Is there anything interesting about its design?
Nearly everything about the design of the Volvo XC40 is interesting: from the way the bonnet sits flat and high, then leads to that sub nose with its modern grille, to the way the back door panel kicks up sharply to meet the rear pillar that’s hugged by long, angular tail-lights flanking a cleanly designed tailgate. It’s Volvo’s cool, minimalist design in a little SUV package.
And the exterior dimensions show just how little the XC40 is at 4.4m long, about 1.6m tall and 2.0m wide (with the mirrors out). How does that affect space inside? We’ll get to that below in the practicality section.
As far as the design inside goes Volvo minimalism is present throughout the cabin. This cockpit has a stylish simplicity, with a high-quality feel to the materials and excellent fit and finish.
The Inscription comes with pale ‘Drift Wood’ in-lays on the dash and doors – it’s a light coloured, rough feeling wood, see the interior images for yourself. There’s a 'crystal' gear knob, plush carpet trim on the doors, charcoal leather seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, too.
You can spot an Inscription from the outside by its 19-inch 'Double Spoke Black Diamond Cut' alloy wheels – again, check these out in the exterior images. While the R-Design grade above it has a two-tone colour scheme with a black roof, the Inscription comes standard as all one colour.
The hue of my test car was 'Luminous Sand Metallic' which is the most stunning shade from a limited choice of colours that includes 'Pine Grey Metallic', 'Denim Blue Metallic', 'Maple Brown Metallic', 'Bright Silver Metallic' and 'Crystal White Pearl'.
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’m giving the XC40 a perfect 10 because as far as small SUVs go right now, they don’t get better looking or as bravely unique as this inside and out.