2019 Volvo XC40

Performance


MSRP
$33,700
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Volvo XC40 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.6

You won't complain about the 2019 Volvo XC40's performance. The turbocharged engines feel energetic whether you’re cruising around or taking off from a stoplight. The ride is smooth, and the XC40 handles well, though some rivals are a little more fun to drive.

  • "We were charmed by the XC40. Both in design and dynamics, the XC40 is way more fun than we expect from such vehicles—here's hoping that bodes well for the fortunes of this model and the segment at large." -- Car and Driver
  • … what the powertrain lacks in aural quality, it more than makes up for in actual quality. The T5 four-banger pulls smoothly, with indiscernible turbo lag and solid shifting from the eight-speed automatic. The only real drawback, aside from the sound, is that the stop-start system is a little harsh when the engine kicks back to life." -- CNET
  • "The XC40 won't be well suited for a drifting competition, but it's hard to believe anyone will care. It's pleasantly deft and solidly predictable." -- Autoweek

Acceleration and Power

T4 XC40 models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 187 horsepower, while T5 models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 248 horsepower. The engine never feels starved for power, and the XC40 feels quick when accelerating. The transmission accentuates the feeling with its willingness to downshift, though it could be smoother at times. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

According to Volvo estimates, the XC40 gets 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with its base engine and 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the more powerful turbo-four. The base engine's ratings are among the best in the class, and even the larger engine's ratings are on par with rivals' numbers.

  • "Whether you're stopped at a light or need to jump into the passing lane, the T5-powered XC40 leaps ahead like an SUV possessed, and we're inclined to believe Volvo's 6.2-second claim for the 0-to-60 sprint. The eight-speed automatic transmission lives to downshift, and will happily do so with even the lightest prod of the pedal." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The T5 has plenty of power for a vehicle its size and the steering and handling is precise and well controlled." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The XC40's Aisin-built eight-speed automatic settles mid-pack, in shift control and operation. It's reasonably well sorted when it comes to response and gear selection, but a bit lumpier than the best torque-converter automatics during aggressive downshifting or fairly quick deceleration. Nonetheless, the XC40's torque-to-weight ratio and generally rapid response more than make up for any mildly annoying transmission behavior." -- Autoweek

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive comes standard in the XC40, but all-wheel drive is available. The XC40 is agile and maneuverable, making it excellent for driving around town or on winding roads. The ride is smooth, and road imperfections often pass unnoticed. You can choose between five driving modes (Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, Off-Road, and Individual) that alter driving dynamics to suit your preferences.

  • "While the XC40 boasts 8.3 inches of ground clearance as well as the look and ability to do some off-roading, the higher ride height, tight body and responsive suspension makes this compact crossover a fun drive on twisty asphalt. There's enough compliance in the suspension for a supple ride, while at the same time the overall balance and linear steering response inspires confidence. For those looking for the next level of responsiveness, an adaptive suspension will be available later in the model year as a $1,000 option." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The steering is generally light, but not in over-boosted, low-feel style. Sport mode decreases the boost a bit, without the jerkiness you might experience in some other Volvos, but it's always solid and direct, and it centers itself well. Plug that into the XC40's compact footprint, with a relatively high seating position, and you're left with a vehicle that's light, nimble, and indeed well suited for operating in crowded cities. The firmer suspension calibrations in the XC40 R-Design manage its relatively tall mass and body sway nicely." -- Autoweek
  • The same can be said for the Volvo's suspension tuning, which is stiff enough to remind you that you're piloting something smaller than the soak-it-all-up XC90, but still compliant to the point where you're not cursing potholes or washboard asphalt. It would be a stretch to label the XC40 as engaging to drive, but it's certainly on par with vehicles like the Audi Q3 or BMW X1 when it comes time to round a bend in the road." -- New York Daily News
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2019 Volvo XC40

MSRP: $33,700 - $40,250

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