Volvo has issued full details for its all-new small SUV, the first to use a new modular chassis design and the first to bring an intriguing new aftercare programme to market… if you live in or near London, anyway.
The XC40 is Mini-Me to the XC90’s Dr Evil. It takes more than just its styling cues from the larger car, though, using the same nine-inch touchscreen interface; the same high level of smartphone integration, voice control and general tech. The new kid, though, will be the first Geely-era Volvo to introduce a three-cylinder engine.
From launch in the UK there will be a choice of D4 diesels or T5 petrols in First Edition trim; a novelty that adds several thousand pounds to the price in exchange for a bunch of options including a powered tailgate, heated rear seats, wireless phone charging and a Harmon Kardon audio setup.
The turbocharged T5 petrol (a four-pot) will have 243bhp and will hustle along pretty nicely in a straight line. It won’t sell well in the UK, though, because the average Joe wants miles per gallon above all else. That’s where the D4 187bhp diesel comes in, with fuel consumption set to fall somewhere into the 50s despite the extra drag of all-wheel drive and a standard automatic gearbox. Later we’ll get 148bhp D3, 154bhp T3 and 187bhp T4 models to choose from, too, with a hybrid on the table as well – but we’re told that will be a separate announcement. Also separate will be the new three-pot petrol engine, which will likely be badged T2.
Launched this morning in the world’s fashion capital, Milan, the XC40 will major on technology, from standardised sat-nav and three USB ports to Volvo On Call software that can let owners lock, unlock or even start the engine remotely – although that last one counts for automatic cars only.
An interesting new scheme is a digital concierge, similar to the one Volvo piloted about 10 months ago in San Francisco. Only available to XC40 owners living inside the M25, to begin with, the service will let you request that someone comes to fill your car up, to take it for a service, or even to clean it. Yep, you can tap an app and have someone come to clean your car for you. The range of services ‘will expand over time,’ Volvo says. The cost of this luxury, though, is a chest-tightening £629 per month…
The usual plethora of safety kit is standard, but the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist mode is an option on most versions. There will be three trim grades mirroring the rest of Volvo’s range: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, each of which can be upgraded to higher-spec Pro versions for more kit.