The carpet of our Volvo XC40 test vehicle is orange. Bright orange. The color of a prison suit, though Volvo has chosen to call it Lava, which is probably a better idea. And it’s everywhere: on the floor, on the sides of the center console and on the door panels. This is a $ 100 option on R-Design models, and its availability makes a statement about the youthful exuberance of the SUV and the target audience. Or, as one passenger said, rubbing his hand in the fibers of the carpet: “It is deliberately aimed at younger consumers, while trying to be less Volvo-y.” this crossover is both a Volvo and the 240 of his great-aunt.
The Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design 2019 is the most powerful version of the new Volvo SUV, the smallest and cheapest. What makes it an R-Design is a more aggressive suspension configuration with 10% harder springs, monotube rear shock absorbers, slightly thicker stabilizer bars and standard 19-inch wheels. The XC40 R-Design is easily identifiable with its thick exhaust vents and its contrasting black roof panel that extends for more than half of the C-pillar to create a distinct silhouette in a predictable way. But the combination does not always win – with a black finish also present on its A-pillars, B-pillars and mirrors, our Crystal White Metallic test vehicle appears to have been commissioned by the California Highway Patrol. We also tested an Amazon Blue car with a white ceiling at the Momentum trim level, apparently a bit lower in the range, but with the same transmission.
All XC40 T5s are all-wheel drive and powered by the same 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission that Volvo also uses on its larger XC60. The engine is a little hoarse at high speed, and the exhaust note has no more color than flat background noise, but there is plenty of volleyball with 248 horsepower at 5,500 rpm.
In addition to its Cheetos color carpet, the interior of the XC40 generally mimics the beauty of the booths of other cool brand designs, including the XC90, XC60 and S90. The fit and finish are exceptional, and the combination of black napa leather, suede seat inserts, perforated skins on the steering wheel and seats (and even on the key ring) and white contrast stitching gives the cabin style cabin a sporty touch. But forget the woodwork. It would be very Volvo-y. Instead, the premium aluminum trim that Volvo calls Cutting Edge, with inlays on the dashboard and door panels.
Other notable technologies include the XC40’s ability to drive alone. Choose the Premium package ($ 900 in R-Design) and get Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-standalone system. It works with the XC40’s adaptive cruise control, delivers impressive stop and start functionality and can drive the vehicle on the road. The camera-and-radar system (which requires at least one hand on the steering wheel) speeds up the vehicle, applies the brakes and guides it gently, but has limitations and can be mistaken for inconsistent road markings.
The $ 1,100 Vision package includes a blind spot warning with cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a Park Assist Pilot system that allows the SUV to be directed to a parallel parking space. In addition, our test cars have benefited from the $ 995 Advanced package with a 360 ° camera and LED headlamps with high pressure washers that can also trigger the front tires. All of this contributes to a strong and compelling entry into your segment, even if you do not choose the carpets that burn your eyes.