Looking at the distinctive design of the Volvo XC40 you begin to wonder if the German prestige brands have it wrong – their ‘Russian doll’ designs lead to a very strong resemblance between models, which often leaves you struggling to tell one version from another. So Volvo's creativeness for it's family SUV is jolly refreshing.
Of course, the XC40 retains some strong Volvo design cues. Its ‘Thor Hammer’ headlight design, for instance, and equally striking LED rear lights ape the company’s other models, keeping the bloodline intact. The rest of the car's detailing and its overall proportions are quite different, though. It certainly doesn't look as if Volvo has popped the blueprints for the XC60 or XC90 into a photocopier, selected ‘reduce size’ and pushed ‘print’.
It’s pretty easy to get your head around the XC40 model range, with only entry-level Momentum, sporty R-Design and top-spec Inscription trims to choose from. The engine range is broader, with three petrols (T3, T4 and T5) and two diesels (D3 and D4). The most affordable engines come with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox, whereas high output engines bring an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive as standard.
Less of a surprise, given the brand's history, is that Volvo claims the XC40 is the safest car of its type. It certainly comes with a long list of high-tech driver aids borrowed from more expensive Volvo models.
Now, this car is a previous overall What Car? Car of the Year, so it's no secret that it's good. But that was in 2018, and is the XC40 still better than the likes of the BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque and Volkswagen Tiguan? Read on to find out.
If you decide to buy an XC40, or any other new car for that matter, take a look at our New Car Buying page. There you'll discover how much we could save you off the list price without any tedious haggling.