Volvo XC40 – Out of this world

The European car of the year for 2018, the Volvo XC40 (compact premium crossover) has recently arrived here in SA. The XC40 compares with the likes of the Mercedes GLA, Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 and as with all Volvos the XC40 is stylish, practical, comfortable and safe as houses.

The XC40 is Volvo’s first attempt in the compact crossover SUV market and in my view they have really done well.

The XC40 is built on Volvo’s brand new platform called ‘compact modular architecture’ by the Chinese company named Lynk & Co but still designed in Sweden.

So you ask yourself why would a Swedish manufacturer then use a Chinese platform? Well for those who don’t know Volvo was taken over by the Giant Chinese car manufacturer Geely, Geely also owns Lynk & Co.

The Exterior:

The exterior design of the XC40 is different to the XC60 and XC90 so it is easy to spot in the crowd. It looks modern and sleek and would appeal to most. Volvo did not decide to go the same route as BMW’s X ranges and Audi Q ranges by keeping the styling throughout the ranges the same. Have you ever tried spotting the diffrences between a X3 and a X5 ?…they look pretty much the same to me, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

T5 R-Design AWD auto - Front Quarter
T5 R-Design AWD auto – Front Quarter
T5 R-Design AWD auto - Side View
T5 R-Design AWD auto – Side View
T5 R-Design AWD auto - rear Quarter
T5 R-Design AWD auto – rear Quarter
T5 R-Design AWD auto - R-Design Alloy's
T5 R-Design AWD auto – R-Design Alloy’s

The Interior:

When you step inside you are welcomed with a comfortable premium quality feel, better in my opinion than the GLA and Q3.
The front seats are really very comfortable and it is easy to get into your desired driving position. The rear seating is just as comfortable and there is more than enough space for kids as well as adults. The window line ate the back is a bit high, but don’t stress, it will not give the rear occupants cabin fever.
The cockpit looks very much like a scaled-down version of the XC90’s cockpit and includes the Volvo Sensus touch-screen infotainment system.
The boot capacity is also not bad at all, 460 litres to be exact.

The Drive:

The XC40 gives you a relaxing but also a dynamic drive, this is one of the best handling Volvo’s I have ever driven. Having said that, if you push it a bit in the corners it might feel like it floats a little bit, also remember this s not a track racer, and so for an SUV the handling and dynamics is exceptional. Furthermore it really handles uneven and rougher surfaces well too.

The Models:

T3 Momentum manual
T3 Inscription manual
T3 R-Design manual
D4 Momentum AWD auto
D4 Inscription AWD auto
D4 R-Design AWD auto
T5 Momentum AWD auto
T5 Inscription AWD auto
T5 R-Design AWD auto
All models include a five-year/100 000km warranty and maintenance plan for peace of mind motoring.

Pricing starts at around R490k and goes up to around R650k, obviously depending if you add any extra’s

Though all models are really well equipped but as with all premium brand the list of extra’s is as long as my arm and can quickly accumulate to over R100k.


The XC40 gives you a blend of style, practicality, comfort, quality and don’t forget cutting-edge safety. It should definitely be on your shopping list.

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Murray Kroucamp

Murray Kroucamp Has a passion for cars and the wonderful world of motoring journalism. Background includes: Regulatory liaison; Customer Experience Executive Complaints Management; Data analyst. Founded the Mazda 2 Owners page on Facebook in 2008. Founded Murray’s Car Reviews (South Africa) on Facebook in 2015 which has around 800 active members. Also started writing car reviews on Linkedin in 2017. Working on turning the hobby into a profession.

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