USED: 2019 Volvo XC40 Review – This Compact Luxury SUV Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

Really good things come in small blue packages.

When the 2019 Volvo XC40 compact luxury SUV rolled into my driveway in a beautiful robin’s egg blue (which Volvo calls Amazon Blue) with a white roof, it was as if a Tiffany box with a white silk ribbon had been delivered. I was so delighted that I had to stop by my friend Rebecca’s house to show it to her. I think this might be her next car.

She was just as taken by the color as I was. In fact, so was everyone I met that week, from an engineer at a competing automaker to friends, my kids and viewers on this Facebook Live stream about the car. Once inside, everyone was equally as smitten.

Here’s the thing about color: it can sway your mood, perk up a gloomy day or break the ice with a stranger. An all-black car says ‘I’m dark, mysterious, maybe a little dangerous.’ On the other hand, a white car says ‘I’m elegant, sophisticated, and focused on details.’ When it comes to cars, blue is the color of happiness. It’s light, lilting and optimistic.

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Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

The front cabin of the 2019 Volvo XC40. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This Car is For

  • Singles, couples, or small families
  • City drivers
  • Drivers who need a small SUV
  • Drivers who need all-wheel drive
  • Buyers who want flexible cargo space
  • Buyers who want top safety technology
Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

The door panel makes more space for things like my laptop and water bottles; the floating armrest and aluminum detail gives the panel a more modern look. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Volvo XC40 Costs

  • $35,200 – Volvo XC40 Momentum base price includes a 9” touchscreen infotainment system, digital driver display, road sign display, Apple Car Play/Android Auto, WiFi hot spot, lane keep assist, forward crash mitigation and leather upholstery. Additionally, it has five drive modes, including all-wheel drive, and that awesome blue paint color.
  • $1,400 – Premium package adds adaptive cruise control with pilot assist wireless charging, heated windshield washers and smart key keyless entry.
  • $1,100 – Vision package adds self-parking park assist, blind-spot monitors and auto-dimming rear and side mirrors.
  • $995 – Advanced package adds surround-view camera, headlight cleaning system, fog lights and bending LED headlights.
  • $1,375 – Premium Harman/Kardon sound system.
  • $750 – Heated front seats and steering wheel.
  • $1,200 – Panoramic sun roof.
  • $500 – Ice white roof and charcoal headliner (the cloth ceiling cover).
  • $800 – 19” black and white wheels.
  • Price of the model we test drove including the delivery charge: $44,315

Need a larger SUV than this? Check out the Volvo XC90

Compact Luxury Suv

The awesome touch screen in the Volvo XC40 is large enough to easily see all your options. Here, we have Apple Car Play engaged. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Beauty is in the Details: The Interior Design, Materials and Technology Give This Small SUV Its Appeal

It’s not often you find girls standing around talking about cars. However, starting with the color of our test model, everyone wanted to talk about the Volvo XC40. People were drawn to the color of course. Additionally, the size and interior design intrigued everyone. From the white upholstery to the streamlined infotainment system with an oversized touch screen, the Volvo’s design language takes a cue from its Swedish roots. The XC40’s door panels are a minimalist take on traditional doors with a large, wide pocket. They’re perfect for a laptop or oversized water bottles. The armrest with window controls floats on a carpeted background, creating a soft, modern effect.

The center console lends to the modern feel. It has a 9” touch screen framed by long obelisk-shaped air vents and modern aluminum dashboard trim. Plus, the touch screen is well organized and holds many of the car’s functions. Climate control icons are a static feature at the bottom of the screen. Therefore, you can always adjust the temperature, fan or seat heaters quickly and easily.

There are three main screens. The center screen organizes the basics, including phone, navigation, radio and a connected phone. These functions are broken down on the next two screens. Simply, swipe left for apps and entertainment, or swipe right to get settings and safety functions. The function screen lets you access park assist and turn on or off blind-spot monitors, lane departure assist and start/stop, which I found helpful in heavy traffic. While I liked that the engine stopped when idling, I didn’t love the shudder it gave off when restarting. Therefore, I opted to turn it off much of the time (this has to be done each time you start the car).

If a wagon is more your style, you should see the Volvo V90

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

There was plenty of room for our crew in the XC40. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Girlfriends (or Family) and Good Times Are Better in the Right Car

The XC40 is designed to be social. The upright seats are great for FaceTime with your bestie. You can be deeply ensconced in great conversation rather than ensconced in deep bucket seats that make it hard to see your travel companions.

Plus, the cabin was quiet. It was easy to carry on a conversation, both on the highway and on local roads. It was also easy to hear and be heard on the car’s phone speaker. In case the conversation got too deep, Apple Car Play was great for keeping us on track. It kept me focused on the route as much as the journey.

Additionally, pilot assist made it easy to relax behind the wheel. This semi-autonomous system not only activates adaptive cruise control to keep your speed consistent with other traffic on the road, but it also keeps you in your lane. Just press the right arrow button on the cruise control panel, and the pilot assist engages. Between these two functions, it was easy to cruise the New Jersey Turnpike—typically a tough traffic challenge—and carry on a conversation.

We also loved the ease of plugging in phones. Everyone had a turn at DJ’ing! The car’s two USB ports are under the center console (just under the touch screen). Despite being inset in a cubby, they were fairly easy to reach. When people got sick of my Sirius XM choices, they could easily put on a playlist and turn up the Harman/Kardon sound system. The shape of the cabin, with plenty of headroom, made singing along easy and fun.

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

The grocery shelf in the 2019 Volvo XC40. Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Interior Worthy of the Tiffany-inspired exterior

The car’s interior design evokes a social space but in an elegant, understated way. The white upholstery, ample headroom and panoramic sunroof deliver flattering, even light to better see people’s faces (we all look better in this light, too).

Moreover, the minimalist approach to the center console, armrest, aluminum accents and the less obtrusive size of the gear selector gives the Volvo XC40 an elegant feel.

This design sensibility extends to the cargo area. I LOVED the cargo floor storage area, which is nicely sized for this compact luxury SUV. It easily fits luggage for three or four people. It’s the flexibility of the floor that I loved most. The floor has a handle in the center, so you can pull it up to reveal an additional storage bin. Then, the floor props up (there are notches in the side rails to keep it propped up) revealing plastic hooks where you can hang bags and items.

This is great to keep shopping bags from splaying open in the cargo area and letting all your canned goods roll around as you drive. There is also an elastic band that stretches across the right side cubby. You can strap in larger items that might roll around while driving. It held my milk neatly in place.

How Volvo is working to reduce crashes and improve safety for everyone

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

The 2019 Volvo XC40 compared to the BMW X3. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Well-Proportioned Space for a Compact Crossover

Volvo developed the XC40 to fill a need in the brand’s lineup. While the XC90 and XC60 have done well, consumers have been voicing a need for a small SUV easier to drive and park. The 2019 model is the first of this new model line and is ideally sized for you and a friend up front. While the rear seats are comfortable, the leg room isn’t huge. My 5’ 9” daughter found it comfortable for the two+ hour drive to Philadelphia. However, she wouldn’t have loved being in the car much longer. It helps that there is plenty of headroom, but even with the front seats pulled forward, there was no stretching out in the back seat.

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

The digital dashboard displays key information including distance to empty, MPG, lane departure, navigation, the speed limit, your speed, and pilot assist is indicated by a green steering wheel. Photo: Estee Reiss, safely from the passenger seat

Peppy and Responsive, No Shortcomings in the Drive Experience

Probably the biggest surprise was the zip in the Volvo’s engine, even with 4 passengers and a full load. The 4-cylinder turbo engine’s 248 horsepower was fine accelerating when pulling out of a parking lot or away from an intersection. In dynamic mode, it was even better.

I always love eco mode but found this to be better on the highway and when driving alone than on city streets with my family. It took a little more time to spool up the engine’s power in eco than in dynamic, which is to be expected. Still, even though I drove in all modes on city streets and highways, we averaged about 24 MPG. I thought that was reasonable for the size and power of this little car.

The default is comfort mode. The other drive modes include off-road, which we didn’t get to try out, but I would love to have on a snowy day. Individual mode allows drivers to customize the experience.

Driver Assistance Technology Gives the Driver a Break

Don’t you love it when your co-pilot offers to take over the driving, so you can rest? That is sort of what Pilot Assist and adaptive cruise control do. They regulate your speed and keep you in the lane. Then you can relax a bit behind the wheel. Volvo has been a leader in this space for a while in keeping with the brand’s commitment to being the safest car on the road. The innovations keep evolving. The XC40 includes some features in the base model. A $1400 upgrade adds adaptive cruise and pilot assist, which are well worth the price. All these features add up to an even safer car for you and cars and people around your car. We highly recommend drivers invest in them and learn to use them.

After all, keeping your people safe is a priority, but seeing this pretty car dented and damaged would break your heart.

Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury SuvWhat We Loved:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Tiffany blue color with a white roof
  • Adaptive cruise control with Pilot assist
  • Capless gas tank
  • Apple Car Play
  • Wireless charge pad
  • Two USB ports and two cigarette lighter ports/power ports
  • Harman/Kardon sound system
  • WiFi
  • Streamlined design
  • Heated seats/steering wheel
  • Five drive modes (eco, comfort, off-road, dynamic, individual)
  • Purse hook accessory that hooks onto the glove box
  • Large touch screen
  • Grocery shelf and milk holder
  • Oversized side door pockets
Volvo Xc 40 Compact Luxury Suv

Our groceries in the back of the XC40. Even though we didn’t use the bag hooks, the storage bins kept the bags from spilling, and the elastic band kept the milk from rolling around. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know:

  • This is a small SUV
  • Seating for 5 but more comfortable for 3 or 4
  • Premium fuel recommended; the use of regular fuel may mean reduced fuel economy and power
  • Unusual use of interior materials (carpeted door panels)
  • Two USB ports and three 12V cigarette lighter adapter ports
  • 48 month/50,000 mile warranty
  • 3 years/36,000 mile complimentary maintenance
  • Estimated fuel economy: 23 city/31 highway. We averaged 24 MPG

What We Listened to in the Volvo XC40

This cute little car inspired us to crank up the music and sing along. Here’s what we listened to in the Volvo XC40.

The 2019 Volvo XC40 was provided for this review; all opinions are my own.

Don'T Stop At The Beautiful Tiffany Blue Exterior; Inside This Compact Luxury Sedan Is Filled With Gems To Make Your Time In The Volvo Xc40 Just Perfect.

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FAQs About the 2019 Volvo XC40

1. What is the 2019 Volvo XC40?

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is a compact luxury SUV manufactured by the Swedish automaker Volvo. It’s known for its stylish design, innovative features, and a focus on safety.

2. How many trim levels are available for the 2019 Volvo XC40?

The 2019 XC40 comes in multiple trim levels, which typically include the Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. Each trim level offers distinct features and styling cues.

3. What are the engine options for the 2019 Volvo XC40?

The XC40 is offered with a choice of powertrains, including a T4 engine (front-wheel drive) and a more powerful T5 engine (all-wheel drive). The T4 uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the T5 adds a supercharger to the same base engine.

4. Is all-wheel drive (AWD) available for the 2019 XC40?

Yes, all-wheel drive is available for the 2019 Volvo XC40. This feature enhances traction and stability, making it suitable for various driving conditions.

5. What is the seating capacity in the 2019 Volvo XC40?

The XC40 typically seats five passengers in a comfortable and well-designed interior. It provides ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear-seat occupants.

6. How is the interior of the 2019 XC40 in terms of luxury and features?

The 2019 XC40 boasts a premium and modern interior with high-quality materials and attention to detail. It features standard leather upholstery, a user-friendly infotainment system with a large touchscreen, and available options like a panoramic sunroof and upscale audio systems.

7. What are the technology features in the 2019 XC40?

The XC40 comes equipped with Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, which includes a 9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a suite of advanced safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and more.

8. How is the cargo space in the 2019 Volvo XC40?

The 2019 XC40 offers a well-utilized cargo area with ample space for a compact SUV. The rear seats fold down to provide even more room for larger items.

9. Is the 2019 XC40 fuel-efficient?

The XC40’s fuel efficiency depends on the chosen engine and drivetrain. The T4 engine tends to be more fuel-efficient, while the T5 may consume more fuel but provides additional power.

10. What are the safety features in the 2019 Volvo XC40?

Volvo is known for its commitment to safety, and the 2019 XC40 is no exception. It includes a comprehensive suite of safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and the City Safety system, which includes automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

11. How does the 2019 XC40 handle on the road?

The 2019 XC40 offers a comfortable and smooth ride with responsive handling. It’s a good choice for urban and highway driving, and it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

12. What is the starting price for the 2019 Volvo XC40?

Pricing for the 2019 XC40 varies depending on the trim level and optional features. It starts at a base price and can increase with added features and packages.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss