In-depth reviews

Volvo XC40 SUV - Interior & comfort

The Volvo XC40 has a stylish and relaxing interior with a large touchscreen

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Volvo interiors have long been respected for their simple, robust nature and Scandinavian style. Recently, the brand has been on a roll, introducing new materials and pushing the brand upmarket to rival the likes of Audi, BMW and Lexus, and the XC40 benefits from this purple patch.

The same uncluttered style found in the larger XC90 and XC60 models is present here, along with lots of clever touches. For instance, Volvo has found a way to move the bass speakers from the bottom of the doors to behind the dashboard, freeing up room for huge door bins.

Volvo XC40 dashboard

The portrait Sensus touchscreen, first seen in the Volvo XC90, has gradually filtered down through the range, and arguably feels even more special at this lower price point. The fact it controls so many aspects of the vehicle can take some getting used to, as can its ‘collapsible blinds’ user interface, but it’s very slick once you build familiarity with it.

With a well finished dashboard, the XC40 feels like a premium product, even if the obligatory soft-touch plastics are few and far between. Volvo also hasn’t forgotten its practical side, with features like a fold-out curry hook integrated in the glovebox to help you get your takeaway home intact.

Equipment

There are four main trim levels, called Momentum Core, Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Even the Momentum trim is pretty lavish, with dual-zone climate control, 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the Sensus infotainment system described above. Add the Pro suffix and heated front seats, a heated windscreen, adaptive headlights and folding side mirrors are added for around £1,500 extra. Volvo added a new Volvo added the entry-level ‘Momentum Core’ trim level in January 2020, making the XC40 available for a lower price. It forgoes the dual-zone air-con and 18-inch alloys, but still includes high-end equipment like LED headlights, keyless start and the digital dials.

R-Design adds some extra luxury in the form of leather seats and trim, along with gloss-black exterior trim and different alloy wheels for a sportier look, similar to Audi’s popular S line models.

Reading more like the equipment list for a luxury SUV, Inscription and Inscription Pro adds luxury touches like a crystal gearknob for automatic cars and unique ‘Driftwood’ interior trim. The car’s exterior gets some unique details to match, along with a choice of 18, 19, 20 or 21-inch wheels.

Options

Volvo offers some appealing extras bundled into packs to make things less confusing. As you’d expect, the £500 Winter Pack adds heated front seats, a heated windscreen, heated washer-jet nozzles and headlight cleaning system. Intellisafe Pro is worth considering, especially if you spend time on the motorway, adding adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alert and the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist driving aid.

It’s a shame to see Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration on the options list though, especially for £300. This is becoming an increasingly popular way to connect smartphones with the dashboard and is free in many superminis, let alone SUVs.

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