Volvo XC40 review – surprisingly capable compact SUV - Design

The XC40 is actually a decent steer, chassis delivers good blend of agility and comfort, while petrol engines are punchy if characterless

Evo rating
  • Surprisingly nimble handling, neat design, comfort
  • Lifeless steering, bland engines

Bluff-fronted SUVs are probably not your thing, but as far as these things go the Volvo is a fairly handsome effort. Short front and rear overhangs give it a purposeful stance, while a kick in the C-pillar adds some extra interest. Integrated silver roof rails and mock skid plates front and rear give off all the right ‘lifestyle’ messages, but in all honesty the furthest an XC40 will ever travel off-road is when the driver nudges it onto the pavement when parked up on the school run. Momentum models get 18-inch alloys as standard, while 19-, 20- and 21-inch rims can be added at extra cost. For the most aggressive look you need to opt for the R-Design model that gets a subtle bodykit and some interior enhancements, such as metal-finished pedals.

Visual upgrades are limited to those larger wheels and a choice of contrasting roof colours – although the palette is limited to black or white, with the former looking a little gaudy. In fairness, the handsome and neatly detailed XC40 doesn’t really need these gimmicks, being better suited to darker colours that help disguise its bulk a little.

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