The 2022 Volvo XC40 subcompact luxury SUV has been with us for quite a while now, and it’s even received a facelift already in overseas markets. For 2022, the XC40 is now available in just one high-spec variant called the T5 R Design, and while this makes the XC40 one of the more expensive subcompact luxury SUVs on sale, it also means you get absolutely every luxury feature you could imagine.
For starters, luxury also means standing out in a parking lot, and the XC40 delivers that in spades. German automakers dominate the luxury space, and that alone is already enough for this little Volvo to stand out. Even more so if it looks this good. The R Design package gives the XC40 a very nice black contrasting roof and 19-inch alloy wheels, while the signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights are a giveaway of its distinct identity as a Volvo.
The rest of the body is sculpted well, with clean lines and the wide shoulders that Volvos are known for. In a sea of German luxury crossovers that tend to look like a smaller version of their larger sibling (aka the X3 looking like a scaled-down X5), it’s refreshing to see Volvo give the XC40 its own unique design.
However, for the interior, the overall aesthetic largely mirrors that of its larger siblings. That’s at least until you discover that the XC40 can actually be dressed in a wide variety of wild colors such as red that will make it stand out compared to the XC60 or XC90. Nevertheless, the interior is built to typical Volvo standards, with solidly-screwed panels and a door thud that’s satisfying to the ears. While the controls feel plush and substantial, there’s one thing that I tend to criticize nowadays in almost every modern car–the climate controls.
Features and Infotainment
That’s because the 2022 Volvo XC40, just like other models, now has the climate controls migrated into the touch screen. Sure, it’s always readily available at the bottom of the screen, but the execution is still far too many steps to simply change the temperature than I would like. Nevertheless, the Volvo Sensus 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system works well, with large icons that are easy to tap and very responsive to your inputs. There’s a home button in the middle that makes it second nature to operate. This is then mated to a fully-digital instrument cluster, which while it looks nice, isn’t as highly configurable as what you’d find in its German rivals. The resolution also isn’t the best at this point as well.
Other features that the 2022 Volvo XC40 gets are a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats, a hands-free powered tailgate, storage hooks on the glove box, and probably one of the best implementations of a Harman Kardon sound system. Sounds delivered by this system are so crisp and refined, even the bass at full setting never feels rattly inside the XC40–thanks to the bass speakers being mounted right into the car’s structure.
Space and Practicality
The 2022 Volvo XC40 is also one of the roomier SUVs in the segment. The rear seats are genuinely wide enough to accommodate three adults, while those at the front will be treated to what I think are some of the best seats in the industry in terms of comfort and adjustability.
As for trunk space, its 460-liter load area isn’t as big as the Germans but is average for the class. The square shape at least makes it easy to pack items as a result. There’s even a nifty notch to enable the cargo floor to act as a divider for loose items.
Under the hood of the 2022 Volvo XC40 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces a healthy 247 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. This drives all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic. Unsurprisingly, this powertrain combination enables a brisk 0-100 kph time of just 6.5 seconds, but despite its sporty R Design aesthetic and potent numbers, don’t expect the XC40 to be a sporty luxury crossover SUV.
Instead, what you should expect from the XC40 is a serene and relaxing driving experience. The light steering doesn’t provide any road feel in the same way as a BMW X1, but at least its precision is enough to instill confidence when going through twisties. Likewise, the softly-sprung suspension means there’s a certain amount of body roll, though it’s not what you’d call sloppy. Combined with its serene and quiet cabin, what the XC40 is great at is when driven sensibly.
The level of refinement and stability that the XC40 offers is top-notch for the class. The soft suspension also means that it absorbs bumps with delicacy. And going back to the powertrain, while there are copious amounts of power, it never offers that sort of kick that you get from its German rivals. The powertrain has been tuned for smooth power delivery. When it comes to overtakes, there’s no shortness in power, though there are times when the 8-speed automatic isn’t as responsive as I’d like.
Of course, being a Volvo, you expect the XC40 to come with every high-tech safety feature that the industry offers, and that’s pretty much the case. At this point, it’s almost too repetitive to mention its suite of driver aids, but I’ll mention the part that all of its systems are well-calibrated with no false alarms whatsoever. In addition, its Pilot Assist which combines full-speed adaptive cruise control and lane centering is one of the best in the industry. Its ability to lock itself inside its lane–even in curves, is unparalleled at its price point.
Lastly, as for fuel economy, I was doing around 9 to 11 km/l, which is actually very good for a luxury crossover with this much power. It’s not too far from what you’d achieve in a Mercedes-Benz GLA, and that has much less power than this Volvo.
In a sea of German luxury SUVs aiming to offer sportiness to the driving experience, the XC40 is somewhat a breath of fresh air. The relaxed driving experience, top-notch interior quality, and generous features list make every drive in the XC40 a serene one. The chaos of Manila’s traffic is easily drowned out by its quiet cabin, sublime Harman Kardon sound system, and the ease provided by the XC40’s well-calibrated suite of driver aids.
Priced at P3,895,000, the 2022 Volvo XC40 T5 R Design is one of the more expensive subcompact luxury SUVs out there. However, it’s also pretty much fully loaded from here with all the luxury features and driver-assistance tech that is absent in most of its competitors.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★★
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Safety and Driver Assistance: ★★★★★
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
Overall: 4.6 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.