The Volvo XC40 may be just another small SUV for people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a sedan these days, but the company’s approach to sharing and selling the car might be how they get potential customers to pay attention.
The XC40 will compete with cars like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mini Countryman, as well as higher-end versions of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Volvo’s been on a bit of a hot streak lately, turning out strikingly cool cars, but the XC40 adds trendy stuff like a contrasting roof / body color scheme that the company says will be available in 17 different combinations.
When it reaches showrooms next year, the XC40 will be available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower. A plug-in hybrid will be offered later, Volvo officials said Thursday at the Milan event where the car was revealed. Also expect a fully electric model of this size from Volvo in the next couple of years.
Volvo is into screens these days, so all XC40s will come with a 12.3-inch TFT display behind the steering wheel, where conventional dials and gauges have lived. In the middle of the dash, there’s the 9-inch touchscreen that we liked a lot in the V90 Cross Country; it controls most of the audio, air, and vehicle settings. Qi wireless charging is now included as well — just in time for your most recent iPhone purchase.
The Swedes are big on safety, so all XC40s will get Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving assistance that includes automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection. A 360-degree parking camera will also be offered.
Because this is Volvo’s smallest vehicle aimed at a more tech-aware and city-dwelling audience, the XC40 is being introduced with some new services. As part of the Volvo On Call app, you can now add trusted friends or family to use the car through the app. The app, like ones offered by a number of automakers, allows you to unlock and start the car, control the air conditioning or heating, and set the vehicle destination.
Volvo recently acquired pieces of Luxe to further its concierge services for things like fueling and service appointments, so expect that to be rolled into the XC40 once those programs are expanded outside of the San Francisco area.
Along with the full details of the XC40, Volvo also announced its Care By Volvo service, which will allow people who want to lease an XC40 to roll all of the costs associated with owning a car (aside from fuel) into one monthly payment. The price is non-negotiable, which is likely meant to dissuade those who enjoy haggling with car salespeople, but it makes for a less dramatic experience for those who wish buying a car were like buying a phone. What’s more, Volvo says you can get a new car every year under the plan.
Prices for Care By Volvo will be announced in November, but you can order an XC40 now. When it goes on sale early next year, the T5 all-wheel drive model will start at $ 35,200. A less-expensive and less-powerful T4 front-wheel drive version will be available starting summer 2018 for $ 33,200. Expect the plug-in hybrid model to cost at least $ 40,000 when it does become available.