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Discussion Starter #1
One of the first XC40 reviews from an owners perspective has released, coming from an automotive publication.

Expect follow up reviews. For now here are the current stats on KBB's XC40 and review after

  • Current Odometer: 8,870 miles
  • Latest MPG: 19.9 mpg
  • Lifetime MPG: 22.2 mpg
  • Maintenance/Service Costs: $0
  • Time out of Service: 0 days

We're spending 12 months with this Volvo XC40, which wins two KBB Best Buy Awards for 2019, reviewing the full ownership experience with ongoing updates. How impressive is the XC40? It's one of our favorite new models for 2019.

The XC40’s aggravating gear shifter

Overall, every one of our editors who has driven the Volvo XC40 has praised it. We dig it so much, in fact, that it won two KBB Best Buy Awards for 2019, including the prestigious Best New Model.

But despite its general greatness, there is one trait we dislike: the gear shifter’s operation.

The Volvo XC40’s shift lever is a little nub of a thing, cute and minimalistic. It also stands out from many other shifters in that it is not gated. Rather than move up and down on a rail, it sits on a fixed column and moves like a lever on a ball joint. These are not the issues, though.

Our problem with the XC40 shift lever is that it requires two pulls to put it into drive. To get it in reverse, you must perform a similar motion, pushing up on it twice. Both are akin to needing to perform a double tap with a mouse or your finger on a screen every time you want to perform the all-important function of putting the car into drive or reverse (putting it into park is simpler, requiring only the push of the P button near the bottom left of the shifter).

We can’t think of any other vehicle with such a setup, and that has led several of us to miss putting the Volvo into gear. Instead, we’ll pull or push the lever once, and instead of going into drive or reverse, it goes into neutral. That’s a shame, because this is something you need to do literally every time you want to drive.

I’m nearing 10,000 miles in the Volvo, and I still occasionally put the car in neutral because I didn’t perform the double motion. It’s frustrating.

What’s the rationale?

It’s also unnecessary. While yes, the XC40’s gearshift design cleans up space, I’d rather swap that bit of extra room for a standard gear lever. It’s not as though Volvo doesn’t have them.

The larger XC60 has a regular shift lever, as does the 3-row XC90. Heck, even the slick new Volvo S60 sedan we tested this week has one – check out the photo of its shift lever vs. that of the XC40.

I and my fellow KBB editors aren’t the only ones to complain about the XC40’s gear lever. Other reviewers have also called it out. And, anecdotally, so has at least one owner I know. I recommended the XC40 to a friend and he consequently bought one. In most aspects he’s very happy with it. But within the first weeks of ownership he texted me, asking why in the heck does it require a double-tap to get into gear.

For now we’re stuck with this, but who knows? Maybe if Volvo hears enough frustrations from other owners, a redesign will happen.

see the full review here

6 Posts
The Auto Hold ((A))

Hello eVolved

I have my new XC40 since April 17, 2019. So I am a new owner. I love the car and all it's safety features especially the backup function when a car pops out of nowhere the XC40 stops. Wonderful. I do have a concern with the my car and since you have been driving the XC40 for so many miles I want to ask you. It concerns the ((A)) function. I live in a town that is on a hill so it was a very big surprise when my car rolled back after being stopped at a red light and before giving it the gas. I was on an incline. Fortunately there was no one in back of me so I didn't hit another car although, there is usually bumper to bumper traffic in me town. I called my sales person and was informed to use the ((A)) button. I have been using this to help , but when on a down hill grade and merging into two lane traffic the car needs a push of gas which causes a boost. I learned to take off the ((A)) so I could slowly merge in the traffic. I questioned someone at VOLVO USA, names Kevin, about Hill Start Assist, because I thought that was not available in my car, and was told it only works if you are in a cold start on a hill or trying to back up on a hill on a cold start. All my other cars never rolled back on a hill when stopped in traffic or at a red light start. Other than the bid trucks or a manual car have I seen cars roll back. So my question to you who has been driving this car for many miles are you experience the same behavior of rolling back after being stopped? Kevin, from Volvo USA said there is nothing wrong with my car.
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