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Volvo’s XC40 premium compact SUV – impressively different

Driving Volvo’s compact premium SUV the XC40 – with on-demand 4WD this 2.0-litre turbo petrol eight-speed automatic offers a real point of difference. Available in three models, T4 Momentum and Inscription and T5-R-design, pricing running from $44,990 to $55,990. The styling is appealingly different apart from a rather awkward rear three quarter while the interior is superb, well thought out with the second row seat slightly higher to the fronts. Clever storage too, with some smart features for everyday use. On the wet slippery roads this week the on-demand 4WD worked well, only performance gripe was the stop/start feature which lacks smoothness and detracts from the overall polish of the vehicle. This aside it’s a rewarding driver with nice torque, a great transmission and sensibly equipped with manual shift paddles. It’s no lightweight but feels planted and solid on road, nicely built with quality finishes and clever touches here and there.
And it offers much in active and passive safety features and driver aids. The Volvo XC40 above all else offers nice cabin room front and rear whereas some of its competitors are tight by comparison – good luggage space too with some clever storage touches to boot – you sit upright with good visibility with a central 9-inch iPad-style centre screen and a 12.3 inch screen in front of the driver with class leading instrumentation. Its weight tells in economy and I despite driving with economy in mind I could only manage 11.1L/100km against Volvo’s claimed 9.1L/100km. I’m David Berthon

 

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