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Old 18th October 2018, 10:35   #1
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Default Driven: Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 39.90 - 43.90 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• A sharply styled SUV. Volvo’s new designs sure are head-turners!
• Solid build & top-notch quality, inside out
• Sweet looking cabin that’s loaded to the gills with features
• 9” responsive touchscreen & Harman Kardon sound system are awesome
• Peppy & efficient 2.0L diesel engine mated to a smooth 8-speed automatic
• Excellent high speed stability coupled with sorted handling
• Volvo's 5-star safety rating & equipment

What you won't:

• Rear seat comfort levels are mediocre. It’s best for just 2 & ingress / egress are tricky too
• Firm low speed ride. Liveable, but not plush in the city
• More expensive than its rivals, especially after the discounts on the Germans
• Small dealership and service network isn't a patch on its competitors
• 2.0L diesel is the only engine on offer. No petrol / hybrid options
• Engine & gearbox tuning isn’t as good as that of BMW, or even Mercedes
• Lacks the badge value of the German marques

This review has been jointly compiled with Moralfibre. Thanks to him for the expert observations & pics!

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:42.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:35   #2
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Review Index

Interior - Front

Interior - Rear

In-Car Entertainment

Driving Aids

Driving the 2.0L Diesel AT

Ride & Handling

Smaller yet Significant Things

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 11:09.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:35   #3
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With the XC40, Volvo completes its SUV portfolio in India, allowing the company to now compete with the German trio in all segments. According to Volvo's internal estimates, the entry-level premium SUV segment accounts for approximately 6,000 units per year with the market evenly split between BMW, Audi & Mercedes. Volvo hopes to grab a significant piece of the pie by offering a product that is loaded to the gills and priced competitively compared to the top-spec variants of the competition.

Volvo is pursuing a mix of CKD & CBU strategy for various models to balance both - its short-term & long-term plans. The CBU route allows them to get international launches faster to the Indian market. Going forward, the CKD route will be used for vehicles based on the SPA / CMA platforms.

The XC40's design is inspired by the Concept 40.1, which Volvo unveiled in May 2016. It is based on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) enabling it to accommodate future hybrid options easily. The vehicle looks butch, sharp and has definite SUV styling compared to curvy, coupe-ish & crossover-styled products from its competitors. Even the rear, while being unmistakably Volvo, has simple styling with a hint of edginess that adds character to the car. As we have seen over the years, Volvo has done well in coming up with refreshing products & designs that are far cry from the plain & staid looks that it used to be associated with. The company is now going for bold and youthful designs. This is similar to what Mercedes did with their A-Class / CLA-Class to attract a younger audience.

There are three colour choices on offer - Crystal White, Fusion Red & Bursting Blue. The R-Design variant, which we tested, gets a glossy black roof with all colours. For the interiors, there’s a choice of two colour themes - All Black & Black with Lava red. The paint quality is as good as we've seen in this segment.

In terms of dimensions, the XC40 measures 4,425 mm in length, 1,863 mm in width and 1,652 mm in height. This makes it wider and taller than its three German rivals. However, the BMW X1 trumps it in length. The Volvo's wheelbase at 2,702 mm is the longest amongst the competition. At 1,735 kg, the Volvo is also heavier than its German counterparts.

While there are multiple powertrain options available for the XC40 internationally, India gets only the a 2.0L D4 diesel engine.

As you would expect of a Volvo, the XC40 is loaded with safety features including radar-based technology such as adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation (city safety), lane keeping aid and pilot assist amongst others. The body of the car itself feels very sturdy. It uses a frame made of mild to ultra high strength steel with a front cross member made out of aluminium. All doors feel weighted and close with a solid European thud. The XC40 also managed to score a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests.

Volvo is offering a 2-year / unlimited kms standard warranty on the XC40. Compared to its German rivals, the warranty isn’t great. Mercedes-Benz, for instance, offers a 3-year / unlimited km warranty and has a much more widespread dealer network. Volvo’s dealer network is nowhere near that of its German rivals.

The "Thor's Hammer" styled LED daylight running lamps and the blacked out grill dominate the front and give the XC40 a purposeful look. The Volvo logo is the only chrome part in the front. The bumper has a wide air dam with horizontal slats:

The rear is unmistakably Volvo. The tailgate looks to be carved out of a single piece of metal. The lower part of the bumper is blacked out and also houses the dual chrome-tipped exhausts. Apart from that, use of chrome is limited to the badging:

Side profile clearly shows the compact dimensions of the XC40. The high bonnet line, the sculpted doors and the window line that climbs sharply towards the C-pillar give the car distinct styling. Front and rear overhangs are short:

One of the best angles to view the XC40 from. The high, squared-off bonnet gives the car a much more macho look compared to its rivals. Young or old, rich or poor - it doesn't matter. The XC40 draws just about everyone's attention:

Looks purposeful from all angles. No two ways about it - the XC40 has SUV styling that is almost becoming a must have design element in the Indian market. Even in the entry-level segment, the success of the Renault Kwid can be attributed to its SUV styling:

Like all new Volvos, the XC40 gets "Thor's Hammer" LED DRLs. Even the headlamps are full LED units. Notice the Volvo lettering on the side of the headlamp cluster:

The distinct LED DRLs are sure to attract a lot of attention on the road:

The DRLs are bright and help in giving the XC40 great road presence:

A look at the headlamp cluster with all the lights in action. The DRLs also double up as turn-indicators. The headlamps are fully automatic with auto beam height adjustment as well as auto low-high beam switching:

The all-LED headlamps do a great job of lighting up the road ahead:

With the high beam engaged, the throw of the headlights is phenomenal:

The headlights also get active bending functioning, which alters their throw according to steering input. Here's a look at how this function works:

Glossy all-black concave grill with chrome Volvo logo is imposing and dominates the front:

Bumper houses a large, black air dam with horizontal slats. A glossy black insert is located on the lower edge. Six parking sensors have been provided:

Black housing for the round LED foglamp, which doubles up as a cornering lamp. Nice to see no chrome here:

Decent amount of underbody protection as seen from the front. Unladen ground clearance is rated at 211 mm:

Frameless wipers have the washer nozzles integrated into them:

Shut lines and panel gaps are tight and uniform in general, even around the bonnet:

Black ORVMs with integrated LED blinkers are electrically adjustable and foldable. They also auto-fold when you lock the car:

Each door handle gets a well integrated request sensor...

...and puddle lamps:

18" machine cut dual tone alloy wheels shod with 235/55 section Pirelli tyres. This is the only tyre size available in India. Internationally, the XC40 gets wheel options from 17" to 20", while 21" wheels are available as accessories:

The underbody from the side. Notice the points provided for placing the jack:

As you'd expect from a vehicle at this price, disc brakes are provided at the rear as well:

The XC40 R-Design gets a glossy black roof. Window line rises dramatically from the rear door due to which the glass area lets in a rather less amount of daylight. Roof rails add to the SUV look:

R-Design logo on the black portion of the C-pillar:

Crease on the lower portion of the doors adds character to the design. Like most crossovers / compact SUVs, the XC40 gets black plastic cladding around its wheel arches and along its sides:

Front half of the panoramic sunroof opens outwards (looks ugly). It has a wind deflector that rises up when you open it to cut down on wind noise. The roof rails feel sturdy and attached firmly. Sharkfin antenna is located towards the rear of the roof:

Roof spoiler is well integrated and houses the LED stop lamp and windshield washer:

The rear tail lights are unmistakably Volvo. The position lamps and reversing lamps are LED units, while the turn-indicators and brake lights are regular halogen bulbs:

Like the headlights, the tail-lights get Volvo lettering on their sides:

With most of the lights in action. When the brakes are applied, the area around the turn-indicator lights up as well:

Reversing camera neatly integrated and located on the right side of the electromagnetic boot release:

The trim and variant badges are located on the right of the tailgate:

The tailgate has a slightly uneven gap at the bottom:

Dual tone bumper has a piano black insert at the bottom flanked by two chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. If you look carefully, the actual exhaust is a small round pipe inside the tip. Like the front bumper, it houses six parking sensors and a towing point. You also get rear fog lights on the driver side:

A view of the underbody from the rear. Notice the Haldex rear differential. The rear link arms get a plate underneath for some protection:

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:52.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:36   #4
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Interior - Front

The front doors open with a 3-stage action. The first thing that strikes you when you step inside is the funky interior colour, even before you begin to notice the styling of the cabin which itself is bold and youthful. The dash is all black but has lava red (bright red) accents on the doors and the entire carpeting. The colour combination will surely polarise opinions and will not be to everyone’s taste. In an odd way, it works, by conveying the youthful approach that Volvo is taking with the XC40. The minimalist design with the large touchscreen dominates the dashboard. The upper part of the dashboard features soft-touch plastics. A prominent concave aluminium insert runs across the length of the dashboard. There are only a few physical buttons here rather than a clutter:

Fit & finish are very good and so is the quality of materials used. Soft-touch plastics are used at various places making the cabin look and feel premium. Ergonomics are sorted with all the switches & controls within easy reach:

While this is no full-size SUV like say the Fortuner, the view from the driver's seat is commanding. Owners will enjoy the high seating position from where a good portion of the bonnet is visible:

A-pillar does not hamper visibility too much. The ORVMs mounted below on the door help a little as well:

At the base of the windshield, there is a small clip for displaying parking tickets. In our test car, this rattled quite a bit and was irritating. It took me a while to figure out what was making the rattling noise whenever the car went over a bad patch of road. Notice the SRS label on the windscreen:

The leather-wrapped steering is small in diameter and nice to hold and has contours where you would normally grip the wheel. Perforated texture and brushed aluminium detailing look fab. Hornpad will be a stretch for those with small hands. It's not easy to press either:

The cruise control buttons are placed on the left spoke of the steering. Pilot Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control are operated by these buttons as well. The right side buttons are used for menu selection in the MID and voice commands:

Zooming in to show you the stitching pattern on the steering. White stitching gives a sweet contrast effect:

R-Design logo on the lower spoke of the steering:

Paddle shifters on either side of the steering - one on the left is for shifting down and vice versa. The transmission responds to shifts quickly and the paddles feel meaty:

The paddles have a rubberised lining at the back and are contoured for grip:

Manual adjustment for tilt & telescopic steering:

Gone are the days of traditional analog meters, everyone is going digital, especially in these premium cars. Left side has the speedometer marked till 260 km/h and the right has the rpm with the redline at 4,500 rpm. Fuel gauge is logically displayed below the rpm meter. The time and outside temperature are displayed at the top of the instrument cluster:

MID shows a plethora of information including an odometer, two trip meters with average fuel consumption, average speed and driving time:

Other information displayed include the media being played on the infotainment system, call list and recent destinations set on the navigation system:

Trying to engage cruise control while not belted (and stationary) results in this message being displayed below the speedometer:

On startup, the system performs a check of all the driver aids in the car:

Your position is displayed on a map that appears between the speedometer and the rpm counter:

The space between the two dials is also used to warn the driver if a door, tailgate or bonnet is left open. The red seat indicates the seatbelt being unbuckled - very cool!!

The media being played on the infotainment system can also be displayed if the user wishes:

The switchgear for the lights is located on the left, while the controls for the wipers are located on the right. The XC40 is equipped with automatic headlights with automatic beam height adjustment and switching between low and high beam. To use this feature, move the rotary switch on the left stalk to the highest position. Automatic wipers have also been provided. To engage this feature, one has to press the portion in the middle of the wiper stalk. Those used to the simple functioning of German and Japanese cars might find it difficult to figure this out. Disengaging is done by putting the stalk in intermittent or regular mode. With automatic wipers on, you can have the mist function without disengaging the automatic function:

Switch for the rear washer / wiper is located on the outer edge of the wiper stalk, while the button to reset the trip meter is located on the outer edge of the light stalk:

Simple-looking engine start / stop button is located on the steering column, unlike other Volvo cars which have a very chunky and upmarket button located on the center console. It has a silver border and is backlit in white:

Front doorpads have deep pockets, which are illuminated and can hold three 1-liter bottles or a laptop. Volvo has taken out the mid bass speaker from the doors and put an ingenious sub-woofer in the front of the dash. The doorpad is soft where the window meets the door all the way down to the armrest. Bottom part is hard plastic, but of a decent quality. The wool-felt like material on the doors is likely to get roughed up in Indian conditions though:

Switches for operating the power windows, adjusting the ORVMs and central locking are very simple-looking for the funky interior. However, they feel well built:

Aluminium insert on the doorpad gets a cool ambient lighting:

Switches for the memory function of the driver seat are placed on the doorpad:

Door sill is not very wide and gets R-Design scuff plates:

The seats come in black with white stitching. All seats get heating function (useless in most parts of India) and feature a mix of Alcantara and nubuck leather upholstery. The seats are firm with excellent bolstering on the sides and offer superb support with lumbar adjustment. They are also wide enough to suit larger built folks:

Driver seat is electrically adjustable and gets 2 seat memory positions. The fore and aft travel range is long. Even tall drivers will fit in without complaints:

A look at the seat in the lowest and highest positions. Adjustment range is healthy. Headroom is excellent:

The seat base can be manually extended as well to provide better under-thigh support for taller drivers:

A closeup of the upholstery. Quality is very good:

The passenger seat is also electrically adjustable:

Driver armrest is clad in leather and has a soft padded surface. Sadly, it is not adjustable:

Front seatbelts are height-adjustable and have pre-tensioners:

Accelerator and brake pedals are finished in aluminium, with rubber strips on the surface. Dead pedal is positioned perfectly and can even accommodate large sized shoes. It has a rubberised surface. The front footwells are illuminated:

ORVMs are wide enough to give a good view of happenings at the rear. The driver's side OVRM gets a wide angle view at the edge marked by the dotted line to help in the case of blind spots:

Frameless IRVM gets auto-dimming functionality. It is large enough to comfortably cover the rear windshield:

Rearward view is limited. Thick C-pillars and large passenger headrests mean you'll be depending on that reversing camera a lot. Watch out for bikes & low-slung cars parked close behind you:

Center fascia is tilted towards the driver. The subtle use of chrome, silver and piano black gives it a classy minimalist look:

The command center of the car. Almost anything & everything can be controlled from this 9" touchscreen. Volvo have decided (and rightfully so) to use the same touchscreen from their elder siblings rather than create a separate one for the baby XC. The functions of this system are covered in a separate post, later in the review:

Physical switches for operating the most common functions of the infotainment system and climate control are provided as well as a button to switch between the various drive modes. They are finished in piano black and have a subtle chrome border.

Cigarette lighter and two USB ports are located low on the center fascia. The upper USB port is for connecting your smartphone to the infotainment system. Both can be used to charge gadgets:

The base of the center fascia features a Qi wireless smartphone charger. Remember, your smartphone needs to have the wireless charging function for this feature to work. This portion of the center fascia gets ambient lighting:

Piano black center console houses the gear shifter, a couple of cup holders as well as....

....the switches for the electronic parking brake and auto hold just behind the gear lever:

The storage bin under the armrest is reasonably big and even houses a removable dustbin:

With the dustbin removed, the storage space is enormous. Notice the rubberised base of the storage bin:

Dustbin has a net on one side...

...and soft lining on the other sides to keep it from rattling:

The bin has a spring-loaded lid and is deep enough to easily swallow toffee wrappers, tissue papers, toll tickets or any other items you want to discard:

Passenger side of the dash has top class finish on the dashboard & doors. Everything you see is in perfect sync with each other and nothing stands out as a sore thumb. Aluminium insert keeps things from getting boring:

Like the insert on the doors, the one on the dashboard also gets the cool ambient lighting:

Glovebox has two sections but is on the smaller side:

Glovebox is illuminated and has a cooling function:

Nifty, foldable bag hook on the edge of the glovebox lid can hold loads up to 2 kg in weight:

Small groove provided on the left side of the center fascia. Volvo says it is a storage space but for what we don't know:

Both front sunvisors get vanity mirrors with lights as well as ticket holders:

Large sensor / camera box sits on top of the front windscreen behind the IRVM. Looking at the size, you would think it might hamper visibility. However, it does not:

Roof bezel consists of controls for the cabin lights, sunroof and...

...display of critical safety information:

Both front doors have spring-loaded grab handles above them:

Six airbags are standard on the XC40. These include front airbags...

...side airbags...

...and curtain airbags:

Switch to turn the passenger airbag on / off is located on the left of the dashboard:

The panoramic sunroof is huge and plays a vital role in keeping the cabin bright. The cover makes a squeaking noise while it is opened or closed:

Sunroof helps in making the cabin feel airy since the roof liner is dark grey:

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:48.
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Interior - Rear

Like the front, the rear doors of the XC40 also open and close with a three-stage action. They don't open sufficiently wide and ingress / egress isn't the easiest. This is also due to the high floor of the car and the roof that slopes downwards at the sides, even though it is flat and not swooped down:

Gap between the B-pillar and the seat is enough to easily move your feet in & out:

Like the front, the rear door sill is not wide. No scuff plate at the rear. Rather cheap to skimp on it in such an expensive car:

Rear doorpads follow the same theme as the ones in the front. However, they do not get aluminium inserts and ambient lighting. The door pockets are smaller as well with speakers, but are still large enough to hold a 1-liter bottle and a few knick-knacks:

Rear bench seat splits 60:40. It’s wide enough to accommodate 2 adults and a child. The seat base is largely flat, but the seatback has some supportive contours to hold you in place. The upholstery is identical to the front seats with adequate cushioning. The middle seat passenger gets a shorter seat base and a flat seatback. This frees up some knee room in between the seat and rear air-con console, but the large central hump doesn't help:

All three rear seat passengers get three-point seatbelts. ISOFIX child seat mounts are a part of the standard equipment:

The middle passenger gets an adjustable head-restraint. The ones on the sides are fixed:

While the leg room is pretty reasonable, tall people may feel under-thigh support is lacking. The angle of the seatback is rather upright but headroom is more than adequate:

Seatbacks have nets for the rear passengers to store stuff. While they are scooped out, they have a hard plastic cover. I hated the feel of hard plastic on my knees. Good luck burying your knees into them. Even the lower portion of the front seat is hard and hurts the shin of the passenger sitting at the rear:

Harman Kardon amplifier under the driver's seat does not let the rear passenger slide his / her feet under the driver's seat:

Center armrest is clad in leather and has a couple of cupholders:

Rear windows do not roll down all the way. This is the lowest they go down to:

Overall glass area is on the lesser side. The window line rises quite sharply as it goes towards the rear of the car. Add to that the dark grey roof liner and one gets the feeling of being boxed in:

No grab handles for the rear passengers. However, Volvo has provided slots in which... can fit removable coat hooks:

White LED reading lamps are located above the rear doors:

Nifty bag hooks on both B-Pillars:

Air-con blower for the rear passengers. No controls for temperature or blower speed provided. Direction and air volume can be controlled manually:

USB port and buttons to operate the heating function for the left and right seats for rear passengers are placed low down:

Tall and wide transmission tunnel combined with a protruding rear air-con blower will make the middle seat very uncomfortable. The passenger sitting in the middle will have to place his feet on either side of the hump:

Cubby holes on the sides of the rear seat can be used to keep small to medium-sized items. They have a rubberised base:

The tailgate is electrically operated. It can be opened by using the boot release button inside the car or long pressing the boot release button on the key fob. It can also be opened by using the electromagnetic boot release on the tailgate if you have the key on you. The boot can accommodate up to 460L of luggage:

Alternately, the tailgate can be opened or closed by waving your leg underneath the rear bumper. The sensor is located under the left side of the rear of the car. Here's a demonstration of how the handsfree boot works:

With the center armrest down, you can fold down this plastic cover and access the boot. Good to carry long items (skis etc.). Like other parts of the car, the fit and finish is top notch:

Wide parcel tray comes with a prominent lip to stop articles kept on it from rolling onto the rear seat:

Button to unlock and fold the seat back forward. However, it must be noted that the European-spec XC40 also gets a button in the boot to electrically fold the seat forward:

The rear seats have 60:40 split folding functionality. Selective folding is useful if you need to carry a combination of cargo + passengers. The seatback of the middle seat is connected to the right seat:

With the rear seats fully folded, you get a perfectly flat loading bay with enough space to take all your airport luggage and more:

Boot has a lower compartment where you can store expensive articles out of sight. Simply unfold the upper floor back in place:

Boot floor can be folded and kept vertically to provide a partition in the boot and hold small bags in place. The hinges have bag hooks that can be used to hang bags. Smart & nifty:

Four cargo tie-down hooks are provided:

Useful bag hooks have been provided on both sides to hold your open shopping bags:

Top tether for the child seat (there are two of them):

Boot has a lamp on each side:

First aid kit and funnel for filling fuel at pumps where the dispenser nozzle is too thick have been provided. The first aid kit has Velcro straps which enable it to cling on to the boot floor:

Tools are neatly stored in a Styrofoam casing, which sits in the spare wheel:

Indian version of the XC40 gets a space saver spare tyre - an 18" steel rim with a 125/80 section tyre wrapped around it:

Simply press the button on the left to close the tailgate. The button on the right is used to close and lock the tailgate:

Tailgate gets full black cover on the inside. No ugly bits sticking out anywhere. Safety triangle is neatly stored on it. A third boot lamp is provided on the tailgate:

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:54.
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In-Car Entertainment

9" touchscreen infotainment system on the center console controls nearly everything in the XC40. This is something that takes a good few hours to get acquainted with. But once you do, it's very easy to use. Navigation is inbuilt and connectivity is through Bluetooth and USB. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported. Overall, the system is responsive with no lag and visibility is good even under direct sunlight:

The 600W sound system has been provided by Harman Kardon and has excellent clarity. It comes with 13 speakers including a subwoofer in the boot, center speaker on the dashboard...

...tweeters on the A-pillars...

...mid range speakers on the front doors... Air Woofer (nothing but an Infinite baffle system that has been available on GM trucks for 10 years or so), which is mounted behind the dashboard...

...mid bass on the rear door...

...tweeters on the rear doors...

...and a mid range behind the rear seats:

The system also supports voice commands. A guide to these commands is provided in the instrument cluster:

Touchscreen has to be used to select the source of media, access alerts related to the vehicle and check the way the driver has driven among other things:

Sound system can be optimised to suit the driver or rear passengers or all occupants:

Car status shows you a tyre pressure monitoring system and gives you information about your car (such as low oil level) and when service is due:

A summary of the fuel consumption is also displayed:

Various car functions can be enabled or disabled from this screen:

The system gets inbuilt navigation. Its accuracy is good and a compass is provided. However, with Android Auto supported and Google Maps available, the inbuilt navigation is not likely to be used much:

One can view a list of recent destinations, points of interest and favourite destinations (selected by the user):

The system also comes with WiFi connectivity, over which you can update the system software or applications:

The dual zone climate control system can be adjusted through the infotainment system. Settings that can be altered include the temperature...

...blower speed and air flow:

The intensity of heating for the seats can be adjusted as well:

The XC40 gets Android Auto. To use it, owners have to connect their smartphones to the system via a USB cable. One can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages (including WhatsApp) and listen to music through a touch interface or voice commands. Android Auto also includes navigation through Google Maps. It is helpful in getting real-time traffic updates (via Google) on the screen:

One can access the user manual of the car as well:

Touchscreen doubles up as a display for the reversing camera. It comes with adaptive guidelines and the clarity is very good:

Even in poor light, the camera's performance is good. Colour-coded demarcations appear as broken lines and you can zoom in when maneuvering in tight situations:

Owners can lock the system with a digital pin as well. This comes in handy while giving the car to a valet:

Last edited by Aditya : 22nd October 2018 at 07:20.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:36   #7
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Driving Aids

The XC40 comes with similar driving aids as its larger siblings. These include Cruise Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Lane Keeping Aid, Collision Avoid Assistance and Park Assist. A detailed explanation of the various driving aids is given in our XC60 review.

Adaptive Cruise Control: In the Adaptive Cruise Control feature, the user sets a particular cruising speed and the electronics take over to keep the vehicle at the set speed. When the vehicle in front of you slows down, the radar sensors of the XC40 detect this, and the Volvo will slow down without the driver having to press the brake. Similarly, when the slow-moving vehicle moves out of the way, the sensors detect this and the Volvo will increase its speed to the set speed on its own. All the driver has to do is steer (or not even below).

Here's a video showing how the Adaptive Cruise Control works:

Pilot Assist: In Pilot Assist, the XC40 can steer itself, while maintaining its speed and a safe distance to the vehicle in front, which can be set by the user. However, you still need to have your hands on the steering wheel. The cameras and radar sensors of the Volvo detect the lane markings on the road, applies steering inputs till a few degrees and regulates the speed of the car by either accelerating or braking. However, in times of emergency, the driver will have to apply the brakes himself. Pilot Assist will give warning signals on the dashboard if the driver takes the hand off the steering completely for a short while, or if it detects that the driver is inattentive for a similar period.

Here's a video showing how Pilot Assist works:

If Pilot Assist or Adaptive Cruise Control are engaged, it is indicated in the instrument cluster below the speedometer. Once activated, the grey graphics turn green. The set distance is indicated by the horizontal bars. If the driver is not belted up, the functions cannot be engaged:

Park Assist: The Volvo XC40 also comes with Park Assist. This is nothing but auto parking. It can be used for parallel or angular parking. The car detects a parking space and intimates the driver about it. The driver has to only give throttle and brake inputs or change gears between R and D, while the car steers itself into the parking space. Here is a video showing how it works:

Lane Assistance:
If the system detects the car leaving its lane, it attempts to steer it back and alerts the driver by sending vibrations through the steering wheel:

BLIS (Blind Spot Indicator System):
The Indian version of the XC40 doesn't get this feature even though it is listed in the user manual:

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:56.
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Driving the 2.0L Diesel AT

2.0L, 4-cylinder D4 turbocharged diesel engine puts out a healthy 187 BHP and 400 Nm of torque:

The XC40 is powered by the same 2.0L D4 diesel engine that is found in the S60 and S90. This is the only engine option available in India, which is surprising considering the market's current swing towards petrol power plants.

In the XC40, the engine churns out 187 BHP and 400 Nm of torque, which is identical to its larger sibling the XC60 (Momentum trim), S60 and the S90 sedan. The D4 engine is mated to an Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a Haldex all-wheel drive system. While the engine produces peak torque at an identical 1,750 - 2,500 rpm to the S60 and S90, it produces peak power at 4,000 rpm, which is 250 rpm lower than its sedan siblings. The power and torque figures make the XC40 the joint leader in this segment along with the BMW X1. The engine comes with five selectable drive modes - Comfort (default), Eco, Off Road, Dynamic and Individual.

Crank the diesel motor with a tap on the start / stop button with the brake pedal pressed. On firing up the engine, the car starts in the "Comfort" drive mode. You can hear the typical muted thrum that is emitted from modern diesel engines. The powerplant then settles into a smooth idle. Get moving and this diesel feels very refined.

Lift your foot off the brake and the XC40 creeps forward at ~6 km/h without any throttle input allowing you to drive in heavy traffic with just the use of the brake pedal. The engine has very little turbo lag and the gearbox performs effortlessly in these conditions.

Press the A pedal and the Volvo pulls away without hesitation. Throttle response is satisfactory and when driven with a light foot, the transmission shifts up at ~1,800 rpm. The gear changes are extremely smooth and you won’t even notice the changes happening unless you look at the revv counter. This along with the engine's linear power delivery and low noise levels, makes riding in the XC40 a pleasant experience. Coming to kickdown time, the gearbox is not as quick to respond as a ZF unit, but acceptable. Except for enthusiastic drivers, we do not see anyone complaining.

On the open road, the XC40 is a good mile muncher. It can amble along on open roads at 100 km/h with the engine ticking over @ 1,600 rpm and 120 km/h @ 1,900 rpm. While the engine can pull fairly well from low revvs, it starts feeling comfortable above 1,500 rpm and comes into its element 2,000 rpm onwards. Foot hard down, it will revv all the way till 4,700 rpm. The power delivered is linear with good roll-on acceleration. Most buyers of the XC40 will have little to complain about the car's overall performance.

Even under heavy acceleration, the gear shift remains smooth. Though shifts are more noticeable than when driving with a light foot, it never feels jerky. However, there are times when you want to overtake quickly and the gearbox won't respond instantly. If there is a fast vehicle ahead and your overtaking window is narrow, you'll have to plan the move or use the paddle shifters to shift manually. Another sore point is the tricky gearshift pattern. From "P", you need to dab the gear shifter backwards twice to engage "D". This can be irritating. Most of the time you are likely to dab the shifter just once and engage "N". To engage the "M" (manual) mode, one has to dab the shifter backwards after engaging "D". To go back from "M" to "D", you have to once again dab the gear shifter backwards. This is certainly among the most confusing shifters I have used in any car.

The paddle shifters are useful when you want to prepare the car for overtaking a fast vehicle on a 2-lane highway, or when you desire engine braking. The response time to your commands in manual mode is reasonably quick. What is bothersome is that the gearbox won't allow downshifts if the resultant rpm is even slightly on the higher side. On the other hand, when we requested a downshift from 2nd -> 1st, it did so with a violent jerk at times.

Apart from the Comfort (default mode) XC40 comes with 3 pre-set drive modes - Eco, Dynamic and Off Road. In addition to these, there is an "Individual" mode which allows the user to set up various parameters to his liking.

Eco Mode - The Eco mode is tuned for efficiency...big time! The gearbox shifts up at the earliest opportunity to conserve fuel. The car becomes sluggish and even after flooring the accelerator, the response from the engine is dull. That said, it is acceptable for moving around in urban traffic. In this mode, the steering is one-finger light and the dull throttle response makes for a very smooth riding experience for the passengers. One can use this mode even if you want to cruise on the expressway with a light foot. However, if one wants to quickly close a gap to the vehicle in front, it is best to move to one of the other modes.

Dynamic Mode - Put the car into Dynamic mode and it changes the car's characteristics. The gear shifts are faster, steering weighs up nicely and the throttle response is instantaneous and crisp. The braking too is sharpened. The XC40 becomes a point and shoot vehicle in gaps in the traffic during overtaking. In this mode, the gearbox does not shift up as early as the other modes. It brings a grin, if not an enthusiastic smile to the driver's face. The difference between the Dynamic and Comfort modes is noticeably bigger than between the Comfort and Eco modes. The Dynamic mode has its negatives too. The steering feels heavy at parking speeds and the power delivery can get rather spiky for driving in stop & go traffic.

Off Road Mode - This mode can be activated at speeds below 30 km/h and makes the engine hold onto a gear for a longer time. The steering becomes extremely light. This mode is strictly to be used in rough road situations and the top speed is limited to 40 km/h. The XC40 manages to do some basic off-roading on rough tracks. With a ground clearance of 211 mm, an approach angle of 21.7 degrees, a departure angle of 30.5 degrees and a breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, it can tackle dirt trails with ease.

Individual Mode - In this mode, the user can set various parameters of the car to his liking. These include the steering, powertrain and braking characteristics.

The NVH levels of the XC40 are superb, the engine starts with a distinct diesel note, but very little engine noise is heard inside the cabin at standstill with the windows rolled up. There are no vibrations felt anywhere. Volvo has done a good job with the cabin, chassis and engine bay damping. Even on highways, doing triple digit speeds, the wind noise doesn't filter in and the overall refinement is great. With music playing, one can be cocooned and not hear anything from outside.

2.0L diesel fills up the engine bay well:

Engine cover is soft and bolted on. You cannot remove it without proper tools:

Insulation sheet has been provided under the bonnet:

Firewall insulation is sufficient:

XC40 comes with four pre-set drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Dynamic & Off Road) which can be selected using the touchscreen:

You can also select the Individual option where the user can set each parameter (steering, powertrain & braking) individually from the preset options:

Even the climate control system can be made to operate in ECO mode. When activated, it cuts off the compressor more frequently than normal:

A look at the tachometer in the various drive modes. Clockwise from top left: Comfort, Eco, Off Road and Dynamic. In Eco, you get an Eco meter rather than a revv counter. The larger the green part, the more economically you are driving:

In Off Road mode, the top speed is restricted to 40 km/h:

Speed limit for the road you are using is displayed in the speedometer:

Traction control off indicator is located at the base of the instrument cluster:

A closer look at the unconventional gear shifter. White stitching on the black leather-wrapped knob looks cool:

Brushed aluminium inserts on the side:

Gear shifter gets only R, N and D positions. P gets its own dedicated button:

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:58.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:36   #9
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Ride & Handling

The XC40 rides on 18" rims with 235/55 rubber and comes with a double wishbone suspension setup at the front and a multilink setup at the rear. The urban ride quality is mature. At lower speeds, there is some firmness felt. This is felt more in the rear, but at no time does the ride get uncomfortable. On bad roads though, there is side-to-side movement of the cabin.

As speed builds up, the ride improves. On the highway, road irregularities & undulations will not bother you. There is no wallowing or bouncing experienced. It’s only the very large bumps that can be felt inside the cabin. The suspension functions silently as well.

Like other European cars' high-speed stability is of a very high order. The XC40 can cruise at triple digit speeds all day long without breaking a sweat. It feels well planted and even rough patches of road do not seem to upset its composure. In terms of handling, grip levels are excellent and though not as sharp as say a BMW, the car can change direction very easily. Body roll is adequately controlled for a car this tall. Even under hard cornering, there is a lot of grip offered by the Pirelli P Zero tyres.

As mentioned earlier, the electric power steering is light at parking and city speeds when the car is in the Comfort or Eco drive modes. This, along with the automatic gearbox makes the XC40 an easy car to drive in urban situations. The XC40's turning circle (diameter) of 11.4 m, is smaller than the Mercedes GLA's 11.84 m and helps city manoeuvrability even further. The EPS does weigh up nicely at higher speeds and feels direct, but like most modern day cars, feel & feedback are lacking.

The unladen ground clearance of the XC40 is rated at 211 mm. That's more than its competitors and enough to see the car clear almost any speedbreaker or small off-road excursions.

The XC40's stopping power comes from disc brakes on all four wheels. The braking performance is impressive in dry as well as wet conditions and the car comes to a standstill from triple digit speeds quickly and without any fuss. The pedal has enough feel as well. ABS + EBD is standard.

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 10:58.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:36   #10
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The Smaller yet Significant Things

Chrome key fob is wrapped in perforated leather:

Lock, unlock and boot release buttons are located on one side, while the alarm button is located on the other. Finding any of these buttons in the dark is a nightmare:

There is just one sticker saying "Diesel" on the inside of the fuel flap to warn the pump attendant about the diet of the XC40:

All the wheel wells have cladding. The front wheel wells get molded plastic claddings, while the rear wheel wells get felt-like material:

Recommended tyre pressures for both the full-sized and space saver spare tyres have been provided:

OBD port is located under the dashboard in the driver's footwell:

The passenger side mats are also secured with clips. Volvo claims that the floor mats are made from 100% recycled material:

Bonnet release lever is placed on the left side of the passenger's footwell. This is going to prove inconvenient when a hotel's security guard asks you to open the bonnet for inspection and you don't have a passenger in the front seat:

The user manual comes in several parts and is neatly packed in a box:

We noted tags of several countries from where parts have been sourced for the XC40. The car is manufactured in Belgium:

Head lights from France:

Boot struts from Germany:

Windshield from Belgium,... from the Czech Republic,...


...and even Hungary:

Sunroof glass from China:

IRVM assembled in the USA:

Seatbelts from Hungary:

Hoses from Bulgaria:

MAF (mass airflow) sensor from Japan:

Swedish flag on the seats denotes Volvo's swedish origins:

Volvo provides round the clock breakdown assistance:

Disclaimer: Volvo invited Team-BHP for the XC40 test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by Aditya : 18th October 2018 at 11:00.
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Old 18th October 2018, 11:18   #11
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Default Re: Driven: Volvo XC40

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th October 2018, 11:52   #12
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Default Re: Driven: Volvo XC40

Awesome review. Rated 5 stars.

Great eye to detail. Made in XXXXX information is really out of this world. It can only happen on TeamBhp. Salute !

I am stunned. What a car. Move over Kodiaq, there's a new winner for my 'achievable dream car' list.

Hard to find a fault in the product, be it the engine, the exterior styling or the interiors. Only thing I found a little awkward were the orange floor mats.
Totally love the center console and the huge touchscreen. Looks like an I-Pad has been attached to the dashboard.
Added bonus: The brand Volvo itself screams Safety to me and it is my highest priority.

Last edited by drive2eternity : 18th October 2018 at 12:00.
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Old 18th October 2018, 12:08   #13
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Default Re: Driven: Volvo XC40

Excellent review as always... I saw the baby at the Mumbai airport on the last weekend and was smitten by it (was initially depressed that we didn't have a team bhp review for this yet). The only point which I felt (please correct if it's wrong) was not covered in the review was the rear bumper protrusion. At a quick glance, I felt it was like the other sub 4 m super minis which are trying to maximize the space. The rear three quarter pic here does raise a concern which may have been missed.
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Old 18th October 2018, 13:09   #14
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Default Re: Driven: Volvo XC40

Thanks Khan_Sultan for a very detailed review. The photographs and videos are of excellent quality and add to the overall value of the review. Excellent team-bhp review once again.
I had taken a test drive on a R-Design spec a few weeks ago and had come back impressed. My only concern was with rear-seat passenger comfort over long drives - something that is difficult to test in a regular dealer offered test drive. Any experience with this particular aspect?
Also, Volvo is no longer accepting bookings for the R-Design- so we are left with the momentum and inscription trims. Unfortunate, as the R-Design was really the sweet spot. Another query I had was if it would be possible for the 360 camera system (that is available in other markets) to be retrofitted here in India by the dealer.
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Old 18th October 2018, 14:04   #15
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Default Re: Driven: Volvo XC40

Super awesome review.
Loved the detail in every part. So used to expecting that from Team-Bhp.
The XC 40 now has two other variants as well. Momentum is the base variant and Inscription is the top end. The Inscription has the crystal gear lever and also has the 4C Chassis system which alters suspension settings when changing drive modes. But in the entire Volvo range only the R-Design variants get the paddle shifters. Weird !
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