Volvo XC40 D3: the Swedish chic, well raised and warm


This is square. Like a 4×4 in the past. This geometric appearance gives a sacred personality to the Volvo. We liked this bias, which was that of the late Mercedes GLK. But the lines here are more balanced and elegant. The high ground height (21 centimeters) contributes to this adventurous side. Elected the Car of the Year last March, the XC40 is not a decal of its older brothers XC60 and XC90. This "SUV" stands out from other family members while maintaining a strong identity. With the typical front of the brand. The only thing we criticize this drawing is the very large leaf area in the three hind quarters, which reduces visibility on board.

Warm interior, very Volvo

The interior is also a bit more square than the larger Volvo. But it immediately recognizes a booth from the only remaining Swedish car brand – from the sad demise of Saab, killed by its US shareholder, GM. The atmosphere is unrivaled, made of softness, paradoxical heat for a label of the cold with a very agreeable and chic Havana interior harmony in our test model. It's, felt, relaxing, nothing aggressive. It feels comfortable with a nice driving position. We enjoyed this leather yet so nice to the touch, but in which we slipped a little corner.

The brand of Gothenburg pushes the solicitude to offer various shades of interior humor, including a red and a beige also very beautiful. You really have to do this on purpose, so choose black. Congratulations on this initiative. Depending on the exterior colors, you can choose light gray, beige or red for the interior. We also tested the aluminum inserts. The level of finish is good, better than the first copies of the XC40 tested last year. It's premium. Even though Audi or BMW can still be a bit better. Important detail with the first frost: the heating is powerful. And the optional audio system offers exceptional suppression of sound and interference.

The Volvo XC40, at the Geneva Motor Show. The SUV was elected Car of the Year 2018 by a jury of 60 journalists.

Ah, this monopolizing screen!

Despite appearances, ergonomics is, however, criticized, with a non-adjustable central armrest, an impractical to use lever design, placed too low. And you can not go directly from "D" to "R" or vice versa! We must break the motion in two stages: from "D" to Neutral, then Neutral to "R". It is not fast. In the absence of blades, manually shifting the gears forces this mini-lever to slide from right to left. It's not natural, but you get used to it.

The Volvo screen that controls almost everything, with its various pages and submenus, unfortunately is in the program. Each setting takes a long time, especially since the icon has no sensitivity. Changing radio stations requires more or less lost clicks … Some buttons dedicated to the most common functions, such as BMW, would be more appropriate.

A good engine, but the box reacts very smoothly

The traditional 190 hp D4 engine pleased us in a first test. Here is the same 1969 cc cylinder reduced to 150 horsepower. As here, there is more 4×4 transmission, the car is lighter, compensating for the loss of power, which, to tell the truth, hardly feels. The mechanics have a good length and work effortlessly with some velvety. The 8-speed auto is standard.

In everyday driving, it is forgotten. But, silky, it is not fast. And the long reports annoy. We ended up at 5th at 50 an hour, bof. And even in "Dynamic" mode, it is necessary to forcefully lock the input of a curve so that this box recovers, but not enough. On a winding route, manual operation is required. Consumption here is moderate. we swallowed about 7 liters of diesel in the cents on a varied route, combining 40% highway, 45% road, 15% city. That's practically a liter less than the 190-liter version equipped with four-wheel drive, which weighs over 80 pounds

Safe, clumsy, very comfortable

The XC40 was developed from a new "CMA" (Common Modular Architecture) platform, which will be shared with the vehicles of Chinese shareholder Geely. Despite the large optional 19-inch wheels (590 euros) fitted in our test version, this XC40 is generally comfortable, thoughtful and comfortable. Prefer the standard 55R18 assemblies! But overall comfort remains one of the essential qualities of this vehicle.

In exchange for flexible suspensions, placidity is required. Nothing embarrassing. The car behaves in a very respectable way, but enthusiasts will not really feel the road or the limits. The steering, also smooth, does not allow to appreciate well the state of the road or its profile. No problem: this XC40 is not particularly sporty. Let's savor the serenity and softness on board. Also note a significant soundproofing of the landing gear.

In 4×2, the front end sometimes has motor problems, a common defect within the brand, even if it is less pronounced than before. On slippery roads, the front wheels tend to close and look in a dynamic direction. In the rain, it is necessary to raise the foot and dose the accelerator. One solution: four-wheel drive option. But the government sanctions a penalty for those who choose this essential solution in Haute-Savoie, for example!

Safety help so annoying

Security help is unfortunately on the menu. Volvo is strong right now. Very good for passive and active non-binding security. But the Swede also practices intrusive and irritating alarms in everyday life. Fortunately, we can cut them. But we must remember to do this systematically with each restart. Because many individual choices are canceled on reboot. The group invented the dictatorial car. It was crippling until recently.

But as most competitors, including German, have started, Volvo ends up not being much more annoying than them. It remains for us, indomitable spirit for politically correct sheep, a huge black dot. Notice to potential customers: check your tolerance for the "diktat" of the car! Good news, however: many of these aids are finally optional after checking the catalog.

Note that the sophistication of the vehicle is paid for some bugs. An incomprehensible alert from the visual engine bothered us. No effect on driving. The right electric mirror did not work. In a previous V60 last summer, a black screen also briefly irritated us. But, as soon as a second reboot, the "bug" disappeared.

A more democratic level of entry

The new entry is 31,450 euros with a three-cylinder T3 of 156 horses, a new mechanic. The D3 diesel 150 hp requires 33,950 euros, with 2,000 euros more for the automatic transmission. The equipment is sufficient. Volvo has the good idea, from the cheaper version, of allowing the freedom of access to leather seats on average of 1,680 euros. But to punish the very stingy buyer, the company offers you only exterior colors and sinister interior! Momentum offers more options, but it takes 36,700 euros. This is the template to choose from us. With always 2,000 euros more for the carton of the car. The fabric-skai seats are not very nice, but you can at least choose a less sad beige. We meet at rates … not so far from those of a Citroen C5 Aircross! It is true that there are thirty horses less than the French equivalent, but the mechanics are much more pleasant. The Volvo is also in the price of a Volkswagen Tiguan equivalent or a BMW X1. A good deal, after all, this swedish! As long as you do not get caught up in the long list of options.

The leather of various colors is proposed in Momentum for 1,200 euros. Good. Count another 450 for the camera. We advise you to stop there. The rest is not useful. As for the various optional pseudo-security packages … We even paid to remove them! Oh yes, another option may be interesting as mentioned above: four-wheel drive for 2,100 euros for those who face winters with snow and ride in all weather conditions for their work. This is an original vehicle, warm, well designed and manufactured, comfortable, comforting and full of personality. An unusual offer.

Attempted Model Price: Volvo XC40 D3 Momentum Geartronic: 38,700 euros (+353 euros penalty)

Motor power: 150 horsepower (diesel)

dimensions : 4.42 meters (length) x 1.86 (width) x 1.65 (height)

qualifications : Original and personal square style, well finished and cozy interior, luxurious atmosphere, reassuring road behavior, cozy comfort, softness, felted mechanics …

defects : … but little self-reactive box, motility drifting in wet, clumsy character, complicated screen, annoying security aids, very small shifter, "bugs"

competing : Citroen C5 Aircross Blue HDi 180 Sensation: 36,050 euros; BMW X1 S Drive, 1.8d bva: 38,650 euros; Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDi 150 DSG Comfortline: 38,980 euros

Rating: 15.5 out of 20


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