What’s New in the 2020 Volvo XC40?

Could the 2020 Volvo XC40 be the best subcompact luxury crossover in its class? It’s efficient, powerful, and loaded with modern technology. A starting MSRP of $33,700 also makes the XC40 priced just right for the average buyer. Let’s check out this crossover’s key highlights.

Performance Specs

Every new 2020 Volvo XC40 comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard throughout the lineup. However, the output varies depending upon whether you choose front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. While the FWD XC40 develops 187 horsepower, the AWD models produce 248 horsepower.

When test driving the new Volvo XC40, you’ll notice its punchy performance. Expect models equipped with the upgraded engine to hit 60 mph in around 6.2 seconds. Impressive acceleration off the line and excellent passing power help make this crossover entertaining to drive. Its automatic transmission also works flawlessly.

Another big highlight is the XC40’s surprisingly high towing capacity. In fact, the crossover is rated to pull up to 3,500 pounds. With this towing capacity, you shouldn’t have any trouble moving boats, pop-up campers, and ATV trailers. This gives the XC40 a clear advantage over other crossovers in the segment as many aren’t even recommended for towing.

In terms of handling, the new Volvo XC40 feels extremely stable around corners. A smooth highway ride makes the XC40 great for traveling. Drivers who desire a nimbler crossover should go for the R-Design trim. Its lowered sport suspension enables you to carve twisty roads with greater confidence. While the crossover’s Comfort driving mode is ideal for highway cruising, the Dynamic mode allows you to have more fun.

Available AWD allows the XC40 to confidently tackle snowy road conditions. On top of that, this crossover is a decent off-road performer. Although you shouldn’t attempt to tackle more challenging terrain in the XC40, skid plates and 8.3 inches of ground clearance enable you to easily conquer most off-road trails.

Fuel Economy

When equipped with its standard engine, the Volvo XC40 returns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, expect the more powerful engine to drop fuel economy to 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

While premium fuel is recommended for optional performance, regular unleaded can safely be used.

Safety Features

Volvo has a long history of producing extremely safe vehicles. The 2020 Volvo XC40 is no exception.

Superb impact protection enables the XC40 to earn an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating. In fact, it aced all of the organization’s crash tests.

An IIHS Top Safety rating also proves that the XC40 is a secure vehicle. While the IIHS gives the crossover’s standard headlights poor marks, the upgraded adaptive headlights perform very well.

The new XC40 comes equipped with some extremely valuable safety features. The list includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and driver attention warning. Volvo OnCall also comes standard. This feature allows you to contact emergency personnel at the touch of a button.

If you want to further decrease driving stress, opt for Volvo’s convenient Pilot Assist system. It automatically adjusts your speed according to the flow of traffic. Moreover, Pilot Assist keeps the crossover centered in its lane.

While the XC40’s standard backup camera is helpful, an optional 360-degree camera system further enhances visibility in crowded parking areas. Some of the other available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, and reverse automatic braking.

Entertainment Features

Even the lowest-priced XC40 receives Volvo’s latest Sensus Connect infotainment system. It features a vertical nine-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Because this interface doesn’t have many physical buttons, it can take a while for some drivers to learn the ropes. Furthermore, the system includes a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Another nice standard feature is the XC40’s digital gauge cluster. It displays a lot of important information and automatically adjusts to the amount of light inside the cabin.

The standard eight-speaker stereo doesn’t sound bad for a base system. However, you can dramatically elevate sound quality by upgrading to the 13-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. An air-vented subwoofer ensures deep, powerful bass.

Pros

Luxury at a Bargain

The 2020 Volvo XC40’s reasonable starting price makes it a sweet deal. You get a lot of luxury for the money.

Although leather-trimmed seats no longer come standard, Volvo’s new T-Tec material feels nice. Despite the exclusion of leather seats, all of the other big features come standard.

Modern Styling

You can expect the new XC40 to turn a few heads. Its modern front fascia with Thor’s Hammer headlights looks cool.

You can bolster the crossover’s curb appeal by opting for the white contrast roof. Meanwhile, a lowered ride height and larger 19-inch alloy wheels help give the sporty R-Design model an aggressive stance.

Fun Driving Dynamics

The new XC40 is a great pick for drivers who want a fun commuter vehicle. Its turbocharged engine produces a strong kick when you need it. Tighter handling makes the XC40 R-Design even more engaging to drive.

Useful Cargo Space

There’s a tad more than 20 cubic feet of storage space behind the crossover’s backseat. By folding down the rear seats, you can expand the available cargo space to more than 47 cubic feet. There’s also a large console bin in the front.

Cons

Backseat Comfort Could Be Better

Up to five people can fit inside the 2020 Volvo XC40. However, some adults may need more legroom when sitting in the back. Unlike some of its competitors, the XC40 does not feature reclining rear seats.

Fuel Economy is Good but Not Great

The new XC40 is an efficient vehicle. However, some of its rivals can save you more money at the pump. For instance, the Hyundai Kona has a city fuel of up to 28 mpg.

Some Seating Upgrades Not Offered

You’ll find the XC40’s front seats to be extremely comfortable. While front-seat heating is available, Volvo does not offer the XC40 with ventilated front seats.

Final Thoughts

If you need a luxury vehicle for daily commuting, the 2020 Volvo XC40 will prove to be a fine choice. Its interior is especially nice. A fun-to-drive nature and superior crash protection make this subcompact crossover even more appealing.

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