KUALA LUMPUR: The Volvo XC40 is the smallest compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) in Volvo’s SUV product range.
Volvo Cars Malaysia Sdn Bhd has launched the XC40 T5 AWD R-Design in Malaysia in October 2018, and the writer took the XC40 T5 AWD R-Design for a test drive. It is a safe and sophisticated ride, most suitable for a small family or even a young executive.
The Volvo XC40 has picked up the 2018 European Car of the Year, What Car? Car of the Year 2018, Women’s World Car of the Year 2018 and Carsales Car of the Year awards, last year.
Powering the Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design is the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder drive-e engine paired with a eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It produces 250 hp and 350 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 4,800 rpm.
Volvo claims that the XC40 can complete the century sprint in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 230 kph. It has a combined fuel consumption of 7.7 litres per 100km (l/100km), in the European cycle.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder drive-e engine was smooth and powerful. It could exceed legal speed limit without breaking a sweat, ease on the throttle and the XC40 performs most efficiently, consuming minimum fuel.
There wasn’t a need to use the paddle shifters, as the eight-speed transmission was able to change gears seamlessly, and swiftly, according to the throttle input.
The XC40 is stable and it sits firmly during corners. The medium light weighted steering response to driver’s input precisely and quickly, but there wasn’t much feedback from the road conditions. The suspension absorbs bumps and damaged road tracks very well, leaving a smooth and silky ride for all occupants.
Based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, the XC40 measures at 4,425 mm in length, 1,863 mm in width, 1,655 in height, and a 2,702 wheelbase. It weighs 1,704 kg and it has a 460 litres boot space, as well as 54 litres of fuel tank capacity.
In terms of space, the XC40 has generous headroom, leg room and shoulder room for the front occupant and driver. As for the rear occupants, there are sufficient leg room, knee room, head room for both the side occupants, but the centre occupant will find that it is lack of legroom and shoulder room. With 460 litres of boot space, it can easily carry a large tandem stroller, with extra space for a couple of shopping bags.
The R-Design trim comes with gloss black grille, roof rails, side mirror, matte black front, side and back skirting, R-Design specific three-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel, gear lever, sport pedals, door sills, and seats.
It is the younger and slightly more stylish sibling of XC60 and XC90. It is no doubt that the XC40 is one of the best in its class for its technologies, performance and comfortability.
As for the equipment list, the locally-assembled XC40 T5 AWD R-Design is equipped with 19-inch wheels, with the option to upgrade to 20-inch or 21-inch, the signature ‘Thor’s hammer’ LED daytime running lights, LED headlamps, LED taillights, leather and Nubuck upholstery, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 9.0-inch multimedia infotainment system, wireless charging pad, dual-exhaust system, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system with cooled glove compartment, Clean Zone interior air quality system, rear air-vents, hands-free powered tailgate and 250W eight-speaker sound system.
It has a modernised and sportier looking exterior, accompanied by a refreshed and futuristic interior. It has managed to maintain the resemblance of the XC60 and XC90, not just by creating a shrunk version of the elder siblings.
The XC40’s interior was able to keep its premium feel, and improved it by giving it a more futuristic trims, aw well as created more space at the door bins, underneath the front seats, glove box and many more.
Volvo engineers’ have done a fabulous job by moving the door speakers away and developed the dashboard-mounted air-ventilated subwoofer. That way, it generated more space at the door bins to the extend that it could store a laptop or a few bottles in it.
As for the infotainment and sound systems, the XC40’s infotainment system is straight forward to operate. The eight-speaker sound system plays clean and clear treble, accompanied by solid hard bass. However, it is still short from the live concert sound quality.
However, a good cabin is not complete by just having a refreshed and futuristic designed interior. It must be spacious, comfortable and also quiet. These key points are all available in the XC40. At most driving speed, the engine, tyre and wind noises couldn’t penetrate into the cabin.
Safety has always been in Volvo’s DNA, therefore, some of its key features include seven airbags, adaptive cruise control, pilot assist system, city safety system with pedestrain, cyclist and large animal detection, front and rear collision warning, driver alert control, lane keeping aid, run-off raod mitigation with road edge detection, oncoming lane mitigation, BLIS, cross traffic with auto brake and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.
All the assistance technologies available on board reduces the driver’s fatigue level tremendously, when it comes to long distance driving and being stuck behind traffic jam.
The writer managed to drive the Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design for over 950km. A mixture of city and highway driving resulted to 9.5 to 10.4 l/100km. Cruising down the highway within legal speed limit recorded 8.2 to 9.1 l/100km and after some pedal-to-the-metal driving, the odometer showed 11.5 to 13.6 l/100km.
Overall, the XC40 is an amazing compact SUV with tons of sophisticated technologies, however, there are some features that could be added, such as the build in window shades and a sunroof.
The Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design is priced at RM255,888 on-the-road, excluding insurance. It is covered by a five-year or 120,000km which ever comes first warranty.