2019 Volvo XC40: Quick Impression.
"CUV, meet a car enthusiast. This guy should hate your guts if the internet is anything to go by. Let's see how you two get on."
I haven’t ridden in any of Volvo’s recent offerings… until the RMDE event put on by RMAP (the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press). The RMDE is basically an event where media people of all walks of blogs, YT channels, and Podcasts (like me) can drive or ride in some of the latest and greatest cars being produced or soon-to-be produced cars today. One of which is the new Volvo XC40. Volvo has yet to make a bad looking car in my eyes and the XC40 is no different. Is it more than a pretty face though? Here’s what I thought.
The Interior Is Nice, If A Bit Boring.
Photo Credit: Volvo.
Volvo is Swedish. Given this, it should’ve been pretty obvious to me that the interior was going to be pretty minimalist. Despite knowing this, I was taken aback by just how minimalist it was.
No, it wasn’t more baron than the rice with cilantro I get a Chipotle (I get just the rice and cilantro). It has a nice infotainment center, well-placed buttons that weren’t overdone, and quite a bit of storage. It’s not like this car lacked substance. It was just lacking some style in the interior. The overall design was good, but I wish there were more elements to it. In that sense, the interior reminds me of the old sim game |rFactor”. It was a good game with a solid physics system, cool cars, and tracks but not much else straight out the box. Yes, the point of rFactor was how easy it was to modify, but having more content in the base game would’ve been appreciated.
In the case of the Volvo, it has a solid interior. It’s visually appealing without going overboard. Yet I can’t help but feel that Volvo played it a little “safe” with the interior design. The most interesting elements in the interior are the silver dots that run across the middle of the dash on a black background like a kitchen back-splash (this sounds bad but is actually complimentary) and the air vent shape.
Then again… if you compare this Volvo’s interior to Volvo’s from just a little while ago, it is a definite improvement in the style department. The seats were comfortable, but that’s really it. I don’t have much to say about them.
Overall, I like the interior. I just wish it had more to look at.
It Handled Well.
Photo Credit: Volvo.
We didn’t push the car (despite being on some fantastic backroads), I don’t have much to say about how the car handled during spirited driving. During normal driving though? It did well. It soaked up the bumps cornered without a care. It’s also fairly small, so it doesn’t take up that much space on the road. So maneuvering the car around city streets shouldn’t be a struggle. Unless you suck at driving. In which case, take a course on how to drive better for the love of all that is holy and good.
The Infotainment System Isn’t The Worst One Out There.
No, it isn’t FCA’s brilliant Uconnect system. However, I didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, it’s not overly intuitive upon first contact. Getting used to it should only take a trip to the owner’s manual/YT tutorials and some first-hand experience. It’s kinda odd on first glance, but you get used to it after.
The Exterior Is Very Good Looking.
I know most car people aren’t very enthused by the rise of CUVs, and truth is neither am I, but I can appreciate a well-designed one when they come along. This Volvo? Is one of those cars.
I’ve said that Volvo has yet to design a bad looking car and that their new design language is fantastic. I still stand by that even with the new XC40. My favorite part is the “hip” below the C-Pillar. Then again, I don’t have a part of the exterior I really dislike. I find it to be a really well-judged design on Volvo’s part.
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