Volvo XC40 review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, electric, petrol
Available colours:
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RRP from£25,420

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The XC40 is priced relatively attractively for cash buyers and should hold its value extremely well. PCP finance deals are usually competitive, too – especially compared with those of the rival Range Rover Evoque. Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid versions are more expensive to buy outright or on finance than the Ford Kuga PHEV, but are cheaper than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Avoid the thirsty B4 and B5 petrols unless your mileage is low and nippy acceleration is important. Fully electric Recharge P8 aside, on paper the masters of efficiency are the plug-in hybrid Recharge T4 and T5, with official CO2 emissions from just 47g/km putting these models into a low company car tax bracket. However, the regular T2 and T3 petrol engines aren't too thirsty.

Equipment, options and extras

We’d skip entry-level Momentum Core trim and opt for at least Momentum; this provides a fair amount of goodies, including cruise control, keyless start, dual-zone climate control, 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights and the rear parking sensors we mentioned earlier. Many will find this trim level more than sufficient. 

Our favourite trim, though, is the even better equipped, sportier – but still reasonably priced – R-Design. This adds seats trimmed in leather and suede, power-folding door mirrors, privacy glass and multicoloured ambient interior lighting. As we said earlier, you also get sports suspension that gives you a more controlled, and ultimately more comfortable, ride. Luxurious Inscription trim completes the line-up, and even this isn't exorbitantly priced relative to the competition. If you really want to surround yourself with luxury, Pro versions of R-Design and Inscription add even more equipment for a reasonable fee. 

Options worth considering include the Versatility Pack, for those extra practical touches; the Climate Pack, for heated seats all round, a heated steering wheel and a heated windscreen; and metallic paint, not least to make your XC40 easier to sell on in the future. 

Volvo XC40 2020 RHD infotainment


As a brand, Volvo didn’t score too badly in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing 16th out of 31 manufacturers in the overall league table. The XC40 performed even better, being one of the most reliable family SUVs in the survey. 

A three-year/60,000-mile warranty, including roadside assistance, comes as standard, as does a three-year paintwork warranty and 12 years of cover against rust. This is par for the course among premium family SUVs and can be extended at a cost. The batteries of Recharge plug-in models are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Safety and security

The XC40 received the top five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, earning high scores across the board. That’s in part due to the impressive level of safety kit that comes as standard, including an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that not only recognises other cars but also cyclists, pedestrians and large animals. 

The Evoque received five Euro NCAP stars, too, but a more detailed look at the results reveals that the XC40 is the slightly better guardian; it received more points for protecting against rear passenger whiplash, for example.

Every XC40 comes with traffic sign recognition and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which can intervene if you inadvertently cross a road's centre line into the path of oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available as part of an option pack that also includes an assisted driving function that can steer, accelerate and brake for you in certain situations – although your hands must always be on the wheel.

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It might be some time since we voted the multitalented Volvo XC40 our Car of the Year, but it still cuts the mustard. It blends generous passenger space and a practical boot with a quality interior and top-notch safety. That means you aren't only buying a hugely desirable product, but one backed up with real substance. Just be aware that the plug-in hybrid Recharge versions aren't as good to drive as regular petrol models.

  • Stylish and high-quality interior
  • Comfortable ride on most versions
  • Comprehensive safety kit
  • Lacks the rear seat flexibility of some rivals
  • Fiddly infotainment system
  • Road noise on the motorway

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