My weekend with the Volvo XC40

I was super excited when it was announced that I had won the use of the all new Volvo XC40 for a weekend, at the Cosmopolitan Hustle Summit last month. (read about it on my Instagram page here).

It just so happens that I have been looking at new cars because my BMW X3 was recently in the shop for repairs, for a few times. I now have a new car for my vision board in the shape of the Volvo XC40.

So, anyway, here’s my very lay person, non-motoring journalist review of this awesome vehicle. There will be no talk about torque, because who even uses words like that in real life? I will be looking at features, speed, luxury and of course, price.

Take a look at this video that I created, which gives you an idea of my driving experience.

Please note that this is a vertical video.

In my opinion, Volvo drivers used to be stereotyped. For example, it was typically a car for the more mature driver. But these days, Volvo has “szhooshed” up its look and sexy is an adjective that comes to mind, upon first sight of the Volvo XC40, which also is available in the the larger XC60 and XC90 ranges.

The XC40 comes in 3 variations:  Momentum, R-Design and Inscription.

I received the Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design. This XC range falls under the compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) category. To me, this simply means that it’s a hatch back, that is slightly higher off the ground than a normal car, which I like. The interior seats has leather edges with nubuck, and one of the best parts is the fact that the car has the Apple CarPlay system. This means that you can pair your Apple device via blue tooth to the entertainment system, so that you can listen to Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music etc. effortlessly and without all the cables. Wireless phone charging is also part of the seamless flow.

Apple CarPlay System

 

The power steering is so smooth you could drive with just your fingertips! In fact, after the weekend, when I drove my own car again, it felt like it didn’t even have power steering, the difference was that big. Talking of steering, the steering wheel has all the usual volume, phone answer, etc buttons, and you can also adjust the column to your specifications.

 

The interior is slightly on the small side, but big enough for 3 adult passengers to sit comfortably. The boot is sizeable and has a convenient fold up section so that you can put items in the back and not have it fall around or spill. The boot has a mechanism whereby you put your foot under a certain part under the car and it opens and closes, which is super nifty when you have both of your hands full. You can also touch a button and the boot door closes! Voila!

The boot is sizeable and has a convenient fold up section so that you can put items in the back and not have it fall around or spill.

 

Boot section folded down.

 

The automatic gear lever shifts back and forth with the slightest push and there’s a small push button for the hand brake, which is a big change for me, having driven cars all my life that have a long pull up hand brake. Such ease!

Yes, ease the first thing that comes to mind once you get behind the wheel. I familiarised myself with the layout of the cockpit and dashboard and then went for a drive. This version of the car has 360 degree cameras all around, and even has what looks like a bird’s eye view from the top, so knocking into anything around you will be really difficult.

Here’s what I mean – I wonder how they get this image from the top of the car? Satellites? Beats me, but this is so useful.

 

 

Here are all the technical details and specifications that you may need to know. For me, the main things are: Does it get me safely from A to B in luxury and with ease, and with power if needed? Yes, yes and yes!

Price:

The T5 R-Design starts at R570 350. You can add features and nice-to-haves which will obviously push up the cost. Check out the nifty Build My Volvo site here.

All in all, I really loved everything about this car: the interior, exterior, sound system, the pleasure of an easy drive with real power-steering, speed when needed and the Apple CarPlay pairing.

I highly recommend a test drive.

 

 

 

 

 

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