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First Drive: Volvo XC40 T4 petrol is driver’s delight

THE ASIAN AGE. | MICHAEL GONSALVES
Published : Feb 25, 2020, 12:52 am IST
Updated : Feb 26, 2020, 7:25 am IST

The Swedish compact luxury SUV offers four drive modes such as Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-road.

With BS-6 emission norm being implemented from April 1, Volvo Cars has revised its XC40 compact luxury SUV.
 With BS-6 emission norm being implemented from April 1, Volvo Cars has revised its XC40 compact luxury SUV.

With BS-6 emission norm being implemented from April 1, Volvo Cars has revised its XC40 compact luxury SUV. The Swedish luxury carmaker has ditched the diesel engine and replaced it with a petrol version, which is rapidly becoming the preferred choice of fuel. While the XC40 diesel was all-wheel drive, this one is front-wheel drive.

The new 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine replaces the diesel in its line-up, and the XC40 is now available in a single, fully loaded ‘R-Design’ trim.

We test drove it in green picturesque Goa terrains recently to find out if it was as impressive as the diesel.

The Exterior
In fact, on the exterior, there is no change to set it apart except for the T4 badge. Also, being an R-Design, there is not too much bling. The only chrome bits are the logo on the grille and the exhaust tips at the rear. The front is typical Volvo, featuring the famous 'Thor’s hammer' design for the LED headlights and a glossy black grille.

The SUV gets the same 18-inch alloy wheels and a blacked out roof that looks very cool and at the rear, the boomerang-like taillights are unmistakeably Volvo.

The Interiors
The interiors of this new car are top class living up to its badge Volvo in letter and spirit. The design, build and the overall feel exudes the feeling of being premium and luxury, making you feel it is worth your money. The dashboard is dominated by soft-touch materials and subtle piano­-black accents around the vents and the vertical touchscreen look nice.  

The 9.0-inch touchscreen is responsive, high on functionality, and despite being the one-stop location for most of the controls, it is easy to use, navigate and extremely user friendly too.

The steering and the fully digital instrument cluster see no revisions, but the seats are now all black, as opposed to the bright orange theme that you could opt for with the older car.

Undoubtedly, the seats are superb. You get premium leather upholstery, memory functions for the driver side and they offer excellent support in just the right areas, so long drives are an absolute breeze. The heated seats have been omitted now, which is a downer for those in the north.

The rear seat of the XC40 is not the best in its class, but you do get enough room back here. However, the backrest is a tad too upright and the low set seats mean that taller passengers tend to sit knees-up. But with plenty of storage throughout the cabin and a big 460-litre boot, the car is very practical.

Equipment wise, this SUV is loaded. In fact, It gets tech and features seen on cars two segment above. The list includes radar-based safety assists like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a collision mitigation system, six airbags, ABS with EBD, brake-assist, hill ascent and descent controls, and a lot more. You also get wireless charging, a tyre pressure monitor and front and rear parking sensors with a reverse camera.

The Drive Experience
The new XC40 T4 is powered by a BS-6-compliant, 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine that makes 190hp and 300Nm of torque. When you start the engine, you experience Volvo as you experience excellent refinement levels, and there are no vibrations and the engine runs silently at low revs too.

The SUV offers four drive modes such as Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-road. But I found the Dynamic setting not providing enough punch from the engine. Perhaps, a lot of that has to do with the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is not that responsive enough.

However, shifts are smooth, and efficient. When on an Off-road mode, it lightens the steering, engages hill-descent control and turns off the auto start/stop for a climb down a steep trail.

Driving around the city or cruising on a highway is smooth and a joy. The body roll is well contained, grip from the Pirelli P-Zero tyres is excellent and steering is consistently super. In terms of ride comfort, the car is quite impressive with its high-speed stability, absorbing potholes and broken patches.

Should I buy it?
Overall, the XC40 T4 is a comfortable, practical and luxurious car for daily as well as weekend getaway driving with friends and family. Tagged at Rs 39.9 lakh, but offering long list of features, you will not hesitate to own this compact luxury SUV.

Tags: maruti suzuki s-presso, renault kwid
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