The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

A great mid-range family SUV that ticks the boxes

Starting price: £24,100

Pros

3 boosters in the rear

Large boot

Large touchscreen

360° camera

Flush boot lip

Cons

Smartphone integration is extra

Family essentials will put the price up

Intro

We really liked the Volvo XC40 for a mid-range family car and are not surprised to hear it won “What Car? Car of the Year for a family SUV 2021.”  It ticks many essential family boxes but sadly it does come with a hefty price tag.  That said, Volvo are renowned for safe, reliable cars and it doesn’t fail to impress us. There are 7 trims levels; Momentum, Inscription Expression, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro. We drove the automatic R-Design Pro plug-in hybrid.  If you choose the plug-in hybrid, it is worth noting the starting price jumps considerably to £39,100.

The car has a stylish sporty look and keyless entry.  It was an easy, comfortable drive and being an SUV, meant that we were nice and high up on the road, thus providing great visibility.  The car felt solid and safe and could “go” when we put our foot down.

The charge point is on the front passenger side and the range is 25 miles; not much unless you’re using it for very short journeys.  It takes 2 hours to charge to 100%.  Sadly you cannot use any Rapid Charge points as these are only produced for fully electric cars.

Interior

The interior of the Volvo XC40 is sleek and simple.  The speedometer and rev counter are digital, making it feel a little more luxurious and we really liked the central infotainment system.  It consists of a 9 inch portrait touchscreen, rather like an iPad and is operated by swiping left and right to appropriate the screen – radio, camera, apps etc. It is easy to navigate depending on what you want to do, but if you’re after smartphone integration (which let’s be honest, most of us are), you’ll have to budget another £300.  Wireless phone chargers are becoming more popular in cars, but for this you’ll have to add a further £200 – think this is something we could live without!

Our only quibble with the onboard computer was the dual climate control which does come with a pollen filter.  We found adjusting the temperature fiddly on the touchscreen when driving.  Dials just seem easier and in all honesty safer to manipulate when you’ve little ones in the back.  There are air vents in the rear to keep the kiddies cool or warm them up and for us drivers, there’s a heated steering wheel.  This is a game changer on those cold winter days!

Parking sensors come as standard and the large retractable mirrors provide great visibility. If you’re after a 360° camera (we love these), then it will set you back a further £525.  These types of cameras are amazing, they make parking a piece of cake.  You can see everything surrounding the car from a bird’s eye view and the camera is crystal clear on the touchscreen.

Seats & Passenger Space

The interior feels high spec and durable. The seats were comfortable and easily adjustable.  Leather is an optional extra for £900 – a must with kids, unless you opt for the Inscription trim, where leather comes as standard. There is a lot of leg room in the front for the driver and passenger and if you need heating up in the winter, you’ll have to opt for the R-Design Plus to get the heated seats or again pay an additional extra cost.

There are 2 ISOFIX points in the rear, but sadly not in the front passenger seat.  We managed to fit 2 large child seats and a 3rd smaller booster seat in the middle on the back seat.  As an alternative, we were delighted to discover that we could also fit a large booster, rear facing baby seat and smaller booster (in the centre) – so great for car shares and playdates. We were surprised at the leg room in the rear – plenty of room for larger kiddies or 3 adults.  The doors opened nice and wide, so getting a baby seat in and out is easy.  There are tinted rear windows (privacy glass) too, to keep out the sun’s glare when it decides to make an appearance!

Too lighten the whole interior, Volvo also offer a panoramic sunroof as an option.   Babies seem to love these! However, it will set you back a whopping £1000.

Cups & Cubby

There is plenty of storage in the Volvo XC40.  The glove box is small but adequate enough and there are 2 central cupholders in between the driver and passenger seat.  There is a storage tray for a mobile phone and keys and further storage in the armrest, next to which you’ll find the wireless phone charger should you wish to include that as an added extra.  The door bins can accommodate a water bottle and much more.  In the rear, there are also adequate sized door bins and a central armrest with 2 cupholders.  There are 2 USB ports in the front and 2 in the rear – however it is worth noting that the 2 in the rear are USB C ports and you may need an adapter.

Boot Space

The boot is another surprise for a mid-range SUV; 452 litres.  That’s more than the Nissan Qashqai.  We loved it!  The boot floor is flush, making getting things in and out a piece of cake, no need to lift up and over.  We had no problems fitting in a stroller or a pram, leaving plenty of space for shopping, school bags etc.  If you choose a tyre inflator over a spare tyre, you’ll gain even more boot space!  It has a boot button on the key to operate the powered tailgate for convenience.

Summary

Overall, there’s a lot to be said in choosing the Volvo XC40 as a mid-range SUV for day-to-day family life.  They have included lots of fabulous features to make car journeys with children easier and enjoyable, it’s just a shame some of these extras come with a substantial price tag.

Car seats used in this review – 2 x Graco Tri Logic (width 40.8cm) 1 x Halfords Essentials Booster (width 39.5cm) 1 x Maxi-Cosi Pebble (width 43cm)

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4425 mm (L) x 1863 mm (W) 1652 mm (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

452 Litres

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

112 cm

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

112.8 – 139.4

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

25 miles

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60 mph in 6.2 secs