Volvo XC40 estate driving position
The front seats are some of the best you’ll find in any family SUV. There’s a wide range of adjustment for tilt and height, plus four-way electric lumbar adjustment on all versions. Go for Inscription trim or any Pro model and you'll also get a fully electric driver’s seat.
You sit higher than you do in many rivals, particularly the BMW X1. So instead of feeling like a slightly jacked-up family hatchback, the XC40 imparts the sensation that you’re in a proper SUV.
Digital instruments are standard and prove easy to read at a glance, and because the minimalist dashboard design carries few physical buttons, it’s easy to interpret those that are there. Our only criticism is that the degree of minimalism means you have to delve into the touchscreen simply to adjust the climate control. At least you can tweak the interior temperature by using voice control.
Volvo XC40 estate visibility
Slim windscreen pillars combine with the elevated seating to give you a good view forward, while the large door mirrors are great for letting you know what’s drawing up alongside – aided by blindspot monitoring if you add it as a stand-alone option or as part of the Intellisafe Pro pack.
Over-the-shoulder vision is compromised by the way the window line kicks up towards the rear of the car – so it's fortunate, then, that rear parking sensors are standard across the range (front parking sensors are also fitted to Inscription cars and are optional on other models). A rear-view camera and a bird's-eye-view camera are relatively inexpensive extras on all models.
Volvo XC40 estate infotainment
As in other modern Volvos, the dashboard of the XC40 is dominated by a 9.0in tablet-style touchscreen that has allowed the designers to slash the number of buttons and create a minimalist ambience.
Not that the absence of buttons is all good news. While the idea of a screen that lets you swipe, pinch and scroll, like you do with an iPad, sounds good in theory, in reality it means simple tasks, such as changing the radio station or tapping an address into the sat-nav, require concentration. It’s not helped by the fact that some of the icons are small and the screen doesn’t always react that quickly to presses.
Still, at least the screen is crystal clear and there are plenty of features, including standard satellite-navigation and a DAB radio. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring is available as an option.
Volvo XC40 estate build quality
When it comes to interior quality, Volvo is now up there with the best in the business; the XC40 is no exception, looking and feeling exceptionally classy inside. The X1 and X2 are the only other cars in the family SUV class on a similar level.
All the surfaces that you interact with regularly feel suitably upmarket, thanks to plush, soft-faced materials, smart wood veneer or metal highlights. And everything feels robust, too, so should stand the test of time and the demands of family use.