Thanks for your reply and welcome, Mike. I really am enjoying the car, so that helps make up for the financial ding. I finally reached an intelligent rep at Care by Volvo who seemed to want to help. He had to reach out to a different department and it sounds like up a couple levels to get an answer... which still was somewhat cryptic.
Seems there are two issues leading to the inflated payments in my case. First, in Chicago, we pay state and county taxes of 9.5% on vehicle leases.. and turns out the Subscription program is indeed a lease. That's compounded by the unfair Care by Volvo rule that they won't let you pay the taxes and things like license fees upfront.. so that is all lobbed into the monthly payment and then that number is taxed by the City of Chicago another 9%! That all translates to about 23% taxes and fees for someone in Chicago... Bottom line: Know your local tax rules on vehicle leases! Even worse in my case is that my last car was sold to a dealer for $24k. Had I traded it in and bought the XC40 outright, I would have saved all the sales tax on that amount.. so another $2300 lost by doing the Subscription.
I bear some blame not really thinking this through and pushing Volvo for answers before signing on the line. There was clearly some emotion involved in clicking in "order." But I'm frustrated with Volvo because this was supposed to be a no-nonsense, straightforward alternative to leasing or buying and it's actually been anything but. I did ask Volvo why my payment was so high before I took delivery and also at the time of delivery, but no one could answer. If Volvo had just said that it's because the Subscription is treated as a lease for tax purposes, I never would have done it. No one ever leases a car in Chicago because of the outrageously taxes and Illinois rule that trade-ins only reduce the sales tax basis on purchases, not leases.
Anyway..... the car itself is pretty great. I have a short list of things I hope they improve for it to really be worthy of the $46k sticker as ordered. I'd choose it again, but would purchase outright.
Jezza, thanks for the heads up with the taxes and fees. Wow, Volvo should have been upfront with the entire process but many people wouldn't have jumped on the Subscription service. I just didn't want the hassle that goes into buying a car, my current vehicle is 14 years old so this seemed like the way to go. I appreciate you taking the time to explain all of this. I will look into the taxes and fees here in NE for lease vehicles. My dealership rep did mention that state sales taxes would be about $600 but didn't mention anything else about other taxes and fees. Don't beat yourself up too much. It is a sweet vehicle! Take care!