My Grandad has a Volvo 850, a big boxy estate and that's what I thought all Volvos were like, renowned for their safety and practicality… until I picked up the Volvo XC40! Safety and practicality are both still there in spades, but what an awesome looking little SUV, no longer boxy and sensible looking; this thing is chiselled and has some nice rear angles! Let's find out how good it is as a BabyDrive…
It's a pretty awesome little SUV! The stylish and modern exterior continues to the interior too where I was surprised to find a glass gear knob and a very minimal dash in terms of buttons and dials.
All the features and settings you would normally control with knobs and buttons scattered on the dash and central console of most cars are set within the large, portrait media screen. I did find this difficult to get my head around to start with but I think over time you would get quite used to where everything is.
I found my favourites, turning off auto engine cut-out for example, easy to find and habitual by the end of my week with the XC40. It also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is great.
There are some handy features I found too, like the DAB digital radio and Spotify and even the ability to dictate my car review and send it to myself. I wish all cars had this feature!!
Storage is fantastic in the front of the XC40 and there are some nice details like the bag hook that comes out of the glove box, rubbish bin in the central console, under seat storage drawer and the storage well in the side of the central console.
I was surprised I could only fit two child seats in the back of the XC40, I really thought I would get three because it feels so spacious in the back. I could fit two forward-facing or two rear facing in the outer seats but found there was not enough room for me to sit between them. There is a gap at either end of the second-row seat base, which the VW Tiguan has too, as I understand this is designed to give some distance between the second-row occupants and the rear doors in the event of a side impact collision. Legroom is good in the XC40, we could fit a 182cm driver in front of a rear facing child seat.
The boot floor can be folded back to give you a lower position, about 10cm deeper, which is especially useful for fitting tandem strollers with components that stack on top of each other. However, it doesn't make a flat even floor as there is a ledge at the back which I found unhelpful.
The reversing camera image is excellent quality, the image is really crisp and clear.
You can select between camera angles which is really helpful when parking. The best feature about this is you can turn the volume of the sensors up and down using the volume knob on the dashboard which is excellent!
The Volvo XC40 is very nice to drive, it feels strong and robust on the road but not brutish and it is light to steer and it is very quiet and a peaceful drive.
The Volvo XC40 gets a five-star ANCAP safety rating and has seven airbags as standard.