The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2020 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Review by John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


    ENGINE: 2.0-liter 4
    TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
    HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 240 hp @ 5,500 rpm/259 lb.-ft. @ 1,800 rpm
    WHEELBASE: 106.4 in.
    LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 174.2 x 73.3 x 65.0 in.
    TIRES: P245/45R20
    CARGO CAPACITY: 20.7/47.2 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down) 
    ECONOMY: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway/21.4 mpg test
    FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 14.2 gal. RANGE: 280-420 miles.
    CURB WEIGHT: 4,894 lbs.
    TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs.
    COMPETITIVE CLASS: Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape
    STICKER: $40,000-$42,000 (base price $35,700)

BOTTOM LINE: The Volvo XC40 is a good, solid small luxury SUV with traditional Volvo safety.

Volvo's have gone through numerous styling iterations, but our tester was a shock to my eyes.

The exterior of the XC40 is a normal Volvo SUV with white exterior panels and a black top. Major interior surfaces were traditional black. But the carpets and door trim were a burnt orange, appealing I imagine primarily to University of Tennessee fans or Halloween junkies.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

But ok Volvo has always marched to its own drummers.

Being a Volvo, safety features abound, and are excellent.

Take the BLIS blind spot information system. It isn’t just a two-car icon tucked into a convenient corner of the outside rearview mirror. Instead, it’s a 2-3-inch arc that’s hard to miss, or ignore. 

The XC40 is also equipped with Volvo’s “City Safety” technology which combines automatic braking functionality and collision avoidance systems that covers a range of potential accident scenarios. “City Safety” is the only system on the market that detects pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, such as moose and deer. Of course the XC40's brakes are excellent, almost to the point of tackiness, but just below. If you have to stop, they STOP you.

Cruise control adjusts to the speed of the car in front of you as well as the car behind. If the front vehicle stops, the XC40 automatically stops as well. 

There’s good power from the 2.0-liter four under the hood. At no time did we find a need for more power, and we took the XC40 on some interesting journeys.

Overall ride quality is slightly firm, but not too firm.

The driver faces a clear instrument panel.

There’s a clear analog/digital speedometer on the left and the tachometer on the right. We had a map display in the middle that told us where we were. In the middle of the dash is a 9-inch tablet-size display that is touch sensitive to the point where you can scroll among pages for entertainment, HVAC temp, car settings and more information than my feeble mind could handle. Also, the audio system and HVAC are excellent.

The XC40 has an interesting transmission shifter for the 8-speed automatic. The shifter is on the console. For reverse you tap it twice forward. Once to get to neutral and the second time to hit the gear. For drive, you hit it twice backward. The instrument panel will inform you that you have chosen the correct gear.

For interior storage, there’s a large cubby at the base of the center stack with USB and Qi chargers and a 12-volt outlet. In the middle there’s a nice two-level console/arm rest.

Cargo capacity is excellent, although I had to lower a rear seat back to get my golf clubs in. You can easily open the hatch by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Front seats are comfortable with some side support. They are heated - just use the screen to adjust them. Rear seats have cozy legroom. There are no assist handles in the back for entry or exit, and there is a large sunroof that extends to the rear seats.

The Volvo XC40 is a nice package. It has some quirkiness, like the orange carpets and trim, but it also has a lot of safety features.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate