Volvo XC40 wins Family SUV of the year award

Volvo xc40 review

The Volvo XC40 was first introduced in 2017 as a subcompact luxury crossover SUV and is the first Volvo based on the CMA (compact modular architecture) platform that is shared with other Volvo models, Geely models, and Lynk & Co models.

It is Volvo's best selling car in the UK and offers a great alternative to other premium SUVs such as the Audi Q2 or the BMW X3 thanks to the wide array of kit and features available across the range. It's also been expanded into plug in hybrid and fully electric version - the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Our Volvo XC40 review will talk you through the latest model to help you decide which option is best for you.

Design and Style

Apparently inspired by small robots that designer Ian Kettle saw in sci-fi movies gives the Volvo XC40 clean lines that manage to make it look muscular without being imposing. The great thing about the XC40 is that you don't have to opt for the top trim level to get the same sleek styling and eye catching finishes.

As well as looking good it's also designed with things like a completely flat loading bay and smart storage solutions to make your experience of using the car practical in every day life. The central armrest also has a removable section that you can utilise as a bin and the boot has a pop up divider to help keep shopping in place or separate different items.

The small Swedish flags found in the interior and exterior of the car are a really nice nod to the brand's homeland too.


The Volvo XC40 has a very well designed interior that makes so much sense as a driver. From it's 12.3 inch progressive driver display to the slight angle of the infotainment system and analogue controls towards the driver.

Overall it's uncluttered and neat which makes it feel like it's roomier than it is, there's nothing ridiculously flashy begging for your attention, and makes it feel much more liveable than some rivals.

What really sets the Volvo XC40 apart from its rivals are the extras that you wouldn't think about such as the advanced air purifier to improve air quality in the cabin or the array of integrated Google Services designed to support your journey.

Comfort and Practicality

Thanks to its high roof and ground clearance of 211mm the Volvo XC40 feels spacious and elevated, allowing passengers to fit comfortably into the front and back seats. It has more head room in the back than the Mercedes GLA and the Range Rover Evoque and is longer than both models too, meaning that tall passengers should have no issues regardless of where they're sat.

Both front seats are also height adjustable and have multi directional lumbar support on all models, meaning that you can really tailor the seat to your needs for a comfortable driving experience. As you increase your trim level it adds in additional features such as heated seats, adjustable front seats powered by an electric motor, and increasing quality in material finishes.

The Volvo XC40 has 452 litres of boot space with all five seats in use. For comparison, the Mercedes GLA offers 495 litres with all seats in use (445 if you opt for it's hybrid versions) and the Range Rover Evoque holds 472 litres. With the rear seats folded you can expect 1328 litres of space compared to 1156 in the Range Rover Evoque and 1430 in the Mercedes GLA (lowered to 1385 for its hybrid versions).

The Volvo XC40 is definitely on par with others in its class but isn't leading the charge with cargo space. However there is a flexible loading floor available from the Plus trim onwards and underfloor storage across all models in the range if you require any more room.

Volvo XC40

Performance and Engine Options

For the XC40 Volvo have completely moved away from diesel engines. The original range had a selection of petrol and diesel engines available but this has since changed as the company moves towards a fully electric model by 2030 and currently offer plug in hybrids of every vehicle in the Volvo range.

The current options have three petrol engines with mild hybrid technology to choose from, two front wheel drive and one four wheel drive.

The B3 Mild Hybrid engine is a four cylinder direct injection turbo petrol engine with an eight speed automatic gearbox. It offers 163HP and fairly average fuel economy with a combined mpg of up to 42.2.

The B4 Mild Hybrid engine comes as either front or all wheel drive, both offering 197HP. Again these are both with an eight speed automatic gearbox and front wheel drive will give also give you 42.2 mpg whilst the all wheel drive option lowers this to 39.8 mpg combined.

If you're looking for a greener option Volvo also offer the XC40 Recharge, which is a plug in hybrid model, which will hugely improve fuel economy and lower emissions. Elsewhere in their range Volvo do also have the option for a fully electric car.

Trim Levels

The Volvo XC40 has three trim levels available: Core, Plus, and Ultimate. These all come with an array of equipment and features specific to them that support the standard features of the model.

The standard equipment include automatic LED headlights with daytime running lights, cruise control, dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors, automatically folding heated door mirrors, keyless start, a multifunction steering wheel, height and reach adjustable steering column, and automatic wiper activation.

Also included is a 9 inch portrait style touchscreen which houses the infotainment system. This includes Google Automotive Services which is made up of sat nav with Google Maps, voice recognition with Google Assistant, Google Automotive Services enabled apps, and the Volvo XC40 comes with a 4 year data plan for in car apps and entertainment. You'll also have wireless phone charging and a high quality sound system with 8 speakers. The Volvo XC40 is high tech as standard.

The Core trim level then adds adjustable steering force, high gloss front and rear skid plates, an underfloor storage compartment, power operated tailgate, power child locks on the rear doors, a rear armrest with cupholders, 18 inch alloy wheels, and multi directional lumbar support.

Upgrading to the Plus trim will add keyless drive which combines keyless entry and start, front park assist, puddle lights, front LED fog lights, rear view camera, handsfree opening and closing for the tailgate, black alloys, flexible loading floor in the boot space, ambient front door and instrument panel lighting, power driving seat, memory function for the driver seat and mirrors, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated outer rear seats, and driver awareness features.

Choosing the top trim level, the Ultimate, will add even more onto these two trim levels. You can expect pilot assist and adaptive cruise control, full matrix LED headlights, 19 inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, 360 degree surround view camera with side proximity sensors, tinted rear windows, power passenger seat, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Simply put, the Volvo XC40 justifies it's higher price point as a stylish small SUV thanks to it's integration of great features and high tech equipment.

Reliability and Safety

The Volvo XC40 SUV has a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP which places it on par with other small premium SUVs such as the the Audi Q2 and the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Volvo include a range of standard safety features which help it to score so highly. These include City Safety which is compromised of pedestrian and cyclist detection and front collision warning with full auto brake and rear auto brake, driver alert control with lane keep assist and corrective steering, road sign information display, and vehicle deceleration control which includes ABS, EBD, and emergency brake assist.

As well as this, Volvo has a three year or 60,000 mile (whichever comes first) which covers any component failure attributable to faulty materials or workmanship during manufacture to be rectified free of charge at any authorised Volvo retailer.

Volvo also give you the opportunity to extend this warranty for a further year to either 4 years/60,000 miles or 4 years/80,000 miles which is ideal if you plan to keep your Volvo XC40 longer term.


The Volvo XC40 is priced in line with other premium SUVs. The Core trim level starts at £35,830 which is a little cheaper than the equivalent Mercedes GLA at £36,090 and the BMW X1 at £36,225.

Upgrading to the Plus trim will take you to £39,380 and the Ultimate trim starts at £44,755. This is a little higher than the equivalent GLA or the X1, which both come in at around £41,000, but not outrageously so.

It's worth noting that any car with an original purchase price of over £40,000 is subject to an increase in VED of £355 for the first five years of its life, regardless of who owns it, which takes the annual road tax to over £500 for these cars.


If you're looking for an alternative to premium SUVs such as Audi's Q range or BMW's X series then the Volvo XC40 is a great alternative. Being so well equipped is what makes modern Volvo models worth the purchase.

It's definitely one of the best cars currently available in the SUV market and is only designed for longevity thanks to its plug in hybrid and fully electric models elsewhere in the Volvo family.