Volvo XC40 review 2022

The XC40’s is Volvo’s most compact SUV, bringing a premium design combined with a great range of electrified powertrains

£31,473
Average price
Loading...
2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Superb build quality
  • Stylish design
  • Excellent safety kit

Cons

  • Not the most spacious car in its class
  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • Touchscreen can be fiddly
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model Review
 

Volvo knows how to make an SUV, and has clearly shown that with its excellent XC90 and XC60 models.

The firm’s first venture into the smaller SUV market came in 2017 with the XC40.  Retaining a similar look to the XC60, the XC40 was launched that September. It kept the excellent safety technology, infotainment and connectivity features that are commonplace on the Swedish firm’s larger models.

The XC40 also introduced a new ‘Care by Volvo’ scheme, which for a fixed monthly fee, gets you the car, insurance, free convenient servicing, and tyre replacements if needed.

The XC40 also introduced a host of customisation options, including a bold colour palette which helped showcase a new side to the Volvo brand.

Latest model

Volvo is yet to give the XC40 a major mid-life update, but a range of changes have been made since its introduction – predominantly affecting the engine choice. First up came the addition of three-cylinder petrol units – known as the T2 and T3 – which helped to lower the price, while more recently there’s been a greater choice of electrified options. 

Much of the range now features some kind of electrification, with many of the regular petrol and diesel options being mild-hybrids. There are a pair of plug-in hybrids for those wanting that combination of petrol and electric, while two EVs are now available – the flagship P8 model version putting out a huge 400bhp. Electric XC40s also now use a new Android-based infotainment system.

Value for money

Volvo offers a broad range of engine and trim options on its XC40, ranging from sub-£30,000 entry-level petrols through to powerful electric models that cost almost double the price. The petrol options are certainly those that look the best value, and with the ‘T2’ model available from £26,485, you do get plenty of car for your money, though some may find this 1.5-litre petrol engine a bit underpowered. The trouble is, all the other engines command quite a premium – the B3, for example, starts from £34,000. 

Used XC40 prices are holding up very well, though. At the time of writing this Volvo had been on sale for four years, yet prices still hadn’t dipped below £20,000, with low-mileage, high-spec examples still comfortably commanding upwards of £25,000. Nearly-new models are unlikely to bring you any savings over the list price.

Looks and image

Volvo has really stepped up its game in recent years, and its cars are now some of the best-looking on the road. We’d argue the XC40 is the most stylish car in its class, with its sharp LED lighting, sleek lines and chunky plastic cladding really making it look the part. There’s a broad range of trims to choose from, too, with some favouring sporty looks while others prioritise more luxurious elements. 

It’s a similar story inside the XC40’s cabin, with all versions featuring a smart iPad-like portrait touchscreen and digital instrument cluster, which helps to give this Volvo a modern feel. There are very few actual buttons, which adds to the sleek, minimalist design but can make operating functions like the climate control tricky when driving. The quality throughout the XC40’s interior is excellent too. 

Behind the wheel, the XC40 is a model that prioritises comfort over sportiness, and it’s one that appeals to many. This isn’t a car you drive at ten-tenths, but rather enjoy pottering around in it, enjoying the compliant ride, hushed driving noise and very comfortable seats. It’s also excellent at a high-speed cruise, and among the best in its class if you regularly do longer trips.

Video review

Space and practicality

Though the XC40 might be Volvo’s most compact SUV, it still offers a plentiful amount of room. Rear seat space is very generous, with its boxier design offering plenty of headroom, even on versions fitted with a panoramic roof. 

The boot is also a great size, and is a useful square space with a nice flat floor. The impressive packaging on the hybrid and electric models also means these are no less practical than standard petrol and diesel cars – something that can’t be said for too many electrified cars.

Engines

Over the XC40’s time Volvo has continued to chop and change the trim level line-up, with many engines being discontinued in more recent years, including the diesels. If you do a lot of miles, it could be worth trying to find a used version fitted with one one of these engines. But today the line-up includes petrol, mild-hybrid petrol, plug-in hybrid and electric.

Let’s start with the T2, which uses a 127bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine. It’s not the typical engine you’d expect in a car like this, but worth a look if you want an affordable option – it’s also the only XC40 offered with a manual gearbox. Up next are the mild-hybrid B3 and B4, which use a 2.0-litre petrol engine with outputs of 161bhp and 197bhp respectively. The more powerful option also has optional all-wheel-drive. 

Following this are the T4 and T5 plug-in hybrids, which combine a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a total of 208bhp and 252bhp in the T5. Then there are the electric versions – including the front-wheel-drive models that use a 228bhp motor, followed by the rapid 402bhp all-wheel-drive car, which is able to accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds.

Running costs

If you want the lowest running costs, you should choose the electric models, which offer an electric range of between 257 and 264 miles, depending on model, while can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in 32 minutes when using a 150kW rapid charger. Expect it to take around 11 hours if plugged in at home using a 7kW wallbox.

As for the hybrids, Volvo claims 28 miles of electric power, though closer to 20 miles is far more likely. If you want to really bring your running costs down, you’ll predominantly have to do shorter trips and charge the car at least every day. Volvo claims up to 134.5mpg, but this is a very ambitious figure. The standard petrol models aren’t great on fuel, though, returning around 40mpg, with CO2 emissions ranging from 152-188g/km.

Things to look out for

The Volvo XC40 has proven to be a reliable choice since its introduction, and despite its popularity, not all that many problems have been reported. One thing to note is that the windscreen is quite prone to damage, so make sure to look out for any chips and cracks, and factor in the cost of repairs/replacement. 

It’s also worth making sure the main touchscreen is operating properly. Though not prone to failure, due to the sheer number of things it controls, you want to know it’s working as it should.

Rivals

The premium compact SUV segment is brimmed with choices, and the XC40 faces its biggest competition from Germany – namely with the BMW X1 and X2, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.

The Range Rover Evoque is worth a look too, while another wildcard option is the Lexus UX, which also gets an electric option. The Mini Countryman and Volkswagen Tiguan could be worth considering too, if you’re not particularly fussed about having anything too premium.

Depreciation

The XC40 has proven to hold its value exceptionally well, namely because it’s such a desirable used choice. Regardless of powertrain, it’s quite a solid place to put your money, though R-Design and Inscription models are those that buyers favour the most.

Which XC40 to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

2.0 B3P Core 5dr Auto

Most MPG

2.0 B3P Core 5dr Auto

Fastest model (0-60)

300kW Recharge Twin Plus 78kWh 5dr AWD Auto Electric

Trims explained

Volvo has recently revised its trim level range, with various new options coming in to replace pre-existing ones. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.

Start –

All XC40s come with a generous level of standard equipment, such as automatic LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital dial system and rear parking sensors. You also get a long list of safety equipment, including traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and a speed limiter. A nine-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also included, along with a wireless smartphone charger.

From £26,485

Core –

Upgrade to the Core to get diamond-cut 18-inch alloy wheels, an electric boot, silver roof rails and additional silver decorative trim.

From £34,100

Plus –

The Plus brings plenty of additional kit, such as keyless entry, a reversing camera, front park assist and puddle lights. You also get an electric driver’s seat, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a heated windscreen. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and auto-dimming mirrors are also included.

From £37,500

Ultimate –

The flagship Ultimate gets a long list of equipment, such as a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a 360-degree surround camera system, pixel LED headlights and revised 19-inch alloy wheels. You also get an electric passenger seat, part-microfibre upholstery and a panoramic sunroof.

From £43,325

Summary

  1. Stylish premium compact SUV that’s been on sale since 2017
  2. Huge choice of powertrains
  3. Generous standard equipment
  4. Comfortable and refined…
  5. But never much fun to drive
  6. Electric XC40 available
  7. Practical interior
  8. Great safety record
  9. High-quality interior
  10. One of the best compact SUVs on the market

Related news

View Volvo news archive
View all Motors.co.uk reviews