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...
- 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 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 6240 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 35.8mpg Options fitted None
21 August 2018 – second (and third) opinion
“Modern SUVs, such as the Volvo XC40, are useless off road and couldn’t cross a dried-up stream. Debate.”
Right, let me tell you straight off that they can, and I have photographic evidence. I borrowed the XC40 for a week spent doing jobs on the Howell family farm in Wales – a place that's, as you may guess, full of sheep and steep mountains.
Sure, the land was as dry as a bone after being superheated by the longest/hottest/driest summer since records began (probably) but, believe it or not, long, dry grass coating the side of a mountain can still be slippy. Yet, despite being on standard, road-focused tyres, the XC40’s four-wheel drive dragged it up slopes and its hill decent system brought it safely down the other side.
The lack of axle articulation meant the car occasionally dangled a wheel helplessly in the air, so it’s no Land Rover. But it categorically can go off road.
John Howell, deputy reviews editor
Shortly after the XC40 returned from Wales, I borrowed it for a photography assignment in Dartmoor with What Car?'s sister title PistonHeads.
The boot wasn't quite big enough for all my gear, but I found the rear seats easy to fold flat. And the keyless entry came in handy, making it easier to get the tailgate open when I had my hands full.
I'm also a big fan of the way the XC40 looks, in particular, the cut of the rear passenger windows and the two-tone black and grey paint job of our car.
However, I'm less convinced by the automatic accident detection system, which decided to jam the brakes on at high speed when I drove past a temporary road sign straddling the central partition of the motorway. Luckily, there was nobody close behind me or it could have caused an accident instead of preventing one.