New 2019 Volvo XC40 SUV New 2019
Volvo XC40 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

The brand-new 2019 Volvo XC40 is the smallest and least expensive crossover SUV from the Swedish automaker. This 2-row/5-passenger compact-luxury SUV slots beneath the XC60 and XC90 in the automaker’s lineup, but the 2019 XC40 is cut from a mold all its own with distinctive design and a fun, youthful flair. Although it’s taken Volvo time to introduce a small SUV to a segment already bustling with rivals like the Lexus NX, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1, they’ve hit the bull’s-eye with the XC40. This plucky little Volvo SUV is stuffed with style, smart packaging, technology and robust driving manners, all at a stellar value. If you’re considering a small-luxury SUV, the Volvo XC40 has been worth the wait.


You'll Like This SUV If...

If you want a compact-luxury-crossover SUV that’s loaded with safety features, a wealth of standard technology that includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, great handling, and interior and exterior design that shines, you’ll find it all in the new 2019 Volvo XC40.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

The Volvo brand may not have the cachet of other premium European automakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. If you want a hybrid luxury SUV -- and don’t want to wait for the forthcoming hybrid XC40 or all-electric XC40 -- check out the Lexus NX hybrid.

What's New for 2019

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is all-new. It debuts in T5 form with standard all-wheel drive, followed later by the front-wheel-drive T4. In addition to being the Swedish automaker’s smallest and least expensive SUV, it heralds Care by Volvo, a no-hassle, all-inclusive subscription model that begins at $600/month, including insurance.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

You may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but the new Volvo XC40 drives true to its exterior identity. It’s strong, fun and dynamic, yet also sensible. The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s standard in T5 models is more powerful than its 248 horsepower suggests. In fact, it’s a little dynamo of a powertrain, smartly connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Turbo lag is minimal. This little luxury SUV has plenty of get-up-and-go, with a 6.2-second 0-60-mph time and guts in reserve for higher-speed passing. The XC40 is exceptionally nimble and easy to maneuver, whether in a parking lot or on the freeway. Despite its short length and shorter wheelbase, the XC40 is comfortable and adept at absorbing road imperfections. It’s fun to push on a winding road, especially the R-Design models with their sportier suspension setup and larger wheels. We appreciated the XC40 T5’s standard all-wheel drive and 8.3 inches of ground clearance while testing ours during a severe Texas rainstorm. Grip was commendable when pushed on the slick roads and confidence-inspiring in general. The high seating position is excellent.

Favorite Features

In another Volvo first, the XC40 owner can allow friends and family to drive the vehicle without needing to hand off the keys. Via the Volvo On Call app, the owner can approve a request to drive, set a time frame and let the person know where the car is located. The friend can then unlock and use the car via the phone.

Serious thought was put into making the most of the XC40’s 5-passenger cabin, from moving the speakers from their usual spots in the doors to create space, to adding a fold-out hook in the glove compartment that can hold a purse or bag of food.

Vehicle Details


Inside the new Volvo XC40, function and form are best friends. And this melding of design and purpose creates some nifty solutions large and small. Among the first things you notice are numerous cubbies. One of the best ideas we’ve seen is the optional rear-storage solution in which the cargo floor can be folded up to create a secure cargo box against the rear seat. Up front, the drive position is excellent -- a high seating position that allows a good view out. For as practical as the XC40 is, this small SUV boasts high-touches that include a 12.3-inch digital driver display and prominent, 9-inch touch-screen system. The rear outboard seats have good legroom, but unfortunately you’ll have to press your feet close together to avoid jamming against the front seats’ foundations. Other quibbles include sun visors that don’t slide and the small transmission selector that can be fussy to use when initially putting the vehicle in Drive or Reverse.


“A tough little robot.” That’s the way XC40 designer Ian Kettle describes the appearance of this small Volvo SUV. We agree, and furthermore we love that Volvo didn’t just make a downsized version of the XC60 and XC90, as elegant as those larger SUVs are. The new XC40, by contrast, is rugged yet youthful and spunky. It’s described as more a cousin than a brother to the larger XC models. The XC40 is angular and stands out with a C-pillar that rises sharply from the base of the rear-door windows. Up front the grille is concave, there are those distinctive “Thor’s hammer” headlights, and crisp creases in the hood. In back, even the standard power tailgate is beautiful, and tucked underneath are the twin exhaust housings. Volvo XC40 Momentum models can be had with a white contrast roof, while the R-Design variants have a black roof.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is available in two variants, T4 or T5. The T4 is front-wheel drive (FWD) and uses a lower-power engine, while the T5 comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and a potent powerplant. Both can be had in a choice of three trims: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Even in base form, the new XC40 SUV is surprisingly well equipped. Standard fare includes leather seating, power driver’s seat with memory, power tailgate, automatic climate control, a slick 12.3-inch digital dash display, 18-inch wheels and LED headlights. The XC40’s safety features include lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and road-sign recognition. The infotainment system is robust, centered around a horizontally aligned 9-inch touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a Wi-Fi hotspot (6-month trial included), and an 8-speaker/250-watt AM/FM/HD Radio audio system with two USB ports in front and a USB-C connector in the rear.

Notable Optional Equipment

Stepping up to the R-Design adds a sport chassis designed for more athletic handling, 19-inch wheels, 8-way power-operated passenger seat, navigation, dual-zone climate control and LED fog lights. The top-line XC40 Inscription brings a panoramic moonroof, driftwood inlays, a crystal shift knob and other aesthetic touches. Options available across all trims include the recommendable Premium Package that bundles Volvo semi-autonomous Pilot Assist drive system, the ingenious folding load-floor system, universal garage remote, hands-free tailgate operation, wireless phone charger, and hidden storage compartment under the driver’s seat. Other options include a blind-spot warning system, panoramic moonroof and a harman/kardon premium audio system that sounds fantastic.

Under the Hood

The 2019 XC40 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, but in a choice of two outputs/drive configurations. The XC40 debuts first in T5 form, in which the engine is tuned to 248 horsepower and comes standard with AWD. Following will be the XC40 T4, in which the engine makes 187 horsepower and is FWD only. Both are mated to a well-functioning 8-speed automatic transmission. As with more and more new cars, the XC40 uses an automatic start/stop system that cuts engine power at idle, such as at stoplights. However, the system is defeatable via a menu on the touch screen (swipe right to access it). While not available at launch, Volvo has confirmed a hybrid XC40 and an all-electric version as part of its wider electrified future. Stay tuned to for more details as those new variants get closer to production.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (XC40 T5 AWD)
248 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (XC40 T4 FWD)
187 horsepower @ 4,700 rpm
221 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A


Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2019 Volvo XC40 starts at $34,195 for the FWD T4 variant that will launch after the T5. The T5 model, which has AWD standard and the higher-power engine, starts at $36,195 for a Momentum model. The sportier R-Design models are $2,500 more than the Momentum trim in both T4 and T5 form. Coming later will be the high-end XC40 Inscription model, with pricing still to be announced. As it stands, an R-Design XC40 loaded with the options can rise to around $45,000. While that loaded price might raise an eyebrow, the starting and midpoints of the new XC40 make it a great value compared to rivals. A Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lincoln MKC, for example, start at nearly identical prices, but can’t match the level of safety features or amenities that come standard on the XC40. In addition to traditional purchase and lease options, the XC40 introduces the Care by Volvo subscription model. The no-hassle program has a set monthly fee -- $600 for a well-equipped T5 Momentum model or $700 for a T5 R-Design -- and includes everything but gasoline. That means the lease payment, insurance through Liberty Mutual, maintenance and concierge service. Unlike a traditional lease, no down payment is required, and the subscription runs 24 months with a 15,000-mile annual limit. Similar to a phone plan, you can upgrade to a new car after the first 12 months, which resets the clock on the subscription.

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