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Volvo XC40

I`ve been asked to keep my blogs a little shorter, so we will now use the Simon Sinek method of understanding the reason for Volvo and why we asked to drive the next car of the Universe 2018.

It starts like this:

If you are the kind of person that prioritises the safety of yourself and family in any situation on the road and off, then man do we have a car for you.

Volvo XC40

It has a range of features that keep you alert and assists with little steering inputs.

Volvo XC40

Its design has captured the attention of every single motoring journalist in the world.

And it makes a statement about where Volvo is intended to head, after the initial work on the XC90 That assisted it in the 12% increase in sales, every single quarter this year.

Talking numbers, for every car Volvo sell, the Germans will outsell them 3 times more. This is public perception, so as a service, we encourage you to try the car. There is nothing critically evident in the world of cars, safety features and design, that truly sets this mini segment apart, but for reasons of argument, we will posit a few alternate options.

The Why of Volvo

The core of the vision for Volvo – is to reduce fatalities in any of their cars by 2020. The cars focus on safety above everything else, numbs out any feeling in the road, and ability to feel any sense of joy as you go around a corner. It seems that they are moving away from purely safety-focussed, and including some aspirational elements into their design, that can pull Edward Cullen from his next meal, to save Bella.

Volvo XC40

The how of the XC40

They achieve optimum safety by having numerous sensors and cameras, that constantly monitor where you are in relation to any potential safety hazard ahead or approaching from either side. The systems used to keep you safe, work. If you don’t believe us, go for a test drive and test the pilot assist function. It is terrifying to use at first, but on highway function and with well-marked out lanes, we enjoyed the ease of driving the car. I mentioned road-markings because it seems that there is road construction everywhere. The car handles all the activity, taxis and buses with minds of their own, with ease. This relieves the stress of driving long distance.

Volvo XC40

The design focus inthis car , exterior and interior is insane!

The what of the XC40

Funky design, in a very safe package.

Buy the XC40 with the R Line package and Harmon Kardon sound system plus sunroof. Please, add the sound system, even if you choose the entry-level package. It is serious quality!

Diesel engine average 7.8 l / 100 for the D5 AWD model.

Noisy engine, but nearly bump free anywhere we drove.

The car overall for us feels too light, and steering is too light.

To the designers – beautiful interior, but the gear lever lacking a Park mode – doesn’t make sense. 99% of cars have always had the same features in their gear change. Moving to neutral as an Entrepreneur has never been an option, so don’t force us to move from reverse to neutral and then to drive, we just don’t see the point. A park button, and handbrake button, and an automatic e-brake button is just too much. Also, in an emergency, the hazard button is a small spec, bottom left of the gigantic IPAD screen. Put it dead-centre on top of the IPAD, especially in countries prone to more road hazards or accidents.

Checks and Balances

The sunroof on our test vehicle had a shudder upon closing, and the alarm system came up with a warning light to be booked in for service. This all happened with only 10 000+ kilometres on the test car. Electronics are great, but when they are entirely managing your safety and key systems in the car, small things like this are worrying. Moral decisions lay ahead of AI inside cars, and we`re a little way away from that still. 

Quality

Final complaint. The design is so beautiful. Please make the drive more engaging. I know that everyone has to save weight, but the 140kw diesel engine still felt completely out of breath, each time we needed a bit of speed. We love the interior and exterior design, but finally – the GPS. I don’t know why the person in charge of your Navigation system Product Management, let this one go. Please rethink the various options for input. Unless you expect only Geography teachers to buy this car, choosing a point on a map doesn’t help unless you know the area. The system is useless, and we resorted to using the Google Maps option on the Android Samsung Note 8 instead. Speaking directions to the google assistant was a lot more helpful than anything built into the infotainment system. 

Best bit of this car. Every person we spoke to, loved the charging mat for the wireless charging.

The Swedish Rubber Flag – an optional extra you can ask for, that sits in the side right of the car as an emblem of excellence from that country.

Final good note. I didn’t find a single young person that wasn’t attracted to it’s design (warning other brands). Attracting youth now means future sales.

Bluetooth connects in seconds, and the orange interior carpeting had grown men in our office park begging for more. So. See the advice above and good luck with winning the car of the year stuff above.

Volvo XC40

If you are a liberal, educated, upper-middle-class person (not snooty, but you have bought Wallpaper magazine and care for the Earth). Then this car is for you. Not flashy, but beautiful. And Safe. Safe as Volvo.

Other options to consider

Armoured Tank with Child Seats and monitoring systems 

Audi Q3

Jaguar F Pace

Range Rover Evoque

You are……

An accountant (finance department)

A Banker (credit department)

A Doctor (Maybe even a Dentist, but its too early to call)

Verdict

Buy it now. We prefer the space, engine and drive of theXC60 personally.  We will keep testing until we find “The” car. The XC90 is only available for a test next year, so until then, have a good Christmas break!

Volvo XC40

Price as tested R 721 000 with a lot of extras added.High price, but packed with tech that could save your life, and you cannot put a price on that! 

Volvo XC40

Volvo SA  – Thank you so much for this oppotunity to test!!!!

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