Apart from the range-topping T5, the performance potential of the XC40 is best described as adequate. Slowest of the bunch is the 148bhp D3 AWD, which comes as standard with an auto gearbox and will need 10.4sec to go from standstill to 60mph. Sticking with front-wheel drive chops two-tenths off this time, while the six-speed manual will just dip under 10.0sec. Swiftest of the diesels is the D4, which is four-wheel drive and eight-speed auto only. The dash from 0-62mph takes a claimed 7.9sec, while the top speed is a heady 130mph. That said, all feel reasonably brisk on the road thanks to thumping mid-range torque (236lb ft for the D3 and 295lb ft for the D4) delivered at just 1750rpm.
Of the petrols, the manual-only T3 is the tardiest performer, not surprising when you consider the 1.5-litre triple has just 156bhp to haul around the best part of 1500kg. That said, a 0-62mph in 9.4sec is lively enough, although some way short of the 8.5sec time set by the 187bhp T4, which is AWD and auto only. The same is true of the range-topping 244bhp T5 that manages to slice the 0-62mph dash to 6.5sec and tops out at 140mph.