Volvo XC40 review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, electric, petrol, diesel
Star rating
Volvo XC40 2020 RHD infotainment
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RRP from£25,285

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 — all of which means that PCP finance and leasing rates are fiercely competitive compared with those of the Range Rover Evoque, BMW X1 and Volkswagen Tiguan. The XC40’s insurance group ratings are generally lower than those of Evoque and X1, too, but the Tiguan's insurance is lower still. 

We’ve put the 2.0 D4 diesel, which has four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox as standard, through our real-world True MPG economy tests. With an average of 35.4mpg, it didn’t prove spectacularly economical, but, on the plus side, it did emit less NOx than even some petrol cars. Competitive official CO2 figures of 131g/km mean that company car drivers will find its benefit-in-kind tax relatively affordable, too.

If fuel economy is of primary importance, though, the two-wheel-drive D3 with a manual gearbox is the one to go for, and it's still impressively fuel-efficient with an automatic gearbox, averaging 42.9mpg in our True MPG test. Of course, on paper, the master of efficiency is the plug-in Recharge T5, with its CO2 emissions of just 38g/km and the promise of 141.1mpg. You’ll need to use its all-electric mode an awful lot to match those figures, though.

Equipment, options and extras

We’d skip entry-level Momentum Core trim and opt for at least Momentum trim; this provides lots of goodies, including cruise control, keyless start, dual-zone climate control, 18in alloy wheels, along with the 9.0in tablet touchscreen, digital instruments, LED headlights and rear parking sensors that we detailed earlier. Many folk will find this trim level more than sufficient. 

Our recommended trim, though, is the even better equipped, sportier, but still reasonably priced R-Design. This adds seats trimmed in leather and nubuck, power-folding door mirrors, privacy glass and multicoloured ambient theatre lighting. As you read on the previous page, its sports suspension gives you a smoother ride, too. 

The more luxurious Inscription model completes the range, and even this isn't exorbitantly priced relative to the competition. Options worth considering include the Convenience Pack, for those extra practical touches we've talked about; the Intellisafe Pro Pack, which we’ll go into detail further down; and metallic paint, for a stronger resale value.

Volvo XC40 2020 RHD infotainment

Reliability

As a brand, Volvo  didn’t score badly at all in the 2019 What Car? reliability survey, finishing 11th out of 31 manufacturers. Individually, the XC40 performed even better, coming second in the Family SUV class, behind only the Kia Sportage. That puts it well ahead of all of its premium rivals.

A three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, including roadside assistance, is standard, as is a three-year paintwork warranty and 12 years of cover against rust. This is par for the course in the family SUV class.

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 bundles of safety kit, including a standard automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that not only recognises other cars but also cyclists, pedestrians and large animals. 

The Evoque also received five Euro NCAP stars, but a more detailed look at the scores reveal that the XC40 is still a better guardian; it received more points for taming rear-passenger whiplash.

Every XC40 comes with traffic sign recognition and an Oncoming Lane Mitigation system, 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 options; these are also part of the Intellisafe Pro Pack, which features an assisted driving function that can steer, accelerate and brake for you, although your hands must still be on the wheel.

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Volvo XC40 2020 RHD front tracking
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Overview

It might be some time since the multitalented XC40 won our 2018 What Car? Car of the Year award, but we reckon it still cuts the mustard. It blends generous passenger space and a very practical boot with a quality interior and a top-notch safety rating. That means you are not only buying a stylish product, but one backed up with some substance. It's a better family SUV than a BMW X1 or X2, but check out the Range Rover Evoque as well, which is the XC40’s strongest rival.

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