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2019 Volvo XC40 T5 long-term review, part two

By Ryan Lewis, 20 Jan 2019 Reviews

2019 Volvo XC40 T5 long-term review, part two

Swede's style finds a captive audience

DISASTER loomed large this month, and you, faithful reader, were lined up to receive a blank page that very nearly took the place of this XC40 update. See, the stylish Swede has been so popular in the Wheels office that for a good portion of the last four weeks I had no idea where it was.

Read next: 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 long-term review, part six

Editor Inwood reluctantly renounced possession of the key after welcoming the XC40 into our garage last issue, as a follow-up to its bigger brother, and his last long-termer, the XC60. But somewhere in the transfer to yours truly, the in-demand Scandinavian fell into opportunistic hands and became nigh on impossible to get a steer in, with every other member of staff playing dumb to its whereabouts.

By the time I tracked it down there were seven different phones paired to its Bluetooth system. That was no great surprise, as the owners of those devices had stopped by my desk to spontaneously relay their individual XC40 appraisals. I’ve been exposed to every XC40 opinion except my own.

Read next: 2018 Volvo XC40 Range Review

What came through loud and clear was universal appreciation for the XC40’s youthful design panache. Desire for the Iron Mark brand has come on in leaps and bounds with each new vehicle, and this – its most accessible SUV – is now arguably the most attractive to an enthusiast audience.

Distinctive exterior highlights include its Hammer of Thor headlights (carried over from the XC90 and XC60 SUVs before it) and a rising window line that meets a split C-pillar and fashionable blacked-out roof. There’s undeniable flair in the execution of the XC40, though it remains friendly and approachable. Not to mention perfectly sized for young, urban-dwelling families like mine, though its appeal extends far beyond a single niche.

2018 Volvo XC40 review

So the XC40 is kicking goals before turning a wheel, but we will get to that part of the equation in the coming months. One impromptu drive review delivered at my desk was presented by a journo who seemed to have evaluated it like it was Volvo’s latest sports car. Having just finished up in a Peugeot 3008, I think my frame of reference is a little more appropriate, and a quick stint in a near-identical T5 R-Design on hand for Car of the Year testing gave me enough ammo to brush those comments off. To say I’m looking forward to getting to know the XC40 is an understatement. 

Read more about the Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design long-termer: