Volvo XC40 Review 2022

Volvo XC40 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Is this the best car on sale in Britain today? Launched in 2018, the Volvo XC40 joins the ever-popular small SUV market, cementing a reputation as one of the best of the breed. Little wonder it has become Volvo’s best-selling car in the UK.

+Chunky upmarket and bold styling, excellent all-rounder, EV and plug-in hybrid versions.

-Not the most practical small SUV, expensive options, Apple CarPlay costs extra.

Insurance Groups are between 22–33
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

The Volvo XC40 was named Car of the Year at the Honest John Awards in 2019, so it should come as no surprise to discover that we think it’s the best small SUV you can buy. It’s almost hard to fault, with the XC40 boasting chunky good looks, a wonderfully premium interior, enviable safety credentials and a long list of equipment as standard. Throw into the mix a wide range of powertrains, including petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully electric (take a loot at our separate Volvo XC40 Recharge review), and you’ve got the hallmarks of one of the best – not to mention, most relevant – new cars of 2022. Read our Volvo XC40 review to discover more...

You’re not short of alternatives. The likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLB, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus UX and Range Rover Evoque are just some of the premium rivals after a share of the XC40’s pie, and this is before you consider the plethora of mainstream models. So what makes the Volvo XC40 so special?

Put simply, it’s a terrific all-rounder. It’s a car we struggle to find fault with – it’s almost the perfect package. The build quality is a match for its German rivals, but the exterior and interior styling helps the Volvo XC40 to stand out in a very crowded market. It feels like a compact version of the XC60 and XC90, offering similar levels of safety and technology.

Prices start from around £25,000, but you’ll need to spend at least £30,000 to secure the Volvo XC40 you really want, especially once you’ve started browsing the options list. Get too carried away and you’ll be looking at the thick end of £40,000, so caution is required.

At least there’s plenty of choice. Although Volvo has ditched diesel, you can choose from 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines, plus a couple of plug-in hybrids and a fully electric version. Depending on the model, you can select from manual or automatic transmissions, and front- and all-wheel-drive. There are also three core trim levels: Momentum, a sportier R-Design, and a more luxurious Inscription.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch active driver’s information display, nine-inch portrait-style touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, DAB digital radio, sat-nav, keyless start, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and rear park assist. There’s also a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating to fall back on, should the worst happen.

It’s a practical car, boasting a large boot and room for five adults in the cabin. The quality of the cabin is first class, but the XC40 shines thanks to the use of sumptuous materials and clever details. Few cars are this good to spend time in, especially at this end of the market.

It’s also safe and predictable on the road, with Volvo focusing on comfort and safety to deliver one of the most satisfying cars in its class. From the comfortable seats to the ambient lighting, you’ll arrive at your destination as relaxed as when you set off, regardless of the distance.

If all this isn’t enough, there’s the fact that it holds its value on the second-hand market. While this might not be good news if you’re searching for a used bargain, it means the Volvo XC40 is available via some affordable Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals and you needn’t worry about losing a chunk of money if you’re buying new.

We’re not sure the perfect car exists, but the XC40 must come very close. It’s a charming, sophisticated and upmarket car in a family-friendly package. Take a look to see what all the fuss is about.

We lived with a XC40 plug-in hybrid for six months - find out how we got on with it in our Volvo XC40 long term test. Why not get a second opinion with heycar's Volvo XC40 review

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a compact SUV with a comfortable driving seat?
"I'm looking for a new compact SUV with a very comfortable and supportive driver's seat - preferably leather or equivalent. My budget is £30,000 for a new car (not second hand). I currently drive a Skoda Karoq and find the bucket seats very stiff and low - even on the top models it's difficult to raise the back of the seat to ensure hips are higher than knees. I'd love another Skoda but not sure they offer anything."
The Volvo XC40 has very comfortable seats so I would give that a go. Here's our review: As well as having comfortable seats, the XC40 has relaxing suspension and a very quiet cabin. Seat comfort can be very be very specific to you, so it might be worth trying a dealer where there is a range of cars for you to sit in.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Which Volvo XC40 should I buy?
"Which used Volvo XC40 should I go for? I do mostly town driving, with half a dozen long trips per year. "
The T3 has all the power you really need and won't cost a fortune to run. PHEV will be very cheap to run and can fall back on its petrol engines for long drives, it only really makes sense if you have a home charger though. Same goes for the Recharge electric, it's 260-mile range means long drives will need a mid-trip recharge.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Volvo XC40 burnt out clutch and damaged flywheel - can the dealer make me pay?
"I have a Volvo XC40 manual which is eight months old and has done 5,600 miles. I had a problem changing gear and a slight burning smell which went away and towards the end of my journey of 10 miles the clutch started juddering when changing gear. The car was collected the next day and taken to the Volvo garage. They stripped it down and could not find any faults, and having checked everything they have now said it is driver error. I was a rep on the road for a large portion of my career and had many new cars and did anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 miles a year and never once had a clutch problem. The dealer is asking for £1,334 pounds to repair! Can you give me any help in fighting my case?"
I'm sorry to read about the problems you've experienced with your Volvo. If you had owned the car for less than six months, the 2015 Consumer Rights Act would give you strong grounds to argue that the problems were present or developing at the time of sale. After six months, it falls on the consumer to prove the failure was due to a sudden and unexpected mechanical breakdown. And this is very difficult to do with things like clutches and flywheels. I imagine the dealer is arguing the failure is caused by excessive wear of the clutch and flywheel. You could counter this with an independent engineer's report, but it will incur further costs and provide no guarantee of a positive outcome.
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the fuel efficiency of a plug-in hybrid when the battery has run out?
"Is there a rule of thumb about how much less efficient a plug-in hybrid is when the battery runs out compared to a combustion engine equivalent? For example, if a conventional petrol or diesel model did 40mpg on the motorway, would a PHEV version of the same car (with its extra weight) get, say, 36mpg - i.e. a 10% drop? Do you have any guidance? Thanks."
PHEV (plug-in hybrid) cars are not designed to be driven without a fully charged battery. However, in my experience, with the Volvo XC40 PHEV, fuel economy can drop by more than 50 per cent:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Volvo XC40 cost?