PICS: Baby Volvo full of tech!

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Volvo's XC40 is a dream to drive. Photo by Johan Vos
Volvo's XC40 is a dream to drive. Photo by Johan Vos

VOLVO’S compact SUV, the XC40 T5, is loaded with tech, offers comfort and luxuries and packs a decent punch that would’ve made Mike Tyson proud in his heyday.

I had its bigger brother the flagship XC90 a while back and was super impressed but the XC40 is as impressive as its smaller sibling.

The ride comfort is something to behold, and what I love about the XC40 is that its turning cycle is small. This makes the handling even more attractive, and the all-wheel drive offers the stability a driver longs for. The ride is smooth and there’s no lag as the XC40’s responds when you need it to. Under the hood, the T5 petrol powertrain delivers 185kW and powerful torque of 350Nm to all four wheels. The 2-litre turbocharged engine is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It sprints the 0-100km/h race in a decent time of 6,4 seconds.

In terms of aesthetics, the XC40’s distinctive Swedish design offers lines that makes jaws drop. The XC40 delivers when it comes to performance and the sporty design adds to it.

The XC40 is quite a bit smaller than its big brother but it still offers more than enough space. The XC40 offers good levels of space inside the cabin as well as in the boot which is rated at 460-litre.

I was struggling to get close to the claimed fuel consumption of 7.7L/100 km, but it might be that my right foot was enjoying the XC40’s responsiveness too much.

Volvo's XC40 has a sporty design. Photo by Johan Vos
The XC40 offers more than enough space for a compact SUV. Photo by Johan Vos
The XC40 is loaded with tech, including a big touchscreen. Photo by Johan Vos
XC40
Volvo's XC40. Photo by Johan Vos

Jump inside the sporty crossover and you’ll find loads of luxuries, to name a few: comfortable leather seats, wireless charging for your cellphone, a touchscreen infotainment system, heated front seats, navigation, park assist, and the powerful Harman Kardon sound system.

If you’re not used to the T5’s huge touchscreen it might take a few minutes to figure out as you need to scroll left and right for more options.

The following comes as standard, including safety options which is synonymous with Volvo: City Safety (includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and front collision warning with full auto brake), driver alert control with lane keeping assist, intelligent driver information system, road sign information display, and Volvo on Call.

It’s interesting to note that Volvo used gaming tech to help develop its safety features.

Volvo partnered with Epic Games to support the development of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) in its next-generation vehicles. The company also used a mixed-reality simulator to test and develop the latest in safety technology.

Advanced driver-assistance tech, such as the lane-keeping assist and oncoming lane mitigation features in the XC40, were tweaked by Volvo using a combination of high-definition 3D graphics, an augmented reality headset and a full-body haptic suit that provides feedback from a virtual world.

The XC40 was one of those SUVs I enjoyed so much that a week behind the wheel was just not long enough. I can imagine spending a much longer time behind the wheel to enjoy its comfort, tech, sportiness and practicality.

Volvo made this review possible.

PRICING:

Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design from R779 150

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