What Car? says...
The distinctive-looking Volvo XC40 plays a different game to its German rivals. The big-hitting German brands tend to embrace the ‘Russian doll’ design philosophy, whereby every model in the range looks more or less the same, just different in size. That’s great for building a brand identity but the result is, well, you often struggle to tell one model apart from another. In the face of this, Volvo's styling creativity is, at the very least, jolly refreshing.
The XC40 is no carbon copy of the XC60 or XC90, with overall proportions that are very much its own, but it does carry some familiar Volvo styling cues. Its 'Thor’s Hammer'-shaped headlights, for example, and its equally striking LED rear lights, are just enough of a trademark to giveaway that this is still a Volvo through and through.
Trim levels range from relatively basic to properly sumptuous and, so long as you aren't after a diesel (there aren't any), there's plenty of choice when it comes to engines. The most affordable models come with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox as standard, while the punchier engines get an automatic ’box and four-wheel drive.
There are also two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models called the Recharge T4 and T5, which can travel on pure battery power for short distances, plus a fully electric Recharge P8 – click the link to read about that in our separate review.
Now, the XC40 is a former What Car? Car of the Year, so it's no secret that it's good. But it's been around a while now, which begs the question: is it still a better buy than cars like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque? Read on to find out.
And if you decide to buy a Volvo XC40, or any other car for that matter, take a look at our New Car Buying service to find out how much you could save on the brochure price without any tedious haggling.
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