Volvo XC40 R Design First Drive


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When you heard the name Volvo a decade ago, for even if we don’t go that far, 5 years ago, people, associated this brand which made boring and bland cars. But very high on safety. Infact there was a saying that you safety is your only priority, you should pick up a Volvo.

All that has changed in a decade or so and Volvo, no more makes boring and bland cars, infact, in my opinion, they have some of the best Scandinavian Designs. They have upped their ante not only in Design, but has seamlessly merged Design with Aesthetics, Luxury, Comfort, Convenience & Well, Performance.

There’s hardly a Volvo, which passes by- unnoticed. Be it the V40, which now is discontinued, the V90CC, the S60, the S90, the XC60, the XC90 or well, even this the XC40. Hold on why are we speaking on the XC40, wasn’t it already available in the country?

Well, Volvo had introduced their XC40 in a diesel only avtar, and now we get only a petrol one, as the world is consciously moving towards greener fuel.

We are here in Goa to drive the SUV for you, to let you know how it is. For starters, the XC40 is the smallest vehicle in Volvo's XC series of SUVs. This compact luxury SUV was launched in india in 2018 to compete with the likes of BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes Benz GLA. The vehicle was successful in many regions and for good reason, its compact, its chic and its sexy all at the same time. Volvo introduced the XC40 in india with a powerful 2.0 diesel, pumping out 190 hp, which pretty much was the norm in the segment. With BS6 regulations coming in, Volvo decided to get the petrol variant.

This XC40 comes with Volvo’s tried and tested 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder engine producing 190 horses and 300NM of torque. More about the drive experience a bit later. Let’s look at the SUV first.

On the exteriors, there are no changes whatsoever. I loved the clean and sharp looks of the XC40 before and the same holds true still. You have a few parts blacked out to emphasise the S in suv. The signature LED lamps can bend automatically for better visibility and the 18-inch alloys are one of the best designs in this segmemt. The side is mostly clean expecpt for the r-design badging. The XC40 had a bold rear end thanks to these tail lamps that have become synonymous with the volvo name.

On the interior the XC40 is very much a reflection of the exterior design philosophy. It is neat, well built and lovely to the eyes. While earlier, you could get the interior in all black or a lava orange earlier, the more colourful option is no longer available with the petrol variant. The centre of the dashboard, is still dominated by a vertical touchscreen measuring 9 inches. The touch response if great and it has all the functions you would expect from a car of this category. The 14 speaker harmon kardon speaker setup is going to please the audiophile in you.

Moving to the back, the space at the back is decent at best. Also, owing to the central tunnel, this is strictly a 4 people car.

Coming back to the engine and gearbox, Volvo offers this XC40 with a 2.0 litre petrol engine producing 190hp and 300nm of torque as mentioned earlier. It’s a petrol motor and the XC40 is bound to be refined all around. The engine is silent and you can feel that the engineers worked hard to give you a smooth driving experience. The 8-speed automatic gearbox shifts well most of the time but whether its is the best one in the segment, that is something I will reserve for a long term review, when the car comes to our garage. However, you do get paddle shifts to play with. One change over the diesel mill is, while in the diesel model, power was transmitted to all four wheels, this one just sends it to the front ones.

This compact suv can easily reach triple digit speeds and maintain it without breaking a sweat. But the top speed has been limited to 230kmph. The 17 inch discs at the front and the 16 inch ones at the rear are enough to bring you to a halt all of a sudden or gradually slow you down as you approach a red light.

Safety and Volvo go hand in hand, and its a norm to expect Volvo’s to add safety kit much more than comfort features that most of its counter part gets, and its true with this smallest SUV in the hierarchy of SUV’s in Volvo. There are airbags all around, I tried counting, but lost the count couple of times, my last count I think was 8.

The new XC40 will cost you 39.9 lakh ex-showroom, which is right up there with its competitors like the BMW X1, Audi Q3 or the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Here comes a question what do you prefer.

Well, at Motorise, we have reviewed the V90CC and the XC60 earlier, and on both the occasions, we have fallen in love with the products, and the same holds true for this XC40 also.

It looks stunning, has the best kit to offer, is priced competitively and guess what, has the best safety kit to offer. At 40 lacs odd price point, is it then the best SUV in the segment, well, I will be able to answer that, only when I pit it against the others, but should you buy one- well if safety is your priority, if being attention grabber is your priority, if comfort is your priority, and you are ok for time being to accept the fact that your city may or may not have a Volvo Service Network for now, things will change here rapidly as Volvo is adding service networks at a faster pace, then I believe, you just found a perfect SUV- The Volvo XC40

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About Author
Saurabh Pandit
Saurabh Pandit

With 15 years of experience in digital space, Saurabh comes with extensive experience in killer shots. The pictures that you see here are mostly clicked by him. With a nac of clicking brilliant photos, he has developed art of writing well too. 

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Romesh Kaul

Well written and nice pictures.

Reply | 19-02-2019

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