Vehicle Spotlight: Cheers to the 2018 Volvo XC40, a Delight to Drive

Not to kill the mood (for those of you with a Chardonnay in hand by your fireplace), but crossovers and their exponential growth have never appealed to me. There, I said it. Purchasing one has always felt like the financial decision one should make because it’s safe, versatile, and financially feasible. And while many crossovers come close in their pursuit of crowd-pleasing, most just spread themselves thin. But, Volvo. Volvo may have just cracked the code. The Volvo XC40 doesn’t blow anyone out of the water, yet it provides across-the-board, solid performance that others strive for.

Pick Your Poison

There are a couple different trims for the Volvo XC40. The T4, which serves as the baseline model, has inspired some excitement from its appeal as an Everyman’s crossover. Fuel economy in the luxury subcompact crossover is very reasonable, coming in at 24 mpg city and 31 highway. According to Car and Driver’s first look at the Volvo XC40, drivers have the range option of Comfort to Dynamic driving mode. Apparently, there’s also “Eco and Off-Road modes, along with a customizable Individual mode.” However, it will have a smaller turbo than other trims, 184 horsepower, and front-wheel drive.

The higher tier trim T5, an all-wheel drive model, saw market action first. It is a 248-hp machine whose steering is super responsive. And according to test drives and subsequent reviews, actually earns its turbo label with some decent acceleration. The turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline-four generates 258 lb-ft of torque. This begins to outpace other leaders of the pack like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 in appeal, because it does so more affordably (we’ll discuss this a little later). With the 248-hp engine, the T5 gets off the line fast, especially considering it weighs in near 3,800 lbs. Early reports say the 2019 XC40’s zero-to-60 time is 6.2 seconds. It is equipped with an eight-speed automatic, and again, the all-wheel is standard, which is hopefully something that becomes an unwritten rule of this new territory.

Take a Seat on the Lap of Luxury

The Volvo XC40 has appeal in a variety of features both inside and out. One interesting detail that the interior provides is large door pockets, since the audio speakers have been relocated to the top of the dashboard. The XC40 is tech-friendly, too. There are two USB chargers below the touchscreen. The first serves as a power source, while the other connects to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Spacious and practical, it has plenty of leg room in back for a full house of adult passengers or even kids with multiple car seats. Outside, it employs a foot-activated liftgate to complement its other aspects suited for those on the go.

Let’s Talk Numbers

In the United States, 18- and 19-inch wheels are available with Michelin MXM4 all-season tires, and both Momentum and R-Design models will have the option of 20-inch wheels with Pirelli Scorpion all-season rubber. Volvo will also offer an adjustable suspension later in 2018 for $1,000. Dealers will offer a 21-inch wheel with a summer tire as an accessory option, so get’em while their hot.

The Volvo XC40 will start at $34,195 for the T4. The more powerful T5 model opens at $36,195 for an all-wheel-drive XC40 Momentum. The top of the range, the T5 AWD R-Design, starts at $38,695. Loaded with options, the Volvo’s price can reach past $45,000. But to be perfectly honest, this is one of those models where you most certainly get what you pay for. And the numbers don’t lie. The T5 stands out among what the model has to offer, and for roughly $2,000 more, one can attain a complete lifestyle change embraced by sensible luxury and versatile performance.

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