The newest in Volvo’s lineup of crossovers, the 2019 Volvo XC40 is a compact SUV that fits underneath the XC60 and the flagship XC90 utilities in the Volvo line. The very well-done XC series has been selling well for Volvo and now the Swedish automaker has set its sights on the fast-growing luxury compact segment. Their aim is dead on, we note, as the 2019 Volvo XC40 is one of the best compact crossovers we’ve seen.
Capturing the popular good looks of the other XC models, the Volvo XC40 re-proportions the excellent lines of its larger crossover siblings into a smaller package. A sweeping rear pillar, forward-moving lines, and robust, but sophisticated edges make the Volvo XC40 a beautiful vehicle both parked at the curb and in motion.
Inside, the Volvo XC40 continues with that theme of modern luxury excellence with some of the most ergonomic touches we have seen in any luxury option. Excellent materials quality throughout the cockpit is indicative of the kind of attention Volvo’s designers spent here. The goal was to find an intuitive balance of use rather than a cacophony of gadgetry and it works well in the XC40. Small touches like the purse/case hanger that pops out of the glove box lid, easy gadget storage in the console and bin, and a built-in garbage container at the center bin are just a few of the brilliant inclusions found within the XC40.
Despite the clean design inside the 2019 Volvo XC40, there is still a lot of tech going on. This being Volvo, the focus is often on safety and driver’s aids, which are all top shelf in this CUV. The in-vehicle infotainment includes WiFi (no matter the trim point) and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Voice controls for the infotainment system are very well done and easy to use, and intuitive menu jumping can be had through the Siri or Google voice systems (hold down the voice control button for about a second to activate).
Using the touchscreen itself is also easy, thanks to a big 9 inches of screen real estate and fast, clear prompts and menu icons. There are four USB ports in the base model Volvo XC40 and more in the higher trims.
Driving the 2019 XC40 is a solid little engine in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The T4 model has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is turbocharged to output 187 horsepower to an eight-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive. This combination is peppy, as the transmission is not afraid to downshift for more umph when needed.
The upgrade is to the T5 model, which uses the same engine, but boosted to 248 horsepower with better turbos and gear. The drivetrain retains the eight-speed, but moves to all-wheel drive. This combination is much more fast paced than is the T4, with peak power coming a little sooner and the transmission being programmed to be more aggressive about utilizing it. The AWD system is well-balanced and does an admirable job of providing good cornering for the crossover as well as good all-weather capability.
The 2019 XC40 is surprisingly quiet on the road, most of the time, and is exceptionally quiet on the highway. It’s smooth and well mannered and absorbs bad roads and unpaved roads well for the class.
Fuel economy in the 2019 Volvo XC40 T4 is rated at 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The T5 is rated at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Driving that XC40 T5, we averaged 27 mpg overall in a week with the crossover, using it as both a daily drive and a family hauler.
It being a Volvo, the 2019 XC40 comes packed with safety equipment. Automatic high beams, automated wipers, Volvo On Call emergency comms, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and more are all standard equipment. Upgraded options include cornering lights (headlamps that turn with you), heated wiper blades, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, emergency braking, and semi-automated parking.
Against other options in the compact luxury crossover segment, the 2019 Volvo XC40 really sets a new standard for expectations. It’s sporty and well-rounded, like its competitors, but the XC40 has very appealing packaging and a strong sense of practicality to go with its fun factor. All for a starting price of just $33,700.
Visit www.volvocars.com to learn more about the 2019 Volvo XC40.