SEATTLE — For so many years, the Volvo moniker has evoked visions of a family wagon or even soccer-mom car. It has a loyal fan base of those who have come to appreciate Volvo’s award-winning safety. However, with ever increasing competition in the sub-compact crossover segment from all of the other automakers and there rise on vehicle safety as a whole – Volvo has had to do some tweaking to its line-up to garner the attention of younger buyers. Enter the XC40 TD5 R Design.
With it’s all new XC40 TD5 R Design, Volvo has done great job making heading in attracting a more youthful buyer. It has a more “hip” design language and doesn’t look so “soccer-mom-ish”. It has a nice, wide stance with a harmony of both masculine and feminine body lines.
A potent powertrain:
This 2019 XC40 TD5 with all-wheel-drive has the R design package on it which is a sport trim-level that adds to the overall look and feel. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a fast-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. Look for 0-60 times in the low 6-second range. It’s quick but not super fast, however, still enough acceleration for most.
EPA provides a fuel economy rating of 23 around down and up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway.
A look inside:
Inside is Volvo’s Sensus Connect 9-inch touch-screen infotainment system that operates similarly to how you’d operate a smartphone. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the more intuitive interfaces we’ve used so far, however, there is a slight delay in its responsiveness at times. Built-in navigation, audio support for AM/FM/XM, Bluetooth and CD audio. Sound quality is very good but not as great as we’ve heard in other Volvo products that have the B&W speakers. Sensus Connect actually controls a great deal more than just the audio or navigation as there are also things such as climate control and vehicle performance settings here as well.
Build quality is above average with the use of quality materials and design meet in an ideal relationship. Step inside and the youthful vibe is very abundant — from the bright orange carpet to the metallic inlays, this isn’t your mother’s Volvo. It’s a very spacious cabin area with amazing seats that offer nearly unparalleled support and comfort – even on those longer road trips.
Lots of legroom for rear passengers and tons of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, make the XC40 a great car for those weekend shopping excursions.
In line with Volvo’s tremendous history of safety, the XC40 TD5 R Design includes standard auto emergency braking, auto high-beams, lane-keep assist and enough air-bags to surround you like a cocoon, should they ever be needed.
On the road:
There’s no doubt about it, this car is a joy to drive. It handles itself around town and on the open highway with poise, control and a quality ride with minimal road noise. While the XC40 TD5 R Design’s suspension is a tad more stiff than the other trim levels, it has enough dampening to keep things comfy. The steering wheel feels light, playful and adept — enticing you to hit those corners just a bit harder. Even though it’s not a sports car around corners, it can definitely hold its own against any other subcompact crossover we know of.
Volvo has done a bang-up job in executing the XC50 TD5 R Design and it’s currently at the top of the heap for our favorite vehicle in its class. Sure it’s not completely perfect, but it does many things right and delivers a rewarding driving experience with all the things we want in a crossover.
For more details, visit Volvo’s website: www.volvo.com