Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription: Compact Premium SUV Impresses.


By Autoreviewman

Volvo’s newest model to join its growing lineup is the XC40, a compact SUV that’s both stylish and practical. It looks great with Volvo’s corporate grille up front along and T-shape headlights while the side profile is smart and effective looking.  It’s the ideal sized SUV for most people and arrives beautifully packaged. Sole engine is a 248-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, touted by Volvo as more powerful than any of its segment competitors. The direct-injection, unit produces 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 4,800 rpm. The only available transmission is   eight-speed automatic, transmitting power to all four wheels, that allows the Volvo to  accelerate to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds  The Volvo XC40 arrives in three models, starting at $39,750 for the Momentum trim level, $45,650 for the sport-orientated R-Design, and  $48,200 for the top Inscription version. We tested the Inscription model that is delineated with such upgrades as 18-inch six spoke black diamond cut alloy wheels. Inscription grille, driftwood door inlays, and a beautiful crystal gearlever knob. On the exterior, the Inscription forgoes the contrasting color roof option that gives it a less sporty, more serious premium look, buyers can opt for 21-inch wheels as an option. The Volvo XC40 Inscription model also gets some trim-level exclusive chrome accents, matte silver skid plates, and a large panoramic moonroof.

The cabin of the XC40 is very impressive, High-quality materials and excellent finish are a hallmark. While a two-tone interior set off nice satin metal trim to finish it off.  A well designed dash  offers a smart  tablet-like  9.0-inch center touchscreen display (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a 12.3-inch digital driver display as its focal point  and includes Volvo’s excellent Sensus infotainment system —with super clear graphics  that operates most of the XC40’s  crossover’s functions, such as climate, audio, navigation and phone.  The two screens, one in front of the driver, the other in the central dash can be configured a number of ways.  Also included is a Wi-Fi hotspot, three USB ports (two front, one rear), a 250-watt sound system, Bluetooth, Sirius XM radio, and Volvo’s On Call app with controls for remote start, door locks, There’s also a cell phone charge pad   Options include available Sensus Navigation, Bowers and Wilkinson audio system, wireless phone charging, and a 360-degree surround view camera.

The seats are, in the typical Volvo mould, very comfortable and supportive on long journeys. Lots of cargo room, too, while storage is excellent with a cubby beneath the driver’s seat, a built-in waste receptacle, and a reconfigurable trunk floor. Rear passengers benefit from ample legroom and headroom, with plenty of light coming through the available panoramic sunroof. The XC40’s trunk accommodates 21 cubic feet of storage, and can expand to 47.2 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.  The rear seats are 60/40 split while a power lift gate with hands-free opening.

As usual, safety is a high feature on all Volvo’s and the XC40 is no exception. In addition to passive safety features like a full suite of airbags, the XC40 arrives active driver aids, such as automatic emergency braking, road sign information, lane keeping assistance, oncoming lane mitigation, and pedestrian detection. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and braking, and parking assistance. Other safety features, include a vision system that detects pedestrians, cyclists, and a blind-spot warning system. Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system with adaptive cruise control, is part of the optional ($1,600) Convenience Package. It works to a degree, but like all driver-assistance technology from all manufacturers need refinement.   The adaptive cruise control, meanwhile is excellent. The XC40 comes standard with multiple drive modes, including Eco, Comfort, Off-Road, Dynamic, and Individual (a customizable setting for steering and powertrain response). Each mode adjusts various engine, transmission, and chassis, generally there are no issues on road, with the decent enough acceleration, supple ride quality, and good cornering. Highly recommended and good to see a premium Volvo SUV within the reach of most buyers. A more discerning alternative to the usual German competition. 

2018 Volvo XC40 Inscription model — priced from $48,200. Plus options and freight PDE

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