The Volvo XC40 is the newest addition to the Swedish automaker’s SUV lineup and it joins a growing segment of compact sport-utility vehicles and crossovers currently dominating the market.
Now eight years into its relaunch as a luxury brand under the Chinese automotive conglomerate, Geely Holding Group, Volvo has launched seven new models, three of which are SUVs: the XC90, XC60, and now the XC40.
The 40 is built on Volvo’s proprietary small-car skeleton, denoted as the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform which was co-developed with Geely.
As automobiles go, being the smallest and least expensive model in a lineup usually means you’ll have to make some compromises — the evidence of which might manifest itself in lower-quality materials and fewer options than the pricier models.
That is not the case here. The XC40 feels nearly every bit as premium as a compact luxury four-wheeler should.
From the moment you pull open its hefty doors, plant yourself into the sculpted, leather and Alcantara-wrapped driver’s seat, and grip the thick-rimmed steering wheel with the stoic chrome-plated Volvo badge planted dead-center, you realize you’re about to pilot a very capable, exceptionally well-built machine.
At the same time, it’s also quaint. And comfortable.
Unlike its larger siblings, the XC40 has no plug-in hybrid variant yet. It can only be had with one of two versions of the company’s four-cylinder, turbocharged, gas-powered engines — available with 187-horsepower, or a more energetic 248-horsepower variant. An all-electric version is currently in development.
Volvo recently loaned us a fully loaded XC40 R-Design for a weeklong drive in Los Angeles. These are our impressions: