SUVs

Volvo XC40 amasses 20,000 orders as it hits dealers

Europe and the US are first on Volvo's list of global small-SUV domination.

Even if you don't dig the subscription program, it's still a good car, I promise.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

When I reviewed the 2019 Volvo XC40 late last year, I declared that Volvo's big gamble paid off. Apparently, the public has the same opinion, because it's proving quite popular before it even hits dealers.

Volvo announced this week that it has amassed 20,000 orders for its XC40 small SUV ahead of its arrival in dealerships. Europe and the US will be its first two markets, with China to follow later this year after a local debut at the Beijing Auto Show in the spring.

"The XC40 completes our global SUV line-up, bringing the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies known from our larger cars to the small SUV segment," said Björn Annwall, vice president of retail strategy at Volvo, in a statement. "These latest figures show that our customers clearly like what they see."

When I drove the XC40, I noted just how much of its feel came directly from the top. The interior has its own charm, but it borrows a great deal of style -- and one massive infotainment screen -- from its larger siblings, the XC60 and XC90. It never felt punishingly cheap, which is impressive for a luxury car that starts in the low $30,000 range.

Features are only part of the XC40's equation. In addition to diving into the right areas of the parts bin, the XC40 is also the first Volvo to be available by subscription. Care by Volvo allows owners to "subscribe" to a car, paying a monthly fee for a well-equipped XC40 that includes insurance and the option to trade up to a new model after 12 or 24 months. Pricing starts at $600 a month, which is a major bargain for folks in areas with high insurance costs, like Detroit, for instance.