The subcompact luxury category is filled with quirky, fun competitors like the Audi Q3, Lexus NX, and BMW X1, all of which have gotten good reviews and ratings from car reviewers and consumers alike. Quirkiness aside, the roster in this category is also filled with loads of standard safety and tech features along with well-appointed interiors and craftsmanship that justify their elevated price points. One entry, in particular, the 2020 Volvo XC40, has enough styling personality to appease just about anyone looking to be “different” on public roads. But does its unique character and feature list make it worth the price point that it sits at?
The Volvo XC40 is fun and funky
When shopping for a luxury car, most consumers will first notice how a car looks and feels. After all, luxury is about the experience, not just about what the car can do. Those looking for a refined interior and excellent fit and finish will be surprised at how well the XC40 is put together. Its cabin is spacious, with ample seating for five and available leather seating surfaces on par with its more-expensive stablemates, the XC60 and XC90. With this smaller car, the Volvo designers took the chance to aim at a younger audience by offering an optional orange interior and textured metallic trim as opposed to wood. Those looking for something a little more subtle can opt for the classier Inscription models that are adorned with driftwood trim and an Orrefors crystal shift lever.
On the outside, the XC40 is available in the typical black, blue, red and white colors, however, opting for the higher trim level does reveal a more subtle and elegant color pallet. If you want to stick with fun, then we recommend the R-Design trim level as it comes with a contrasting black roof.
What does the XC40 come with?
To clarify, the Volvo XC40 is available in three different trim levels: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. Each trim level is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes either 184 (T4) or 248 horsepower (T5) and achieves up to 22 city and 30 highway mpg. Some of the most notable standard features include a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a 9-inch Sensus touch-screen display, smartphone integration (Apple and Android), and a nifty glove box hook to hold a purse or bag. In top-tier Inscription form, the XC40 comes driftwood inlays, 18-inch wheels, and an Inscription front grille, all of which denote the more upscale feel of the higher trim.
Safety is still Volvo’s strong point
Volvo has always been known for its outstanding safety ratings and features and the XC40 is no exception. Aside from the standard front, rear, and side curtain airbags, buyers can rest assured that the XC40 has their back. Other safety features include available lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park assist, and blind-spot monitors with rear-cross traffic alert.
Is the XC40 worth buying?
The 2020 Volvo XC40 starts at $34,345 for the base Momentum trim and up to $40,450 for the top-level Inscription trim. Checking the box for all-wheel drive the higher output engine will add on another $2,000. Comparably speaking, the competitors from Audi and BMW carry similar price tags and similar equipment, so all things considered, we do recommend the Volvo XC40 for anyone looking for something “different” than its German rivals. Mainly because of its design, not just because it’s Swedish.