Volvo XC40 launch tomorrow: What to expect from this Audi Q3, BMW X1 challenger

by Bunny Punia

Volvo India will launch their smallest SUV for the Indian car market tomorrow. It’s called the XC40 and will be positioned in the compact luxury SUV market, a segment that offers stiff competition in the form of three German rivals, the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. The XC40, unlike its peers, will be imported into India as completely built units (CBU) and will be priced between Rs 40-43 lakh, ex-showroom. Here is what you need to know about the XC40.

It’s the R-Design trim

Only one version of the XC40 will be offered for the Indian market right now and the good news is that this one is the fully equipped R-Design variant. This means you get additional design elements like a blacked-out roof, sportier alloy wheels and glossy black treatment for body panels like the grille, door mirrors and skid plates.  Complementing the funky design are the dual integrated exhaust pipes at the back. On the inside, the R-Design trim offers leather/Alcantara upholstery, front seat cushion extensions, a perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, and aluminium dashboard inlays.

It’s fully loaded

And because there is only one version on sale, Volvo made sure it had to be packed with features. Some of the better features that will woo buyers include a hands-free tailgate, adaptive cruise control [brakes automatically on detecting a vehicle ahead], pilot assist [to keep the car inside the lane], a 9-inch touchscreen inspired from the bigger XC versions, shift by wire gear selector that frees up space in the central console and AWD among others. Then there is the massive panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps, heated seats, dual zone climate control etc. Volvo claims that buyers in this segment do get lured by the entry level pricing of models but the fact is that they end up buying a higher version. Hence logistically, the XC40 R-Design makes better sense for the company.

It’s a diesel

The XC40 will only be offered with a diesel motor as of now. This one is a 2.0-litre unit that is good for 190 bhp of power and 400 Nm of torque. These figures are class-leading with the XC40 putting out more power than the X1 20d, Q3 35 TDI and the GLA 220 d. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and gets five driving modes, namely, Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, Off-road and Individual. The modes, as expected, modify various parameters like power delivery, transmission response, steering feel and even the AWD’s torque bias.

It looks like an SUV

Don’t get me wrong here – other German rivals are also SUVs but the XC40 has the most proportionate design to justify this term. At 1652mm, it’s the tallest here and also gets a non-sloping rear roof that is practical as well – frees up headroom on the inside. The XC40 also gets a class-leading ground clearance of 211mm and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/55 tyres.

Here is our video from the XC40 drive in Hyderabad last month

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