The Car Connection Volvo XC40 Overview
The Volvo XC40 is the Swedish automaker's smallest crossover SUV and the first Volvo sold under the car company's "subscription" plan.
With the XC40, Volvo launched a new architecture that will spin off a range of compact vehicles, including battery-electric vehicles to join its lineup at a later date.
It's a rival for vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class, Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Infiniti QX30.
MORE: Read our review of the 2019 Volvo XC40
The angular look of the XC40 bears more in common with some Jeeps than it does with the more conservatively styled XC90 and XC60 SUVs that outrank it in the Volvo lineup. Details such as a color-contrast roof, a wide grille and prominent logo, and pronounced wheel arches are meant to lend the impression that the XC40 has legitimate off-road ability.
That visual claim is backed up by 8.3 inches of ground clearance, backed by a BorgWarner all-wheel-drive system.
Inside, the XC40 sports a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Volvo's Sensus infotainment interface. It's standard; the XC40 will also offer Bluetooth with audio streaming and Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrate into the infotainment system, which also supports apps such as Yelp and Pandora, as well as location-sharing and emergency services.
Volvo offers lots of in-car storage in the form of a flexible cargo space, big door pockets, bag hooks, and a dedicated smartphone storage nacelle.
The XC40 is powered by a turbocharged inline-4 with all-wheel drive that makes 248 horsepower. A less powerful turbo-4 will follow later. Some markets will also see variants with inline-3 engines and turbodiesels, but those are less likely for sale in the U.S. What we are likely to get are hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric models.
On the safety front, the 2019 XC40 includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. A surround-view camera system is available, as will Volvo's semi-autonomous drive assistants.
The most startling feature of the new XC40 may be its price—or, rather, its subscription model. Volvo will sell the XC40 with a base price starting at $36,195 for the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Momentum model. A $34,195 front-drive turbo-4 model arrives in the summer of 2018.
It also will offer Care by Volvo, a subscription service that bundles the vehicle with service, maintenance, and insurance, all for a flat, non-negotiable price. Under the plan, users can upgrade or change their car each year, if they like, in the same way they now change smartphones.