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In-depth reviews

Volvo XC40 review

The Volvo XC40 is a comfortable and stylish small SUV that has some pleasing practical touches

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£36,270 to £46,275
  • Punchy, refined engines
  • Clever interior packaging
  • Excellent safety kit
  • Expensive to buy
  • Road noise on big wheels
  • Depreciation of electric version
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Quick Verdict: 

The Volvo XC40 is a strong contender in the market for small premium SUVs. It’s not a revelation on the road, but it strikes a decent blend of comfort and cruising refinement, all while offering lots of kerb appeal in a small-car package.

Add in a funky, minimalist cabin, a capable infotainment system, plus Volvo's traditional focus on safety, and it's hard not to see the attraction of the XC40 as one of the most accomplished compact SUVs on the market.

Volvo XC40: price, specs and rivals

Introduced in 2017, the Volvo XC40 is a compact premium SUV that majors on practicality and comfort while offering bold styling that helps set it apart from its more conservative rivals. Its great safety rating and suite of available active safety systems will also appeal to customers, too.

The XC40 slots into the Volvo SUV range below the mid-size Volvo XC60 and large Volvo XC90. It’s offered with the mild-hybrid engines from its bigger siblings, plus there’s the fully electric version called the Volvo EX40, too.

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Competition is fierce in this small premium SUV sector, with rivals including the BMW X1 and X2 duo, along with JLR's Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque offering solid competition. Buyers will also be interested in the Alfa Romeo Tonale, Audi Q3, and Mini Countryman – the latter of which just edged ahead of the Volvo based on practicality when we pitched the Countryman and XC40 together in a twin test.

The range kicks off with a B3-badged mild-hybrid petrol, followed by the more powerful B4 version. Both versions come with front-wheel drive and use a seven-speed automatic as standard. Volvo also offers three all-electric options in the EX40: a Single Motor version with a 295-mile range, a Single Motor Extended Range version with 343 miles of range, plus a Twin Motor variant with 402bhp that has 323 miles of range.

Since its launch, the trim levels for the XC40 have been slimmed to Core, Plus and Ultimate. The Core model is well catered for, although the starting price of nearly £37,000 is up there with premium rivals in this sector. You get 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate, auto-folding door mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and nine-inch touchscreen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

Mid-range Plus trim adds a rear-view camera, keyless entry, a hands-free opening tailgate, and a heating function for the outer rear seats, steering wheel and windscreen. The plushest Ultra trim brings a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system, panoramic sunroof, adaptive Pixel LED headlights, and a 360-degree camera system.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Volvo XC40 is a stylish, well-built and practical premium compact SUVs that manages to strike a good balance decent between comfort and refinement on the road.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 B3P Core 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,270

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 B3P Core 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,270

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 B4P Plus Dark 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,920
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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