XC40 a deserved Euro Car of the Year

Cars of the Year can leave a sour taste in the mouth. People are sick to death by biased results and amazingly consistent, well let’s call them inconsistencies. Happily, certain hallowed contests still earn their sway – take the current European Car of the Year Volvo XC40, for instance. A car that certainly has earned its gong.

Launched into a niche that never really existed a year or two ago, XC40 is one of several new pretenders to the chic crossover crown, pitted against X2, E-Pace, Q2 and the like and playing on a field Volvo has not played before. Which is by no means a disadvantage.

XC40 is understated – more a work of Swedish simplicity than another ostentatious take on some old sportscar – it does not pretend to be anything else and simply goes about telling you it’s a Volvo first and foremost and that it’s a crossover (or is that an SUV?) at that.

Step inside and you’re immediately at home in a simply superbly rendered cabin. I’m not a huge fan of a touch screen interface in its own right for practical reasons, but beyond that, XC40 is brilliant inside. It feels bigger and more spacious and they’ve made a huge effort to make this car feel and look like something so contemporary without going over the top or missing the point. A great effort all round.

Powered by Volvo’s 140kW 400Nm modular 2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel in D4 spec turning all four wheels through an 8-speed autobox, XC40 tips the scales at a lightweight 1698kg to deliver a hushed if solid ride, while fuel consumption is beyond impressive. Backed by a best in class warranty, XC40 undercuts most rivals in price too. 

Come to think of it, the Volvo is Euro Car of the Year for damn good reason. 

QUICK TEST    Volvo XC40 D4 AWD Inscription
Engine          1969cc turbodiesel I4
Transmission 8-speed auto AWD
Power          140kW @ 4000rpm
Torque     400Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Kerb mass      1698kg
0-60km/h        3.45 sec
0-100km/h      7.78 sec
0-160km/h      20.88 sec
400m          15.7 sec @ 141km/h
80-120km/h    5.73 sec
120-160km/h 9.87 sec
Vmax          210km/h
Fuel                  5.0 l/100km
CO2          131 g/km
Warranty/Service 5y 100Kkm/5y100Kkm
Price           R657K