Volvo XC40 (2018-present)

Individual and high tech: the Volvo XC40 is a Generation Z SUV

Strengths & Weaknesses


Modern design
Long list of safety features
Comfortable and well-equipped


Engines less efficient than rivals'
Premium price
Smartphone features are optional
Best finance deal

Volvo XC40 Estate 2.0 t4 r design 5dr awd geartronic

Finance price £419 per month

Cash price £29,480

Volvo XC40 prices from £19,000   Finance from £419 per month

The automotive world has its own Generation Z: a wave of upstarts featuring fresh ideas and new technology with style.

Known as either premium crossovers or compact sport utility vehicles (SUVs), they are no longer than a family car, but taller and packed with luxury touches.

One of the first was the Range Rover Evoque, with razor-sharp design and a business class interior. There’s also the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and the new Jaguar E-Pace.

Now there's the Volvo XC40, with a chunky, funky look that’s meant to appeal to younger buyers. Options such as a contrasting roof colours add character too.

Inside looks high-tech, with a 9in touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. It’s easy to use and clear but still fiddly on the move; the rotary dial used by Mercedes, BMW and Audi is better. Sat-nav is standard but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow simpler control of phone apps is an optional extra - not very Gen. Z.

Despite its youthful pitch, the XC40 is still a Volvo, so there are practical storage and stowage options, including drawers under the front seats and door pockets big enough to store large bottles and a laptop.

Quality of materials and their fit is close to the high standards of Audi and BMW. The seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of room in the front and rear for adults (legroom in the back is particularly impressive). The boot is 460 litres in size, which is below average, but it’s flexible thanks to folding floor panels and an underfloor storage area.

All of the available engines offer enough power for everyday use, and there’s a high-performance petrol engine too. Fuel economy is slightly less impressive than in the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 but that should change with the arrival of hybrid and electric versions soon. Four wheel drive is an option.

The XC40 isn’t as responsive and nimble in corners as the X1 but it's not designed to be. It’s predictable - so you can turn the steering wheel and know exactly where the car will be pointed - as well as comfortable and stable, leaving everyone onboard pretty much unruffled whatever road conditions the XC40 has to tackle.

Airbags and strong crash structures are just the start of the safety features. The XC40 can detect potential frontal collisions with other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals - like horses. Active steering to keep you in your lane is standard.

An optional Pilot Assist package gives the car the ability to virtually drive itself on the motorways and in traffic jams, but it’s not foolproof, so you need to keep alert and your hands on the wheel.

Volvo has an excellent record for designing safe cars so it should be no surprise that the XC40 scored the full five stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests. There are two sets of Isofix mounts for child seats in the back.

Prices for the car are in line with what other upmarket rivals charge: new list prices start at more than £28,000, which could also buy a high-specification Peugeot 3008 or Volkswagen Tiguan, as well as a seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq.

You’ve also got another option: to take out the car with Volvo’s new subscription service: Care by Volvo. A monthly fee includes insurance, maintenance and access to a different Volvo for 14 days a year. You’ll also get a concierge who can book your haircut but prices are hefty, starting at £799 a month.


Last Updated 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 13:00

Key facts 

3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
460 litres
From £165 to £515 in the first year and standard rate from the second

Best Volvo XC40 for... 

Volvo XC40 Momentum D3 FWD manual
The D3 is the most economical engine and you can expect around 47mpg in normal driving. It's most efficient when paired with entry-level 18in alloy wheels and a manual gearbox.
Volvo XC40 Momentum D3 FWD automatic
The three-cylinder petrol engined variant blends economy (45.6mpg) and usable performance (156hp) to create a practical and stylish alternative for families who don’t cover large annual mileages.
Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design AWD automatic
The largest petrol engine delivers 247 horsepower, for a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 6.5 seconds. R-Design trim looks sportiest.


March 2018 The first Volvo XC40 models are delivered. Range comprises three petrol and two diesel engines, and choice of front-wheel or four-wheel drive.
September 2018 New 1.5 T3 petrol engine joins the line-up, as does D3 diesel

Understanding Volvo XC40 car names 

  • XC40
  • Trim level
  • Engine
  • Driven wheels
  • Gearbox
  • Trim level
    Four trim levels – Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and First Edition – offer different combinations of equipment at varying prices. There are also packs of equipment (labelled Pro) that add extra features.
  • Engine
    Diesel engines are labelled D and petrol models badged T. The number relates to power: the higher the number, the more power it has. It’s not much more scientific than that.
  • Driven wheels
    Standard XC40s send the power from the engine to their front wheels only. These are badged FWD for front-wheel drive. Four wheel drive cars are badged AWD - for all-wheel drive.
  • Gearbox
    Volvo keeps its gearbox labels simple: manual or automatic.

Volvo XC40 Engines 

D3, D4, T3, T4, T5

Buyers have a choice between a couple of diesel engines and a trio of petrol variants, with plug-in hybrid and full electric variants to come later in 2019 and 2020.

The D3 engine is a quiet and refined 2.0-litre unit that produces 150hp and which, depending on whether the car is front or four-wheel drive, manual or automatic, can take the XC40 from 0-62mph in 9.9 to 10.4 seconds. There’s enough shove for most users, although any overtaking manoeuvres on single carriageways need to be considered carefully. Fuel economy is reasonably good – depending on the version it ranges from 51.4 to 58.9mpg – and better than rivals such as the BMW X1 or Audi Q3. Emissions range from 127 to 144g/km CO2.

The more powerful 190hp D4 2.0-litre diesel is a torquey engine with plenty of power from low down in the rev range that’s perfect for overtaking. The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth-shifting and a good match for the engine. Fuel consumption of 55.4-56.6mpg (depending on wheel size) isn’t spectacular but it does have all-wheel drive (which always drives economy down), while CO2 emissions of 131-135g/km are indicative of just how efficient some modern diesels are.

With a general shift away from diesels in recent years, Volvo has included three petrol engines in the XC40’s line-up. Volvo's T3 1.5-litre engine is bigger and more powerful than many of the 1.0 and 1.2-litre units that most car makers have adopted. As a consequence, it can power the XC40 from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds. It has the characterful thrum associated with such engines but is relatively muted. Depending on wheel size, official fuel consumption ranges from 44.1mpg to 45.6mpg although in the real world you’ll be unlikely to see that since three-cylinder engines require a few revs to get the most out of them. Its 144 to 148g/km CO2 emissions are similar to the D3 diesel.

The T4 petrol is the least powerful of the XC40’s pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. It produces 190hp, enough to give a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds. It performs well with enough in-gear acceleration for most circumstances and a quiet, smooth nature, even at higher speeds. It returns between 39.8 and 40.9mpg but its 161 to 165g/km CO2 emissions are expensive in terms of the first-year road tax charge (£515).

The 247hp T5 provides all the power that most owners will want, with 0-62mph coming up in just 6.5 seconds. It’s for those drivers who prioritise performance over economy (just 39.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 164-168g/km, giving a £515 first-year road tax charge).


Official fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed





































Volvo XC40 Trims 

Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, First Edition

You might feel fairly satisfied with entry-level Momentum models, which include plenty of equipment, including 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 9in central touchscreen with sat-nav and traffic updates, plus another 12.3in screen in front of the driver, displaying a digital speedometer.

There’s also two-zone climate control, cruise control and the various standard safety features including automatic emergency braking that can identify pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, as well as cars. Active steering is also included, which will steer the car automatically if it’s drifting out of its lane.

Bluetooth, for wirelessly connecting a phone, is included but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which display your phone apps on the dashboard screen, are optional.

Each trim level also has a Pro package of extra features, which for Momentum includes an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, heated windscreen and auto-folding door mirrors.

R-Design adds a range of sporty styling upgrades, which include a black roof, high-gloss grille and lower bumper, and dual exhaust pipes. The interior gains part-leather seats, black headlining and perforated leather steering wheel and gear lever.

R-Design Pro also adds 20in alloy wheels, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats and heated windscreen.

Inscription, is meant to be more luxurious than R-Design, so adds to the entry level Momentium specification with leather-faced seats, a motorised bootlid, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, front parking sensors and interior wood panels. Automatic cars gain a crystal gear lever and there’s extra chrome, as well as metallic paint on the outside.

Inscription Pro adds 19in alloy wheels, electrically-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and heated windscreen.

A First Edition trim, available for a limited time, is based on the R-Design specification, and comes with several option packs, which can also be added to other models.

These include a Xenium Pack (which includes a powered glass tilt and slide sunroof, self-parking system and 360º surround-view parking camera), as well as an Intellisafe Pro Pack (which includes Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, which can accelerate, brake and steer on motorways and in traffic jams).

Volvo XC40 Reliability and warranty 

The XC40 is too new to appear in current reliability surveys but the performance of other Volvos bodes well.

The company is ranked as the fifth most reliable manufacturer in the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power survey, with only ten per cent of owners having any sort of issue with a new car.

Volvo’s warranty covers the first three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, which isn’t the best in the premium market, let alone the market overall where the Kia Sportage’s seven-year warranty leads the way.

Used Volvo XC40 

Almost a year into the XC40’s life and low-mileage, nearly new examples are beginning to enter the market. There are currently 148 Volvo XC40s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £19,000 to £48,990 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £419 per month.

Savings are modest but on the other hand, you don’t have to wait for the car to be built.

D3 and D4 diesels are the most plentiful, but there are petrols, notably the low-power T3 model too. Don't expect to find many T5 models on the used market either.