Road tests

Volvo XC40 Momentum review

Even in entry-level form, the XC40 comes loaded with convenience and safety technology

The Volvo XC40 is a stylish small SUV that's been designed to storm the crossover class, taking on upmarket models like the Audi Q2, Mercedes GLA and BMW X1. It's available in three trim levels, including the sporty R-Design and luxurious Inscription, but it’s the Momentum we're focusing on here.

Though officially the entry-level trim, don't let that fool you into thinking the Momentum trim is basic; in fact, the XC40 in Momentum form might be all the car you really need, and it represents the best value for money in the range. Choose Momentum and you'll be spending around £1,500 less than the equivalent R-Design XC40 and saving £4,000 compared with the Inscription Pro range-topper.

Momentum comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, roof rails, drive mode settings and Volvo's huge roster of safety kit, which makes it a reassuring crossover in which to travel. The healthy kit list continues inside, where features like a leather steering wheel, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and DAB radio should make for comfortable journeys.

Carbuyer's best 4x4s and SUVs on sale now

Technology is high on the agenda too, because where the entry-level Audi Q2 makes do with traditional instruments, the XC40 gets a 12.3-inch digital display. In the centre console you'll find Volvo's nine-inch portrait Sensus infotainment touchscreen with European sat-nav.

Another handy set of features are included with the Volvo On Call smartphone app, giving the ability to send a destination to the car's sat-nav, remotely unlock the car and even start the engine (with an automatic gearbox fitted). It can also offer support in a breakdown or emergency and provide stolen vehicle tracking.

For an extra £1,500, customers can upgrade to the Momentum Pro trim, making the XC40 particularly adept - and more convenient - in wintry conditions. Heated front seats, heated washer nozzles and a heated windscreen will certainly be welcome on frosty mornings, and if they work in the car’s native Sweden, there should be no problems here. Adaptive headlights and LED foglights with a cornering function will help on gloomy nights and a powered driver's seat (with memory function) and folding door mirrors add to the temptation of a bundle that represents good value.

Momentum is available with one diesel and two petrol engines, but you'll have to step up to R-Design if you want the range-topping D4 diesel or T5 petrol. The sole D3 diesel has 148bhp and comes with front-wheel drive and either a manual or automatic gearbox, or four-wheel drive with an automatic. The version you choose has an affects fuel-efficiency, with official figures of 51.4, 50.4 and 44.8mpg respectively.

The 1.5-litre petrol offers 154bhp andwill appeal to company-car drivers, thanks to its 29% Benefit-in-Kind tax band being the lowest in the range. It also costs around £1,600 less than the D3, making it our pick for the majority of drivers with a low to medium annual mileage. Fuel consumption is 39.8mpg according to the new WLTP test, which is a reasonable saving over the larger T4 petrol (35.8mpg) with 187bhp and four-wheel drive.

After a test drive, you may want the T4 though, because tall gearing and a lack of grunt means the T3 can feel a little sluggish, requiring downshifts to keep it on the boil - and the gearbox also isn't the most satisfying in the class.

Verdict: 4/5

The Volvo XC40 feels like a thoroughly modern car, and that's reflected in the technology included in the entry-level Momentum version. It might be one of the best-equipped standard versions of a crossover on sale, and a small upgrade to Momentum Pro means you have all the essentials you could really need.

Having trouble chosing from the laest crop of small SUVs? Check out our top 10 4x4s and SUVs article, Carbuyer's in-depth Volvo XC40 review and our verdict on its biggest rival, the Audi Q3.

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