Why the Volvo XC40 remains a favourite

Kelly snatched up the keys to the Volvo XC40 T3 and reminded us why is still a firm favourite

Maybe it’s because I’m older and more mature now. Or maybe it’s because Volvo has continued to build impressive vehicles. Whatever the reason, the XC40 remains a favourite of mine and if I could own one, I totally would. Photos alone entice me to be honest. Every time a Volvo pulls up in our driveway for testing, I’m happy to get the keys and be on my merry way.

The styling is always on point
Modern Volvo’s have neat uncluttered lines. This compact SUV is no different. Where some manufacturers are swooshy and swiping up with their headlamps, Volvos remain angular and well, level, I guess. The XC40, is a stylish family car that is suited to the school run, the boardroom as well as social events (whenever that’s allowed again). I’d happily be seen anywhere in this thing.

It has excellent driving dynamics
The XC40 was the first Volvo to make use of the company’s CMA platform – a platform designed for the smaller cars in the range and is able to make use of both petrol and turbodiesel units. Under the bonnet of the one we had to test lies a 1.5-litre three-sylider turbo petrol with 100 kW and 265 N.m. And while the engine itself is a little louder than I had expected, it honestly didn’t bother me after a while. The overall driving dynamics of this unit is comfortable and I’d happily do long stretches with it. It makes use of a damped multi-link rear suspension and MacPherson struts at the front, it tackled all surfaces with ease.

It has a stylish interior
As expected, the interior of this T3 Volvo is clean, classy and packed with features. The XC40’s rivals can really learn a thing or two about packaging from this compact SUV. There’s the Volvo Sensus Connect touch screen and the digital instrument clusters, making the interior look very tech-savvy and slick are super slick. There’s plenty of space for the whole family with ample leg- and headroom for even the tallest of the brood.

Safety first, always
As is expected from a Volvo, there is a range of safety technology available. This particular test unit came fitted with Volvo’s Intellisafe suit of safety options. This includes adaptive cruise and control, radar- and camera-driven lane-departure warning. I felt some of the system at play especially if I was taking too long to brake. The vehicle lights up like a Christmas tree and beeps all manner of expletives at you. Or so it feels. But I supposed I’d rather have that there than not there when I need it. Other safety tech includes Pedestrian, Cyclist and Large Animal Detection technology, rearward facing radar that detects an imminent rear collision, road sign information assist, blind spot information system, park assist, driver alert control and more.

Since its launch a couple of years ago, the Volvo XC40 has won numerous awards. I am not surprised. I found myself enjoying every minute with the vehicle and when visiting my family, all ages took a liking to the vehicle. It’s clearly meant for both the young and young at heart. One day when I have this kind of money, the XC40 will most certainly be a consideration.

Price: Starts at R683 500 as standard (R788 450 for the test unit with the extras)
Engine: 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol
Power/torque: 110 kW/265 N.m
Transmission: 8 speed AT FWD
Consumption: 6.7L/100km
Fuel capacity: 54L
Warranty: 5-year/100 000km
Maintenance plan: 5-year/100 00km

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