Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 comes in three different trims for its launch this year. Each is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine displacing 2.0L, powering all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. With 248 horsepower on tap, the compact SUV is quite quick in a straight line, though it should still return over 30 mpg on the highway. For later in the year, a front-wheel drive version with a less powerful engine is expected to be added to the lineup at a slightly lower price point. The most basic XC40 trim is dubbed the Momentum trim. Since the Volvo XC40 is still a bit of a luxury vehicle, basic amenities are pretty nice and include items such as a 12.3-inch display, a power operated liftgate, smartphone integration, a park assist camera, LED headlights, SiriusXM satellite radio, a powered driver's seat with a memory function, 18-inch wheels and tinted windows. The next step up is the R-Design model. The R-Design comes with a slightly more aggressive exterior as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, keyless entry with a hands free tailgate, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a unique grille and various R-Design bits throughout the interior. XC40 subscribers can subscribe to the R-Design model for an additional $100. The top-of-the-line model for 2019 is the Inscription model. The Inscription has a luxuriously appointed interior which includes details such as driftwood Deco trim and a crystal gear knob. The Inscription model also comes standard with a panoramic roof, nicer seats and a leather clad interior.

Editors' Review

The Volvo XC40 has only been on sale for two years, but it didn't take long for this plucky Swedish crossover to earn favor through a blend of solid driving dynamics and a focus on democratized technology that isn't limited by trim. Some small tweaks make their way into the Volvo XC40 for 2020, but this new model year reminds me why I liked this SUV in the first place, small warts and all.

People-pleasing design

I look at the Volvo XC40 with the same sort of "aww, shucks" wide eyes that I typically reserve for puppies. The crossover's design remains one of my favorites, with a ton of character coming from the standard "Thor's Hammer" LED headlights and the chunky C-pillar that plays well with my tester's two-tone, black-and-white getup. The R-Design trim throws a bit more style in the mix by way of larger 19-inch wheels (20s, as seen on my tester, are optional), black mirror caps and other subtle sporty additions.

This specific XC40 packs what might be the most interesting way to spend $100 on a new car: orange carpets. The $100 Lava Carpet option covers the lower half of the interior in bright orange material, which makes for quite the statement. However, after taking possession of this car and its 3,000-ish-mile odometer reading, I have concerns about longevity. The carpet has become fuzzier as cleaning materials and cloths have run over its surfaces, looking a little janky as dark fibers from other sources intermingle with the orange for a sort of perma-dirty look. Its soft-side-of-Velcro makeup also means that crap will constantly integrate into the carpet. In retrospect, something that better hides daily abuse might be a good idea.

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Model Year

The Good ~ Lively styling ~ Safety tech abounds ~ Fun to drive

The Bad ~ Orange carpet ages poorly ~ Middling fuel economy ~ Limited cargo capacity

The Bottom Line Volvo's entry-level offering touts everything there is to like about the automaker in an affordable wrapper.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 9.5
  • Media 7

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