Volvo XC40: Perfect SUV for city life

By Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason Philippine Daily Inquirer May 01,2019

I have always been partial to small SUVs. Why? Because it gives me the best of both worlds: The high stance makes me feel protected while the compact size makes it easier for me to drive. This package is perfect for versatility, especially for moms like me who multitask. This enables us to squeeze in a trip to the grocery or other errands in between meetings.

Our family used to own a Volvo station wagon, so I am very familiar with the brand’s box-like design cues and its claim to fame—safety. It had a rebirth into pop culture with a modern and sporty design range which was immortalized into teenager’s minds as Edward Cullen’s ride in the Twilight films.

The Volvo XC40

Today, they bring us a car built with the challenges of modern city life in mind. The XC40 aims to make the daily urban commute less stressful and more enjoyable, as drivers in the segment can now rely on the award-winning safety, connectivity, and infotainment technologies. This is the first Volvo to win the prestigious European Car of the Year, and Japan Car of The Year.

Outside, the Volvo XC40 is striking with the daytime running lights. It maintains the classic Volvo design cues but with a modern twist. It looks very compact and easy to drive, which made it quite surprising to see all the space within.

The panoramic moon roof creates a spacious interior, which is essential when you spend a lot of time inside the car because of traffic. The trim is elegant yet sporty. The metallic trims complement the design of the instrumentations.

The console is all touchscreen and looks very high tech but not overwhelming that you feel you need to grab the manual. It has a big iPad-like console that connects very well with your smartphone and even has a wireless charging dock, something very convenient for multitasking moms.

Under the hood the XC40 houses a turbocharged engine with a four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain generating 247hp and 350Nm of torque. It comes with an easy to drive and impressively smooth all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission. It has sharp and accurate steering and a softer ride making it perfect for passengers.

Claim to fame

The XC40 is designed to reduce distraction and the so-called “cognitive load” on the driver. With safety and driver assistance systems actively identifying and mitigating potential conflicts, driving becomes more convenient and enjoyable. One of these is the XC40’s lane-keeping aid that can come in handy when the driver becomes distracted while driving.

It also comes with standard Volvo safety features such as ergonomic seats with anti-submarining protection, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Volvo-invented three-point safety belts and advanced restraints system, and a range of airbags all designed to help protect the occupants in the event of an accident.

The crossover SUV gives you a high seating position for a clear view of the road. It also features a user-friendly 360-degree camera and navigation screen found on the driver’s all digital instrument cluster, making it easier to use, while lessening driver distraction.  It also has brake support that assists drivers in reversing and parking situations.

Overall, I was really impressed with this car, having been driving this vehicle type for several years now. I would give this an eight out of 10, because of the limitation of service outlets and parts availability. There would also be the issue of resale value, but I guess for Volvo’s target market, safety would always precede cost concerns.

The model I tested retails at P3.895 million. For more details, please contact Volvo Philippines.

For comments and suggestions, please e-mail me at [email protected]; follow @chicdriven on Instagram and Facebook/Chicdriven for more stories and reviews.

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