsy enough to chuck their keys down a drain. I got in, locked the car via the internal button and then climbed out through the boot, before shutting the tailgate behind me. All very dignified.

An alternative, but something that you have to do in advance of any problems, is to download the Volvo on Call app and get this linked up to your car at a Volvo dealer. You can then control many of your car’s systems via your smartphone – including the locks.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more long-term tests >

More on our long-term Volvo XC40 >