Volvo XC40 D4 AWD

R-Design Pro

Volvo XC40, front
Volvo XC40, front
Volvo XC40, front
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, rear
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, rear
Volvo XC40, dashboard
Volvo XC40, side
Volvo XC40, rear

IF you fancy one of Volvo's new XC40s but feel you need one that's sharper and more responsive than the standard model the Swedish car maker can oblige.

In conjunction with its performance company Polestar - think Mercedes-Benz and AMG - the XC40 can be tweaked to deliver increased engine performance and faster throttle response and gear changes all within a special package.

The standard XC40 offers a choice of driving modes from eco to dynamic but if you opt for the special Polestar package dynamic is replaced by the Polestar Optimisation Mode.

It will cost you an extra £745, but for enthusiastic drivers it makes all the difference.

Slip the car into Polestar mode via the central touch screen and the revs immediately increase as the car holds onto each gear for longer to boost acceleration while at the same time the changes are sharper as you go through the gearbox.

More power is concentrated mid range for safer overtaking and as you release the accelerator the gearbox responds faster for more balanced cornering.

On all-wheel-drive models - like the D4 model driven here - Polestar also increases the torque at the rear wheels for more dynamic motoring.

Overall you get 10bhp more, a jump in torque from 295Nm to 325Nm while at the same time improving the 0-62mph time.

It all makes for more fun behind the wheel and best of all it doesn't affect the car's warranty or emission levels.

The XC40 is proving to be one of Volvo's best selling - not to mention multi-award-winning - models.

Opt for a D4 AWD R-Design Pro spec model and, even though you are well up the price range, you'll get a lot of car for your money.

Features include everything from leather upholstery to a panoramic sunroof, parking cameras with a 360 degree surround view and power operated tailgate.

On the inside there's a sharp, clean, contemporary look and a centrally mounted touch screen operates many of the on-board features eliminating the need for too many switches.

Space for both front and rear seat passengers is generous for a car of this size and the tall stance means good headroom all round.

On the road the 2.0-litre engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox offers sharp, responsive motoring even in comfort mode. Switch to Polestar mode - as mentioned - and it will put a big smile on your face.

I really liked the short, sporty leather-covered gear shift particularly when using the gearbox manually although there are also paddles behind the steering wheel for F1-style driving.

The XC40 may be a family car but it's a family car with attitude. A car that delivers when you need to press on in a hurry.

Cornering is excellent and the grip of the four-wheel-drive system helps boost the confidence of whoever is behind the wheel.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

Price: £38,235

Mechanical: 190bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: n/a

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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