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In-depth reviews

Volvo XC40 review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

Ballpark fuel efficiency, with respectable CO2, but the real gains come with the Recharge plug-in hybrid and future pure-electric versions

The XC40’s engine line-up comprises state-of-the-art motors, with a wide range of hybrid, petrol and diesel engines. So the efficiency figures on the XC40 are respectable for the class, but no better than that.

The most frugal XC40 will eventually be the Recharge (available later in 2020) which emits 0g/km. Next up is the Recharge hybrid model which emits 41g/km (which is upped to 43g/km in R-Design Pro spec). Outside of electrification the most frugal is the diesel D3, in front-wheel-drive and manual-gearbox form. It emits 127g/km of CO2, which compares pretty well with, say, the cleanest diesel version of the Audi Q3, although that car is getting pretty old now and isn't at the forefront of fuel-saving tech.

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• Volvo XC40 vs Audi Q3 vs BMW X1

Switch to the higher-powered 188bhp diesel and things look better for the Volvo, because even with more power, four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission, its CO2 figure only rises to 131g/km; that’s some way clear of the 150g/km emitted by a similarly powered four-wheel-drive Q3.

As you might expect, the petrol XC40 takes a hit on fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions; at 163g/km, the T3 probably has a big enough tax hit for lots of company car choosers to overlook it. In reality, it’s a very thirsty unit, too - we struggled to get mid-thirties mpg out of the T3 in our time behind the wheel.

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If you must have a petrol, the T4 offers much greater performance than the T3 and with little or no detriment to real world economy. However, the CO2 emissions of 190g/km are much higher than the 136g/km of a similarly powerful BMW X1.

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Volvo is introducing a new form of ‘ownership’ with the XC40. Called Care By Volvo, it’s a glorified lease scheme that rolls in a number of other factors, including servicing and maintenance, to give peace of mind and fixed-price motoring. It’s only being introduced in a few small areas of the country for now, though. 

Insurance groups

Insurance groups for the XC40 range from Group 22 to Group 32. On a like-for-like basis, the Volvo is ranked slightly lower than its German rivals - not least helped because of the Swedish brand’s reputation for passive and active safety systems. 

Depreciation

Volvo is currently on the crest of wave in terms of customer demand, and when you also factor in the strong desirability within the premium SUV market, and it's no surprise that the XC40 has some of the best residual values of any new car on sale, ranging from 55-59 per cent. In comparison, the BMW X1 has residuals around 10 per cent lower than this.

The one caveat to this is the early ‘First Edition’ models, which are fully laden but priced at a premium. This is an increasingly popular trend with manufacturers, but the jury’s out on how those cars hold their value once the regular versions of the car have started to be delivered.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 T2 Momentum Core 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,100

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 T5 Recharge PHEV R DESIGN 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,250

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 B5P R DESIGN 5dr AWD Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,225
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