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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I thought I could give an early appraisal, in a cons and pros format, of my first 4 weeks with the much-anticipated Volvo XC40 (Petrol,T4).

Mind you that, until now and since I have not encountered major problems, I am very, very satisfied with the car.

Some years ago a I had a V70 T5 and it had some problems right out of the production line, problems that were solved to my full satisfaction in the end but that cost me time and aggravation until they were fully sorted out.

This, together with some reports, both here and in another UK forum, about some problems in some XC40 units made me a bit worried about this purchase.

As it seems to be all-OK and drives beautifully, I am still as giddy as I was, waiting for my car to be delivered.:big-grin

As such, my overall impression is a very positive one, so don’t be too impressed by the cons, below, as they are more pet peeves than actual ownership problems.


1. Real life, on-the-road, the XC40 is as beautiful as it was in videos and photographs online or just standing there, at the dealership showroom. The design is a real heads turner.

2. Driving the car is an overall very positive experience. It is comfortable and drives in a way that is quite suited to my needs (over 55 years old, single user, occasionally with my wife, 50 miles per day in very good roads.). Being able to call different driving settings is a much welcomed bonus.

3. The way the design has been laid out “around the driver”. Everything is within reach and easily operated/selected from the driving position.

4. The intelligent human-car interfacing and automation.

5. The Harman Kardon sound system.


1. The reviews were right. The materials are carefully pondered to shave some bucks from each manufactured unit. Everything our eyes can see down to waist level is solid and the materials of acceptable or high grade quality. Everything from the waist down is just “Meh!”. The door panels, for instance, feature something akin to industrial carpeting. Certainly aware of the possible negative impact this might have on me and, in all certainty, duly instructed at the product seminars he must have attended, the salesman delivering the car made sure I understood that material was made from “recycled plastics” (...Looks and feels lame?...ah! but it is “green” to love marketing...).

2. Some brands are better at promoting themselves than others but this does not necessarily mean they have the upper hand on what they are promoting.

Volvo keeps touting about their Intellisafe technology but the matter of fact is that my wife’s 10 year-old Honda Accord Tourer already featured most of the road and city safety systems now deployed by Volvo.

I list this as a “con” because it is extremely clear that the algorithms behind these Volvo safety features, in spite of their continuous bragging over them, are not as refined as Honda’s already were, 10 years ago.

The systems on my XC40 keep triggering warnings or even stepping-up to active mitigation action in traffic situations where they simply were not necessary. It is a bit annoying to say the least and this was never a problem in the Honda.

3. Hyper-segmentation by Volvo.

My car costs roughly 54000 EUR in my country. I had access to a very significant discount and converted that discount in packages and individual options for the car.

I selected pack, after pack and individual option after individual option.

...but I still don’t have a rain sensor and a key lock in the glove compartment in a 54000 EUR car. Go figure...:sad

The electric parking brake when used in “hill assist” mode is not mechanically refined. It makes (low intensity) grinding sounds when activating, coming to a rest, and deactivating, while starting to move again.

4. The “welcome” lights should work as both “welcome” and “good bye” lights. If the feature exists it does not make sense for it not to be activated after closing the car (This might be a SW bug, as there’s an option to set a specific timer on those lights in the “lights” configuration menu but, no matter what I select they won’t stay on after locking the car).

5. Although I measured the XC40 to be slightly quieter overall than my previous Honda CRV (...same stretch of road, same speed...), the acoustic graph showed to be much more irregular. That puzzled me and I started an investigation. It turns out it is the aerodynamic noise coming from the exterior mirrors and the doors. I kept the sound system off for some miles at around 65-70 mph in the highway and felt like the noise coming through the window to my left hear was quite noticeable and a bit annoying, after a while.

6. The consumption is nowhere near the advertised one. I was warned about it and told not to fret as it is system-induced during the break-in period.

I will wait a reasonable amount of time and mileage. If it does not lower, I will have to have a little talk with Volvo Portugal and, next, if needed, Consumer Affairs.

...And this is all I have from this first month owning the XC40. :smile

Again, I cannot stress enough how happy, overall, I am with the car.

I hope this was useful.


68 Posts

It's great news to hear that you are enjoying your new vehicle. Thank you for taking the time to tell us how your feeling about your XC40 after a month of driving it. I should be receiving mine by the end of this month and I'm giddy as well! After reading all of the reviews/feedback in this forum about their vehicles, the information not only excites me but the reviews are a cheat sheet to what I should be expecting from the vehicle. Thanks again your review and continue to enjoy your XC40!

219 Posts
Glad to hear such positive feedback of the XC40 especially put in the way you expressed it. Did you test drive any other vehicles for perspective to really gauge how the XC really stands up to the rest?

Keep us posted on how your next months go, most folks like myself that have been through a number of vehicles usually look for months of feedback before deciding to pull the trigger. It would be greatly appreciated.

20 Posts
The pros greatly outweigh the cons, so I can't say I am disappointed but I do have gripes...


1) Idle rpm is too high, unless in Eco mode or auto-engine-stop turned on, lurches forward slightly after coming to a complete stop if brake isn't pressed very firmly.
2) Center display screen is slow to boot up.
3) Center display screen is slow to respond after boot up (shouldn't have to wait to adjust heated wheel/seats, fan, turn on A/C, or even get the backup camera to work).
4) Too many errant messages about "app updates" or "service needed" but no updates or service notices are found after pop-up message is gone.
5) Safety alerts that trigger for a split second when nothing is wrong.
6) Backup sensor is too sensitive, can't back out of my garage without brakes auto-apply when a car drives by (I do live in SF where the street is very close to my garage driveway, so I have to turn this off when backing out, else get whiplash when the auto-brakes kick in).
7) Backup lights are not bright enough.
8) R-design suspension is too rigid, bumps are uncomfortable (lots of unexpected bumps and uneven pavement in San Francisco and CA).
9) City gas mileage is bad (10-15).
10) Pumping gas - many CA nozzles don't set in tank opening correctly, causing the handle to constantly click off unless manually lifted to a different angle.
11) Hill Start Assist doesn't always kick in, can roll back at times.
12) Head-rest is not adjustable forward/backward, only permanently fixed. Only options are to adjust it upward and/or adjust the seat back which doesn't always provide a comfortable result.
13) Panoramic sunroof switch that works the glass and curtain should be 2 separate switches, too many small movements to adjust one or the other, usually adjusts the wrong one.
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