Volvo’s smallest SUV is coming to India in July 2018, what’s it like? Let’s find out through a boatload of photos
Has Volvo cracked the formula to win over the new generation of luxury SUV buyers?
Volvo’s new XC40 seems to be packed with promise. A date with the new small luxury SUV from Sweden shows us how it plans to shake up the competition
The 2018 Volvo XC40 is finally coming to India on 4 July 2018. This compact luxury SUV might be an underdog in its segment but it is coming in all guns blazing. At launch, the Volvo XC40 will only be available in one fully loaded R-Design variant that comes powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Like most of Volvo’s product lineup, the XC40 will be launched as a direct-import and with it, the Swedish carmaker is targeting the new generation of luxury car buyers.
If you’re one of the wealthy younglings in the market for a luxury SUV, we’d bet you’d want something unique. That begins with the platform of the XC40. This SUV is the first model ever to be based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture or CMA. That aside, the design does have distinctive Volvo elements like the concave front grille and “Thor’s Hammer” DRLs but the latter gets its own little styling tweak. The profile doesn't look like any other Volvo either. The short and stout stance, flat bonnet and squared off pillars make the look, say SUV, not crossover, which automatically gives it a distinctive allure. It even sits tall on a cool set of 18-inch alloy wheels and offers a full 211mm of ground clearance.
For an SUV targeted towards new and millennial luxury car buyers, the driving position has some old-school charm. You do sit perched up while overlooking the bonnet, so this certainly won't give you the hatchback-on-tippy-toes vibe. Fit and finish quality is appreciable too, and feels premium, especially because of the Alcantara + faux leather-draped seats. But Volvo has made some minor concessions for costs. The plastic quality, for example, isn't as rich as it is in larger Volvos. The features list is long though. The 9-inch touchscreen has been carried over from big Volvos and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety features like the lane-keeping aid, radar-guided cruise control, hill start and hill descent control, and park pilot assist all come as standard. Other features include 2-zone climate control with rear AC vents, heated front and rear seats, an inductive phone charger, a panoramic sunroof and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
The 2.0-litre D4 engine’s good for 190 horses and 400Nm of torque, with AWD as standard. And while the on-paper figures match the sporty BMW X1, the experience isn't the same. The XC40 is billed as an out and out city slicker. A job it does well. The performance presents no surprises, pleasant or unpleasant. Power delivery is relaxed and whether it's commuting, cruising or making quick overtakes, the XC40 has exactly enough.
The XC40 will be offered only in one fully loaded R-Design variant, so every feature in the list comes as standard. At launch, it will be available with three exterior colour choices (Crystal White, Bursting Blue & Fusion Red. All with black roof.) and two interior palettes (all black or black with bright orange).
BMW X1: While the old X1 was a touch too compact, the new X1 gets a healthy dose of muscle, more space and above all else, a sporty drive experience, second to none of its rivals in the segment.
Mercedes-Benz GLA: A well-loaded and stylish SUV that’s found a lot of takers among young luxury buyers. The GLA’s cabin quality and design finesse make it very desirable.
Audi Q3: The Q3 is definitely starting to show its age but with frugal petrol and diesel engines and a practical interior, it still tempts a lot of first time luxury brand buyers.
Volvo is betting big on the XC40, which is why it gets all the bells and whistles in one package, including its unique list of safety features. No need to go a la carte with the goodies or go through a long list of price-spiking options to get the complete SUV. With an expected price of Rs 40 lakh-42 lakh (ex-showroom), the Volvo XC40 promises bang for buck in a niche space.
Volvo’s most awarded SUV is headed to India, get your chequebooks out!
With over 80,000 bookings and counting, Volvo needs more shifts to keep up with demand
Although there’s no official confirmation, many dealerships have started accepting bookings for the SUV designed for millennials
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