Donna Kelly has over 14 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
The XC40 may be Volvo's first and smallest compact SUV, but the former WhatCar? Car of the Year is by no means lacking when it comes to practicality and comfort. Slotting into the Volvo range below the popular XC60 and the XC90, the XC40 is one of the best mid-sized premium SUVs on the market, giving rivals such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque a run for their money.
Our Volvo XC40 review covers:
Combining cool Scandinavian styling with a comfortable drive, the XC40 is undoubtedly trendy. Unlike alternatives such as the BMW X1 or the Audi Q3, the XC40 isn't a scaled-down version of larger models in the Volvo range but has its own unique style. Featuring a sharper profile with a flat bonnet and a vertical grille, the XC40 boasts a contemporary look while its Thor's Hammer headlight design help give it Volvo’s distinctive look.
The cabin is roomy enough in the back for taller adults to sit comfortably in terms of practicality. There's plenty of space to stretch your legs, although the BMW X1 is slightly better for legroom. 60/40 split-folding rear seats are offered standard. The XC40's 452-litre boot make packing super-easy and, if you don't opt for a spare wheel, you get a big underfloor storage area.
Inside, the XC40 is full of neat details that make it stand out from its rivals with a good mix of high-end plastics, leather and metal or wood. There's plenty of interior storage options, including a removable section in the central and a pop-up divider in the boot to help hold shopping bags or loose items in place.
Three levels are available, including Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, and Pro packs for each with extra features. Standard equipment on Momentum upwards includes LED headlights, cruise control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The R-Design adds leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, smartphone integration with USB HUB (iPhone and Android) and R-Design detailing.
Inscription adds even more equipment, including a leather steering wheel, front and rear Park Assist and Inscription detailing.
Under the bonnet, there's plenty of choice when it comes to engines, available with front-wheel or four-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmission. The entry-level T2 and T3 petrol engines are quiet and efficient, making them ideal for shorter urban journeys. However, company car drivers may prefer the T4 and T5 Recharge plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models, thanks to their low CO2 emissions and BiK tax rates. There's also a full electric P8 Recharge version with a 259-mile range.
In terms of ride, the XC40 is more comfortable than most of its rivals. It drives easily and comfortably over bumps and is relaxing on the motorway, although plug-in hybrid Recharge models are less forgiving due to their heavy batteries.
Prices for the new Volvo XC40 start from £28,100.00 OTR* or to lease from £344.69 per month.
Car leasing offers many benefits over buying with fixed monthly rentals, a low initial outlay and flexible term and mileage packages on all Volvo XC40s models. Free mainland GB delivery, breakdown recovery, road tax are also included in the monthly rental.
*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and typically includes one year’s road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Always check with the manufacturer.