Considering the huge number of cars they sell, it’s hard to argue that German prestige brands are wrong to give their cars ‘Russian doll’ designs. And yet it’s still refreshing when a rival is a bit braver, as Volvo has been with its smallest SUV.
This Volvo XC40 may have similar front and rear lights to the company’s other models to ensure a family resemblance, but the rest of the detailing and the overall proportions of the car are quite different; it certainly doesn't look as if Volvo has put the blueprints for the larger XC60 in a photocopier and set it to 75%.
Proof that the Swedes wants to lead, not follow, can also be found in the fact that the XC40 will be the first car to be offered on a subscription scheme called 'Care by Volvo', with insurance, taxes, maintenance and roadside assistance all included in the monthly fee.
Meanwhile, less surprisingly given its history, Volvo is claiming that the XC40 is the safest car of its type, with a long list of high-tech driver aids borrowed from the more expensive models in its range. But overall, is the XC40 better than the likes of the Audi Q2, BMW X1 and Volkswagen Tiguan?