Volvo XC40 2.0 B3

Ultimate

Volvo XC40, 2024, front
Volvo XC40, 2024, nose
Volvo XC40, 2024, side
Volvo XC40, 2024, rear
Volvo XC40, 2024, rear, boot open
Volvo XC40, 2022, interior
Volvo XC40, 2024, display screen

CATERING for the needs of an expanding family but doing it with style, safety, comfort and economy is no simple task.

But when you can fulfil those needs, and also add an air of distinction to the mix, you really are onto a winner.

The number of cars to fall into this category can be counted on the fingers of one hand - and of that elite group the Volvo XC40 has to be near top of the list.

While Volvo is fully committed to an electric future, and the more expensive Recharge versions of the XC40 are exclusively EVs, there's still plenty of demand for combustion engined models.

Diesel power is no longer an option for Volvo owners, who can now opt either for the halfway house of plug-in hybrids or the turbocharged petrol offerings that are also boosted by mild hybrid technology.

They all have the same 2.0-litre engines, though there is a choice of power output, and all feature a seven-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Our model was the B3 four-cylinder petrol in lavish Ultimate trim costing £42,995 loaded with kit, though it's fair to say that even the entry level Core variants, starting at £35,895, all come well specced up.

The XC40 has been around for almost seven years, with a revamp to freshen things up during 2022, and while officially labelled as a compact SUV in practice there's way more available space than you might expect.

So while space up front is more than adequate for long-legged adults with seats offering plenty of adjustment as well as a pleasingly upright position, those in the back are also comfortably accommodated. The shape of the Volvo ensures ample headroom too.

Only a centre rear passenger encounters any sort of inconvenience, having to occupy a narrow if soft perch which is fine for shorter journeys but more restrictive if you're facing a long haul.

Otherwise the seats are comfortable and gently moulded, offering good support plus a durable, high quality feel.

And there's plenty of stowage space too, with the likes of a lidded central box with two cupholders ahead of it, a storage area in front of the auto gearshift, door bins with bottle holders in each and a glovebox and magazine/map nets on the front seat backs.

The boot is also practical, with a fold-up divider to section off shopping, a decent underfloor storage area and a total carrying capacity of 452 litres rising to 1,319 litres with the rear seats flipped down.

You get a digital instrument panel as standard and taking centre stage at the centre of the dashboard is a nine-inch vertical touchscreen with sat nav, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay (though not Android Auto) and Volvo's On Call emergency access.

Other goodies like a 360-degree camera, parking sensors, powered boot lid and a mobile phone charging pad are also included in higher spec variants.

Out on the road the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine both feels and sounds sweet, its 163bhp sufficient to propel the XC40 from standstill to 62mph in 8.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited 112mph.

Transmission is via a seven-speed auto gearbox and while the official Combined fuel figure is 42.0 miles per gallon we could manage no better than 35.6mpg over 300 miles of mixed urban and motorway driving.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC40 2.0 B3 Ultimate

Price:£42,995

Mechanical:163bhp,1,969cc 4-cyl turbo petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed auto transmission

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph: 8.6 seconds

Combined MPG:42.0

Insurance Group:44

C02 emissions:142g/km

Bik rating:32%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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