Volvo XC40: A Swedish Rival To Luxury German & Japanese Brands

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Gulf Insider drives the Swedish compact SUV rival to luxury German and Japanese brands.

The compact SUV has become one of the most popular classes of the car in the Middle East because they are practical to own. The XC40 is Volvo’s compact SUV.

It’s stylish inside and out. It’s also roomy and practical. There are lots of storage space including cleverly located cubby holes (more on this later) and lots of boot space. It’s also built for safety just like Volvos are famous for.

The XC40 comes in T4, or sportier T5 variants and all crossovers are available in Inscription, Momentum, and R-Design trims. All-wheel drive (AWD) comes as standard.

The 2.0-litre turbo-4 eight-speed auto on the T5 I drove provided 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 100 kph in just 6.2 seconds!

I tested this car on an empty piece of road near Gulf Insider’s Seef offices and can confirm it’s suitably fast. I found the XC40 light and agile to drive, with a surprisingly quick gear ratio.

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Volvo’s semi self-driving system, which they call Pilot Assist, offers active lane control and adaptive cruise control as an optional extra. This enables the car to drive in stop-and-go traffic without driver input. Volvo calls it a “driver support” system.

Should you want to take it off-roading, there’s 21cm of ground clearance, and you can switch to an off-road calibration at the push of a button.

The Volvo XC40 is well equipped and has as standard many things that other luxury car makers charge extra for.

These include LED headlights, 18-inch wheels leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.

I found the seats to be super comfortable. In fact all round I found it a very nice car to drive with a great driving position. There’s plenty of head and legroom in both the front and rear for even the tallest adults.

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Carmakers have turned cabin storage into an art form in recent years, and Volvo doesn’t disappoint with lots of clever space-saving ideas. The hi-fi bass units are in the dash instead of doors which allows significantly more storage space in each door bin. The console has a deep armrest bin and a removable bin.

It would make for a boring article if I went into any more detail of all the clever storage spaces this car has because it’s not the sort of info that is sexy to read or helps to sell a car, but this smart attention to detail that Volvo has undertaken on the XC40 makes the car so much easier to live with.

Despite its low price compared to other luxury crossovers, the Volvo XC40 doesn’t skimp on quality and everything used, materials and attention to detail are excellent.


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