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Thursday, 20 February 2020
THE good news for Volvo fans is that this week’s drive, the award-winning XC40 SUV, was the first of the Swedish carmaker’s model range to become available to buy through its new UK online service.
Volvo is so confident of this online car buying service being a success that the carmaker says you can purchase a new model — from car configuration to part-exchange and finance agreement signature — in 20 minutes.
For those who can recall the overly smooth approach of most car salesmen once you step into their domain on a garage forecourt, buying a new car online has to be an option. Of course, there is nothing new about this method of buying a new car, but Volvo says theirs is the most complete online sales service offered by any car manufacturer in the UK.
The XC40 SUV (sport utility vehicle) was a good car to lead Volvo’s online sales campaign — other models followed suit, being available online from early May.
The XC40 I have been driving displayed the most attractive appeal of owning a modern SUV. And the main reason for this was its size.
The XC40 I have been at the wheel of was the high-spec T5 AWD Inscription Pro Auto.
It was equipped with all the goodies that you might require in any SUV, whatever its size.
The car came with the Xenium Pack (£1,600), which included a marvellous power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain — a must in this kind of car, especially if you enjoy touring.
There was also the Winter Pack (£500) — an option I am convinced is also a must for UK driving. Heated front seats, heated steering wheel, headlight cleaning system and heated washer nozzles.
The next great thing about the XC40 is that it is so much easier to park than a larger SUV (definitely worth considering if you are about to buy an SUV of any description).
The Xenium Pack’s parking camera with a 360-degree surround view and the park assist pilot — automatic parallel and 90-degree parking — helped. But even without these modern aids, the XC40’s manoeuvrability was excellent if, like me, you often prefer to park the traditional way.
There was something called a convenience pack (£350) fitted to the test car. This included power folding rear seat backrests and headrests, which were a great help when I was carrying a load in the XC40.
Fitted, as standard in the XC40, is the nine-inch centre console touchscreen. Mastering this is a great way to find your way around the car. But you need to spend a little time with the touchscreen before you drive to gain the undoubted benefit of having “the brains” of this car at your fingertips.
Other standard features include Volvo On Call with app — available for a smartphone, smart watch or tablet — which enables you to control various car functions remotely and also acts as an emergency and tracking service.
Sensus Navigation has full European mapping with traffic information and lifetime map updates. Sensus Connect allows the owner to access web apps and browse the internet. City Safety — again included as standard — includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection. There is also front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, including at junctions.
All engines in the XC40 are Volvo’s own Drive-E units. Three petrol and two diesel engines are available options in the XC40.
The three-cylinder T3 petrol engine comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, whereas the four-cylinder T4 and T5 petrols and the D4 diesel come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Every XC40 comes with Drive Mode settings, these being Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, Off Road and Individual.
There is also a range of accessories available on the XC40, including a bike carrier (for up to two bikes), roof box, retractable tow bar and infant and child seats, and child booster cushions.
A good sound system always helps drivers and the XC40 had a Harmon Kardon set up that includes thirteen speakers, advanced surround sound digital processing and a total system output of 600 watts.
The XC40 is an excellent addition to Volvo’s SUV “family” and has already proven to be a success. There is no reason why Volvo cannot maintain this high standard of new models in future.
After all, the future of motoring — despite naysayers who might believe the motor car has a limited shelf life in the 21st century — can be extremely positive when attention to detail and quality is given the Volvo treatment.
• Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Inscription Pro Auto
• Model as tested, including options: £48,452
• XC40 range available on the road from (T3 Momentum): £28,310
• Colour: Crystal White
• Upholstery: Leather-faced – Charcoal
• Choice of 13 colours and five upholstery colours
• Engine: T5 (petrol) — 247hp
• Combined fuel economy: 38.8mpg
• Transmission: automatic
• CO2 emissions: 166g/km
• UK best-selling engine for XC40: T4 AWD
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