Here’s a tip on one of the things you can do this weekend – head to any authorised Volvo showroom, and see the newly launched XC40 for yourself. I’m not saying you’ll think it’s the most gorgeous thing ever, but you will certainly be impressed on how it looks. Previous new-age Volvo products mostly have legacy design factors it carries from previous XC90, XC60, S90, etc., but the XC40 demonstrates what Volvo can do when it starts from a totally blank canvas.
Adding to that is the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) the car stands on, essentially a smaller version of 90 series Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). CMA is also shared with Lynk & Co and Geely.
It is closer to the XC90 by way of its boxy shape, rather than the swoopier XC60. And despite the less expansive bodyshell real-estate, it shows more effort. Granted, the XC40 is clearly made for the younger crowd so it tries very hard to look interesting.
There’s only one variant at launch, and it’s not a plug-in hybrid. That will come later, we’re told, and until then it’s the XC40 T5 R-Design. Hence, the good looks are further enhanced by R-Design grille on the outside, while the cabin gets sport pedals, gear lever, cutting edge décor inlay, textile carpets, front tread plates and textile carpets all from R-design.
The 2.0-litre Drive-E powertrain makes 252hp and 350Nm for the all-wheel drive system through its 8-speed automatic. It goes to the century from standstill in 6.4 seconds. Again, it is not a hybrid like we’ve come to expect from Volvo but it does have stop-go system, in its own little way perhaps contributing to the 7.7 litre/100km of claimed fuel consumption. The fuel tank capacity is 54 litres.
Despite being the smallest XC model yet, it does not lose out to the larger siblings in respect of safety features. City Safety, driver alert control, lane keeping aid, cross traffic alert with auto brake, and full-length curtain airbags are all standard. So is Pilot Assist which brings with it semi-autonomous driving capability. So is Pilot Assist which brings with it semi-autonomous driving capability via features that includes active cruise control and park assist.
The locally-assembled Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design is priced at RM255,888, available in four colours of Bursting Blue, Fusion Red, Crystal White, and Osmium Grey.