SOMETIMES the most random things in cars are cool. Take the 2019 Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription for example. It has an Orrefors crystal gear shift knob and the door and dash inlays are made of a light wood that looks and feels like recycled driftwood.
The Inscription variant sits between the entry level Momentum and sporty R-Design, but is by far and away the luxury option of the three. And aside from the unusual shifter from the renowned Swedish glass maker, there are plenty of other luxe touches.
Among them are things like a full leather interior, four way lumbar support in the power adjustable driver seat, illuminated lights in the vanity mirrors and auto dimming inner and exterior mirrors. There’s even a chilled glove box with a bag hook.
It’s the quirky things you grow to love about a Volvo though, and it’s hard to go past a waste bin hidden in the front arm rest or the foldable floor in the back, which pops up hooks in the middle of the boot to hold your grocery bags in place.
There’s also dual zone electronic climate control, and Volvo’s CleanZone interior air quality system, that filters out nasties from outside, a storage box under the driver’s seat and power folding rear seat backrests, which can be activated from two locations in the car.
Luxury goodness and quirky items aside though, there’s something about the Volvo XC40. It feels different. The first time you climb aboard you notice how much larger it feels inside than its compact SUV rivals.
Whether you’re sitting in the front or the back, its very comfortable. It handles well on the road, it’s great to drive, and it’s quick and agile when you need it to be. Moreover, it’s also feels super cruisy on the open road and has a commanding presence for a small SUV.
Under the bonnet, there’s a 2.0-litre in-line turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 140kW of power and 300Nm of torque, making it capable of 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds. That’s not bad. Top speed is 210km/h.
Fuel economy is pretty good too, at 7.4-litres/100km – a number we were able to consistently achieve during testing, and we even had it down to 6.7 during some conservative highway driving.
Particular components can also be upgraded or opted in and out to create the ride and handling you want from your Volvo, including a lowered sports chassis, a four-C chassis with active damping comfort and park assist pilot to make parking easy.
The Volvo XC40 range starts at $44,990 and the standard T4 is priced at $50,990, but with the Technology Pack fitted to our test vehicle the price jumps up to $57,400. All prices are plus on-roads.
That Technology Pack loads up some extra goodies, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, park assit pilot, heated front and rear seats, an alarm, tinted rear glass, power folding rear backrest, and a lockable glove box.
You also get a heated steering wheel and the awesome Harmon Kardon premium sound system. That’s in addition to a 9-inch touch screen centre display, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three USB connections.
There’s also DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, in-car web apps, SatNav and road sign recognition. If all that wasn’t enough, the safety technology, an area which Volvo us incredibly committed to, is next level.
The 2019 Volvo XC40 comes with a city safety package that recognises pedestrians, vehicles, large animals and cyclists, intersection and oncoming collision mitigation with brake and steering support.
Throw onto that list the brand’s two intellisafe systems, which adds driver alert, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, front and rear collision warnings, and a run-off road warning.
Draw a breath now though, because there’s more, including hill start assist, hill descent control, front and rear park assist, reversing camera, rain sensor, emergency brake assist a host of airbags and Volvo’s intelligent driver information system.
We kid you not when we say Volvo is passionate about safety, it’s one of the hallmarks of its entire vehicle range. Not bad for a company that also has extensive links to environmental programs and community engagement.
The 2019 Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription is available in Black Stone, Crystal White, Onyx Black, Maple Brown, Denim Blue, Pebble Grey, Thunder Grey and Glacier Silver. There three different wheel choices too.
But the customisation doesn’t stop there, you can choose from six different interiors, including two cloth and vinyl options and four leather variations including the ultra cool looking Oxide Red.
As well as the Technology Pack our XC40 came with, there’s also a comfort pack that adds heated seats in the front and rear, and a Lifestyle Pack, which drops in a panoramic glass roof, tinted windows and an upgraded sound system.
The Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and comes with a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Service plans are available, which are pay up front, and are a little expensive. Roadside assist is included in the warranty.
Our test vehicle was provided by Volvo Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription, contact your local Volvo dealer.