Volvo XC40 T4 R-Design review: let comfort take the driver's seat

NEW DELHI: Volvo India removed its updated entry-level SUV wrapper in India in early January. Soothing to the eyes, the new XC40, now called T4 R-Design, received the new engine and transmission unit.

At Rs 39.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Swede make is somewhat dearer than its immediate rivals - BMW X1 and Audi Q3. In its facelift avatar, the tweak in the design are almost negligible, however, the fun begins as you fire the engine and zoom the smallest Volvo on the straight. The XC40 is on sale in just one fully-loaded variant: T4 R-Design. We spent a week with the car and here's our take on how she dances to the beats:

Whether XC40, XC60 or XC90, Swedish car manufacturers are known for their cunning. The XC line is an extremely attractive, robust and distinctive looking machine. Dimensionally, the XC40 remains the same, with striking elements throughout the silhouette.

Sharp elements in the head and fog lamps, Volvo logo integrated with the grille, stretched bonnet with creases express the dynamic structure of XC40. On the sides, the R-Design sits on 18-inch alloys, gloss black skid plate and roof rails.

The impeccable design oozes luxury, with chrome used in the tail section for nomenclature and double-pointed leaks. The only new thing here is the T4-R design badge on the tailgate. Let's see how it is dressed inside.

Volvo is meant to make things beautiful and I'm happy to see bare minimum changes inside the new XC40. Neat in design, features are well-appointed are upmarket. You will find vertical-placed infotainment with butter-smooth touch, panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, heated seats and power tailgate among the list of features. The second row, however, is tight on space and four people on the go will find the ride comfortable.

The very European cabin is wrapped with plush leather. The sporty R-design steering wheel and the infotainment system exude first-class luxury. The two-zone climate system, the cooled glove compartment, the heated windshield and a lot of comfort features of the creature are inherited from the outgoing version.

The biggest change came in the form of a change of heart. Pretty literal! 190 horsepower and 300 Nm of maximum torque are available on the tap. The new 2-liter petrol engine that complies with BS-VI is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Use shifters in case you feel like influencing it, however, now it is just a front wheel drive.

The gear changes are perfect and in the open lines, in a short time, it would reach speeds of three digits. The car is well planted at high speeds and is easy to maneuver at low speeds. The petrol power train is usually quiet, with a slight noise dragging it beyond 3,500 rpm.

Alternate between four driving modes to experience subtle changes in driving parameters. It's fast, it's fast and you would also love to take it around the corners, with a slight body roll. The leather-lined address is light and reliable. The driving quality is flexible, with the suspensions doing a brilliant job to mitigate road imperfections. Enjoy driving, only to the point where you want to enter a race mode.

Priced just shy of Rs 40 lakh, Volvo XC 40 leaves too little to complain about comfort, drive and features. But in case you are planning to pick a car based on a spirited driving experience, you might choose the German rivals.

Kilometers traveled: 344 kilometers

Mileage: 14.2 kmpl

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