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MSRP: $33,200 - 39,750

2019 Volvo XC40 Review

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is one of the best SUVs in its class in terms of performance, technology, and luxury. It's a winner no matter what you like in a vehicle, which is why it finishes near the top of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Smooth ride and nimble handling
  • Posh interior
  • Lengthy features list
  • Below-average cargo capacity

Is the Volvo XC40 a Good SUV?

The all-new Volvo XC40 is an outstanding SUV. The XC40 delivers ample engine power, a smooth ride, and adept handling. Inside, you'll find arguably the nicest cabin in the class, with upscale materials, lots of standard and available features, and two rows of roomy seats. Some rivals have more cargo space, and some other Volvo models have more supportive seats, but those are about the only drawbacks to this SUV.

Should I Buy the Volvo XC40?

If you're looking for a small, upscale SUV, the XC40 is hard to beat. It's a class leader in many respects, and it costs about the same as other contenders in the class. In other words, this isn’t just a good vehicle – it’s a good value. Still, you may want to check out other luxury subcompact SUVs, like the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, just in case you find something you like better.

Compare the XC40, X1, and Q3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volvo XC40?

The XC40 is brand-new for 2019, so there are no previous model years to choose from.

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is a brand-new model.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Volvo XC40 Cost?

The Volvo XC40’s starting price (MSRP $35,200) is about average for the class. However, its price is reasonable when you consider the XC40’s lengthy features list. The highest XC40 trim, the Inscription, starts at $39,750.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

Volvo XC40 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volvo XC40 or BMW X1?

The BMW X1 has a reputation as one of the most fun-to-drive vehicles in the class, but the XC40 might have something to say about that. Both SUVs handle well, but the Volvo's engine provides a little more power. The XC40 also wins out on features availability. While both SUVs have premium interiors, the X1 has more cargo space and slightly comfier seats. This is a close call, but the Volvo still comes out on top.

Which Is Better: Volvo XC40 or Audi Q3?

The Audi Q3 doesn't cost as much as the XC40, but it also doesn't provide the all-around quality of the Volvo. The XC40 is more powerful and handles better than the Q3. Inside, the XC40 has a richer, roomier cabin with many more features. The Volvo is the clear choice here.

Which Is Better: Volvo XC40 or Mercedes-Benz GLA?

The Mercedes-Benz GLA’s starting price is lower than the XC40's. At the higher end of the price spectrum, the GLA offers a range-topping 375-horsepower engine that's far more powerful than anything the XC40 offers. However, the Volvo has better handling, a smoother ride, a roomier cabin, and more features. The GLA is also on the short list of SUVs with less cargo space than the XC40. In short, the Volvo is the clear winner.

Compare the XC40, X1, and Q3 »

XC40 Interior

How Many People Does the XC40 Seat?

The XC40 seats five people. The seats are spacious, and two adults can fit in the back with little difficulty. A few critics mention that the front seats aren't as supple as the seats in other Volvo models (which are praised for their extraordinary comfort).

XC40 and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the XC40. The SUV’s wide doors make it easy to get cars seats into the vehicle.

XC40 Interior Quality

With its sleek, stylish interior and premium materials, the XC40 sets the standard for interior quality among luxury subcompact SUVs.

XC40 Cargo Space

This Volvo has more than 47 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. That’s enough space for large items like a bicycle or camping equipment, though some class rivals provide more room.

XC40 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the XC40 include an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the Sensus Connect infotainment system with a 9-inch touch screen. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, navigation, a cooled glove box, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and wireless smartphone charging.

The infotainment system works well, but it may take some time to master the controls. There aren’t a lot of physical buttons, so you must rely on the touch screen to control many features. That may be difficult for some people, as the touch screen is riddled with virtual buttons, and the small fonts make some of them hard to read.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

XC40 Performance

XC40 Engine: It’s No Slowpoke

This Volvo comes with a 248-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers lively acceleration and has more than enough power to move this small SUV. The transmission occasionally feels clunky, but it willingly downshifts and generally pairs well with the engine.

XC40 Gas Mileage: The Jury Is Out

Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2019 XC40. However, the Volvo XC60, which features the same engine, earns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The XC40 should return slightly better ratings than the XC60 because it’s lighter.

XC40 Ride and Handling: Not Some Stodgy Grocery Getter

Volvo is shedding its reputation for only building safe vehicles that aren’t fun to drive, and the XC40 will help accelerate that shift in perception. It may not be the most fun-to-drive SUV in the class, but it’s enjoyable when you’re behind the wheel, and it has plenty of agility. Ride quality also leaves little to complain about.

Read more about performance »

XC40 Reliability

Is the Volvo XC40 Reliable?

The 2019 Volvo XC40 does not yet have a reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Volvo XC40 Warranty

Volvo backs the XC40 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. Many other luxury vehicles have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

XC40 Safety

XC40 Crash Test Results

The 2019 Volvo XC40 has not yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

XC40 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, oncoming lane mitigation, road departure mitigation, driver drowsiness monitoring, rear collision warning, and Volvo’s City Safety, which delivers warnings and brakes automatically when a collision is imminent.

Available features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, active bending headlights, a surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, the Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving system, and parallel, perpendicular, and rear park assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Volvo XC40 Model Is Right for Me?

There are three trims to choose from when buying an XC40: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. All come with a 248-horsepower turbo-four engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. The midrange R-Design is the best choice. Its starting price is $2,500 more than the base trim’s, but it comes with enough extra standard features to make it worth the added cost. Additionally, it offers some features that aren’t available in the base XC40 Momentum.

Volvo XC40 T5 Momentum

The XC40 Momentum has a base price of $35,200. Standard features include leather upholstery, automatic climate control, an air quality system, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the Sensus Connect infotainment system with a 9-inch touch screen.

There are plenty of standard active safety features as well, including a rearview camera, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, oncoming lane mitigation, road departure mitigation, driver drowsiness monitoring, rear collision warning, and Volvo’s City Safety, which delivers warnings and brakes automatically when a collision is imminent.

There are several option packages available. They cost up to $1,400 and add features like navigation, a Harman Kardon audio system, heated front seats, and several driver assistance features.

Later in the model year, a front-wheel-drive XC40 model will be available for $2,000 less.

Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design

The XC40 R-Design has a starting price of $37,700. In addition to the base trim’s features, it comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a cooled glove box, a power-adjustable passenger seat, navigation, and a hands-free power liftgate.

As with the Momentum trim, you can add multiple option packages that include features like wireless phone charging, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, blind spot monitoring, and more. The most expensive package costs $1,100.

Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription

The XC40 Inscription retails for $39,750. Upgrades to this model include a panoramic moonroof, a crystal gearshift knob, and wood interior trim pieces. The Inscription is available with many of the same option packages as the lower trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

See 2019 Volvo XC40 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The all-new 2019 Volvo XC40 is one of the most well-rounded luxury subcompact SUVs you can buy, which is why it earns a top spot in our class rankings. It also outranks most competitors. Every luxury subcompact SUV shopper should consider buying this Volvo.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The cheeky XC40 makes the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA look like old fuddy-duddies, and the driving experience gives the Mini Countryman a run for its money. Add in the reasonable price, high equipment level, and available hassle-free subscription plan, and the XC40 appears to be right on point." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The best evidence one needs that Volvo has moved beyond just safety as its main calling card is to look at its SUV lineup. The XC90 and XC60 demonstrate that the Swedish brand has built on its safety heritage with a series of stylish, technology advanced and comfortable vehicles. Now comes the 2019 Volvo XC40 as an entry-level model that shares many of its larger siblings' good points and breaks ground with some nifty features of its own." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's hard to make an expensive cheap car, but the XC40 pulls it off. With a sensible mix of standard and optional equipment, and styling both inside and out that feels more premium than the competition, the XC40 is ready to take the compact SUV segment by storm. If you aren't so attached to badge recognition that you're willing to think outside the box, investigating this car should be at the top of your to-do list." -- CNET
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