Volvo XC40 compact crossover unwrapped
Volvo aims to take a big bite off the highly profitable crossover pie by revealing the new Volvo XC40. The new sub-compact crossover will act as the Swedish brand’s entry-level SUV, with the bigger XC60 and XC90 above it.
The Volvo XC40 is built on Volvo’s new modular vehicle architecture (CMA) which is bound to underpin all the cars in the 40 range from now on. The design of the XC40 follows the lines of its bigger brothers but is more squared in some areas. The smaller dimensions of the car give it a very sporty appeal. The front fascia flaunts the signature Volvo grille. It also has the Y-shaped daytime running lamps inside the headlights. The body is colored in two tones, one for the roof, and another for the lower body.
The interior of the XC40 also follows Volvo’s modern lines. There are vertical AC vents mounted on either side of the infotainment screen, just like the ones on the XC90. There are many storage spaces in the cabin to store stuff. As of now, the XC40 will be available in two trims, Momentum, and RF-Design, with a base model and the top-end inscription slated to arrive soon. The mid-range Momentum model is generously equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, rear parking assist, and heated leather front seats as standard. Stepping up to the R-Design trim will add leather and aluminum trims to the inside, twin exhaust tips, and sport suspension to the outside.
As it’s a Volvo, safety is at the forefront. Many systems have trickled down from the Volvo XC90 and XC60. Cross Traffic Alert coupled with automatic braking reduces accidents while reversing into busy streets. There is an emergency braking system that constantly monitors not only other cars but also cyclists and pedestrians. There is a semi-autonomous feature as well. Called the Pilot Assist system, this will provide semi-autonomous capabilities for steering, acceleration, and braking on “well-marked” roads. This feature will work up to 128 kph.
The D4 AWD variant of the powertrain powers the XC40 with 188 hp from its four-cylinder diesel engine. There is a more powerful T5 AWD variant as well, dishing out 244 hp. Both of these engines will be hooked up to Volvo’s Geartronic eight-speed automatic gearbox. An entry-level T3 model will follow with 156 hp from its boosted three-cylinder mill. This will be available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual. All electric and hybrid models are also on the way, but the date of their arrival is uncertain.
Volvo also introduced a new way of buying, called Care by Volvo. It ditches the conventional way of buying a car from the dealership for a fully online procedure. It is not slated to be offered in the UAE and GCC any time soon.
The Volvo XC40 is being launched into a very busy battleground with almost all manufacturers fighting for the crown. Segment wise, the XC40 will have to compete with the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3, and the BMW X1. But being at the lowest tier of the luxury crossover segment, this little Swede may also receive threats from other manufacturers’ bigger SUVs that share the same price bracket.
Expect the XC40 to be on sale in the UAE and GCC in a year.