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Volvo XC40 2020: new entry-level model to tackle Mazda CX-5

A new version of the Volvo XC40 compact luxury SUV is set to offer the brand an enticing price point that'll see it compete with mainstream rivals such as the Mazda CX-5.

The new Volvo XC40 T3 variant that has been launched in Europe is set to come on stream in Australia in the coming months. There has already been a T3 in Europe for some time, but the reason that it will finally launch here is down to the addition of a new automatic transmission.

The XC40 T3 uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine producing about 120kW of power and 265Nm of torque - which is some 25kW and 35Nm down on the current entry-level T4 version. Previously only available with a six-speed manual, the new T3 version adds an eight-speed automatic transmission to the mix.

It's expected to saunter from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds, and fuel consumption is set to be claimed at between 6.8 and 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres - but the real number that'll get people through the door is expected to be the price tag.

The current XC40 line-up starts at $44,990 for the T4 Momentum, and that is expect to drop to the low $40k-range with the introduction of the less-powerful T3.

New gear will also be added as part of a 2020 range update, with a 12-volt outlet in the boot, load net, locking glovebox and auto-folding side mirrors all expected to be included. There's also a Winter Plus pack with heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated windscreen and washer nozzles.

Safety gear is set to be improved by way of an upgraded blind-spot safety system with steering assistance, which can steer the car out of the way of any oncoming traffic in the car's blind spot if the driver doesn't pay attention to warnings.

Volvo Australia has previously stated that the XC40 T3 auto would arrive in Australia sometime in the next six to nine months, and we've contacted the company for a progress update. Stay tuned for more.

While a three-cylinder luxury car might seem an odd offering to some, Volvo is not alone in offering such a small SUV. There are three-cylinder versions of the BMW X1 and X2, Mini Countryman and even the likes of the Peugeot 2008.

Would you buy a three-cylinder luxury car? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.