★★★★★ | Volvo’s Momentum PROgress
What Have We Got?
Volvo continue to go full steam ahead with their SUV range and the smallest of their cars, the 40 series received the SUV treatment giving us the XC40 in 2017. It went on to win the coveted European Car of The Year award in 2018.
A compact in visual presence SUV packed with well-fitting appointments and a premium feel. But with its £38k price tag, does the XC40 T4 petrol in Momentum Pro spec justify the premium price tag?
Here is where the XC40 Momentum T4 excels. With this 190hp petrol engine, it has the ability to travel forward very quickly. Fitted to a softer sprung suspension set up, it can carry you and 4 passengers in floating comfort.
The 2-litre turbo engine is fitted to full 8-speed automatic gearbox driving the front wheels travels with smooth elastic fluidity. There are no paddle shifts for this spec and it’s no hardship. There are very few occasions when you could choose a better gear ratio to be in.
What can ruin the ambience of the Momentum Pro is the drive modes. Quite hit and miss in this model. Dynamic mode didn’t add anything to the already accomplished manners of the car. In some cases, it hindered a splendid driving experience.
Handling veers onto the enthusiastic side quite readily with plenty of grip available. The ride tends to roll a bit but this is only to be expected from a high sided vehicle with a compliant ride. Adhesion to the tarmac immense and the steering alerts you to trouble ahead before it lose all grip.
One thing that is worthy of note is the use of recycled bottles, turned into fluffy material and used on the door cards and transmission tunnel. In shorts, it has a warm feeling to it like a faithful dog pressing against your left leg. It’s actually rather pleasant.
The dashboard is laid out in typical Volvo logic and the 12.3” is easy to use, if somewhat clunky at times. However, all was not good with the driving experience. And that would be the plastic used on the centre console. It was somewhat rather cheap in feel. And considering the premium quality Volvo have gone, this felt so very wrong in an otherwise well thought out interior.
The rear doors have a kick up in them and while being a design feature, they do hinder some visibility over the shoulders and for those travelling in the rear.
Living With It
The XC40 Momentum Pro is very easy to live with. Rear seat room, in particular, is generous and more so in shoulder width. The list of standard equipment is generous though there was no adaptive cruise fitted even though the radar button was fitted to the steering wheel.
The XC40 Momentum is a looker. It’s not as popular on the road and that might be because people aren’t looking to Volvo for this size of car. And that is a shame. It really does do a lot very well and very little to annoy.
If there is one thing that I can complain about, it is the T4’s fuel economy. It isn’t great. That said, it does power this little slice of Swedish luxury quite rapidly. I’ll complain about that even though I know you can get it with other petrol or diesel engines and there is also a hybrid of sorts model coming early next year.
So is this premium and worth that asking price? Forget flat-packed furniture with a cheap veneer added, this is a slice of rapid Swedish luxury, and I say it is worth it.
Fit and finish
8 speed automatic
Disappointing fuel economy (according to the computer)
Centre console plastic
Dynamic drive mode
Car – Volvo XC40 Momentum Pro T4
Price – £ 38,210 (as tested)
MPG – 33.6 -36.7 mpg (WLTP combined)
Power – 190hp
0-62mph – 8.1 seconds
Top Speed – 130 mph
Co2 – 154 (g/km)
Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It’s a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
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Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)